A similar disaggregation of the construction process in the last decade has led to a great deal of dysfunctional behavior. Each trade has retreated into a “silo” of work, first by their own independent nature, and then trapped there through the walls built by their own labor unions as well as liability, insurance and financial barriers. The negative impact can be measured in costs and time overruns, but mostly in buildings which are just piles of bricks and sticks with little relationship to humanity.
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Not surprisingly, affordable housing has been the testing ground for this concept, where there is still very much an accepted culture of building, or remodeling one’s own home. While Habitat for Humanity is perhaps modeled more on traditional barn-building exercise, there are some sweat-equity programs which integrate professional contractor services with home-owner labor. Increasingly, community development organizations, such as the Community Resource Group, tackle greater issues such as water and wastewater problems.
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