DESIGN CRITERIA: FAR vs Form-Based
Cambridge currently uses FAR (floor-area-ratio) criteria to calculate building design for purposes of zoning. This measurement is based on the relationship between the total amount of usable floor area a building is permitted to have and the total area of the lot on which the building stands and is measured by dividing the total or gross floor area by the gross area of the lot. In the new Affordable Housing Overlay proposal the city plans to switch from FAR to Form-Based criteria rarely used in this country particularly in historic communities with a rich architectural history. The only criteria now will be allowable building height (4 stories, 8 stories, or higher city-wide - generally flat) and building distance to the lot line (7.5 feet on each side or less, 10 feet in front, and 20 feet in back or less). This change greatly reduces design complexity as well as allowable green spaces and trees. The differences between the two can be readily seen in these illustrations.
9/28/2019 11:54:27 am
Designing is not as easy as most people make it to be. Well, for starters, designing takes a lot of creativity. In my opinion, only a creative person can succeed in the field of design. I am not saying that I am talented, but I do have a little bit of creativity in me. I am just telling you all of this so that you have an idea about what design is all about. This is not an easy field to succeed in.
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