Knowlton School of Architecture (2005-2009) (Evan)

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    Plan B.

    Evan Chakroff
    Apr 23, '09 11:52 AM EST

    I got a call from my mother yesterday, for my birthday. Shockingly, their small house on St Croix (US Virgin Islands) has doubled in value in the past two years, confirming my suspicion that the Virgin Islands exist in some sort of bizzarro-world, or possibly are simply jumping through time like the island on LOST. With the job market looking pretty grim, I've already been considering moving down there temporarily to work on my portfolio and study for the ARE (there is no IDP requirement in the Virgin Islands, though getting reciprocity might be difficult without it), but this news opens up a new possibility. My parents are now considering selling the house and buying a plot of land, with the intent of eventually building a new house...

    Obviously this would be quite an endeavor, but there are certainly worse ways to spend ones time while unemployed, so I'm feeling a little better about my worst-case-scenario. To make things more interesting, St Croix has a surplus of used tires, which can't be recycled on-island, and shipping them off is too expensive. Additionally, all building materials must be shipped in, so even concrete blocks are double the price you'd find them on the mainland. So, one idea is to construct this thing out of rammed-earth-filled tires, but rather than a hippie-earthship, try to match (as close as possible) the typical Danish Colonial style prevalent in the older buildings on the island.

    So, while I'd obviously rather find a job (New York? Europe? Asia? Anywhere?) I'm lucky to have this to fall back on.


    • Sounds like it could be quite the project..

      Apr 23, 09 12:45 pm  · 

      Hmm, let's see here. Go to New York and work as a CAD slave for a few years while living in urban squalor, or go to the bucolic and gorgeous USVI where I have parents to dote on me while i help them build a house and get really useful experience in the field while studying for the AREs without having to deal with IDP...

      That's seriously your plan B? Sounds like a plan A to me...

      BTW, NCARB handles state to state reciprocity and you will have to pay them dues to get your license validated in other U.S. states. According to this the places where your USVI license, that was obtained without IDP, will be completely invalidated without exceptions are: FL, IL, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, NH, NJ, NY (which is odd, because you can technically sit for the AREs here without a pro. degree in architecture), RI, SD, WI, and CA (which like i said requires its own exam). That's 13 states out of 50 and it leaves out alot of booming states and cities in AZ, GA, SC, NC, NV, Texas, WA, OR, MA, PA and others. As you can probably tell, I too am looking for ways to get licensed without dealing with IDP.

      Apr 23, 09 1:11 pm  · 

      Sweet. My Plan B involves going to an island and studying for my exams as well. I am finished with IDP though...

      Apr 23, 09 1:26 pm  · 

      hah hah I've affected you all - the islands are where it's at.

      Evan something for you to check out when you get there. CUBIC which is the basis of the regional building code and which the BVI/USVI acknowledge although don't legally follow, doesn't have allocations for alternative construction methods particularly in relation to hurricane protection. Your plan B may open up a great opportunity for published research on the matter

      good luck

      Apr 23, 09 4:42 pm  · 

      well thanks for the encouragement guys... i do still have nearly 60 days to figure out what to do for the rest of my life ;)

      and i wonder if getting licensed in the VI would help much if i try to get back to europe after that...

      Apr 27, 09 10:11 am  · 

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