RE: Common House Questions
From: Rob Sandelin (
Date: Mon, 16 Jan 95 12:38 CST
 Willie Schreurs  asked a lot (pehaps too many?) questions about 
commonhouse design and programming:

Sharingwood currently uses a 400 square foot room in a basement as our  
temporary commonhouse. We have a 2000 square foot commonhouse beginning 
construction in a couple of weeks.  We currently have 14 resident 
households in 12 houses.

   - Conversely, if you were trying to save money, what spaces/functions
would you eliminate first?

We never established a  teen room in the commonhouse plan as a 
programmed space.
We have no current interest in centralized laundry.
Arts and crafts sorts of activities are being programmed for a separate 
shop space.
We have no programmed common guest room space, we accomodate guests in 
our homes or in the campground.

      - the relationship of that space to other spaces

The placement of the kids room is a key relationship in our plan.  It 
is close to the entrance and kitchen and in view from the kitchen, but 
not close to the dining. It is sunk 4 feet below the floor level of the 
dining area.  It has its own outdoor entrance and will have banners and 
tapestries hung from the ceiling for sound.

- Community meals are a big part of common house use, so:
      - how many meals do you have per week?
4 sometimes 5.

      - what is the participation in these meals?
 Varies.  Of a total of 32 current residents  19 participate regularly, 
9 participate sometimes, 4 participate rarely or not at all.

 - how can we make sure that the experience is a pleasant one, with
        high participation, and that the process is neither too
        time-consuming nor burdensome?
Be flexible about dinner hours and days, deal with kid noise and 
behaviors upfront, use a small bell which can be rung by anyone to 
indicate the noise level is too loud.  Use teams of at least 3 to cook, 
prep and cleanup.

Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.