Re: Density, detached vs attached
From: Jean Pfleiderer (pfleiderer_jWIZARD.COLORADO.EDU)
Date: Mon, 23 Jan 95 12:31 CST
>Received: from by WIZARD.COLORADO.EDU (PMDF #12158) id
> <01HM2YNDYFTS95MVTS [at] WIZARD.COLORADO.EDU>; Fri, 20 Jan 1995 20:12 GMT
>Received: by (/\==/\ Smail3.1.28.1 #28.3) id
> <m0rVWDe-00007Ja [at]>; Fri, 20 Jan 95 21:10 CST
>Date: Fri, 20 Jan 95 21:10 CST
>From: Eric Hart <harte [at] Free-Net.Mpls-StPaul.MN.US>
>Subject: Density, detached vs attached
>Sender: cohousing-l [at]
>Errors-to: fholson [at]
>Reply-to: cohousing-l [at]
>Message-id: <Pine.SUN.3.91.950120204838.27882A-100000 [at]>
>Originator: cohousing-l [at]
>Precedence: bulk
>X-Listprocessor-Version: 6.0 -- ListProcessor by Anastasios Kotsikonas
>    In my work with the Riverside group in Wisconsin we have discussed 
>the issues of density.  More specifically we have debated the issue of 
>whether or not units should be clustered with some shared walls or be detached
> units in a cluster.  The issue seemed to be a controversial one and one 
>which people have a large amount of 'baggage' and strong emotions about.  
>       I  have always had a predjudice against single family detached 
>housing, especially after my studies as an Urban Studies major.  The 
>group seemed to have two distinct 'sides', one which wanted the 
>traditional detached house and another which wanted to get away from all 
>that the detached house symbolized and have more shared walls and living 
>space.  We were never able to resolve this conflict and what happened was 
>that the people who were ready to move out to the site in the near future 
>started designing their own cluster.  They are still working out the 
>       I don't want to impose my predjudice on any group but still I 
>think that the issue of attached vs detached should be addressed.  
>Clearly there are ecological benefits to building units with shared walls 
>and many of the problems that people encounter in existing shared wall 
>units can be remedied by intelligent design (noise, etc.).  The last 
>meeting we had before the whole group stopped planning was to explore 
>people's feelings and fears about living in a unit that has shared 
>walls.  Clearly this issue brings up very strong emotions, at least it 
>did with the group I work with.  I'm not sure what those emotions are but 
>I know that it certainly would be easier to ignore them and just do the 
>socially acceptable detached unit design.  Trying to dispell the old 
>single family detached house myth is important to me but I hit a brick 
>wall when I try start any kind of discussion about it.  Its like trying 
>to tell someone that their car isn't good for the environment.  
>Alternatives don't even enter their consciousness. 
>       I would be interested to know if other groups have tried to deal 
>with these issues and what the results have been.  Riverside is a rural 
>site so land considerations aren't very relevant (they have a 10-20 acre 
>building site).  If there was only 3 or 5 acres available, then I could 
>see where there wouldn't be a lot of room for debate (you would have to 
>use attached units to fit all the units in).  I do know that there some 
>cohousing communities that have more than a few acres so I would be 
>interested to know if this issue even came up.  
>Eric Hart
>harte [at]


At Nyland, we have 42 clustered units on 42 acres. That leaves most of the
land as open space, common areas, etc.  We have a mix of single-family,
duplex, and triplex buildings.  People chose what they wanted on whatever
basis made sense to them.  I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong,
but of the 42 units, I believe we have six that are single detached units.
One of the great benefits of cohousing is, of course, that the community
designs what it wants to have.  If your community wants to have some single
and some attached homes, why not have both?

Jean Pfleiderer
Publications Specialist III
University Management Systems
University of Colorado

Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.