Re:Common House Refrigerators
From: Joani Blank (
Date: Tue, 20 Jan 1998 01:53:44 -0600
Check the archives on this subject. But here is some recall on previous
discussions and report on our experience at Doyle Street and our plans for
Old Oakland.  

1. Remember first that most of your common house meals will serve 2/3 to
3/4 of your members.

2. Your CH refrigerator will typically hold no more than the food (that
needs to be refrigerated) for one meal at a time, condiments and salad
dressings, and leftovers (until they are eaten or thrown out).

3.  Puget Ridge has a huge commercial refrigerator that is terribly noisy.
(Rob, you must be a bit deaf :))

4. Puget Ridge's refrigerator was way less than half full the day I looked
into it.

5. At Doyle Street (12 units) we have a small household
refrigerator/freezer in the CH (15 cubic feet) which is quite sufficient.  

6. In Old Oakland, we plan to have a larger but still residential
refrigerator, I think 18 or 20 cu. ft. 

7. Sub-Zero refrigerators are really fantastic, use very little energy, but
are very, very expensive.

8. Katie McCamant had a hand in both Doyle Sreet and Old Oakland kitchen
designs and appliance selection, and that counts for a lot in my mind,
considering how many common house kitchens she's done. 

9. It's great that you have a donated freezer, and donated refrigerator(s)
are fine to start with as well, but try to avoid "bargains" on used
restaurant equipment. Remember, we want our CH kitchens to be much homier
than your typical restaurant kitchen. Ask the folks at Winslow about their
experience with that bargain steam table they scored. 

10. Before you get too worried about having a CJ refrigerator that is too
small, remember that there will be 27 other refrigerators just a few dozen
feet from your common kitchen for use when you have an occaisional need for
them. And since this is cohousing, it'll be perfectly natural to ask your
neighbor to put stuff in his or her refrigerator for a day or so here and

Joani Blank
SF Bay Area

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