Re: Oh, no! (Cielings Div.)
From: Joani Blank (
Date: Mon, 22 Jun 1998 17:41:02 -0500
No Paul, I wasn't touting all that glass at Old Oakland, nor all the
too-much-glass we have at Doyle Street either. Glass is always a liability
when it comes to acoustics. Certain drapes or even some shades can be
sound-absorptive, but then you'll only want to close them on winter
evenings when dinner time is after dark. Someday someone will design some
transparent sound absorptive material, and then we can have as many windows
as we want and still have relatively quiet common dinners. Any inventors
out there?

The ceiling height at Doyle St. and at Old Oakland are preset--determined
by the existing buildings we renovated(doyle st.) or are restoring (old
oakland--I use that term because Swan's Market is an historical landmark,
placing myriad limits on what we can and can't do if we want to keep the
City of Oakland happy and, more important, have the project as a whole be
eligible for historic tax credits.)

What we are doing at Old Oakland is  covering the ceiling (between existing
joists (is that what they are called?) with acoustic material (Textum or
something similar). This is a significant expense for an amenity which we
didn't even consider eliminating when projected costs rose dramatically a
few months back. 

I would like to strongly ditto what Judy says about the factors in common
dinner attendance. Frankly, I think if everything else was working, people
would keep coming to common dinners even if it was noisy. Nevertheless, I
think common dining area acoustics are really worth all the attention you
can give them, and the best acoustic treatment you can afford. 

As far as numbers and dining room space is concerned Katie and Chuck
recommend "regular" or "everyday" seating for  approx.70% of residents
(don't forget kids) if the community is less than 20 households, approx.
60% if it is from 20 to 30 households, only 50% if  the community is bigger
than 30 households (verbal info from Chuck today). Then you will want space
to be easily expandable/convertible to 100% of residents plus guests for
special occasions. 

Joani Blank
Doyle St. and Old Oakland Cohousing

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