|Re: Commonhouse Design||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Berrins (Berrinsaol.com)|
|Date: Mon, 27 May 2002 11:22:16 -0600 (MDT)|
I'll echo a few concepts and add a couple. We are: Pathways Cohousing, Northampton, MA 24 on site units, 3 neighboring houses who also participate in community life. Common House (CH), 3100 square feet, one floor, with a full basement 1) Definitely hire a pro architect. We had Mary Krause and Laura Fitch design our community buildings (houses and CH) and love it. Get someone who can come to your meetings and go through the design process with you. 2) Cubbies are cool. Make 'em big enough to hold the usual lost and found stuff but not so big they require a lot of space. We have hooks underneath for coats and scarves. We are also getting ready to install mail boxes (our temporary boxes are outside). 3) Unlike some other Massachusetts cohousing CHs, our city inspector required us to build our CH to commercial standards. This cost us a lot more but, for example, during the first dance party I was in the basement underneath the Great Room and could see the floor shaking- was I ever glad we were required to put in the extra support! These standards are all about building safer buildings. With all the various and sundry folks using the building, many of them just visiting, interspersed with long hours of nobody in the building at all, its nice to know the building is relatively safe. 4) Ditto for storage spaces. We have a janitoral closet and two closets in the children's room. We couldn't afford floor space for a kitchen pantry and wish we could have. We don't have a community office and, for the nonce, are doing okay without one. But I know we would use one a lot if we had one (especially for copying). 5) Bookshelves. One thing we didn't design for and I wish we had. The children's room has two smaller ones, which is enough. But I would have liked to be able to keep a whole bunch of books and videos for our own lending library. I suspect we have a few thousand books (a conservative estimate) languishing in boxes in basements. We may eventually use the attic for book storage, but would have to build it out first- with all our other capital projects waiting to be funded, that won't happen for awhile. 6) Guest rooms get used a lot. We have one small and one medium size. We haven't found a need to use them for anything else. 7) Create a quiet space away from the children's room and great room. Our living room (on the southeast corner) is separated by the front hallway from the children's room (south central wall), with the Great Room (on the west side) on the other side of the children's room. The fire doors we had to install in the hallways and as doors to some of the rooms are good sound barriers, too. We debated putting the living room between the Great Room and the children's room, and I'm glad we didn't. The guest rooms are even quieter; northeast corner and separated from the great room by the kitchen and fire walls. The guest rooms and the handicap bathroom form sort of a guest suite- the only thing missing is a door to the "suite" to close it off for privacy. 8) We have folding tables (commercial quality) but the chairs (second hand from a used kitchen supply store) don't stack. So far, space hasn't been a problem. 9) Dishwashers have been a theme on the list- check the archives. We have a below-the-counter Hobart that does a load in 90 seconds. Works great. 10) Kitchen. Commerical grade stove and refrigerator, lots of stainless, including a spray sink. We've slowly been adding shelving- quite necessary for our relatively small space. 11) Children's room. Has its own bathroom- no idea if that's necessary. That's about it for now.. Good luck! Roger Berman Pathways _______________________________________________ Cohousing-L mailing list Cohousing-L [at] cohousing.org Unsubscribe and other info: http://www.communityforum.net/mailman/listinfo/cohousing-l
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