Re: Designing and Specifying CH Kitchens
From: Kathryn McCamant (
Date: Mon, 25 Jul 2005 17:19:50 -0700 (PDT)
Well actually, Chris, we handle Common House kitchen design a little
differently. We stay in touch with the communities we¹ve worked with and get
plenty of feedback, so our approach incorporates our latest, greatest
feedback for communities in the 30 ­ 34 unit size:

1. One residential refrigerator and maybe a second in the basement or in a
more out-of-way location (unless the community has specifically said they
want a commerical refrigerator which we haven¹t heard for a while).

2. One high end residential stove with 6 burners (at least 15,000 BTU¹s )
and two ovens (30,000 btu¹s). Sometimes, one of the ovens is separate for
the range. 

3. Range hood per range

4. Commercial grade, undercounter dishwasher (we do NOT take this out for
the building department and have always been able to avoid the commercial
kitchen designation in common houses. This would be much harder once a
precedent is set for a commercial designation for common houses in same
region as this is definitely a question of interpretation by the local
building official. We use the residential range as our argument for no
commercial designation.)

5. and yes, a middle island that can be used for ³separate, social
multi-cook food prep area.²

An important consideration in these larger communities is that we find that
communities that have more frequent reliable common dinners actually have
more smaller numbers of people at each dinner but more people participating
over all. So, for instance, if I know that my community has 3 ­ 5 dinners
reliably every week,  my family will likely go to 2 ­ 3 of them. But if my
community only has 1 or 2 dinners a week, I would really try to make them so
that means that at those dinners we would likely have more diners overall.
Personally, I really like have more dinners to choose from during the week
and having those be a little more intimate because not everyone feels they
need to make every common dinner because they are so rare.

My 2 cents. Will be interesting to hear what others say.


Kathryn M. McCamant, Principal
The CoHousing Company/McCamant & Durrett Architects

241 B Commercial Street
Nevada City, CA 95959
T.530.265.9980 F.530.265.4398

1250 Addison Street No.113
Berkeley, CA 94702
T.510.549.9980 F.510549.4120

From: Chris ScottHanson <chris [at]>
Date: Mon, 25 Jul 2005 11:08:53 -0700
To: Cohousing-l <cohousing-l [at]>
Subject: Designing and Specifying CH Kitchens

Hi all...

Hope everyone is having a great summer.

I have a question for you about some basic assumptions I am making about
common house kitchen design.  It goes like this.

Am I right in assuming that 

DURING DESIGN, a common house kitchen for 34 households should be designed
with, at least:
a) two high quality, quiet and efficient residential refrigerators
b) two high quality, high capacity residential (insulated) ranges, with 4 -
6 burners each
c) at least one soup ring of at least 30,000 BTU (maybe better 40,000 BTU)
d) two high quality residential range hoods, one over each range
e) high quality high capacity, probably commercial grade, dishwashing
f)  integrated dish wash area, preferably at countertop height.
g) separate, social multi-cook food prep area

a) leave out the commercial dishwashing system (to help avoid having to
install a fully commercial grade kitchen) but including the counters and all
the space required for the dishwashing system.
b) include and install everything else

a) install a commercial dishwashing system (90 second clean cycle, or
(My preference would be counter top level so there is no bending and
lifting, and with slide in and slide out capability for the big trays.  Dish
storage IN THE TRAYS is always good, if possible, so that clean dishes are
not handled, and contaminated.)

If cohousing design professionals have opinions they are willing to share
here, I would love to know what all of you think.



Chris ScottHanson

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