Re: Middle units Dark or Not
From: Philip Proefrock (
Date: Fri, 11 Nov 2005 05:59:38 -0800 (PST)
Quoting cohousing-l-request [at]
> Subject: [C-L]_ Middle units Dark or Not
> We are working on our site design which consists of almost all 
> duplexes.  We realized that if we went to tri-plexes or four-plexes that 
> we could save a lot of space and open up the site.
> The concern is that the center units in either case will be dark and 
> nobody will want them.

As others have pointed out already, lots of middle units have been built in all
kinds of circumstances, and many of those are successful.  The desirability of
those units will have a lot more to do with how well they are designed than
with whether they are end units or middle units.

Depending on your site design, you may be able to introduce side lighting to
middle units by staggering the configuration, if that is an available option. 
Middle units might also be given extra prominence, or the orientation of the
cluster might be driven by the needs of the middle units rather than the ends
if that is a major concern for your group.

Middle units do not need to be just end units with their side windows removed. 
They could be made wider than the end units, perhaps, in order to be able to
bring more light into them.

There are some strong positives to having middle units, as well.  Middle units
have shared walls with neighbors, so their heating and cooling can be less
expensive because they only have two walls exposed to the exterior.

Philip Proefrock
  architect [at]

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