Re: Shared Unit design
From: Lavinia Weissman (
Date: Tue, 13 Mar 2007 06:54:43 -0700 (PDT)
Dear CoHousing Community.

This note moved me to make an entry of this kind.

I believe in engaging and sharing freely.  I also believe in respecting
people who have done hard work as part of earning a living because it is
rare that I sit opposite anyone who does not want to earn a living when
they extend their professional expertise.

The Wiki and everything being structured here is a remarkable way of free
sharing. I also encourage communities to recognize or ask someone who has
done extensive work to build a knowledge base as part of how they earn a
living to offer people the opportunity to earn for what they share.

Last week, I met with someone at the Threshold Foundation specifically
about this. Members of that community are people who are of wealthy and
share freely because they are supported to live in life. This person often
calls me as one professional to another.  I told her that I felt it
important that she begin to recognize I am not a person of wealth and my
knowledge in non-profits and intersector collaboration with respect to
sustainability and leadership for change, is who I earn my living.

In talking to this person, I also learned a community I am acquainted with
got turned down for a grant because this community was successful.

I explained to her in my studies and the extensive effort I have made to
learn how to measure roi from philanthropic investment for lasting social
impact, that replication of success adopted by others by learning with
successful communities is the place where investment is most needed. When
I met with someone at the Schwab Foundation who is no longer there in
2002, they took pride in their success for the homeless and substance
abuse and more---and the greatest challenge they had was replication.
Replication in fact is a leadership challenge because it involves
translating learning from other people into activities with people who
have none of the same experience and in some instances very different

I hope this entry is of use and good food for thought and welcomed that way.

Again, the Green House methodology fostered by Bill Thomas, M.D. and his
cohort is about that---translating an idea into action and development
with hundreds of communities waiting to develop. The funding I believe now
assured what is needed to develop a Green House in all 50 states. The
first Green House in MA will be in Chelsea, Ma.

Warm thoughts,

Lavinia Weissman

On Tue, March 13, 2007 9:40 am, VAN DEIST wrote:
> Hi Diana - Greetings from sunny Florida.  I'm checking with my associate
> to see how he would be willing to make schematics of our design available
> and will let you know as soon as I work it out with him. My "Caregiver
> Cottage" is based upon a B&B model that pays particular attention to
> private and communal spaces.  Its 4 BR suites each with private
> sundeck/entrances are large enough to include a kitchenette if allowed by
> zoning.  They do not open into a common room (an arrangement which I,
> personally, have experienced and do not recommend).  There's a gourmet
> kitchen in the design, but I guess, that that could be changed if each
> unit had kitchenettes.  My original concept was for a shared residence
> with one common kitchen.
> My Caregiver Cottage business is separate from my effort in elder
> cohousing.  That cohousing project needs a developer to build a local
> group 13, detached cottages plus a common house.  It's coming right along.
>  These cottages are more narrow that my 2 BR, 2 BA Caregiver Cottage and
> are giving me some problem trying to fit 2 master BR's.  I might have to
> settle for 1 master bedroom plus a den/guest room and second BA.  I'm
> eager to see what develops.     .....Van.....   941.408.7440
>   ----- Original Message -----
>   From: Diana Porter<mailto:porterd [at]>
>   To: cohousing-l [at]<mailto:cohousing-l [at]>
>   Sent: Tuesday, March 13, 2007 9:01 AM
>   Subject: [C-L]_ Shared Unit design
>   Is anyone able to post links to floor plans and images of Shared Unit
>   Designs?  I remember a floorplan  I saw on an Austin, Texas cohousing
>   site some months ago which was very interesting.  Four units around a
>   shared common room.  Each studio apartment had a bath and a private
>   outside entrance.  The idea of designing units off the common house is
>   also interesting in that older people with limited mobility could
>   continue being active in activities in the common house even in bad
> weather.
>   I'm a visual person and would love to see the design from the Elder
>   Cohousing in Venice, Florida.
>   Diana Porter
>   Cincinati Ecovillage
>   Involved in applying to be a LEED-ND pilot neighborhood
>   >
>   >
>   >------------------------------
>   >
>   >_________________________________________________________________
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>   >
>   >End of Cohousing-L Digest, Vol 38, Issue 15
>   >*******************************************
>   >
>   >
>   >
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Lavinia Weissman
Managing Director

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