Re: Elevators and exclusions
From: Elizabeth Magill (
Date: Mon, 19 May 2008 14:24:45 -0700 (PDT)
If you
build flats, all the ground floor flats are accessible without an elevator, and all the second floor units could be accessible with a single elevator,
and a balcony connecting them.

Yeah, I was going to add that one elevator for the entire community presumes extremely close homes. Our duplexes and triplexes are certainly close to each other (10-15 feet I think) but a single elevator would be hard-pressed to suffice, and adding balconies to connect even four or five buildings would be expensive and a long journey for some homes.

We looked at plans that put all flats at one end of the neighborhood, but we really wanted to be more integrated, large households and small.

Also, with the goal of 100% visitable for people with disabilities we were able to almost achieve that by having mostly town houses. We have two 1BR flats that are not visitable, but all other units are both visitable, and adaptable after move-in for first floor accessible living.

As we get down to the last few units to sell, I often wish all remaining the 2BRs were flats, because we have interested parties that would like already accessible units. But then I'm reminded by others that it is unlikely that it would be the first floor units left to sell at the end!

We also considered a mix of flats and TH, but that would have increased the number of building types, which then would increase the cost of the project.

The whole process was much more complicated than I ever imagined in my visioning of a totally accessible community!

(And then we can talk about the work to have low VOC construction!)

Elizabeth M. Magill
Mosaic Commons Cohousing, Berlin, MA
I'm moving in this fall! Join me! 2 and 4BR homes available.

On May 19, 2008, at 5:06 PM, Larry Miller wrote:

You mentioned you'd probably build townhouses to save money; I think that
townhouses are more costly than flats.

I don't think you can make a blanket statement that either townhouses or flats cost more. While townhouses may have a higher construction cost per square foot, they have a smaller footprint. The cost of land can overwhelm the difference. Which costs more will depend on a variety of factors including land and other footprint costs as well as actual construction costs.

Larry Miller
Oak Creek Commons
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