Common house design, rooms, and room sizes? (Douglas McCarroll)
From: RJ Hirsch (heidinysearthlink.net)
Date: Thu, 5 Feb 2015 17:10:41 -0800 (PST)
  1. Common house design, rooms, and room sizes? (Douglas McCarroll)
   
Date: Wed, 4 Feb 2015 07:35:57 -0500
From: Douglas McCarroll <list.cohousing-l.001 [at] brightworks.com>

Hi All,

We (http://villagehillcohousing.org) are in the process of refining our
common house design, trying to find the right balance between usability and
affordability. On the one hand we'd like to have a common house that meets
all of our community's needs. On the other hand we need to conserve
expenses wherever we can in order to make our community affordable to a
diverse group of people.

Your input would be helpful on the questions below. This is a rather long
list. Please don't feel that you need to answer all these questions -
instead we suggest that you use your judgment as to which to answer, taking
into account a) how much time you have available, and b) what info you
think might be most helpful to our group and other groups who are in the
process of planning a common house.

Thanks!

How many households do you have in your community?

--18 households

Does your common house have a dedicated "kids room" for younger children?

-- We Did,  we no longer do.  By the time we built and moved in , the kids had 
outgrown the need-- as had the parents.  

If so, how large is it?
Do you wish it was larger? Feel it could have been smaller? Is it just
about right?

--  

What works well (or not) to make this room attractive to kids?
Other comments?
--Our kids do well together overall, and are pretty much going to be where the 
other kids are.  Pretty much.  So, what makes it attractive: kids!  Some like 
toys, dinosaurs,  many, trucks/tractors,/loaders, many, books.

Does your common house have a "noisy activities" room (for ping pong or
similar activities)?  
If so, how large is it?
Our (sweat labor semi-) finished basement.   It is of course same footprint as 
upstairs.  Ping pong,  wasn't being used, gone,  same for exercise equip and 
hockey game,  and another free standing gam,e  We again have younger kids,  and 
they do play there if they cannot go outside.  

Do you wish it was larger? Feel it could have been smaller? Is it just
about right?

What is it used for?  miscellaneous play.  

How much is it used?  

Other comments?


Does your common house have a dedicated "teens room", or a room where teens
tend to congregate?  no.  

Is this the "noisy activities" room? (If so, you can skip the next four
questions.)

If so, how large is it?

Do you wish it was larger? Feel it could have been smaller? Is it just
about right?

What is it used for?

How much is it used?

What works well (or not) to make this room attractive to teens?

Other comments?


Does your common house have one or more guest rooms?  

--We at one pt had library/guest room.    Turned out to be illegal.  You might 
want to check codes.  Ours did not meet the fire code.  So,  we not longer have 
it.

If so, how many, and how large are they?

Do you wish you had more guest rooms? Feel that you could have made do with
fewer?  Seldom used, nice to have.  Would suggest considering it as 
multi-purpose room.  Our was seldom actually used.  If you are more urban,  
might bemore needed. 

Do you wish that it/they were larger? Feel that they could have been
smaller? Are they just about right?

How often are guest rooms used? If your registration log exists in some
easy-to-access electronic form, might you be willing to share it? (My email
is douglascoho <at> brightworks.com.) If not, a rough "percentage of nights
occupied" figure would be helpful.

Other comments?


Does your common house have a "living room", i.e. a quiet room with couches
etc. suitable for small groups?
If so, how large is it?
Do you wish it was larger? Feel it could have been smaller? Is it just
about right?

-- Our living room was added on perhaps fifteen years after move in (!)  before 
that we used the DR for everything.
We love our living room.  It is not large considering we have 18 households-- 
but of course never all --or even most-- there at once.  

Other comments?


Does your common house have an exercise room (with a treadmill etc.)?

If so, how large is it?

Do you wish it was larger? Feel it could have been smaller? Is it just
about right?

Other comments?


Finally, do you have any thoughts that you'd like to offer regarding what
changes you might make to your common house if you were able to go back and
redesign it?

Quiet fridge!!  If near other spaces.
Good air flow/cross ventilations.
Good sound insulation-- be sure meals can contain some boisterous kid noise,  
and still allow someone older w hearing loss the ability to hear a conversation.
this is a Big Deal.




PS:  I have an intermittent e-mail glitch.  If you write and do not hear back 
from me shortly, please call me or please re-send.  Thank you,  Ruth






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