Re: Common house design
From: David Heimann (
Date: Thu, 21 May 2015 10:55:09 -0700 (PDT)
Hi Tom,

An "affirmative echo" to your comment on acoustics. At Jamaica Plain Cohousing we have just completed a round of capital improvements, around ten years after moving in. One of these has been to improve the acoustics in the Great Room. The work was quite involved, expensive, required professional consulting and project work, and should have been done while we were originally constructing our community. That being said, the results are wonderful! Virtually all the echos have vanished, we can understand each other much better in meetings and social occasions, and some who have hearing problems can now participate in discussions even when the room is crowded.

To paraphrase a common aphorism: When is the best time to make sure you have good common house acoustics? Before construction. When is the second-best time to make sure you have good common house acoustics? Right now.

David Heimann
Jamaica Plain Cohousing

Date: Thu, 21 May 2015 02:51:36 +0000
From: Thomas Lofft <tlofft [at]>
To: Cohousing Network-L <cohousing-l [at]>
Subject: [C-L]_ Common house design
Message-ID: <COL127-W7BB3154BF81FA0FFD7E3ECCC10 [at] phx.gbl>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"

Grace Kim <grace [at]>

"Whether you are a community that has been built for many years, or a new 
community in the midst of the design process, I personally invite you to attend my 
pre-conference workshop on common house design.

"I will share best practices and photos of common houses from around the world; 
describe common pitfalls; and simulate a programming workshop. You can even bring a 
floor plan of your current dominoes for review and comment.

"The national conference is a little more than a week away. Sign up now!
grace h. kim
schemata workshop"

Grace: If there is one major, universal shortcoming of every common house in 
which I have visited, it is acoustic control shortfall. Rather than 
continuously trying to deal with corrections after the fact, are there 
appropriate design details for precluding the problem?

Tom Lofft
Liberty Village, MD

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