Re: Common house design
From: Kathryn McCamant (kmccamantCOHOUSING-SOLUTIONS.COM)
Date: Sat, 23 May 2015 09:44:33 -0700 (PDT)
Architect Chuck Durrett, of McCamant & Durrett Architects (of which I was
a founder, but am now focused on development consulting with my company
CoHousing Solutions, has designed many many common houses with open
kitchens and excellent accoustics. He also is an expert at how to make
common houses beautiful and budget concious at the same time.

For example in my own common house at Nevada City Cohousing, 34-units and
lots of kids, we have an excellent meal system sharing community meals 4-5
times a week in our common house. Our kitchen and dishwashing area are
totally open to the dining area so that those ³in the kitchen² feel very
much part of the activity in the great room too. Accoustics are not a
problem because Chuck designed full accoustic (tectum) paneling on ceiling
of the great room. Yes, this costs moneyŠabout $12K if I remember rightly.
But given thousands of hours of use our common house gets, it was very
well worth it. We have a commercial (2.5 minute cycle) under the counter
dishwasher, and residential refrigerator. If you have a commercial
dishwasher, yes, you absolutely need to separate it from the dining room.
They make a lot of noise, let alone the energy they use.

Having visited hundreds of communities and eaten dinner in many, I can say
that lack of appropriate accoustic treatment is one of the most common
mistakes of common house design. It really makes a difference in having a
comfortable enjoyable community space that people want to spend time inŠ
especially for our older members. As an additional benefit, the Great
Rooms make great places for house concertsŠmany a musician has commented
on what a great space they are to do concerts.  Just visit the common
houses at Pleasant Hill, Frogsong, Nevada City, Fresno, Wolf Creek Lodge,
Stillwater, Bellingham, to name a fewŠ and experience them for yourself.

BTW, we had a fun Friday nite game nite last nite in oursŠŠ I hate to see
underused common houses, but that is certainlh not our issue here at
Nevada City Cohousing!

Looking forward to seeing many of you at the conference nextŠ Cohousing
Party in Durham !

Kathryn McCamant, President
CoHousing Solutions
241B Commercial Street
Nevada City, CA 95959
T.530.478.1970  C.916.798.4755

>On May 22, 2015, at 11:06 AM, Muriel Kranowski <murielk [at]> wrote:
>>  Containing kitchen noise to some
>> reasonable extent should be considered in your design.
>>    Muriel at Shadowlake Village, Blacksburg, VA
>> On Thu, May 21, 2015 at 4:31 PM, Emilie Parker
>><emilie.v.parker [at]>
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