Re: marketing Aria Cohousing in Denver to families
From: Beverly Jones Redekop (
Date: Sat, 1 Oct 2016 08:18:21 -0700 (PDT)
Our multigenerational cohousing mostly works quite well. My children are
4-12, and they have beautiful relationships with neighbours of all ages.
The only age-segregated housing allowed is seniors cohousing, so no-seniors
cohousing would be illegal, but I wouldn't want to live in no-seniors
cohousing even if it were an option.

Our stacked flats have a concrete skim coat that was supposed to be
soundproof. I did our marketing tours, giving a convincing spiel about
soundproofing that I believed to be true. It seems true enough between side
to side units, but it is not true at all between above and below units (so
I feel awful about the sound isolating claims I made). You can't expect
someone to live with disruptive noise (below), but you can't expect people
to be silent and motionless in their own homes (above) either.  We've had a
few senior households complain bitterly about awful children above them
when it would have been more appropriate to complain about the building
design and to cost-check remediation/renovation solutions. One senior
household contains such a vocally negative resident that when the unit
above her came available for rent, a family (with two extraordinarily quiet
children) needing that size of home declined it because of the hell the
previous family had gone through.

I love the "it takes a village" approach where neighbours of all ages feel
comfortable reminding children that it is unacceptable to drop garbage or
leave their bikes strewn around. It's just awkward when some people seem
shocked and horrified by awful children who need such reminders. Because it
is legal to have seniors-only cohousing, it makes sense to support people
in their self-selection processes. People who have worked all their lives
to earn a quiet, orderly, sophisticated retirement deserve that, and people
who appreciate the chaos and joy of children deserve that too. Kids need
parents who raise them to minimize the chaos part, and parents need
neighbours who understand that it's a process.

We would probably be fine if we had refused stacked flats. Any senior who
considers both of her options and makes an informed choice to go with
multigenerational should enjoy it very much AND will be very welcomed and

Groundswell Cohousing at Yarrow Ecovillage
Yarrow, BC, Canada

On Sat, Oct 1, 2016, 3:52 AM R Philip Dowds <rpdowds [at]> wrote:

> Actually, there is a lot of construction technology available for
> effective noise mitigation.  For instance, in wood frame construction,
> there is the option of including a subfloor of 1” or 1 1/2” thick “Gyp
> Crete” or “cementitious underlayment”.  Combine this with a ceiling hung on
> resilient clips (not nailed direct to the floor structure), and acoustic
> isolation between units gets pretty good.  “Extra” cost is the main reason
> why this very routine technology gets squeezed out of the project
> construction budget.
> The building I live in is an elevatored, four story wood frame
> construction with the usual common egress stairs.  But the unit layouts
> feature a number of un-flats:  larger apartments divided into two stories
> with an internal stair.  Frankly, I’ve never much understood this
> approach:  The additional unit stairs consume space and add cost, and make
> much of the apartment inaccessible to the mobility-impaired.  In my
> opinion, the identical floor areas would be more useful if kept in the
> flat-over-flat format.  With proper sound isolation, of course.
> Eliminating the internal stairs could go a long way to paying for the Gyp
> Crete.
> Thanks,
> Philip Dowds
> Cornerstone Village Cohousing
> Cambridge, MA
> > On Sep 29, 2016, at 5:39 PM, Beverly Jones Redekop <
> beverly.jones.redekop [at]> wrote:
> >
> > 3.  AVOID STACKED FLATS AT ALL COSTS!  Our ugliest conflicts have been
> the
> > result of larger units (1440 s.f. with three bedrooms) stacked above
> > smaller units (1000 s.f. two bedrooms).  Families live above
> empty-nesters,
> > and our side-to-side soundproofing works great, but the above & below
> > doesn't work much at all.  Noise leads to short tempers and nasty
> > comments.  It would have been so much better to have these units side by
> > side as stacked personal homes (the 1000 s.f. as 500 down and 500 up; the
> > 1440 as 720 down and 720 up).  If you must have a few 1000 s.f. units all
> > on one level for accessibility, put a unit that is severely skewed
> towards
> > child-free households above, such as a tiny studio or one bedroom...or
> > common house storage or something.  You will be tempted to stack units to
> > save money, but it is the worst possible disaster you could ever inflict
> > upon yourselves....and aren't personal interior staircases cheaper than
> > public exterior staircases anyhow?
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