Re: 4 unit cohousing plans
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Fri, 4 Aug 2017 09:58:22 -0700 (PDT)
> On Aug 3, 2017, at 11:16 AM, Marieke Hensel <marieke [at]> wrote:
> I'm wondering if there are examples of smaller cohousing plans, maybe 4
> units on a lot. That have been build very quickly. Like through modular
> housing or similar.

I don’t have information on prefabs but it shouldn’t be hard to find. Lots of 
stuff online. Consulting a contractor and the planning board would also be 
important. Then you will know code, zoning, and experience with various 
construction stuff (a technical word that you don’t need to know unless you 
already do).

On the question of would it work, we forget that residents of many small condos 
and floors of condos have close relationships with each other. They usually 
develop spontaneously over years, but stating it as an intention upfront would 
speed the process.

I saw a wonderful design for a 1920s elementary school that would work nicely 
for a small cohousing group. The center of the building on each floor was a 
large space with 4-5 classrooms opening off it. The center area was used for 
various activities like performances, games, climbing equipment, picnics, etc. 
Having a center space as a common space would give a community a large common 
room to contain shared facilities.

It could be bordered with cabinets holding a commercial capacity washer and 
dryer, a refrigerator for backup and parties, storage for large kitchen 
equipment, even landscaping equipment, etc. The units would open onto the 
central space as well as having a private entrance and exit on the exterior 
side. The center could also be play space for children and birthday parties. 
Perhaps with a guest room off to one side.

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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