Re: Question about accepted norms in the common space
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Thu, 22 Oct 2020 06:49:43 -0700 (PDT)
We had a person who was very allergic to perfumes, chemicals, etc. plus flowers 
and pollen. We became very sensitive to this so in general we are careful of 
these things. And we would be reminded if we forgot.

Our design means odors wouldn’t go into the CH if people opened their doors; 
they just dissipate outdoors. And noise is supposed to stay within one’s unit — 
people are good about turning things down. And others are good at reminding 
them. Many people are totally unaware of the loudness of their own talking or 
music. Or unaware that it is intruding on others. You have to speak up. “You 
seem to be playing music in my bedroom."

I would suggest that you have a design problem also. Do your units have exhaust 
fans that take odors in the other direction? They may be pulled into the common 
space by air currents. 

Explaining the canyon effect to people can help too. We can understand 
conversations 3 floors down in the piazza for the same reason. And our wings 
are much farther apart. The people on the first floor had no clue.


> On Oct 20, 2020,
> at 4:35 PM, Ruby Reay <rurubux [at]> wrote:
> Hello,
> I hope it's ok to ask the following in this forum. I live in a rather compact 
> senior coho. I am curious if other similarly structured cohos have agreements 
> or accepted norms regarding behaviors that contribute to noise and smells. In 
> a large part of our building, the units face each other, 3 floors worth, and 
> are 25 feet across, with over hangs. It's a bit of a "canyon" where we have a 
> lot of reflected noise and smells. While this provides us with a lot of 
> engagement due to our proximity, the other characteristic of this closeness 
> is when a resident opens their door, for example, their activity permeates 
> the common space and often the interior of the nearby units. Things like 
> garlic, onions, fish, zoom calls, tvs on loud, long phone calls--you get the 
> idea--are unintentionally shared. I am curious if others have similar issues 
> and how they have dealt with them.
> Thank you,
> Ruby Reay
> Phoenix Commons
> Oakland, CA
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