Re: Church Conversion Retrofit Cohousing Panel for National Conference in NC
From: R Philip Dowds (
Date: Mon, 10 Nov 2014 04:59:30 -0800 (PST)
As a practicing architect, I would say that design is design.  Maybe it’s a 
modest rehab with retrofits, maybe it’s a major gut rehab.  Maybe it’s new 
construction.  Maybe it involves an architect, a contractor, or a developer — 
or, none of the above.  But somebody must make the design choices and 
decisions, and so long as that somebody is the client group intending to take 
occupancy at completion, then the project meets (part of) my cohousing 
definition.  Physical plants don’t have to be fancy and expensive to qualify as 

But I repeat what I said earlier:  If the future occupants are not part of the 
design process, then the developer can still factor in a common house and 
market the project as cohousing.  But good luck to the households that buy in 
later, and live with the developer’s vision, not their own.


> On Nov 9, 2014, at 8:29 PM, Kevin Wolf <kevinjwolf [at]> wrote:
> This is an interesting case that would have tested the definitions of
> cohousing when some defined it as having to have the community designed by
> its members.  N Street didn't fit that definition so some said we were a
> cohousing community until we design our new common house.  Retrofitting an
> old building into a somewhat inferior common house wasn't adequate to meet
> the "designed by members" part of the definition.

Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.