Re: marketing Aria Cohousing in Denver to families
From: R Philip Dowds (
Date: Sat, 1 Oct 2016 03:52:23 -0700 (PDT)
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.

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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