Re: marketing Aria Cohousing in Denver to families
From: Mabel Liang and Bob Leigh (
Date: Sat, 1 Oct 2016 19:12:04 -0700 (PDT)
Hi Phil (who lives downstairs from us!), 

I don't pretend to understand, but we had wanted our 3+ bedroom
apartment to be all on one level, and the architect told us he couldn't
do it within the constraints of the footprint (which was already
pre-ordained for him by the previous plans filed with the city).   

I think part of it has to do with the fact that with our commitment to
visitability (see, we were putting either
an elevator or a lift in both of our apartment buildings.  By having the
second floor of apartments be reachable only within the apartments, it
means that the 4-story building only needed an elevator to go to the 3rd
floor, and the 3-story building only needed a lift to go between the 1st
and 2nd floors.  Thus saving money.

-- Mabel :-)

mabel [at]
Mabel Liang
Software Engineer turned Gardener
Cornerstone Village Cohousing
Cambridge, MA

On 2016-10-01 06:52, R Philip Dowds 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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