Re: Ansul hood in the common house kitchen
From: Mark Owkes (
Date: Tue, 1 Jun 2021 12:25:50 -0700 (PDT)

Here is some language we used in response to the building department’s request 
for a commercial hood & grease interceptor:
> quote_type
> We have designed many cohousing common kitchens just like this across the 
> country under the IBC and have never installed a Type I hood and grease 
> interceptor. That machinery is simply not appropriate or necessary for this 
> use. What is more, the acoustic impact of a Type I hood makes the kitchen 
> essentially uninhabitable for anyone not being paid to be there. The kitchen 
> and dining spaces are an extension of the owner’s homes, not a place they 
> should have to shout to hear one another. What’s more, the energy use of a 
> Type I hood is extremely high, so in alignment with Bozeman’s sustainability 
> goals one should only be used when truly necessary. A good residential hood 
> will be more than adequate to exhaust the residential-style cooking. 
> Similarly, due to the type of use, the residential nature of the equipment, 
> and the lack of deep frying, a grease interceptor is unnecessary, 
> inappropriate even.
> Here are cutsheets for the residential electric cooktop and residential wall 
> ovens we intend to specify:
> We understand, since we weren’t more detailed in our description of what a 
> cohousing common house is, one might have thought of the common house as akin 
> to a commercial kitchen. However, given this more detailed description of how 
> cohousing common houses are designed and used, we hope we can agree a Type I 
> hood and grease interceptor are unnecessary and would actually be deleterious 
> to the uses that will actually occur there.

Our building department allowed the residential hood with this information.

Good luck!!!

Bozeman Cohousing
On Jun 1, 2021, 1:17 PM -0600, Bryan Bowen <bryan [at]>, wrote:
> Generally it boils down to the mechanical code plans examiner or the fire
> marshal. I think I have a copy of an interpretation from our local building
> official justifying the use of a regular (non fire suppression hood) in our
> co-ops and cohousing projects here in Boulder. I'll try to dig that up.
> There was a code change several years ago that made this a more likely
> interpretation.
> - b
> *caddis collaborative*
> 1510 Zamia Ave #103
> Boulder, CO 80304
> 303 443 3629
> On Tue, Jun 1, 2021 at 1:06 PM Katie Henry <katie-henry [at]> wrote:
> > We've just been told that we will "probably" need an Ansul
> > fire-suppressant vent hood in our common house kitchen. Has anyone had
> > success in appealing this decision? Any tips? We intentionally eliminated
> > gas from the common house and switched to induction to reduce the risk of
> > needing such a hood. Grrr.
> > Katie HenryHeartwood Commons Cohousing, Tulsa, OK
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