Category: Common-house-design

What is a Common House For?

This question was posted recently to the cohousing listserv.  As usual there were many great responses. A couple of those seemed useful, so we have gathered them here.   Raines Cohen offered is take on concepts around the deeper “why” of a Common House: Because through sharing space and resources and time together, we can live... Read More

Common House as Life Boat

  In a recent post to the cohousing listserv, Cohousing-L, Dean Smith of Sunnyside Village posed the question: Has anyone considered equipping their Common House to serve the community through extended natural disasters? Sunnyside village is in the design phase and is considering how they might equip it for use during earthquakes or other natural... Read More

Six key aspects to consider about space sharing

Author: Nicolas Francart,  There are many different ways of sharing space, from coworking to coliving, and even many different forms of coliving (eco-villages, shared apartments, student rooms with shared kitchens, etc). A recently published paper ( explores the drivers and barriers to space sharing. The artic

Common House Design Patterns

One way to think about the design of a common house is to consider design patterns as Grace Kim does in a series of blog posts on the Schemata Workshop blog.  Her description of the series is below:  This series of blog posts is focused on explaining common design patterns in cohousing. Grace Kim, a... Read More

WebChat #15 Acoustics in the Common House

Last week’s webchat with architect Grace Kim was full of useful information. Whether you are already using your common house or are in the design phase, taking time to think about acoustics and learning how to make them work well will add enjoyment and possibly participation to your common meals and other events. Grace offers... Read More

Architecture: Concepts that play a role in cohousing design

Reposted from News from The Cohousing Company: McCamant & Durrett Architects. To continue this conversation, please join us in Nashville for the National Cohousing Conference, where Charles Durrett will be presenting several sessions, including: If it Doesn’t Work Socially, Why Bother? Architecture plays a key role in the long-term success of cohousing, once the honeymoon... Read More

Importance of the Common House

Elements that emphasize the social aspects of community are of highest priority. Without these elements a cohousing community will be little more than a traditional residential development. In fact, the success of a cohousing community depends upon the “common” realm — the places where residents come together for socializing, creating, or just saying hello. These... Read More

Common House vs Condo Clubhouse: Do you Dare Tell the Appraiser that One is about Substance and the other Fluff?

While it has been arguably necessary, it is also unfortunate that cohousing projects are most often sold to appraisers and banks as nothing less–and nothing more–than a condominium. You’ve cut costs and squeezed expenses, and your appraisal is still a barrier to getting a loan. It’s looking like there’s nothing left to do short of... Read More