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A reflection of the community members’ shared values, Heartwood Commons is Tulsa’s first cohousing community. Located on a 4.8-acre lot near 71st street and Quincy avenue, it sits one block from Riverside Drive, is in close proximity to shopping, and a short drive north to the Gathering Place. The 55+ community consists of 36 single-family homes of four sizes, ranging from 758 square feet to 1,500 square feet, that are arranged to promote walkability and curate connections. A 3,000-square-foot common house on the west portion of the site opens onto a large shared green space. Additional amenities include a workshop, contemplative space, dog park, and large garden.

JDS was part of the project long before the community design began. We walked them through the process of forming their LLC, creating their vision and values, and establishing the teams they’d need to organize the process: marketing, finance and legal, social, and site selection. We helped them to locate the site and worked with City officials to gain support for the project. We listened as they discussed the pros and cons of being their own developer. We participated in general, team, and steering team meetings. We also reviewed their development budget and offered suggestions to set them on the right path in our local construction climate. Once formally on board as their architect, we guided them through the the entire design and construction process.



During schematic design, JDS organized and led the participatory design workshops. These consensus-driven workshops helped community members engage in the design process as they formed Heartwood Commons from their shared values. Project workshops included:

  • Site Design   

  • Common House   

  • Private Homes 

  • Design Closure  

  • Kitchen & Bath     

From there, JDS shaped their ideas into homes and continued to aid outside the bounds of typical architectural scope: We helped them to select a construction manager that would keep the members’ interests in mind and led a virtual home selection celebration when the pandemic made it impossible to convene in person. JDS is currently serving as the on-site project manager while the project is under construction, and we’re looking forward to understanding how the finished project performs as they live out their vision.



Heartwood Commons will feature a geothermal heating and cooling system as well as an enhanced building envelope: The sealed attics with continuous insulation will create extremely energy efficient homes. Common to our sustainable approach, we were careful to select materials that will minimize toxins in the interior environment. The water strategy includes a well-fed infrastructure for all outdoor watering needs and water-efficient fixtures inside the residences. This will minimize the burden on the municipal sewer and stormwater systems and result in savings for the homeowners.

Learn more here.

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