Flexible Design for Life
For technical information about Lifetime Homes including the 16 Design Criteria. Find out more...
Accessible, inclusive, flexible and sustainable, find out more about people whose lives benefit from the design features of their Lifetime Home.
The Lifetime Homes standard is a set of 16 design criteria that provide a model for building accessible and adaptable homes.
A wider parking space improves access to and from a vehicle for a wide range of people.
A car parking space close to the home and a level or gently sloping footpath
makes getting between the home and the car convenient and easy.
Using a level or gently sloping approach to the home avoids the access difficulties that steps can present.
A level threshold gives easy access to everybody - wheelchair users, parents with children's buggies, bikes and toys, older people, people with shopping, young children and is generally safer when entering or leaving a house.
Narrow stairs can limit access to other floors in a home or between homes - wider, shallower stairs (easy going) are easier to climb and for some people a lift may be more convenient.
As a measurement, if a wheelchair user can approach and use a door, most other people with or without reduced mobility, can.
Basic wheelchair access throughout the property is not only essential should this need arise, but also creates sufficient space for other households and as a space standard.
An entrance level living room provides an accessible space to socialise with the household for any visitor regardless of their level of mobility.
The potential for an entrance level bed space is very useful if a member of the household is temporarily unable to access other levels of the house.
Providing drainage for a future accessible shower means that accessible washing facilities for the household, should they need it, is a simple and low-cost adaptation.
Bathroom and cloakroom walls should be strong enough to support grab rail and other fixings if these adaptations are required.
An invisible knock out panel is a simple way to allow a through floor lift to be installed, as an alternative to a stair lift, should the household require it.
The potential structure for a ceiling tracking hoist makes it easy to install should it be needed. If mobility is reduced due to illness or disability it is particularly helpful to have the bedroom and bathroom close to one another.
Bathrooms require a certain amount of space to be functional; cramped, inaccessible conditions prevent efficient use of the facilities. Space either in front of or beside WC facilities are essential for ease of access.
Window control is essential for ventilation and temperature control. Handles and windows at a usable height improves access to window controls and a low cill in the living room ensures a view for people at sitting-height.
Sockets, switches and controls used on a day to day basis by the household located at heights that are not too high, or too low, to be reached comfortably by any potential occupant of the home.