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front cover lifetime home design guide

Lifetime Homes

Lifetime Homes and inclusive design

The Lifetime Homes Standard is a set of (largely unapparent) design criteria that provide a model for building accessible and adaptable homes. The Standard fits a concept called 'inclusive design’ and is basically an inclusive design approach to general housing. 

Inclusive design concerns itself with the design of products and environments, to give them ease of use, for the greatest number of people. Whilst doing so, it should not compromise other aspects of good design, so inclusive design also encompasses the creation of aesthetically pleasing objects and spaces that function efficiently and fit their purpose. 

The 16 Lifetime Homes design criteria make up the technical standard seeking to enable all housing to be convenient for a wide range of people, and also introduce some adaptability into the housing layout and design, so that simple adaptations can be carried out so that the house can re-adapt to suit any changing needs of the household. Architects, planners, developers and housebuilders will use this technical design criteria to design Lifetime Homes. For technical guidance on the definition and design/specification requirements of each criterion please go to ‘16 Design Criteria from 5 July (REVISED)’ in the ‘For Professionals’ section of this website.  

General information about the concept behind, requirements for each criterion and the reasoning for it, are given below. The Lifetime Homes Principles also describes the key accessibility principles underlining the standard.