A front door you can easily wheel a pram through; living spaces that are safer to move around in; a step-free shower; a handrail on your stairs; and a toilet on the ground floor.
Livable Housing Australia (LHA) will target the housing industry to achieve the Livable Housing Design Quality Mark as part of a national campaign to ensure all new homes are safer, more comfortable and easier to get around by 2020.
LHA will work with industry leaders to adopt design features to help make homes not only easier to access and live in, but more cost-effective to adapt when life’s circumstances change. They champion the adoption of seven critical ‘liveable’ [ED: adopting the Australian rather than the US spelling] design features that help make homes easier to access, navigate and live in. Liveable homes work for pregnant mums, young families with kids, as well and those with disability and Australians with sporting or traumatic injuries. Liveability also caters for the needs of an ageing society by promoting homes better suited to seniors, and reduces stress on Australia’s 2.6 million strong army of unpaid carers.
The features in the guidelines are inexpensive to incorporate into new-build dwellings and will deliver huge dividends as well as peace of mind to future generations of Australians, with a commitment to liveability features when a home is first designed and built rather than waiting for an unplanned need to arise. The goal is to persuade the market to incorporate these features in all homes by 2020. Common sense and international research indicates it is much more efficient to design the house for change rather than retrofit it when an unforeseen necessity arises.
Copies of the LHA Design Guidelines and 3D graphics of the design principles applied to an average home are available on request. For more information see www.livablehousingaustralia.org.au