Obvius Access

  Disability Access Consultants with a Balanced Approach


contact us obviusaccess@bigpond.com 


"Call us on 0414220562 today for an Access Audit and help implement a world of Inclusion for all Australians

Adaptable Housing Checklist and Access Audit    

What is the difference between Accessible home design and Adaptable home design?   

Accessible housing  home design is generally a purpose built dwelling for a person or persons with a Disability. This may be a new dwelling or one that is modified to suit the user. Adaptations made during home modifications are not be confused with "Adaptable Housing". 

Adaptable Housing  is home design that is built with the potential to be easily and cost effectively adapted to suit an individuals needs should it be required at later stages across their lifetime. An example of this would be the provision of reinforced walls and ceilings around the toilet, shower and bath to support the safe installation of grabrails at a later date. 

What are the Benefits of Adaptable Housing?  

Adaptable Housing home design helps avoid the personal and economic costs of social dislocation associated with moving into institutional or special care accommodation and allows for ageing in place and independence for persons with disabilities 

Visitability  as more people with Disabilities and older people live independently in the community they are finding one aspect of normal life presently denied to them is the ability to visit friends and family members at home. Homes that are or will become Adaptable will mean more houses are 'Visitable'. Thus people with Disabilities and older people will be able to enter a front door that is step free with adequate width without difficulty, access living areas and be able to use a ground floor toilet. 

Cost Modifications  to existing housing to suit the needs of people with Disabilities and older people are often expensive for example widening corridors and doors or replacing steps with ramps. If houses are initially built to suitable sizes and on suitable sites for access the cost of incorporating adaptable features is usually between 1-5 % of the cost of construction without impinging on the integrity of the design. 

Ease of use and Safety  for all. Adaptable house design will make the home safer and easier to use for people of all ages. For example families with young children using strollers and people using laundry/furniture trolleys .The step free access and extra door widths will facilitate greater ease of movement of furniture and reduce the risks of accidents. Adaptable housing also assists people with temporary Disabilities. 

Adaptable Housing Requirements, Design legislation, Standards and Considerations  

Adaptable Housing is necessary for maximising accommodation choice in the local housing market, practically in areas such as Coffs Harbour where almost 30% of residents are aged 55 and over. With the increasing demand for accommodation that caters for people with Disabilities and older people several Councils NSW including Coffs Harbour specifically incorporate provisions for adaptable housing into their policies by proposing a ratio of one adaptable designed unit per five units/dwellings for example

Recognition of a Dwelling as 'Adaptable design' will only be granted where the proposal satisfies the requirements of AS 4299.1995 and the BCA. AS 4299.1995 relates to residential rather than public buildings. It provides a more complete reference document and draws on the material contained in AS1428.I and AS1428.2. 

Adaptable Housing Checklist Appendix 'A'  

The Adaptable Housing Checklist Appendix 'A' is a list of essential features which need to be incorporated into a housing unit for it to be termed an ' Adaptable House'. A higher level of 'Adaptable House' classification may be achieved by incorporating some or all the desirable elements 

Classification Levels  

·          Adaptable House class 'A' which is all essential and desirable features incorporated  

·          Adaptable House class 'B' which is all essential and 50% desirable features incorporated, including all those notated 'first priority'  

·          Adaptable House class 'C' which is all essential features incorporated  

Obvius Access will use the Adaptable housing checklist schedule as a guide to meeting the required Standards however, it should be noted that recognition of dwellings as an 'Adaptable House' will only be granted where the proposal also satisfies the requirements of AS4299.1995 and the BCA 

How does an 'Adaptable House' classification differ from a Livable Housing Quality Mark Accreditation?  

Both 'Adaptable Housing' Classification Certification and the 'Livable Housing' Quality Mark Accreditation promote the same benefits and goals of Housing Adaptation features. Both have similar performance levels classification levels A, B and C in Adaptable Housing and Quality Mark Accreditation levels Silver, Gold and Platinum in The Livable Housing Guidelines. The Adaptable Housing Standard AS 4299-1995 is used and embedded into council regulation as opposed to The Livable housing guidelines which is a fairly new voluntary Government initiative which is not embedded into council regulations. 

Obvius Access can provide you with a comprehensive Adaptable housing Audit and Checklist or Livable Housing Audit tailored to meet your needs. We are an Accredited Access Consultant based in Sydney NSW and the Gold Coast South East Queensland. Contact us at obviusaccess@bigpond.com 




Obvius Access

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Daniel Bedwell Senior Accredited Consultant

ACAA accredited access consultants

Assessor for livable Housing

Accessible interior Design