Adaptable Housing Checklist and Access Audit
What is the difference between Accessible home design and Adaptable home design?
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".
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
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
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
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
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
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
How does an 'Adaptable House' classification differ from a Livable Housing Quality
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 email@example.com