Livable Housing Australia (LHA) and its Housing Design Quality Mark have been officially launched at Parliament House in Canberra
LHA will target the housing industry to adopt its critical design features, the Livable Housing Design (LHD) Guidelines.
The guidelines aim to make a house more flexible to those living with a disability, an injury, pregnant women and ageing Australians.
The LHD Guidelines consist of Silver, Gold and Platinum performance ratings.
The ‘silver level’ seven core livable housing design elements are:
A safe continuous and step free path of travel from the street entrance and/or parking area to a dwelling entrance that is level
At least one, level (step-free) entrance into the dwelling
Internal doors and corridors that facilitate comfortable and unimpeded movement between spaces
A toilet on the ground (or entry) level that provides easy access
A bathroom that contains a hobless (step-free) shower recess
Reinforced walls around the toilet, shower and bath to support the safe installation of grabrails at a later date
A continuous handrail on one side of any stairway where there is a rise of more than 1 metre
“It makes sense to commit to livability features when a home is first designed and built rather than wait for an unplanned need to arise. Our goal is to persuade the market to incorporate Silver level livability features in all homes by 2020,” Livable Housing Australia chair and Property Council CEO, Peter Verwer says.
“Livable homes work for pregnant mums, young families with kids, as well and those with disability and Australians with sporting or traumatic injuries. ‘Livability’ also caters for the needs of an ageing society by promoting homes better suited to seniors,” he says. “Livable homes will also reduce stress on Australia’s 2.6 million strong army of unpaid carers.”
Amelia Starr, Livable Housing Australia executive director, says homes should be future proofed. “Incorporating these features will avoid more costly home modification if required at a later date.”