Universal Housing Design

What is Universal Housing Design?

Universal housing design refers to homes that are practical and flexible, and which meet the needs of people of different ages and abilities over time.

Queenslanders value homes that are safe. Universal housing design allows people to remain in their own home regardless of age, disability or life circumstance.

Queenslanders want sustainable homes. Universal housing design avoids wasteful modification and saves energy and money.

Queenslanders want housing that can be visited by everyone. Universal housing design assists people to be good neighbours and citizens. It supports cohesive communities.

The ten top features in Universal Housing are:

1. Easy access

People of all ages and abilities are able to gain easy access to the dwelling from the front boundary or car parking area to the entrance of the dwelling;

2. At least one level entrance

The dwelling features at least one level entrance to enable all home occupants to enter and exit the dwelling with ease;

3. Bathroom, living and bed space on the entrance level

The entry level to the dwelling provides a living space, bathroom & WC and a bedroom space or space capable of accommodating a bedroom space;

4. Bathrooms designed for easy adaptation

The bathroom provides an accessible toilet and hobless shower and accommodates generous internal circulation spaces to enable future adaptation;

5. Reinforcement of toilet and bathroom walls

Walls in the bathroom and shower are reinforced to enable easy installation of grab rails if required by home occupants;

6. Kitchen access

The kitchen design enables all home occupants to easily manoeuvre within the kitchen area and between fixed kitchen benches;

7. Easy access doors and corridors

The internal passages and doorways within the dwelling facilitate ease of movement between rooms and accommodate the circulation needs of all occupants;

8. Consistent installation of switches, GPO's and window controls

Light switches, GPO’s and other operating devices are installed at a consistent height to ensure ease of access for all home occupants;

9. Easy operable door, tap and window controls

Door and window operating hardware is easy to manipulate and can be operated by the home occupants regardless of age or ability;

10. Slip resistance of floor surfaces

Kitchens, bathrooms and laundries, feature flooring which provides slip resistance in both wet and dry conditions.

Photos by Sheppard Homes www.sheppardhomes.com.au and Mike Ritchie