Build for access now so it’s easy later
Disability advocates are calling for Kiwis to think about the future when building a new home.
A campaign encouraging home-owners to build adaptable and accessible dwellings was launched by Lifemark on December 3.
The charity was established by Onehunga-based CCS Disability Action.
Accessible homes include simple touches like lowered light switches, wider doorways and fittings in the bathroom for safety handles to be added later on.
Lifemark general manager Geoff Penrose says investing now could save home-owners thousands of dollars.
Accessible fittings often cost less than $1000 at the design stage of building or renovating but can add up to tens of thousands in retrospective adaptations, he says.
Lifemark is partnering with the country’s leading architects and using a star rating system to determine how liveable a home is.
Ratings are based on more than 30 guidelines from international best practises in universal design.
‘‘Globally there is a move to focus more attention developing home design features that work for everyone, all the time.
‘‘Thinking ahead and designing with the future in mind saves money in the long run.’’
More than 150 New Zealand homes have a Lifemark certification.
About 2.6 per cent of all residential building consents in 2013 were Lifemarkrated, with the majority in the retirement sector.
Access push: From left, The Lifemark team includes Stew Sexton, Chelsea Kitzen, Graeme Sinclair, Geoff Penrose, Sarah Daley and Adam Wakeford.
Get together: Lifemark’s campaign was launched this month on Karangahape Rd.