Sustainable Design > Lifetime Homes Standards
Following Research by Habinteg, The Joseph Rowntree Foundation & Helen Hamlyn Foundation, 16 key standards were established with the aim of making main-stream housing responsive to the changing needs of occupants, throughout various stages of life.
This initiative should not be associated with “designing for the disabled”, rather designing for all, and designing for flexibility.
There are 16 key areas of Lifetime Homes (LTH) where base-line recommendations have been agreed as well as further “good practice” measures.
These 16 issues are as follows:
( the images use these reference numbers LTH 1 to 16)
The above standards are detailed in down-loadable Appendix A, tables A & B, see below.
The 16 Lifetime Homes Standards may over-lap with:
And most recently
All 16 measures are referred to in The Code for Sustainable Homes.
Table A (in the down-loadable Appendix A below) summarises the key criteria for Lifetime Homes, cross-referencing it to NI Building Regulations (Part R) and other related notes. You should also refer to the original documents available on websites, as indicated on web-links below, for the full details and also helpful diagrams.
to encourage the construction of homes that are accessible and easily adaptable to meet the changing needs of current and future occupants
This Government-owned environmental assessment method (referred to as CSH or The Code) was introduced in England in 2006, and Northern Ireland shortly after. Compliance is a requirement on publicly funded new-build housing schemes. Private Sector may also use it to promote the sustainable aspects of a housing development. In some instances it has used as a Planning condition.
The Code relates to (and for new-build housing supersedes) the earlier BRE assessment method called “ EcoHomes”.
Lifetime Homes criteria has been introduced as one of the “Health & Well-being” sub- sections in order:
is a long-term strategy given the relatively limited number of new homes being built
(refer to document as listed below).
As summarised in Table A ( see down-loadable Appendix below) each of the criteria offers benefits to users of buildings. Some of these relate to immediate provisions whereas many are to do with future-proofing buildings. It is in many instances much cheaper and more practical to make provisions at the out-set than try to make alterations to a building after completion and occupation. Some changes would not be achievable at a later date, for example the widening of internal circulation routes, whilst others would require additional land (for car-parking provision).
Lifetime Homes is not designed for the “disabled section of society” rather it is intended for all, reflecting that we have changing needs throughout our lives, and that (new) buildings should be designed to accommodate change.
There is a clear financial advantage to both individuals and society, for older people remaining independent in their homes, rather than going into a residential home. This issue is becoming more significant as the average age of the population increases. LTH also over-laps with the “visit-ability” ethos behind recent changes to the Building Regulations, so that we don’t limit the design of dwellings to anticipated specific needs of occupants.
There are many over-laps between the LTH standards and Building Regulations as noted in Table B ( see down-loadable Appendix below). Indeed the UK Office of Deputy Prime Minister had initially planned to introduce LTH through Part M (England & Wales) Building Regulations. Instead LTH was introduced through the Code for Sustainable Homes, and is only compulsory wherever the highest level 6 rating is being sought (see notes above on the Code for Sustainable Homes).
Click here to download Appendix A (PDF)
TABLE A: Issue & Benefits
TABLE B: Summary of Lifetime Homes vs Building Regulations (Northern Ireland)