The Lifetime Homes Standards introduce a range of measures which will fundamentally change the way we build homes in future.
Full details on the standards can be found at http://www.lifetimehomes.org.uk.
The aim is to build new homes that are designed for an increasingly ageing population. It is hoped this will give people more influence over their own lives and helping them stay comfortable and secure in their homes, rather than being forced to move into supported accommodation as they age.
The Lifetime home standards will apply to all new builds in the public sector from 2011 and will apply to the private sector in 2013.
The standard that is most relevant to the plumbing and heating installation are the regulations as they relate to Controls, Fixtures & Fittings in criteria 16. This states the following;
All Switches, sockets, ventilation and service controls should be at a height usable by all (i.e. between 450mm and 1200mm from the floor). For more information on criteria 16 please click here.
Any service control needed to be operated or read on a frequent basis, or in an emergency, should be included within the height band of 450mm – 1200mm from the floor and at least 300mm away from any internal corner.
For example, this would include the following: Electrical switches & sockets, TV / telephone / computer points, consumer service units, central heating thermostatic and programming controls, radiator temperature control valves, and mains water stop taps/controls.
The legislation also means that it will no longer be acceptable to have a brass stopcock located behind a kitchen cupboard as the sole means of controlling the mains water supply within a domestic property.
Click here to download the latest version of the Lifetime Homes Standards