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Franklin & Associates Design-Build  | 3433 W. Bath Rd. | Akron, Ohio 44333 | 330.665.9097

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LIFE-SPAN DESIGN PRINCIPLES

 

Franklin & Associates will work with you to design your new custom home building or home addition with sensitivity to your special environment and with features based on the Principles of Life-Span Design and Green technologies. We work throughout the USA and would be honored to work with you wherever you are. If you wish to live in your own home for the rest of your life and would like a home that is Life-Span Designed, where you can live independently, "Green", and with complete access, you have arrived at the right place.  Utilizing Life-Span design principles with aesthetic design, quality materials, and workmanship, Franklin & Associates will ensure your home will be a place that generations will enjoy.

 

Principles of Life-Span Design

  • Equitable Use - The design does not disadvantage or stigmatize any group of users and is marketable to people with diverse abilities.

 

  • Flexibility in Use - The design accommodates a wide range of individual preferences (i.e., L/R handed) and abilities; provides choice in methods of use.

 

  • Simple and Intuitive Use - Use of the design is easy to understand, regardless of the user’s experience, knowledge, language skills, visual acuity, muscle strength, or current concentration level. Good universal design emphasizes simplicity.

 

  • Perceptible Information – The design communicates necessary information effectively to the user, regardless of ambient conditions or the user’s sensory abilities. It uses pictures, audible, or tactile methods.

 

  • Tolerance for Error – The design minimizes hazards and the adverse consequences from accidents or unintended fatigue. Elements most often used in the home should be the most accessible, or incorporate fail-safe features.

 

  •  Low Physical Effort – The design can be used efficiently and comfortably and with a minimum of fatigue.

 

  • Appropriate Size and Space - The appropriate size and space is provided for approach, reach, manipulation, and use, regardless of the user’s body size, posture, or mobility level.

 

CHALLENGES FOR THE AGING POPULATION THAT CAN BE SOLVED BY LIFE-SPAN DESIGN

 

A home with Life-Span Design features is set up for the spectrum of life and is an environment which will accommodate all of its stages.  The list below are some of the design considerations that Franklin & Associates has included in their projects for their clients.

 

  • Adapt main floor of the home for one level living: no-step entry; bathroom, bedroom, kitchen and laundry on main floor; no curbs at shower entry.

 

  • Install hand-held shower heads and grab bars. These are some of the least expensive changes you can make and are a great help to those with balance problems.

 

  • Use lever handles on doors and plumbing fixtures. Hand strength can be an issue with all ages–using a simple lever eliminates the struggle with operating doorknobs and faucets

 

  • Use “comfort height” toilets, countertops, light switches, thermostats: many people suffer from osteoporosis, arthritis, or temporary injuries and find it hard to stand up from a normal height toilet; lowered countertops and switches allow for operation from a wheelchair or a sitting position.

 

  • 36″ wide doors throughout the home. Doorways are often too narrow for walkers and wheelchairs, or someone carrying packages. Widening all of them is a plus for all ages and activities. 

 

  • Make room for knee space below countertops, work spaces, and sinks.

 

  • Instead of defining each space for a specific use, prepare the space for flexible use and multiple routines. Something simple, like a built-in seat in the shower, illustrates this principle. Some clients want the controls to the left and others want them on the right.  What if they need to bathe the dog in the shower? Options that call for a space that is less defined, into which one can stand, lean, place, or remove a chair, offer maximum flexibility. A built-in shower seat defines how the space is used. But, an open shower allows the space to be less-defined, offering more maneuvering, alternative uses, and varied routines. Two can use the space simultaneously, whether for a shared shower or by a client and caregiver.  Prepare for the unknown by maximizing the ways rooms and spaces can be used in multiple ways.

 

  • Lighting/Daylighting (maximum use of direct and reflected light, supplementing conventional lighting): use windows, transoms, clerestories, and skylights to allow direct and reflected light into a home, which enhances mood and learning, mitigating the effects of reduced visual acuity while at the same time reducing energy usage.

 

  • Temperature. Many older adults do not have good circulation and require more warmth in their homes. Better insulation and designing for increased solar heating in the winter reduces the need for high energy usage.

 

  • Non-slip floor materials: tiles with textured surfaces and low-pile carpets.

 

  • Level floors without reducer strips where there is a change in floor materials.

 

  • Ramps and rails

 

  • Computerized ubiquitous monitoring systems, as well as other assistive devices.

 

Call Us: 330.665.9097