Guidance for Apartments Print

5Universal design and Lifemark Standards - accessible and adaptable apartments

Design Checklist

  1. The building and apartments are designed to be used by people of all ages and abilities

Universal Design in the context of architecture, space and design refers to buildings, homes and environments that are inherently accessible to older people, people without disabilities and people with disabilities.

This section of the guidance references some of the New Zealand Lifemark® Standards, which have been created to achieve adaptable, accessible design solutions based on the Lifetime Home Design principles of usability, adaptability, accessibility, safety and lifetime value.

The standards shown below should achieve a basic level of universal design and are based on the wider standards and certification process developed by Lifemark.

Where a Lifemark star rating is required, such as a minimum 3 star rating, then your plans must be independently reviewed and certified by Lifemark. Please refer to the Lifemark website for more information.

The Lifemark Standards focus on seven key areas in and around the home. These are set out below.
  1. Accessing the Dwelling 
  2. Getting Around
  3. Fittings and Fixtures
  4. Bedrooms
  5. Dwelling Facilities
  6. Bathrooms
  7. Multi-storey Access

 

1. Accessing the dwelling
Car parking
Where the parking space forms part of the dwelling access it shall allow a person to open their car doors fully and easily move around the vehicle.
  • At least one car parking space is able to be adapted to a minimum width of 3500mm.
  • At least one car parking space is able to be adapted to have a level, firm, slip resistant flat surface with a slope not exceeding 1:20.
Pathways
Occupants can easily and safely access the dwelling entrance.
  • A pathway from either the front boundary of the property or a car parking space to a dwelling entrance is able to be installed with a minimum clear width of 1200mm.
  • A pathway from either the front boundary of the property or a car parking space to a dwelling entrance is able to be installed with a level, firm, slip resistant surface with a maximum slope of 1:20 and a crossfall of not more than 1:50. 
  • A pathway from either the front boundary of the property or a car parking space to a dwelling entrance is installed with a light switch at the dwelling entrance for pathway lighting.
The Entrance
Occupants can easily and safely enter and exit the dwelling.
  • The dwelling entrance shall provide an entrance door with a minimum clear opening width of 810mm (door leaf 860mm).
  • The dwelling entrance shall provide an entrance door with a maximum threshold of 20mm.
  • The dwelling entrance shall include an external landing area that is slip resistant.
  • The dwelling entrance shall include an external landing area with switch operated lighting.


2. Getting Around
Internal Doors
Facilitating comfortable and unimpeded movement between spaces.
  • All doorways to all rooms on the primary living level shall provide a minimum clear opening width of 810mm (door leaf 860mm).
  • All doorways to all rooms on the primary living level shall provide a level transition and threshold. This accepts difference in floor materials either side of the doorway.
Corridors

Facilitating comfortable and unimpeded movement between spaces.
  •  All internal corridors or passageways shall provide a minimum clear width of 1050mm.


3. Fittings and fixtures
Light switches

  • Light switches are located at heights that are easy to reach for all occupants.
Tap hardware
  • Occupants are able to easily and independently use plumbing controls.
Alarms
  • A smoke alarm system is installed. 


4. Bedrooms
Bed space and bedrooms support ease of movement around the bed by occupants.
  • There is space on the primary living level where a standard single bed (measuring 900mm x 1900mm) can fit with a minimum 800mm clear space available around one side and the foot of the bed. A clear minimum 800mm wide path is also required from the door to the side of the bed.

5. Dwelling Facilities
Laundry Space
The laundry space is designed to support ease of movement and ease of use of laundry appliances and storage space.
  • The laundry space or room shall be large enough to provide at least 1050mm clearance in front of fixed benches and appliances. 

Kitchen Space
The kitchen space is designed to support ease of movement between fixed benches and ease of use of appliances and storage space.
  • The kitchen space is not a main thoroughfare in the home.

6.  Bathrooms
Toilet
The primary living level has a toilet to support easy and independent use for occupants and visitors.
  • Dwellings shall have the plumbing and drainage space for the future installation of a toilet on the primary living level that includes a minimum 800mm clear space beside the toilet and a centre line of the toilet pan that is 450mm from the wall;
  • Toilet walls are reinforced to provide a fixing surface for grab rails to be safely and economically installed in the future.
Shower
The primary living level has a bathroom with a shower that supports easy and independent use for all occupants and visitors.
  • Dwellings shall have the space for the future installation of a shower on the primary living level that includes a level entry shower recess with minimum dimensions of 1200x1200mm, drainage for the shower recess located in the corner of the room, a clear space that pro­vides for a 1500mm turning circle and 800mm clear space beside the shower seat;
  • Dwellings shall have reinforced shower walls on the primary living level for the future installation of grab rails and a shower seat.
  • Dwellings shall have slip resistant flooring in all bathrooms.

7.  Multi-storey Access
Stair Lift or Platform Lift
Enable access to multi-storey dwellings above or below the entrance level now or in the future
  • Multi-storey dwellings shall have reinforced stairway walls for the future installation of a stair lift
Internal Stairways
Where installed, stairways are designed to reduce the likelihood of injury.  
  •  Stairways shall provide a minimum clear width of 900mm.
  • Stairways shall be straight in design and not have winder treads or spiral design.
  • Stairways shall have consistent tread depth and riser height with a maximum riser height of 180mm and minimum tread depth of 310mm, with no open risers.
  • Stairways shall have reinforced walls to provide for future installation of code-compliant accessible handrails on both sides;
  • Stairways shall have light switches at the top and bottom of the stairs.