Habinteg, the innovators behind the Lifetime Homes Standard and champions of accessible housing, have today (12 November 2015) published a briefing to help with the transition to the new national housing standards.
Technical standards have been introduced in England from 1 October 2015. This briefing, aimed at local authority planners, developers, architects and access professionals, compares the technical specification provided in the new 2015 Building Regulations M(4) Category 2, ‘accessible, adaptable dwellings’ with the 16 design criteria set out in its predecessor, the Lifetime Homes Standard.
The Lifetime Homes Standard was developed in the early 1990s by a group of housing experts, including Habinteg and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. The standard set out 16 design criteria that could be universally applied to new homes at minimal cost and was developed to ensure that homes are inclusive, accessible, adaptable, sustainable and good value.
The legacy of the Lifetime Homes Standard will now be broadly taken forward through Building Regulations in the form of the M(4) Category 2 standard, as shown in this briefing. Habinteg have also contributed their expertise to the transition of these optional access standards with a briefing - 7 points about the new Housing Standards 2015 - published as the standards came into force in October.
Habinteg Chief Executive Paul Gamble said:
“We welcome the new standards being brought into Building Regulations for the first time. However, as long as these standards are optional, the inclusive principles behind Lifetime Homes and the campaign for increasing the supply of accessible homes goes on.
“Many people have invested in developing, implementing and promoting the Lifetime Homes Standard over the years. The accessible and adaptable design criteria are well understood and have been adopted across the country. We hope our briefing goes some way to ensuring the new access standards become understood and adopted in the same way.
The briefing – Accessible Housing Standards 2015 – is available here: www.habinteg.org.uk/accessible-housing-standards