Adaptable Housing Guide

Front cover of Your Home manual.“The livable and adaptable house” is a chapter in the technical guide, Your Home, published in 2013 by the the Australian Government.  If you want use the Adaptable Housing Standard AS4299, and not the more recent Livable Housing Design Guidelines, this guide will be useful. There are many detailed diagrams to help explain design features and floor plans. The chapter on The Livable and Adaptable Home was written by Jasmine Palmer and Stephen Ward. They make distinctions between livable, accessible and adaptable designs. Reference to the public building access standard (AS1428.1) for an “accessible” home can lead to institutional designs that lack design creativity. AS1428.1 was not intended for application in residential dwellings, which is one of the reasons the Livable Housing Design Guidelines were developed. 

Introduction: Many people, when building a new home, anticipate spending a number of years, if not decades, living in it. Others may conceive of a shorter stay. Whatever the intention, any new home is likely to have to accommodate changing needs over its lifetime. A livable and adaptable house is one that is able to respond effectively to these needs without requiring costly and energy intensive alterations.