New Timber Frame Lifetime Home in Blewbury!


Home Design Studios were commissioned to design a new two-bedroom Lifetime Home on the London Road in Blewbury. The new dwelling is an all timber construction with an external render coat finish.

The timber frame construction methodology will mean the house will be built and in the dry in a remarkably short time when compared to traditional build timescales. This is in part possible because trades persons can work on the outside of the erected structure and fit-out the interior simultaneously. There is also no drying time, and so trades are able to seamlessly progress the various stages of the build operations.

The Lifetime Homes Standard was established in the mid-1990s to incorporate a set of principles that should be implicit in good housing design. Good design, in this context, is considered to be design that maximizes utility, independence and quality of life, while not compromising other design issues such as aesthetics or cost effectiveness.

The Lifetime Homes Standard seeks to enable ‘general needs’ housing to provide, either from the outset or through simple and cost-effective adaptation, design solutions that meet the existing and changing needs of diverse households. This offers the occupants more choice over where they live and which visitors they can accommodate for any given time scale. It is therefore an expression of Inclusive Design.

Housing that is designed to the Lifetime Homes Standard will be convenient for most occupants, including some (but not all) wheelchair users and disabled visitors, without the necessity for substantial alterations.

A Lifetime Home will meet the requirements of a wide range of households, including families with push chairs as well as some wheelchair users. The additional functionality and accessibility it provides is also helpful to everyone in ordinary daily life, for example when carrying large and bulky items. Lifetime Homes are not, however, a substitute for purpose-designed wheelchair standard housing. Many wheelchair users will require purpose-designed wheelchair housing. Planners and providers should therefore ensure that good provision is made to meet this need.

The 16 Criteria for Lifetime homes are listed below.  Read the Lifetime Homes guide found here for more information on each of the items listed.

1. Parking (width or widening capability)

2. Approach to dwelling from parking (distance, gradients and widths)

3. Approach to all entrances

4. Entrances

5. Communal stairs and lifts

6. Internal doorways and hallways

7. Circulation space

8. Entrance level living space

9. Potential for entrance level bed space

10. Entrance level WC and shower drainage

11. WC and bathroom walls

12. Stairs and potential though floor light dwelling

13. Potential for fitting of hoists and bedroom / bathroom

14. Bathrooms

15. Glazing and window handle

16. Location of service controls