Lifetime Homes Key Points

  • 16 Lifetime Home design criteria
  • Meeting Lifetime Home requirements ensure Part M compliance.
  • Criterion 15 glazing & window handle heights
  • Principle glazing to have 400mm min height difference between balustrades, and cills, etc.

Who are Lifetime Homes?

Lifetime Homes was developed in the early 1990s by a group of housing experts, Associations and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. The group was formed because of concerns about how inaccessible and inconvenient homes were for large sections of the population. Lifetime Homes was developed to ensure that homes are accessible and inclusive.

How do Lifetime Homes affect balcony design?

Lifetime Home dwellings are ordinary homes designed to incorporate 16 Design Criteria that can be universally applied to new homes at minimal cost. Each design feature adds to the comfort and convenience of the home and supports changing needs of individuals and families at different stages of life, yet rarely require greater space standards or impact the density of a development. Criterion 15 (glazing and window handle heights) is the only part applicable to balcony design and states ‘to allow areasonable view from the principal living space…any full width transom or sill within the field of vision should be at least 400mm in height away from any other transom or balcony balustrade (+/-) 50mm acceptable)’.

Such design criteria are intended to work in conjunction not against the requirements of Approved Documents and of BS EN Standards guidance.

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