Fig. 39 Dwelling entrance opening out. Door pull assist* a wheelchair user to pull door shut on entering. The door pull should be on the outside for an inward opening door.

Lighting, Telephone, Television, Emergency Signal System

Lighting All light fixtures should be controlled by watl switches. The switches should be uniformly located 2 ft-10 in. to 3 ft above the floor and not over 8 in. from door jamb at latch side of door. A receptacle (not switch controlled) should be combined at some locations with switches, for convenient use of a vacuum cleaner. Tap-type or rocker switches are best for persons with hand impairment. Light fixtures located al a height permitting the tenants to replace light bulbs without using a steplad-der are desirable, One way to eliminate this hazard is by the use of a floor or table lamp for room lighting. For this purpose, one receptacle of a wall duplex outlet, conveniently located, should be switch controlled at the room entrance (See Figs. 40 and 41.)

Adequate light should be provided outside entrance doors so that residents can easily locate their door locks at night Higher than normal lighting intensity is needed by most elderly and some impaired persona, especially in the kitchen and bathroom.

Wall receptacles should be uniformly placed 1 8 to 24 in above the floor to reduce the physical effort of bending. Only those wall receptacles placed above kitchen counters and in dining areas should be mounted higher- Twin wall receptacles are inexpensive and are less hazardous than the cheap substitutes often purchased by tenants.

For safety, the switch(es) controlling electrical outlets in the bathroom should be located outside the bathroom door unless the return wire and the outlet box are grounded.

In low-rent housing, electrical outlets for tenant-owned wall or window air-cooling equipment are permitted subject to approval by HUD-HAA

The dwelling circuit panel should be located at a height convenient for the wheelchair users, The circuit panel must be of the "dead front" type. Circuit breakers are preferred to plug fuses.

Telephone In a one-person dwelling, provision should be made for a telephone outlet near the head of the bed; and in all other dwellings, between the beds of the first bedroom A second telephone outlet could be placed in the living room of dwellings with on© or more bedrooms. Some telephone companies will install one plug-in instrument in a dwelling with more than one plug-in outlet. Most low-income tenants cannot afford the monthly expense of two instruments. (Sea Fig 42 }

In developments assisted by HUD-HAA, a

Figures 40-42 from "Handbook for Deugn; Specially Adopted Housing/* VA Pamphlet 26-13, Veterans Administration, Washington, D.C, 197B.

central telephone switchboard is not recommended because of the manpower operating cost and its resultant effect on rants.

A house emergency telephone and/or other signal device should be installed in each elevator cab. The answering service should be in the management office and the custodial apartment, or other 24-hr service if found to be economical.

Television A television antenna system should be provided when needed for good reception.

Emeigency Signal System The system would include one large-diameter pushbutton in the bathroom, another near the head of the bed in a one-person dwelling, and one between the beds of the first bedroom in all other dwellings. Both pushbuttons activate an audio and visual unit located outside the dwelling. A third unit, which cen be activated simultaneously, should change the dwelling entrance door from locked to unlocked. The activated unit should be on continuous duly, allowing it to remain in operation until reset. The audio unit tone should be distinct and should differ from the fire alarm. A secondary power supply should be considered for the emergency signal system and the fire alarm

The audio and visual units may be located outside the entrance door, inside an adjacent dwelling, or in a central location.


The heating system should be designed to maintain room temperature of 75 F for the physically impaired or elderly.

Exposed vertical heating risers and exposed radiators are dangerous. Such equipment can cause sevure burns to persons who, in portions of their bodies, have little sensation to heat. All vertical heating pipes should be concealed and radiators covered with cabinets

In bathrooms, the use of a ceiling-type heat lamp, thermostatically controlled and operated by a manual wall switch, is recommended as safe and economical, providing instant heat day or night. Exposed heaters, radiators« or heat riser pipes are not safe and should not be used.

In multistory structures, a central heating plant is generally most economical. For one-story structures, a central heating plant is costly due to the installation of distribution mains. Either forced warm air or forced hot water as individual units or group plants could be used for one-story structures. The final determination should be based on a detailed utility analysis.

Excessive window glass areas increase heat toss and therefore fuel coat. In summer, rooms with a south or west exposure receive ihe rays of the hot afternoon sun, which raises the temperature in the unit. Large glass areas exposed to summer sun or winter cold require curtains or draperies, on expensive lenont item.

Whatever form of heat is provided, tenant control is recommended, preferably by thermostat ort in the case of radiators, by shut-off valves.

Domestic Hot Watei

In warm climates, individual water heaters installed in a closet with outside entrance makes for ease of maintenance and facilitates management control of water temperature setting.

Custodial Dwelling

The need for a custodial dwelling unit should be considered. Such dwelling should be cen trally located and have at least two bedrooms, to suit the housing needs of a couple with children- In a multistory structure, the custodial dwelling should be on the ground floor.

To have the custodian living within the development is desirable and necessary for the physically impaired and the elderly. Therefore, justification for including a custodial dwelling should show the number of tenants who are impaired or elderly.

Although the custodian is an employee with specific work assignments, he should be available tor emergencies when off duty. The custodian's wife might be available during the day; however, in most developments there is a management office open during working hours.


The following recommendations apply particularly to multiuse community space and to those less specialized community facilities most frequently developed in conjunction with residential housing developments. Local considerations will govern the number and nature of specialized community facilities developed in combination with a residential facility for the physically impaired Because the range of possibilities in such specialized facilities is so vast —from health clinics to sheltered workshops offering specific types of employment opportunities —anyone undertaking to design them should consult with program director*.

Before the architectural plan and functional layout of the community space can proceed, the local need and available services should be explored in cooperation with local agencies which will finance the staffing and operate the space after it is constructed.

Since the maximum space permitted is determined by the number of families in each development, it is not possible to provide in all developments, especially the smaller ones, space for all activities. The space planning for some areas should provide for functional use of the maximum number of activities Areas or spaces generally considered desirable are a lounge combined with the entrance lobby; group recreational space with kitchen; craft area; library; clinic; facilities such as toilets, public telephones, drinking fountains, and vending machines especially designed or arranged for orthopedic equipment users; and a separate space for the resident children's activities-

Space to be allotted us a health clinic should be planned as a separate functional unit. Health clinic space rarely can be combined with recreational or other space.

Indoor community space should be closely related to outdoor recreational areas with easy access and no intervening stairs or steps- Indoor space should have natural light and ventilation with pleasant outward views. It ia not desirable to locate community space in basements or on rooftops detached from outdoor recreational areas.

In general, floor surfacing suitable for the dwelling area is suitable for indoor community space. It may be advisable, however, to install nonstaining flooring in certain special use areas, and more durable flooring —such as nonslip terrazzo. unglazed tile, or quarry tile-in corridors, entrance lobbies, and other concentrated use areas-

General illumination should be of multiple control to allow for varying degrees of intensity. The maximum should be at about 30

foot-candles attable height. Supplemental mov able lights {floor and table temps in the lounge and library} should be provided at required utilitarian locations for decorative and functional use Avoid creating hazards by exposed extension cords to floor and table lamps

There should be no hazards within the com munity space, such as thresholds, freestanding columns, pilasters, projecting radiators, or drinking fountains.

Air conditioning of all community space used by physically impaired or elderly should be considered.


When combined with the entrance lobby of a community building or the elevator lobby of a multistory structure, a lounge provides increased activity end interest. The elderly and the impaired enjoy watching the going and coming tenants and visitors. In cold climates a vestibule entrance is necessary.

Locating the mail delivery room in the elevator lobby near the lounge is recommended.

The decor of the lounge should bs coordinated—wall colors, white ceiling, accent colors — in draperies, furniture, lamps, and plastic or cloth upholstery materials. Woven cloth upholstery material used in the lounge musi be stainproof.

Selection of chairs and sofas for the physically impaired, especially the semiarnbulant. deserves special consideration. Seal height t8 in. above floor is best. Sturdy arm rests help the impaired to rise. Chairs should not overbalance when weight is applied on the arm rest. Deep seats (over 20 In.} are undesirable. Semistiff, upholstered furniture is recommended.

Recreation or Multipurpose Room

This space may be subdivided by sliding or folding soundproof dividers or doors - the ceiling should be acoustically treated. The space should be suited for meetings, movies, concerts, plays, lunches, etc. Because of the nature of such activities, convenient storage space for tables and other items should be provided. An inventory of the items is needed lo adequately plan an orderly and functional storage — flexibility of use with adjustable shelves is desirable.

Building codes may require emergency exits, but at least one exit door may be desirable for departing guests after evening affairs.

Structural columns or other obstructions within this space should be avoided or eliminated if possible in order that the space may function as one room for certain occasions-

Tables without aprons, which will permit wheelchair arms to fit underneath, are recommended—they also take less space to store.


A kitchen should be provided adjacent to the recreation room. Equipment and arrangement should facilitate efficient and functional food preparation and clean-up. The kitchen may be used by the tenants.

The kitchen should be planned and designed to be useful in demonstrating and instructing on food preparation, in planning balanced diets, and in conducting various consumer education activities. For ibis purpose, the division between the recreation room and kitchen should be a sliding or folding divider or doors which can be locked or secured,

A two-door refrigerator freezer with auto matic defrosting food compartment is recommended, In large kitchens, consider how best to provide cold drinking water.

A kitchen service entrance should be planned to accommodate delivery of supplies, catering service, and garbage and trash removal A garbage grinder may be installed in this kitchen the continuous-feed type rs recommended Floor and wall surfaces should be of easily cleaned materials and finishes. Wall cabinets should have adjustable shelves. At least one closet, with lock, for storage of staple supplies should be provided, as well as a cabinet for mops, brooms, and cleaning materials.

Craft Activity Area

The space for craft activities should have maximum flexibility for varied arrangement, Fixed partitioning of cubicles is not desirable-no flexibility. It is best to concentrate the craft space in one room, dividing the space with movable (on casters with step-on brakes) wood storage cabinets for materials and supplies. This provides tor multiple use of space and permits adapting space size to tenant interest and various activities.

The movable divider cabinets should not extend to the ceiling A height of about A ft provides views |to the person who is| standing and improves ventilation and distribution of light; further, no change in the prearranged distribution of air conditioning is required. The cabinet units should be of sizes easy (o move. Standardized units are advisable, but they should be selected or designed for the materials and supplies to be stored. It is also advisable to have cabinets that can be locked

Was this article helpful?

0 0
Homeowners Guide To Landscaping

Homeowners Guide To Landscaping

How would you like to save a ton of money and increase the value of your home by as much as thirty percent! If your homes landscape is designed properly it will be a source of enjoyment for your entire family, it will enhance your community and add to the resale value of your property. Landscape design involves much more than placing trees, shrubs and other plants on the property. It is an art which deals with conscious arrangement or organization of outdoor space for human satisfaction and enjoyment.

Get My Free Ebook

Post a comment