Architecture and technology can promote greater autonomy for people with disabilities
Too narrow a corridor, a poorly placed switch or a simple bump for many can go unnoticed, but they can also become insurmountable obstacles for a person with disabilities. We all have a family member or acquaintance with mobility difficulties, and perhaps we too may encounter them at some point in our lives. Architecture is able to create truly inclusive spaces so that people with disabilities can perform all the necessary daily tasks on their own without the need for help from others. Built into architecture, technology can play an important role in this context, making the spaces in which we live even more accessible to all.
In Sydney, Australia, Aaron Stevens and DPN have taken on the task of creating homes for people with different needs and disabilities. Casa Capace homes are by no means characterized as homes for the disabled, which often look more like a simple checklist of minimum standards set by the authorities, with no real concern for solutions, materials and aesthetics. Built residences are welcoming, modern and stylish. Inspired by modern mid-century houses, the emphasis is on connecting the interior with the exterior, clear micro and macro details, and a serene palette of colors, materials, finishes and lighting.
In addition to well-defined materials and sizes suitable for all wheelchair displacements and turns required, it also includes common home automation benefits such as easy control of lights, blinds and temperature, reduced energy consumption and associated costs, and also increased security for all residents. These items can be controlled via smartphone, tablet or speaker, according to the specific needs of the residents.
It is characterized by a smart technological infrastructure that provides a more comfortable life for residents, but not visually involved in the design. This level of building automation is provided by ABB i-bus® KNX technology. It is an integrated open source solution that allows you to use equipment from multiple vendors combined into a single software platform. ABB-VoiceControl® for KNX also allows residents to use their choice of voice assistant to control the home. Voice control and door communication systems for indoor and outdoor solutions are integrated via ABB-VoiceControl® and ABB-Welcome, respectively, to meet the required requirements. Their combination makes the house more comfortable as well as easier and safer to manage.
Episode 15 of the Frozen Music series from ABB explores this topic, including interviews with responsible architects and images of inclusive homes built. Each of the episodes of the series showcases to the world community a unique construction project and the creators behind it, giving a quick look at safer, smarter and more sustainable construction projects.
Watch this episode and sign up for the ABB newsletter stay up to date. Previous series of the series are available on the official website.