Designers & Developers

Designers & Developers

AccessiblePRS works with developers and designers to provide tailored advice and solutions, to counter worrying failures in current UK housing.

It's hard to change habits of a lifetime: if you've thrived as a developer, the idea that you should do anything to change your model might seem like madness. We don't think about it as changing what you're doing, but layering in insight to add to what you are already doing well. We're building the data case to show you how and why. Just because the property market is so hot, that people are buying everything that comes on, doesn't mean we're doing things right. Are you aware that by 2040, there will be more people aged 65+ in the UK that there are people of working age! Do you know what that means for you?

If you're an architect or designer, are you stuck in a mindset that dictates that you can only introduce accessibility when your client has explicitly asked for it? Ever asked yourself why that might be? There's so much we can do differently to offer our clients good design. If you're designing the Grand Designs "Forever Home" if your client cannot stay in the home post injury or illness and / or die in that home, then it isn't offering them the "forever." In fact, getting it right with good, universal design will offer your client a refuge in a storm if/when life happens to them.
  • Older people are not seeing the kinds of aspirational and accessible homes to encourage them to downsize, freeing up larger family homes. 

  • People with unmet housing needs (mobility, sensory and learning difficulties) cannot find suitable housing that enables them to fully participate in life. This also affects their families and communities, contributes to poor mental health, lack of productivity and additional cost to government. 

  • New housing communities are often being designed for specific demographics, excluding real accessibility, which shows a worrying lack of sustainability, community and consideration for possible future occupants. 

  • People are having to move to residential care homes at great personal and national cost because they are unable to stay in their own homes when their mental and physical conditions decline. 

  • The link between poor housing and poor mental health is well documented. 

As an architect working on private houses across the UK it’s easy to assume that the Building Regulations will ensure full accessibility in my designs. Working with Guy has been invaluable in understanding that accessibility goes far beyond minimum-sized turning spaces in bathrooms and kitchen and, with a bit of imagination, helps to create homes that are easier and more enjoyable for all of us to use.

Sam Foster, Sam Foster Architects

Developers are becoming increasingly aware of sustainability and CSR for branding and reputation as a determining factor of profitability – short and long-term.

BtR companies holding stock which includes all people will stay ahead of the curve. This is financially smart and positive branding, particularly as the market gains awareness, and proponents for accessibility become increasingly mainstream. 

More frustrating are the developments which believe they have included accessibility within schemes, only to show plans which fail accessibility – highlighting issues from design through to building control.

Within the self-build community, clients build forever homes, yet fail to design for changing needs which could enable them to stay in their dream home forever, avoiding cost and emotional trauma if/when the worst happens. 

AccessiblePRS uses extensive knowledge of property and disability to help developers and designers successfully consider, design and implement accessibility throughout a scheme. And we advise how to communicate and market these successes. 

We empower designers to include accessibility in all their designs, without requiring a specific client brief. Concepts such as sustainability and community cannot be truly successful without universal design. And, given accessibility makes the best use of space and light, feels aspirational and indulgent, everyone wins with this mindset. 

Guy’s approach to designing living spaces for everyone brought home just how relevant and important accessibility as a design concept is for us - individually, as a community and to meet our sustainability ambitions. It was extremely valuable to benefit from his experience and knowledge at the beginning of our community development journey.

Jeremy Dent, New Forest Cohousing

Independent living accessible design future proof property trends Accessible PRS