Building, Extending & Renovating Accessible Homes.

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Building, Extending & Renovating Accessible Homes.

Are you searching for architects or designers with experience and knowledge of accessible & inclusive design? We signpost some UK practices here.

Build Extend Renovate Refurbish Accessible Home AccessiblePRS

We receive regular enquiries about home builds, so thought it could be helpful to signpost to architectural practices which specialise in accessible design. This page will be a work in progress, to which we'll readily add other organisations, and is designed to be an impartial resource. Please note: you are responsible for doing your own research as to whether a practice listed would be suitable for your project.  

Do you have the opportunity to build, extend or renovate a home which needs to meet your accessibility needs, but don’t know where to start? 

There are plenty of reasons why many people want additional accessible design support. This may include being new to disability as a result of a trauma, or having a progressive condition and not fully understanding the nuances of what future needs may look like. Or it might be that you have no current accessibility needs, but realise that future-proofing your home for any eventuality will give you security for any eventuality and own an asset for which demand far outstrips supply..
 
There are a couple of usual ways to approach this. 
 
First, is to employ a specialist accessibility architect who can work closely with you, who understands your needs and has practical experience of successes on many other projects that they can bring to yours. 
 
Second is to employ an architect whose previous projects and/or ethos you are drawn to and bring in the specialist advice with an accessibility consultant. They can join your design team meetings and offer a plan checking/appraisal service - which can be done remotely. This route will offer you the flexibility to work with an architect that you already have a relationship with, is local and/or offers experience in another area that you feel strongly about, such as sustainability and/or healthy indoor air quality. When you employ a consultant to join initial design team meetings and conduct plan appraisals, you only need to pay for their time that you need: i.e. it need not be a major expense, but the money you do spend should be huge value as your completed home meets your needs.

1. Specialist Accessible Architects & Designers

Please get in touch if you want to refer other architect and designer practices that have deep experience and understanding of accessible and inclusive design for inclusion on this page.

Scroll down for other routes to support your accessible project.
Chambers McMillan Architects
Chambers McMillan Architects
Contact: Thea & Ian McMillan
t. 0131 669 5766
http://www.cmcmarchitects.com/

"We design architecture for all: inclusive, barrier free and participatory." I particularly like the word "participatory" that sits at the top of each of their webpages. It speaks of a deep understanding of the needs of different people and the importance of the built environment to enable individuals with impairments to live autonomously.

Thea says they "design, adapt and extend buildings to meet our modern lives. Both large and small, and to different budgets, we design houses and home offices, as well as specialised spaces for organisations. We will personally work with you to develop, to formulate, to articulate and to realise your thoughts and ideas. We want to hear about your project. Initial consultations are entirely free and with no obligation. So if you have a project you would like to discuss please get in touch.”
Idapt Design Logo
Idapt Design
Contact: Nigel & Ben Burton
t. 01454 219115
https://www.idaptdesign.com/

"We specialise in designing accessible environments for both residential and commercial clients. We believe the challenge of accessibility is not a barrier to innovation and our approach to client centred design will often give us new ideas to explore. We believe that inclusive design does not have to be boring and can be seamlessly integrated into a property. We use a combination of the latest technology to engage our clients in different ways, including: a Matterport scanner to capture a property, photo realistic renders to bring the design to life and Idapt Planner 3D to design for accessibility. 

We manage schemes from start to end. This provides a focussed and cost effective service to help deliver projects on time and in budget. The Idapt Design team make client goals their own and use their skills and expertise to deliver a project that meets the brief. We are happy to discuss your scheme further and to provide a portfolio of our experience." 
France and Associates Logo
France + Associates
Contact: Jonathan France
t. 01484 960560
https://www.franceandassociates.co.uk/


"France and Associates are a multi-award-winning registered architectural practice specialising in inclusive building design for those living with a disability. They provide an all-encompassing architectural service, taking a project from inception to completion.
 
They provide disability architectural solutions for individuals and their families, enabling them through design. This unique architectural expertise means the firm are regularly instructed by lawyers as expert witnesses or to prepare accommodation reports which consider the suitability and adaptability of a property for someone who have suffered a life changing injury as a result of an accident or medical negligence.
 
By working collaboratively with clients and their advisors, they deliver imaginative and logical solutions to the built environment. The firms’ mantra is to take a ‘form follows function’ approach, placing the needs of the client at the heart of the design, avoiding clinical finishes, and combining practical solutions with style."
Designate-UK
DESIGNATE - Housing Adaptations Interior Design & Colour Consultancy
Contact: Elaine Hollerhead
t. 0117 379 0049 | m. 07557 309466  
www.designate-uk.co.uk

Designate is an Inclusive Interior Design Service that enables people of all ages, including those who are well or have minor or major disabling health conditions, to achieve and enjoy dignified and aspirational 21st century living. 

All design work is undertaken by a designer who holds qualifications in Interior design and Occupational Therapy. Using this combined skill set, and engaging our clients in an interactive full colour 3D CAD interior design programme, we are able to create beautiful, safe, non-clinical, enabling environments that meet the physical psychological social and spiritual needs of our clients and their families. 

The service is based in Bristol but covers the UK. Their clients are mainly those in the private and residential housing sectors, small commercial companies, and also assist forward-thinking companies in designing new inclusive aesthetic products. They work closely with architects, construction and health professionals but do not project manage.
GD Cooper Accessible Design
GD Cooper Design
Contact: Gary Cooper
t. 01280 700333
https://www.gdcooperdesign.com/

Gary has been in the construction industry since 1988. A full time wheelchair user following an accident at work in 2003, he completed a three year degree course in Architectural Technology achieving a first class degree and two other C.A.D. qualifications. This enables him to approach projects from both a practical and technical perspective.

"We offer a specialist accessible design service for those needing their home adapted, extended or modified due to disability or older age - we are passionate about designing inclusive, functional, beautiful homes."

2. Other Routes to Support Your Accessible Design Project:

If you want to choose an architect and have a consultant alongside, we can help. We have accessible and inclusive design specialists with extensive knowledge of both the technical and the physical requirements. This may look like joining design team meetings, helping to inform your brief, providing plan appraisals and feeding back on recommended or required changes, or suggesting potential changes to designs. We're not the only ones: there are plenty of accessibility consultants you can choose from, including the Centre for Accessible Environments. Or have a look on the National Register of Access Consultants
 
If you're looking for a project manager who understands your needs, you could consider Rebecca Orde. She is Norfolk based and works nationally. 
 
For accessible kitchens, Adam Thomas is the authority. He works independently and alongside a number of kitchen providers, including the high-end Roundhouse in London. He designed Symphony Group's accessible Freedom kitchen range. Anyone selling this range has been trained by him in accessible design principles. Other brands copy the products but don't know how to design them correctly!
 
When it comes to bathrooms, Motionspot has done great work, pioneering in the space in showing that accessibility can be beautiful both in home. They use a large range of products that will keep your home looking like a home and not a clinical or institutional setting. My experience is that people have very different standards of what works for them. Whether you want the prestige of limestone or something softer, considering children or older age people, there are plenty of options to suit your individual needs and tastes.
 
A further option, if you want the space but not the hassle of a build, or where there are planning constraints on space is to consider a standalone unit such as produced by Agile Homes & Property. This is zero carbon, energy efficient, and feels wonderful and can be fitted out to your requirements. 
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