The Detached House and Design Modification Guidelines for Adaptable Housing for Elderly People

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Busakorn Romyanond


This study is the first part of a research project sponsored by Thammasat University. The study is interested in the interior architectural design of detached houses and how to modify them to be supportive and safe for elderly people, in line with the adaptable housing concept. The contribution of this study is for people building or purchasing their houses in preparation for aging. The case studies are housing estates located in Bangkok and metropolitan areas in the high-end (5-10 MB) and mid-range (3-5 MB) price ranges. The interior environment is studied to examine how it meets accessible housing design criteria and how to design these houses according to the concept of adaptable housing design. The findings from 16 case studies suggest that all require some level of alterations. Two major factors affecting the ease of alteration are the interior architectural designs and the usable first floor area of each house. The areas where major alterations are required are the ramp for an extra entrance, interior circulation, an accessible bathroom and suitable electrical outlet heights respectively, all of which require structural demolitions prior to reconstruction. However, the living and dining areas involve less problems. Following areas are downstairs’ bedroom, outdoor balcony, kitchen and laundry respectively. The houses with the least potential for modification are those with several different floor levels on one plane. In conclusion, pre-design and pre-consideration of the house to accommodate adaptation for elderly people, especially items requiring structural alterations, is necessary.


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