10 Dec 2017
FORRME’s recently completed scheme at Meadowvale Court has won a Prestige Access Award from the William Keown Trust. The scheme provides 14 wheelchair-accessible, assisted living units for residents with brain injuries, physical, sensory and neurological disabilities. Delivered to Lifetime Homes & Secure by Design standards, the development also features offices/staff accommodation, communal laundry and common room, designed to promote social interaction amongst residents.
The William Keown Trust was set up to promote the dignity of people living with disabilities. The judges for the Prestige Access Awards looked for innovation which went beyond Building control standards in design and introduced SMART technology. The design of the buildings at Meadowvale Court and choice of components have been geared to empower residents facing mobility issues, learning disabilities or mental health problems. FORRME installed an intelligent ‘SimpleHome’ automation system, featuring:
- Door entry system, with colour camera and two-way speaker, allowing residents to open the main entrance door for visitors remotely from their apartment;
- Icona Manager, whereby residents can opt temporarily to allow health workers to grant themselves access automatically without interaction at the monitor – a key function for users in supported housing;
- Flood detectors and heat sensors that notify staff immediately if any problems arise;
- Heating and ventilation controls in individual apartments that help manage electricity consumption;
- Automatic window blinds; and
- Option for the Scheme Manager to remotely disconnect and control power sockets at certain times of the day within individual apartments.
Primarily, residents & staff use wall-mounted monitors to control the system, with gesture recognition for easy menu navigation. However, an important element of the installation is that all residents also have the use of a smart tablet device from which they can control video door entry, call for emergency assistance, receive video messages from staff/visitors and manage core home automation functions, such as heating and lighting.
Given that the residents at Meadowvale Court are either wheelchair-users or have mobility issues, the ability to control door entry, configure home automation & call for warden assistance, all from a tablet on their lap, is invaluable. However, this project is a delicate mix. It's about giving residents control of their living space; but at certain times of day when use of a particular domestic appliance might be inappropriate, power to specific sockets will be switched off. There is an emphasis on independence & fine-tuning for individual needs, but Managers at the complex can use ‘SimpleHome’ to exercise control of core features such as central heating and ventilation on behalf of the residents if required.
Other notable features providing ease-of-use for residents include height-adjustable kitchen worktops, pull-out food preparation units, ceiling hoists, wet rooms and large-scale lift.