Internal layout of wheelchair-accessible house

A couple of months ago I decided to try designing a wheelchair-accessible Small House using SketchUp, the 3D design software. I posted about it here in WordPress. I did both a single-storey version, sized 83 sq.metres (about 890 ft2) and a double-storey one. This post is about the internal layout of the double-storey one, featuring 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms. As I wrote in the previous post:

Why a Wheelchair-Accessible House?

  • I think that if one builds a house, might as well make the layout and size of rooms wheelchair-friendly to make it more inclusive.
  • Even if there are no wheelchair users in the household, the extra space incorporated will be appreciated.
  • In the meantime, the extra space can be configured to different needs.

As for the size, I started off drawing a single-storey Small House, which is a residential structure that is considered to be up to about 1,000 ft2 (93m2), as featured in the previous post. The double-storey house featured here is about 160 m2, so it’s not considered ‘Small House’. To recap, in any case:

Why a Small House and not Tiny House?

  • Tiny Houses are up to 400 ft2 (37 m2), too small to accommodate the usage of a wheelchair comfortably.
  • Small Houses, bigger at between 400 ft2 and 1,000 ft2 (93 m2), would also offer the amenities of a typical house, like a ‘more regular-sized’ kitchen and bathroom.
  • The single-storey version of the house featured here would be 90 m2 (about 970 ft2). This includes the ramp outside. An additional small single bedroom or study can also be added where the stairs would be in the double-storey house.

I did a double-storey version for additional bedrooms. I’m thinking that, even if the wheelchair user is single and lives alone, an extra bedroom might be useful or even necessary if he or she wants or needs a live-in carer.

I did not feature the internal layout in the previous post because I had arranged it using furniture and fittings from SketchUp’s wonderful 3D Warehouse. As I’m not sure about permission issues regarding featuring them in my post here, I decided to play it safe and draw my own furniture and fittings instead. Just some basic designs. It took me a long time, especially the kitchen appliances. An hour here, a few hours there, but I’ve finally done it.

First, some points on the changes to the external look of the house.

  • Windows and sliding doors were changed to look more Art Deco since that is what inspired the design of the house.
  • Ramp is now longer. With research I now know better about standards such as a 1:12 slope, for safer wheelchair use.
  • The above meant having to reduce the number of side access doors, from two to one.

Dimensions:

  • House structure only, without ramp: length 15 metres (49.2 ft), width 4.7 metres (15.4 ft)
  • Ramp and its top landing deck: width 1.3 metres (4.2 ft)
  • Pool Module (pool, decks and planter): total length 14.5 metres (47.5 ft), width 3.6 metres (11.8 ft)
  • Pool only: length 8 metres. (26.2 ft)

Ground Floor

The ground floor consists of a double bedroom, bathroom, sitting area and kitchen.

Plan View of Ground Floor (featured with Pool Module on the right). The circles in the Plan View above indicate diameter of 1.5 metres (59 inches), space for a wheelchair to turn.

Here is a closer look at the ground floor which is wheelchair-accessible:

Double bedroom for the wheelchair user (and partner). There is space to trade the right bedside table for a writing desk.
Bathroom. The white rectangle in the shower area is a collapsible seat.
Sitting area.
Kitchen with dining table next to the sitting area. The space below the sink and stove is made void to serve wheelchair users. Among other things, the height of the fridge and microwave oven is factored in for wheelchair users. 
The kitchen, dining table and sitting area all look out to part of the Pool Module where outdoor dining can be located. These sliding doors also serve as the access point for wheelchair users.

Upper Floor

The upper floor consists of two bedrooms, both with ensuite bathrooms as well as balconies overlooking the Pool Module below.

Plan View of Upper Floor (featured with Pool Module on the right).
Master bedroom. As with the bedroom directly below, there is space to trade the right bedside table for a writing desk. This room also has a second balcony which is directly above the front door of the house.
Ensuite bathroom of the master bedroom. Instead of the cabinets on the right, there can be space for a bidet. Or, instead of the bidet, put the toilet bowl closer to the wall and trade the shower for a bathtub.
The other upper floor bedroom, with a small ensuite bathroom. There is space in front of the bed for a sofa or chaise lounge, and a writing desk beside the sliding doors of the balcony.

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It’s been very interesting doing this. For the next house, also with Small House proportions, I’ve set my mind to drawing a flood-proof house, what with global warming, rising sea levels and the increasing incidents of hurricanes.

4 thoughts on “Internal layout of wheelchair-accessible house

  1. Pingback: Flood-resistant and wheelchair-accessible house | Wandering at night

  2. Pingback: Wheelchair-Accessible Small Home | Wandering at night

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