Quoting the Luxembourg Minister of Family affairs, Integration and the Greater Region : Getting married, having children, building a house, so many memorable moments in life. The construction of a house is usually set in a general context of happiness. Indeed, the laying of the foundation stone often marks the beginning of a new stage in the lives of future inhabitants. Few people wonder at this time whether this house will still be suitable for them in 10 years' time when they have children, in 40 years when their mobility may be reduced or, for example, when they will unexpectedly be the victim of an accident.
Of course, high-performance isolation, a large terrace, a "design" front door are very important for many people. Level-level access, wide doors and other simple features that make it possible to have a house that can easily be adapted to the changing needs of its inhabitants are no less important.
By ratifying the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), the Luxembourg government has committed to gradually implementing the provisions of this international convention, including those on accessibility. Thus, Article 9 of the CRPD provides, inter alia, that States Parties undertake to develop and promulgate minimum national standards and guidelines for the accessibility of facilities and services open to or provided to the public and to monitor the implementation of these standards and guidelines.
In parallel with the development of new regulations on the accessibility of places open to the public, the Ministry of Family Affairs, Integration and the Greater Region, together with the non-profit organisation ADAPTH - National Centre of Competence for the Accessibility of Buildings (CCNAB) and the non-profit organisation Info-Handicap, has set itself the mission of raising awareness of the philosophy and strategies of "design for all" among the general public. These strategies make it possible to create, from the design stage, products and solutions that can be used by as many people as possible and houses that allow its inhabitants, if necessary, with minor adaptations, to move and evolve without artificial barriers and without constraints, whatever their situation and age.
It is my hope that this booklet, which marks the starting point of the predicted awareness campaign, will help future homeowners to better understand the crucial issues involved in building a home that is fit for their current needs and adaptable to their future needs.
From the introduction to the publication: …You're building, you're renovating, you've probably thought long and hard about your architectural tastes and chosen the materials and shapes you like. But have you ever wondered if your dream home will suit you for the rest of your life? Does it adapt to your changing needs?
Childhood, youth, pregnancy, illness, old age, temporary or progressive loss of mobility or eyesight, so many examples to illustrate that our needs and abilities evolve throughout our lives.
Taking the time to think carefully about the critical issues related to your current and future well-being, the evolution of your family and your health will allow you to design a home that will suit you in the short and long term. This avoids repeated construction sites that disrupt your lifestyle and risk damaging the charm of your home.
Adhering to the principles of "design for all" right from the design phase, allows you to enjoy long-lasting comfort of use and a superior quality of life without incurring additional costs.
Consider submitting all these considerations to your architect or developer and ask them to incorporate them into your project.
In addition to clarification about the terms “accessible”, “evolutive”, “sustainable” or “design for all”, the brochure provides practical guidance on how to optimize access and circulation, talks about stairs that sometimes cannot just not be avoided, the functionality of bathrooms, the flexibility of equipment, etc…