Architecture and technology can support greater independence for people with disabilities

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Architecture and technology can support greater independence for people with disabilities

Cortesia from ABB

A hallway that is too narrow, a poorly located switch or a simple height difference can go completely unnoticed by many, but they can also be insurmountable barriers for a disabled person. We all have a family member or acquaintance who struggles with mobility and eventually we might encounter them at some point in our lives as well. Architecture has the power to create truly inclusive spaces so that people with disabilities can have the independence to perform all necessary daily tasks, without the need for assistance from others. Integrated into architecture, technology can play an important role in this context, making the spaces in which we live even more accessible to everyone.

Cortesia from ABB
Cortesia from ABB

In Sydney, Australia, Aaron Stevens and DPN took on the challenge of creating homes for people with different needs and disabilities. The houses of Casa Capace are in no way characterized as houses for disabled people, which often appear rather as a simple checklist of the minimum standards specified by the authorities, without any real concern for solutions, materials and aesthetics. The residences built are welcoming, modern and stylish. Inspired by mid-century modern homes, there is an emphasis on connecting the interior with the exterior, articulate micro and macro details, and a calm palette of colors, materials, finishes, and lighting.

Cortesia from ABB
Cortesia from ABB

In addition to well-specified materials and dimensions suitable for all movements and rotations necessary for a wheelchair user, it also includes the general advantages of home automation, such as easy control of lights, blinds and temperature, energy consumption reduced energy and associated costs, and increased level of safety for all residents. These elements can be controlled via smartphone, tablet or speaker, depending on the specific needs of the residents.

Cortesia from ABB
Cortesia from ABB
Cortesia from ABB
Cortesia from ABB

It is characterized by an intelligent technological infrastructure, which offers a more comfortable life for the residents, but without visually encroaching on the design. This level of building automation is made possible by ABB i-bus® KNX technology. It is an open source integrated solution that allows the use of hardware from multiple vendors, unified in a single software platform. ABB-VoiceControl® for KNX also allows occupants to use their favorite voice assistant to control the home. Voice control and door communication systems via indoor and outdoor solutions are integrated via ABB-VoiceControl® and ABB-Welcome, respectively, to meet the required requirements. Their combination makes the house more convenient, as well as easier and safer to control.

Cortesia from ABB
Cortesia from ABB

ABB Episode 15 frozen music explores this theme, with interviews with the responsible architects and images of the inclusive houses built. Each of the episodes in the series introduces a unique construction project and the creators behind it to a global community, providing quick insight into safer, smarter and more sustainable construction projects.

Watch this episode and subscribe to the ABB newsletter to stay tuned. Previous episodes of the series are available on the official site.

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