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2010 Livable Communities Awards

 

AARP and the National Association of Home Builders announce the winners of the fourth annual Livable Communities Awards. What is a livable community? True livability starts inside the home, with design features that allow people of all ages and physical abilities to live comfortably and safely. Livable homes also are environmentally friendly, lower maintenance and adaptable in ways that permit owners to reconfigure spaces as needed without a great deal of disruption or expense.

 

Livable communities incorporate homes with these features, are near shopping and entertainment, and often encompass common spaces where residents can easily meet and mingle. This competition recognizes architects, builders, developers and remodelers who have built projects exemplifying these design principles and values. See below for tours of the winning single-family homes and multifamily housing developments.

 

Livable Communities Awards Archive >>

 

2010 livable communities award winners
BURNS HARBOR, IND.

2010 Livable Communities Awards

This single-family house, designed and built in 2010 by Treasure Homes Inc., mixes universal design features with green building practices. It is certified at the Emerald level of the National Green Building Standard. The combination of accessibility, low maintenance and energy-saving features makes the design truly livable.
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LAKELAND, FLA.

2010 Livable Communities Awards

For years, Juliette and Dennis Mason had managed well in their home, despite Dennis' confinement to a wheelchair. When they decided to eliminate some of the challenges Dennis faced in the poorly accessible master bathroom, the couple consulted with Dean Johnson of Green Construction Services Inc., who helped them reconfigure the space in 2010.
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PASADENA, CALIF.

2010 Livable Communities Awards

The owners of this home asked CAPS interior designer Jeannine Clark of Mannigan Design Inc. to adapt the spaces so they could age comfortably in place there after they retired. The house — near a large hospital and within walking distance to shops and public transportation — was perfect for the purpose.
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PORTLAND, ORE.

2010 Livable Communities Awards

Daybreak is an intergenerational cohousing development designed by Schemata Workshop Inc. in the Overlook neighborhood of North Portland. The close-in urban location means public transportation, grocery stores, restaurants and cafés, and schools are all easily accessible. Values that shaped the design include fostering multigenerational living and integrating with the surrounding neighborhood.
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SANTA FE, N.M.

2010 Livable Communities Awards

ElderGrace is a cohousing development for low- and middle-income people 55 and older. It was designed through a partnership between its resident members and the nonprofit Santa Fe Community Housing Trust. A Common House gives residents plenty of opportunities to meet up. The 3.5-acre site provides shared outdoor spaces, including walking and biking paths and a community garden and orchard, all within a quarter-mile of public transportation to downtown Santa Fe, just five miles away.
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Resources

Livable Communities Checklists

Below are lists of design and product suggestions for your home that can increase safety, comfort, convenience, and livability for everyone.

 

Entrances & Exits Checklist

Below is a list of design and product suggestions for a home's entryway and exits that can increase safety, comfort, convenience, and livability for everyone. Check off the ideas that you may want to include in your own home.

  • At least one no-step pathway into the house
  • Ample and level maneuvering room, 5 feet by 5 feet, in entryway
  • 36-inch-wide entry door with lever-style handle
  • Zero-threshold doorway
  • Covered entrance to protect from inclement weather 
  • Shelf near entrance to put packages while opening and closing door
  • Bright lighting inside and outside entries
  • Lighted doorbell at an easily reachable height
  • Easy-open door locks, such as keyless locks with remote or keypad codes
  • High-visibility house numbers
  • Handrails on both sides of steps
  • Railings on porches
  • Slip-resistant walkways and entryways

Stairways & Halls Checklist

Below is a list of design and product suggestions for a home's stairways and halls that can increase safety, comfort, convenience, and livability for everyone. Check off the ideas that you may want to include in your own home.

  • Handrails on both sides of stairs, interior and exterior
  • No open, see-through risers on stairs
  • Deep stair treads, to accommodate entire foot
  • Contrasting color at front edge of steps, to provide visual orientation, or non-slip adhesive strips
  • 4-foot-wide stairway to accommodate future chairlift
  • Bright, non-glare lighting in hallways and stairwells
  • Easy-touch, rocker-style light switches at top and bottom of stairs, 42 inches off floor
  • Electrical outlets 18 inches off the floor
  • Replace or remove any worn or torn carpeting

Den & Living Room Checklist

Below is a list of design and product suggestions for a home's den and living room that can increase safety, comfort, convenience, and livability for everyone. Check off the ideas that you may want to include in your own home.

  • 36-inch-wide doors for easy access, or pocket doors
  • Level flooring throughout the house
  • Easy-touch, rocker-style light switches 42 inches off the floor
  • Electrical outlets 18 inches off the floor
  • Seating at least 18 inches off the floor
  • Extra electrical outlets to accommodate future technology or medical-equipment needs
  • Rearrange furniture and remove any clutter to allow for clear, wide passageways

Kitchen Checklist

Here is a list of design and product suggestions for a home kitchen or laundry area that can increase safety, comfort, convenience, and livability for everyone. Check off the ideas that you may want to include in your own home.

  • 36-inch-wide doors for easy access or pocket doors
  • Multi-height, rounded-edge countertops to enable residents to work standing or seated
  • Color-contrast front edges on countertops to help prevent spills
  • Clear counter space next to sink and all appliances
  • Space for a chair under sink or cooktop for seated users
  • Easy-access storage, such as  pull-out pantry or adjustable-height shelving
  • Stove-top water access to fill pots
  • Bright, non-glare task lighting over sink, stove, and work areas
  • Anti-scald faucet with lever-style handle
  • D-shaped or pull-style cabinet and drawer handles
  • Easy-glide drawers that close automatically
  • Drawer-style dishwasher or raised platform under dishwasher to reduce bending
  • Easy-access side-by-side refrigerator/freezer or under-counter, drawer-style refrigerator
  • Front-mounted appliance controls that are highly visible or can be operated by touch
  • Built-in storage space for easy-access and removable recyclables and trash
  • Electrical outlets 18 inches off the floor
  • Extra electrical outlets for small appliances; some outlets located under countertops for easy access
  • Rocker-style light switches, 42 inches off the floor
  • Easily accessible garbage-disposal switch
  • Laundry on main floor
  • Front-loading washer and dryer, stacked or on raised platform to reduce bending, with accessible controls on front
  • Laundry sink and countertop no more than 34 inches above floor with knee space below for seated users
  • Bright task-lighting in laundry
  • Wall-mounted folding table that lies flat when not in use
  • Non-slip flooring

Bedroom Checklist

Here is a list of design and product suggestions for a home bedroom that can increase safety, comfort, convenience, and livability for everyone. Check off the ideas that you may want to include in your own home.

  • 36-inch-wide doors for easy access or pocket doors
  • Rocker-style light switches, 42 inches off the floor
  • Closet with multi-level or pull-down shelving and clothes rod
  • Avoid bi-fold or accordion closet doors, which can be difficult to open and close
  • Electrical outlets 18inches off the floor
  • Extra electrical outlets to accommodate technology or future medical-equipment needs

Bathroom Checklist

Below is a list of design and product suggestions for a home bathroom that can increase safety, comfort, convenience, and livability for everyone. Check off the ideas that you may want to include in your own home.

  • 36-inch-wide door for easy access, or pocket door
  • Rocker-style light switches, 42 inches off the floor
  • Lever handle, anti-scald faucets on sink, bathtub, and shower
  • No threshold walk-in or roll-in shower with minimum dimensions 5 feet by 3 feet (4 feet preferred)
  •   Hand-held, adjustable-height showerhead with easily operable controls
  • Maneuvering space that accommodates a 60-inch turning radius
  • Toilet centered 18 inches from any side wall, tub, or cabinet
  • Toilet seat 17 to 19 inches off floor for older persons, lower for children
  • Grab bars or wall-blocking for future installation in tub, shower and near toilet
  • Knee space under sink for seated users
  • Easy-glide drawers that close automatically
  • Countertops with rounded edges
  • Bright, non-glare lighting
  • Reduced-slip tile or non-skid floor
  • D-shaped or pull-style cabinet and drawer handles
  • Full-length and/or tilted mirror that can be used seated or standing
  • Towel bars, soap and toothbrush holders 48 inches off floor
  • Sink bowl mounted close to front edge of vanity for easier use while seated
  • Integral transfer seat in tub and built-in bench or shower chair in shower
  • Electrical outlets 18 inches off the floor

If you are interested in applying for or learning more about the 2011 Livable Communities Awards, please e-mail homedesign@aarp.org.


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