Smart Apartment for the Disabled?

by Tom Worthington

One good use for high technology homes is for the disabled. The City Edge complex, in O'Connor, Canberra, ACT, Australia, which houses the "smart apartment", has several apartments designed for the disabled. These have adjustable height kitchen benches (including the sink and stove top) and wireless controlled front doors. They are intended to go beyond what is usual in "Adaptable Housing".

Adjustable height kitchen bench1 Adjustable height kitchen sink2 Adjustable height stove-top3 Pull out pantry and work surface4 Electric door opener5
  1. Adjustable height kitchen bench
  2. Adjustable height kitchen sink
  3. Adjustable height stove-top
  4. Pull out pantry and work surface
  5. Electric door opener

The apartments are an initiative of Community Housing Canberra Ltd, a not-for-profit association of community housing providers for people on low and modest incomes: young people, aged people, people with disabilities, indigenous people, students and double and single parent families.

The design of these apartments emphasizes practical low cost equipment. As an example the electrically operated doors are controlled by garage door openers and the adjustable height kitchen benches are adapted from office furniture.

There is potential to add computerized controls for some of this equipment, provided it could be done at a low cost and reliably.

Further Information

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Copyright Tom Worthington 2002.