Lifemark Accreditation

Lifemark is an independent certification system based on the design standards of accessibility, adaptability, usability, safety and Lifetime value. The Lifemark design standards are based on the Universal housing design concepts where spaces can be used by the widest range of people possible while future proofing the home for generations to come.

The average person may physically spend 80% of their life in a home. Your home should meet our current requirements with a design that is smart enough to adjust to our changing needs, without having to rebuild or relocate. Homes should facilitate independence and security, be easy to access and be designed to minimise the risk of slips, trips and falls. 

Moving house, or altering a home, can be an expensive, disruptive and stressful experience. Sometimes a ‘forced move’ can be prevented if a home has a degree of flexibility designed-in that enables simple adjustments and adaptations to be made to cater for a change in the household’s needs. The ageing process, can result in reduced mobility or agility. Planning for this in the original design, while initially seeming irrelevant, may prove a huge bonus to the occupants later on or to new occupants who are seeking these design features.

Younger people who don’t intend to live in their home for the long-term, still benefit from these features, for example, a level and wide entrance to the home (essential for those needing to use mobility aids) is also helpful to parents with push chairs or for moving furniture or bringing shopping in from the car. The benefits to the occupants of a home and their visitors are significant. Lifemark certified homes are for everybody.

The Lifemark Principles

 

A usable home is a dwelling that has thoughtful design features that meet the needs of people of different ages and abilities over time. A Lifemark certified home has features that make home life easier including reachable power points and easy to use taps, window latches and light switches. 

An adaptable home is a dwelling with design features that can be easily adapted to the changing needs of the occupants as they progress through life. An adaptable home is one in which a change in a person’s circumstances does not require an expensive retrofit in order for them to continue to live easily, safely and independently in the home. By including bathroom and kitchen features which may not be noticeable but will facilitate adaption at a later stage for low/no cost. 

 

An accessible home is one that enables an occupant or visitors to the home to be able to access it easily, safely and independently. Nobody is excluded from participating in home life because they are ageing or have a disability. This includes level entry, wider doorways and corridors, a kitchen, bathroom and laundry that are designed to be easier to use. 

 

A safe home is one that uses intelligent design features that are proven to prevent injuries in the home, especially from slips, trips and falls. Improved lighting, non-slip surfaces in wet areas, better designed stairs, appropriate alarm systems and window latches are some of the features that prevent injuries yet can be easily integrated into your home. A Lifemark certified home is a safe home for everyone.

 

A Lifemark Certified home is not intended to be complicated or expensive for designers to design, builders to build or most importantly for people to live in. 

The Lifemark Principles have been carefully considered so that they can be easily incorporated into a dwelling’s design and construction early on with only a small, if any, cost. If added at a later stage, the cost is often tens of thousands of dollars, as well as the emotional cost of retrofitting. An independent study in 2011 in NZ by BRANZ indicated that it was 10 times cheaper to install at design stage. Other international studies put it at 22 times cheaper.

The Lifemark 5 Star Certification System

The Lifemark 5 star rating system provides consumers with information about usability, adaptability, accessibility and safety. The entry-level 3 star Lifemark certification is achieved by meeting the minimum standards. There are 25 miniumum standards. Additional points are then accumulated to achieve a 4 or 5 star level. A 5 star rating is achieved when virtually all requirements are in place and operational at time of build and the accumulated points reflect this level of performance. The Lifemark points allocation schedule is provided to Accredited Partners as part of their accreditation training. Only a Lifemark Accredited Partner can offer certification.

The resulting Lifemark seal helps the home buyer choose between homes based on how appropriate they are for their current and future needs.

 

Lockwood is a Lifemark accredited partner. See more about Lifemark certification system here.

 

Jenny McDonald worked with her Lockwood Franchisee, Peter Richards Builders, and Lockwood designers to achieve a 5 star Lifemark Certification for her home. Jenny talks about choosing her plan in the video below

Lifemark Accredited Plans