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Home Sweet Home

Universal and sustainable design concepts are being applied to the DIDD West Tennessee Community Homes. They encourage careful treatment of the individual's needs and create normality in their environment. The need for life-safety issues are recognized as well as the living comforts of the residents.

Each 4,000 square foot home will have four bedrooms and living spaces on one level. There is an open floor plan where staff can have visual contact with the persons they support. The design accommodates for all common living accessories of four unrelated residents and staff.

The bedrooms are separate and private, while there are semi-private bathroom accommodations, and common living spaces. There is adequate space for staff to assist in daily functions.

Check out the rooms:

Bedroom: Bedrooms will be a minimum of 280 square feet and accommodate the special needs for furniture, storage of clothes and personal items as well as special mobility equipment. There will be either a double bed or hospital bed depending on the needs of the resident. Space for a lift is allocated. Each bedroom will have one outside wall and window. Individuals can have personal possessions like televisions, radios and pictures to furnish their rooms.

Fully-accessible Bathroom: With a minimum of 130 square feet this is the most modified room in the house, but will be as normal in appearance as possible. The bathroom will be shared by two individuals and located between two bedrooms with direct access from each. Fixtures are adapted to meet the individuals' physical challenges. Features include: Wall-mounted sink with anti-scald devices at all water sources, whirl pool tub with lift device, roll-in shower with curtain and space for a shower chair and aid staff, cabinets adapted for wheelchair access, and a change table.

Half Bathroom: Staff and visitors will have a half-bathroom for personal use which will be residential in character.

Living Room: This room, a minimum of 400 square feet, serves as the main entry and living space. The walls will have sound insulation to isolate noise from the bedrooms. Furniture will include items normally found in a home: Sofas, lounge chairs, tables, lamps, entertainment center, etc.

Dining Room: The dining room with a minimum 250 square feet will be located near the kitchen, and have a table accommodating eight persons. Taken into consideration is spacing for wheelchairs.

Kitchen: A minimum of 250 square feet, the kitchen will be equipped with a microwave, heavy-duty dishwasher, sink, refrigerator and stove. A pantry will be located in or near the room. Counter space will be lower so that persons living in the home can participate with meal preparation if they so desire.

Sunroom: The sunroom has a minimum of 600 square feet, is primarily glass and is an open space. It is an extension of the home affording the resident to engage with the outdoors in a controlled environment.

Porch: If the character of the neighborhood allows for entry porches this space will mimic the home style of the neighbors. At a minimum of 230 square feet it will accommodate a swing or chairs.

Carport/Garage: A minimum of 500 square feet, this space will be the main loading and unloading point for the individuals living in the home. The carport will accommodate a 16-passenger van and have adequate space for wheelchairs and other mobility equipment.

Other rooms: Laundry, Storage, Mechanical and Electrical/Telecom.

Check out some features:

Day lighting: A solarium will be located in the center of the house accessible from each bedroom. The skylight conserves energy, enhances visibility and provides a stimulus with the changing of light.

HVAC System: The homes are designed for optimal indoor air quality. Multiple air exchanges are incorporated to reduce air contaminants to near zero. Bedrooms will have individual thermostatic controls. In extreme hot or cold weather precautions will be taken to protect the individuals living in the home.

Special Systems: The homes have a fire sprinkler system and fire alarm. There will be an emergency generator, which will work for 24 hours to operate medical oxygen and special devices. The entire homes will be on an emergency system with lights and alarms with battery backups.

Communications: The homes will have telephone-based intercom systems, doorbell at primary entrances, and there will be visible notification as part of the smoke detection and fire alarm systems.