Considering that accidents happen at a fairly consistent rate it is probable that at some point a disability will hit with in the home that reduces a person’s mobility. When an accident occurs it is likely individuals can find themselves dependent upon the use of a wheelchair, walker or scooter device. Also, as people age the simple act of maneuvering around the home becomes trickier. Often times these are the points in life that it is realized the space within the home and access in and out of the home are compromised and need to be updated.It is rare that a home is built with the limitations handicaps and aging in place bring. Most traditional builders do not build with the foresight that narrow doors and an abundance of stairs might eventually be difficult for maneuverability. Builders don’t build with questions such as “How would I access this narrow door?” or “How would I access this stairway?” with the same thinking as someone with a handicap or some years under their belt. Consumers don’t often purchase homes thinking about the golden years or the what if’s accident bring.Accessible living solutions within the home is an industry in which is being grown out of a need that has not been filled with in the home construction industry. Remodels of this magnitude look at all aspect of aging and handicap needs. Handicap accessible renovations look into home modifications that make the difficulties aging and handicaps bring and work to lessen if not eliminate them. Enhancements will improve not only daily life but overall safety as well.Aging in place is becoming a more viable option for seniors and their loved ones. Many times people would rather not move late in life and prefer the idea of maintaining independence and caring for themselves. As long as caregivers can keep them safe with simple modifications this option helps many dreams of independent living a reality. The same is true when you think of individuals in which have been handicapped naturally or accidently. Handicap is not a synonym for unable to. In fact it often makes one more determined to be independent.This was true when I broke my ankle. I was handicapped by the fact I could not walk. Crutches hurt, wheelchairs worked well outside of my home however inside the home was a complete disaster. I can only imagine the same is true for others with disabilities.Everyone’s needs are a bit unique. Some such as me only need to meet a temporary need while others need permanent solutions to everyday dilemmas. It is important for us to be able to care for ourselves. Privacy is a premium within the bathroom and dressing areas. Handicap construction teams come into homes and meet with clients to access their needs and values. This in turn allows them to seek out areas modifications are necessary and ones that are not with accessible living solutions.A prediction for the future with life spans increasing is that awareness begins within the construction industry. Homes will be seen with easier access in and out, wider doors will become standard and open floor plans will be on the rise. It is also important to note that homes will be built with multiple bathrooms in which at least one is built with shower access that does not involve a traditional tub. Small modifications such as these will allow the next generation to age in place with less issues then what faces elderly and handicap individuals today.
We have all embraced recycling in our homes and it has now become a part of everyday western life; plastic bottles, cans, newspapers and glass bottles all have the ability to assist in cutting down on the excessive amount of landfill waste we collectively create. We are all reassured we are making a difference to the environment from our small contribution.What about recycling on a larger scale? Have you ever wondered what happens to recycling within the building industry? With a plethora of empty buildings, warehouses and commercial offices there is an overwhelming opportunity to re-use a diverse range of aggregate materials.The sector is under increased pressure to reduce their impact on the environment with over 64% of waste in the United Kingdom accountable to industry; trades such as concreting, plastering, tiling and insulation produce the most in terms of general waste; currently over 15% heading to landfill.Hard concrete has the largest opportunity to be re-used, in turn saving precious landfill space. Concrete is often crushed into rubble or gravel to be used again in construction. The crushed concrete has to go through a screening and grading process to ensure the final product is of the best grade and meets the criteria for the relevant project; there is no compromise on quality.There are many more options available depending on the product; crushing, reforming, refurbishing or a specialist technique known as ‘cold lay’ which uses 94% recycled aggregates, all of which aid the industry to reduce their impact on the environment.If industry continue to re-use aggregates the benefits to the environment could be huge. Fewer trucks on the road needed to deliver aggregate mean a reduction in air pollution and reliance on fossil fuels, as well as a reduction in gravel mining with recycled crushed concrete being used to fulfil this need.What are the benefits for non industry? Home owners are increasingly looking to recycled building materials for their personal projects. These materials can offer a huge cost saving opportunity as they are naturally cheaper to produce than raw material.When a recycled material is used in replacement of a raw product, it saves on energy and natural resources are further preserved. In short we can conserve energy, reduce air and water pollution and reduce greenhouse gases. For example 70% less energy is used on recycled paper than producing the raw material.Value for money across the industry and for the consumer are a big driving force when looking to re-usable materials. With an increase of 23% in the construction of new homes, the highest level since 2008 and with a shortage of over 250,000 + homes nationwide, managing the impact on the environment is as important now as ever before.