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Single Family Housing and Townhouses Liveability Criteria

- Provide windows on all sides, avoid blank end walls if at all possible


- Front of house should have a large sized window, bay window etc. for maximum overview to street


- Living room window sill should be low so that one can see outside while seated


- End suites should have entries on side wall or at corner to increase visibility


- Provide windows in kitchens where possible to increase overlook from inside houses


- At front entries provide window to entry porch to View visitors


- In barrier-free suites, incorporate motion detectors to turn on exterior lighting at main entry


- Sliding doors should be used sparingly; instead use glazed swing doors with dead-bolts, as this allows for more security and access by residents from the exterior.


- Sliding doors should never be used as the only means of lighting and Ventilating a room, as this does not allow for air conditioners, and many people are not comfortable with the idea of leaving a sliding door open at night for ventilation


- Awning, single-hung or casement windows are preferred due to better locking mechanism; they are also generally better from an energy point of view. Single-hung windows can be difficult to operate for people with mobility problems or impaired strength; casement windows can be difficult to operate for people with impaired co-ordination.


- Townhouses should have shaded, sheltered entry porch of sufficient size to encourage residents to sit. This provides 'life on the street', and gives the sense that people are living here.


- Garages should not project in such a fashion as to limit visibility of the site or dominate the street elevation (people live here, not carsl)


- Houses with garages must be planned in such a manner that there is also a window on the front of the house


- Windows in bedrooms should have sill low enough to allow children to look out of the windows, 100 mm limiting device should be installed on low upper-storey windows in conformance with building code requirements


- Basements should be laid out in such a fashion that space is useful for future conversion to finished space, consider larger than normal basement windows, possible rough-in plumbing for future bathroom


- Accessible townhouses should have laundry rooms on ground floor


- Windows and doors should be visible from public or adjacent spaces to discourage forced entry


- Pickets at stairs allow small children to see without climbing the guards, as well as giving them hand-holds


- Avoid using winders at stairways (a tripping hazard)


> Special housing units can be created for people with environmental sensitivities; refer to the Sustainability pages on this website for more information

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