FlexHousing™, developed by CMHC, is an approach to flexible house design.
By including specific accessible
and adaptable features during the design and construction stage, FlexHousing™
allows people to more easily
and economically adapt their houses to their changing circumstances
over time, giving them the option of
remaining in their homes rather than moving.
FlexHousing™ was originally based on four basic
principles of flexible design:
1. Adaptability: Incorporating adaptable features such
as convertible living spaces, a pre-designed space
for a home elevator, or features that allow for an
easy conversion to a secondary suite with a private
entrance, provides a house that meets the current
needs of occupants while offering the potential to
more easily meet their future needs (see text box
2. Accessibility: Incorporating design features such
as wider doorways and hallways, and on-grade
access provides housing that is
for a person with a walker, a baby carriage or an
armload of groceries, as well as those in wheelchairs
or scooters. Safety features such as non-slip flooring,
and lower-height light switches, make housing
and more accessible for everyone.
3. Affordability: The design and construction
of FlexHousing™ is intended to be no more
expensive than conventional housing
long-run. Lower renovation costs and avoided
moving costs can more than offset the initial
moderately higher costs.
4. Occupant Health: FlexHousing™ incorporates
low-emission building materials and finishes as
well as efficient heat recovery ventilation equipment
to help ensure a good quality indoor environment.