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Accessible House for Odeline

Thu, 2010-11-04 08:27

. On October 26th 2010 Architecture for Humanity visited the site for Papa Odeline to find out that the site location changed again. A new site directly southwest to the previous site has been purchased for the construction of the new home because payment on the previous site was delayed. The delayed payment caused the land owner to sell the site to another client, who has already began construction.
Given that the sites are diagonal from each other, the site conditions are similar when dry but on the most recent site visit it was discovered that the water table in the area is very high. The high water table will affect the current foundation plan and pose some changes to the current design and orientation of the home which was designed for site #2 (old site). A few more recommendations and observations are added to this updated site report to account for new conditions which have recently been brought to light. The new site conditions with the high water table are as follows.

Site Specific information
• The road to the new site is currently unpaved
• Public transportation is located about 3 kilometers (2 miles) from the site
• The site is approximately 34.7m X 9.6m (114 feet X 31.5 feet) compared to the old site dimensions of approximately 10m X 27m (32 feet 6 in. X 86 feet 8 in.)
• Neighboring property wall defines site limit on one side of the site
• Site is flat with very little vegetation
• Front of site is now south (southwest) face
• New site showed signs of a very high water table
• The area thus far remains residential although several unfinished home foundations remain in the area
• Power lines are located on the main roads but none currently on the road of the site
• There are no water wells located in the vicinity of the site
• There is no building currently located on the site


• Barrier free walkways to the home to be accessible and paved
• Considering the high water table soils, geotechnical test is recommended before construction to understand the soil conditions in this “swamp”
• Implementation of vegetation
o Currently site is without vegetation or shading devices, plant trees and include other shading strategies
• With high water table it is recommended that home is raised off the ground to avoid water damage on interior and exterior of home
• Water catchment methods should be implemented on site since there are no wells at an accessible distance
• Alternative use of energy such as solar panels / wind generation can help support the electrification of the home.
• Design of new home should allow for full accessibility or be adaptable for accessibility
o Openings, clearances, avoid level changes or provide ramps, line of sight, furnishings are to be fully functional for one with disabilities
o Adequate handrails to be located where necessary such as bathrooms and circulation areas
• Universal design principles such as appropriate size and space for use, low physical effort and flexibility in use, must also be taken into consideration
• Because of Odeline’s limited mobility it is recommended that utilities and services be located as close to the home as possible.
• Changes that will affect the design or site should be communicated to all involved the project