A new initiative backed by Innovate UK will see the creation of purpose-built smart homes that respond to the needs of people with learning difficulties, autism, mental health issues or physical disabilities to enable them to live independently.
The Smile Homes, created by ADS Independent Living Solutions, feature sensors and devices to assist with day-to-day tasks, aid independence and improve health and wellbeing.
Each unit is designed to be adaptable and able to meet the personalised needs and wishes of each resident.
David Adams, chief executive at ADS Independent Living Solutions, said: “Our Smile Homes are highly intelligent and are a new way of responding to the needs and wishes of people with learning difficulties, autism, mental health or behavioural challenges, or physical differences who want to be able to live independently.
“A huge benefit to Smile Homes is the reduced risk of harm or accidents within the homes due to the tailoring of each unit to an individual’s unique needs, for example through avoiding stairs or trip hazards for physical needs, or use of textures, acoustics, or light requirements for sensory needs.”
A report by specialists at Social Profit Calculator into the social benefits these Smile homes can provide has forecasted that an average of almost £375,000 will be created over each unit’s lifecycle.
Fiscal, economic, wellbeing and environmental outcomes were all analysed, and where possible quantified and monetised.
The homes are constructed off-site to ensure quality, robustness, efficiency, and speed, being delivered volumetrically to minimise works on site. They are also low carbon homes with PVs, green roofing, and the ability to be removed and relocated or refitted and redeployed.
The first unit has just rolled off the production line and is ready for deployment to a site in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire. Further units are expected to be ready for occupation in 2022.