Mountain View Apartments — Accessible Interior Renovations - Slatington, Pennsylvania
Posted: May 25, 2023 | Projects
Alliance for Building Communities (ABC) is a non-profit organization that provides affordable housing for low-income families and senior citizens in Northeastern Pennsylvania. After securing a Community Development Block Grant from Lehigh County to improve their tenant spaces, ABC approached the design team about accessibility renovations for Mountain View Apartments in Slatington, Pennsylvania.
Mountain View includes 44 one-bedroom, one-bathroom living units. Two units were selected for renovation, each 480 square feet. The objective was to maximize residents’ safety and mobility, while ensuring they could independently and successfully function within their living space. Renovations were completed in July 2022 and the cost was $42,675.50 per unit.
The team began the design process with client interviews, where tenants could discuss the challenges they faced in their current space. This meeting allowed the team to identify opportunities to support the tenants’ well-being and quality of life.
Following walkthroughs and client interviews, the architect worked with the owner and consultant to design renovations. During the design process, the team offered options to the tenants, who then had a voice in how their space was designed. For example, in the bathroom, the team showed options for a traditional grab bar as well as an extendable, swing-up grab bar. These were presented to the tenants along with pros and cons, and the tenants had the opportunity to select their preference. As a result of the close collaboration between stakeholders throughout the process, no value engineering was necessary to meet the project’s budgetary goals.
Renovations reconfigured the entryway to help with access in and out of the unit. The team replaced hardware on the entry door, eliminated a closet with accordion doors and replaced it with an open foyer and small closet. In the bathroom, the design created appropriate clear-floor areas in front of the fixtures. Prior to the renovations, it was not possible for a wheelchair to navigate past the toilet to access the tub. The team replaced the full-sized tub with a walk-in shower featuring an adjustable shower head and bench. Grab bars and towel bars were added at appropriate heights to ensure the safety and comfort of the residents.
While all the design elements served to allow tenants to be more independent within their space, they also enabled caretakers to better serve the residents — particularly in the bathroom. In the kitchen, the design called for lowered countertops and a cut-out space under the sink for accessibility. Upper cabinets were made taller and included hardware to make them more accessible, even from a seated position. The team specified “Passport Series” casework by KraftMaid for universal design features, such as 9" toe kicks and under-sink access. While not required by ADA, the design also replaced lower cabinet doors with drawers and a corner cabinet with a turntable Lazy Susan, making it much easier for residents to reach items.
414 W. Broad Street, Bethlehem, PA 18018
Mechanical & Electrical Engineer
Barry Isett & Associates
5420 Crackersport Road, Allentown, PA 18104
Mohawk Contracting & Development
125 Krocks Road, Allentown, PA 18104
Location: Slatington, Pennsylvania
Date Bid: May 2021
Construction Period: May 2022 to Jul 2022
Total Square Feet: 960
Building Sizes: 480 square feet per apartment; 2 @ 480; total, 960 square feet.
Number of Buildings: One.
Basic Construction Type: Renovation.
Interior Walls: Metal stud drywall.