February proclaimed as “Design for Life Montgomery Awareness Month” in Montgomery County, MD

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Today, Winchester homes had a premier showing of a home built by them located at 23308 Bent Arrow Drive, Clarksburg, MD
that has Universal Design features,  Design for Life Montgomery Live-Ability standards and green features.

This home will be open to the public February 7 – 8, 2009 from 12 noon to 5 p.m. 
After that, showings will be by appointment or by people going to the other model home and asking to see this model, subject to staffing availability.

Design for Life Montgomery is the first voluntary certification program in Maryland that promotes Visit-Ability and Live-Ability in single family attached and detached homes in Montgomery County. Its design features can be used in both new construction and existing homes. Whether you are a first time homebuyer, young family, career professional, active adult, or person living with a temporary or permanent disability, your home will be enhanced by these design features that can meet your needs throughout your life.

We encourage Montgomery County homeowners and builders to include Design for Life Montgomery features in renovations, remodeling, additions and new construction.  Montgomery County’s Permitting Office now has a Design for Life Display in its office for people to view and better understand the program.


Design for Life Montgomery is a Two-Tiered Certification Program:

Montgomery County’s Permitting office does the certifications.

Level I — Visit-Ability meaning that the home has three basic elements

1.) at least one no-step entrance located at the front door, back door, side door(any door), deck or through the garage connected to an accessible route to a place to visit on that level,

2.) a useable powder room or bathroom,

3.) 32 inch or 2’ x 10”nominal clear width interior door(s).


Level II — Live-Ability includes the three basic design features of Level I, but also requires a circulation path that connects the accessible entrance to at least one bedroom, full bath, and kitchen. Nothing in the certification guidelines prevents the use of designs, products, or technologies, such as an elevator or lift, as alternatives to those prescribed, provided they result in substantially equivalent or greater accessibility and usability.

There were  representatives from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), Maryland-National Capital Building Industry Association (MNCBIA), Home Builders Association of Maryland , Montgomery County Commission on People with Disabilities, Design for Life Montgomery Workgroup, and Key State and Local Representatives as Winchester Homes premiered the most innovative new home in Maryland uniquely ‘Designed for the Ages’.  This green home, which also has Universal design features, has been certified by Montgomery County’s Permitting Office as meeting Live-ability standards – those exceeding Visit-Ability standards. 

Winchester Homes actively participated with the Design for Life Montgomery Workgroup for several years in developing this home.

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