Yard Improvement - Better outdoor living
Related Healthy Living Practice
"The effects of crowding can be reduced by designing useful yards and ‘edge’ spaces around the house, such as verandahs, decks, sleep-outs, shady areas for summer, and sunny, wind protected areas in winter. Allowing space between houses will increase the size of the yard and the capacity to use it for different activities. It will also reduce the overall level of crowding in the community.”
To produce a kit of parts able to be used on many houses to improve the usefulness of the yard area surrounding the house to achieve the 9 HLPs. The kit of components is to be integrated into three designs within three climatic zones as part of the RD 4.1 House Designs.
Data from the National Indigenous Housing Guide shows around a third of housing has no yard fencing, less than half have any sign of outdoor cooking facilities and 16% of houses have no verandahs. Yard areas contain a wide range of activities and service provision and these can contribute significantly in reducing overcrowding and improving health.
Identification of Yard Area Components
References to yard areas in the NIHG were identified and documented to assist in ascertaining the components of the yards that have an effect on the Healthy Living Practices. Part A: Safety, Part B Housing and Health and Part C Healthy Communities contain references to the various aspects of the yard areas.
In order to scope works to be implemented on yard areas, assessment is needed of these aspects. Questions have been extrapolated from the Housing for Health Survey that assist in making improvements that are directly applicable to the Health Living Practices. Typically, Report 6.1 Reducing Crowding gives a basis for these aspects of the yard areas.
The yard kit components that were identified are a fencing system and gates, yard tap and stand, cooking area and clothes drying. Research was conducted on these components and sketch designs developed for each. These sketches led to the development of a multipurpose services pole, that became known as the Yard Master. This unit enables many yard functions to be accommodated where components are bolted on as required. These components include; yard taps, power points, lighting, small and large table, washing tub and taps and storage.
As part of the RD 4.1 House Designs project, a site was identified on Groote Eylandt, NT at Angurugu where the units and fencing prototypes could be installed. A set of four units for this yard were identified and included a carport column, free standing food preparation station and a clothesline. These were documented, fabricated and have been costed.
A set of design drawings has been prepared that depict the various components integrated into the yard areas within Tropical, Arid and Temperate climate zones.
Outcomes & Recommendations
In order to directly benefit the health of the residents, yard improvements need to be focussed on those aspects of the yards that directly contribute to the Healthy Living Practices. The development of the kit of parts has resulted in the fabrication of a prototype fencing system and the Yard Master. These prototypes are able to be used on houses to improve the usefulness of the yard area surrounding the house to achieve the Healthy Living Practices and help improve the health of the residents.