Independent living thanks to innovative technology

The Inclusion House in Mengerskirchen is equipped with window and door technology from Winkhaus. A new building in the middle of the village offers people with disabilities space to live and work. The windows and doors promote independent and convenient living. Local component manufacturer bewa-plast built individually tailored solutions with Winkhaus technology. They provide protection and freedom of movement at the same time.

Operating a window conveniently from a sitting position, reaching the terrace in a wheelchair, ventilating rooms even when no one is home and feeling safe at all times, even if a front door key gets lost – this is the level of convenience the Inclusion House in the district of Waldernbach offers. The working group of the Mengerskirchen Education Forum launched the project for assisted living. “The Inclusion House meets all residents’ needs so that people with and without needs for assistance can live together,” describes bewa-plast Managing Director Walter Beck, who is personally committed to the project. The aim is to enable people with various disabilities to participate in social life while remaining close to their own families and friends. The project was financed by the association known as Inklusionshaus Dorfmitte. The Mittendrin für Alle e.V. association is committed to the needs of residents, and advises and coordinates cooperation with its partners Zuhause Mobil and Lebenshilfe Wetzlar-Weilburg.

Modern in function and design

The complex comprises one shared flat with seven residential units and a further seven individual apartments. Their furnishings are functional and visually quite appealing. Above all, however, they are adapted to meet the needs of people with disabilities. For instance, balconies and terraces are no trouble to reach thanks to easy-access lift-slide doors and balcony doors. Windows with low-seated handles are within easy reach, even from a sitting position. Many of the windows in the living areas have fittings with special features. “They are easier to handle for people with disabilities,” explains Elena Beblik, Sales Manager at bewa-plast. Thanks to the Winkhaus activPilot Comfort PAD fitting system, the windows can be turned open and put into parallel position by around 6 mm so as to provide secure ventilation. This ventilation position offers a number of advantages compared to tilt opening: Less force is required when operating, which is especially noticeable with a low-seated handle. Air exchange takes place without draughts. And if a window is equipped to be burglary-resistant, it retains these properties in this ventilation position (up to RC2). Last but not least, parallel action also provides better protection from driving rain and noise. “It lets you air out the room all day long while maintaining security,” Elena Beblik sums up. The windows installed in the common areas also offer many of these advantages. They are equipped with the activPilot Comfort PADK fitting system and can also be opened in tilt position.

Freedom of movement and safety

In addition to the windows, the main entrance door also scores points with innovative technology. The Winkhaus panicLock AP4 anti-panic security door locking system ensures that residents can leave the house quickly in the event of an emergency. The locking system for escape routes and emergency exits as per EN 179 or 1125 is suitable for a wide range of applications. It also proves its flexibility in combination with profile cylinders. After all, it allows cylinders both with and without a free-moving cam to be installed. An electronic locking system gives residents of the Inclusion House plenty of freedom of movement. 38 electronic blueSmart locking cylinders control access from outside and inside the building. They have the same dimensions as mechanical cylinders and are operated with electronic keys that residents operate the usual way: insert the key into the cylinder and turn it – then the latch retracts and the handle can be pressed. Fifty keys are in use. If one of them is lost, it is quickly blocked on the central PC in the Inclusion House office. All access rights are easily managed thanks to Winkhaus software. Residents’ individual locking rights are stored on the high-performance chip inside the key. Its sturdy, waterproof (IP68) and Sterillium-resistant plastic housing makes it exceptionally robust.

Virtually networked locking system

Disabling a key takes effect quickly because the blueSmart network works virtually. The offline, cable-free system consists of built-in electronic components which communicate with one another. Unlike conventional online access control systems, there is no need for extensive cabling, a large number of converters or interference-prone radio links. blueSmart enables locking systems with up to 195,000 components to be established this way.

Experienced manufacturer on location

Local manufacturer bewa-plast Fenstertechnik was in charge of producing and assembling the components. The family-owned company with 250 employees manufactures PVC-U windows, front doors, PVC roller shutters and window accessory profiles. Winkhaus has been a reliable and innovative partner for many years. This is another way bewa-plast sets itself apart from the competition by developing and manufacturing tailor-made complete and special solutions for windows and doors. The component experts had no trouble furnishing the Inclusion House with tailor-made fittings.