First New Home to Meet Montgomery County’s “Design for Life” Level II (LIVEable) Accessibility Standards

This new home was built for a young couple moving from a condo in DC to close-in downtown Bethesda. It was planned to meet the Montgomery County “Design for Life” criteria for accessibility features, and that concept was kept in the forefront with engineering and architectural design. Our team included Studio Z Design Concepts, CPJ Engineers, Fine Earth Landscaping and of course our own in-house team and the clients. While accessibility for the owner’s wheelchair was a key priority, nothing was sacrificed in terms of beauty and pleasing aesthetics in order to achieve that.

The home was designed to have no exterior steps at the front or side entrances, an elevator, wide pathways in halls and the kitchen, easy access to kitchen sink and other features, accessible powder room, a curb-less master shower and large toilet area for wheelchair access, and many other special features. While Montgomery County has pushed for “Design for Life” homes, until now those have mostly been done as renovations. This is the first new home that met all of the Level II criteria for this program.

The design, construction, and selections were a collaborative process throughout the project, and the end result is a stunning new home for our clients, who soon after moving in welcomed their first-born son into the family! And now he’s a growing toddler, leaving the house with his backpack to go to school. We are so proud to have been a part of this special project.



Our featured home is located in the Edgemoor neighborhood of Bethesda. Edgemoor’s exceptional reputation is only part of what residents say is special about the neighborhood, just west of downtown Bethesda. Edgemoor is within walking distance of the restaurants and shops of Bethesda Row and surrounds, and offers a short commute to downtown Washington and Northern Virginia. The Bethesda Metro station is also in walking distance, and a bustling social life is available through the Edgemoor Club, a private swim and tennis club, and the Edgemoor Citizens Association, which sponsors events throughout the year. Edgemoor was established in the early 1900s and has always drawn its identity from its proximity to downtown Bethesda, according to the Edgemoor Citizens Association. But residents say it wasn’t until the past decade or so, when downtown Bethesda grew into the bustling center of commerce and nightlife that it is today, that the neighborhood acquired its “panache”. Sandy Spring Builders has had the unique distinction of building more new homes and renovations than any other builder in the area. And we are proud sponsors of the Edgemoor 5K race.