Wounded Soldier Inspire Universally Designed Homes

From Leslie Saul & Associates:

With the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, there has been an increase in the number of wounded veterans, posing challenges in military housing. However, according to an intriguing report by NPR, the principles of universal design are making a difference in home design for these brave soldiers.

At the Wounded Warrior Home on Virginia's Fort Belvoir, the military is testing new ways to accommodate disabled soldiers, with input and expertise from veterans and design professionals. When Clark Realty Capital took over the housing on Fort Belvoir, project director Casey Nolan realized that the company needed to go beyond making homes handicapped-accessible. Narrow hallways were just one symptom of homes that were ill-equipped for wounded occupants in wheelchairs or dealing with other mobility issues. Nolan says, "It just kind of hit me one day, you know, what are we doing? Is there a better way to do it? Let's just reinvent this completely."

And that's where things really get interesting. Universal design goes beyond retrofitting for handicapped accessibility, instead calling for spaces that are designed from the beginning with the widest range of abilities and needs in mind. Now, the Wounded Warrior Home demonstrates universal design features like a range that can be lowered by a few inches. "When you're in a wheelchair, it is a game of inches," Nolan remarks. "Whether it's the width of the doorway, or it's the height of the counter- [it's] how far you can reach."

More:  http://blog.lesliesaul.com/featured/universal-design-for-wounded-soldiers/ 


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