January 27, 2007

The Universal Design "Twofer"

In the document, the Rio Charter: Universal Design for Sustainable and Inclusive Development, green and Universal Design

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology House Research Consortium (MIT House_n) and Bensonwood Homes are building a series of four prototype homes through the Open Prototype Initiative, designed to bring innovation to the construction industry.



"The universal design elements of the home will enable it to adapt quickly and efficiently to our client's needs, changing as their needs change or as their mobility or health improves through rehabilitation," said Don Shumway, president and CEO of Crotched Mountain. "What we learn from this house and subsequent prototypes is very important because as people live longer, the term 'disabled' has taken on new meaning, and having a home that can serve a person or a family's needs throughout their life is something more and more Americans are looking for." Open_1 will also demonstrate "green" building concepts such as energy-efficient wall, window, roof, and lighting systems, advanced tracking of energy use, and provisions for the best possible indoor air quality. The design and construction processes will also demonstrate the ways that buildings of the future will come together with integrated systems for plumbing, heating and cooling, exterior siding, and more.

As its name implies, the Open Prototype Initiative is an "open source" process in which knowledge is shared among industry participants. Unlike other concept or prototype homes, the Open Prototype Initiative will produce real homes that through everyday use will test the deployment of advanced designs, materials, systems and fabrication strategies, with a goal of showing how high-quality, sophisticated and personalized homes can be built more cost-effectively and in less time.

"The way the construction industry builds homes hasn't changed in more than 150 years. The Open Prototype Initiative will engage people at every level of the construction industry, electricians, plumbers, builders and designers to show that we can change the way homes are built, creating new standards, allowing us to build high-quality, environmentally friendly and energy efficient homes," said Tedd Benson, president of Bensonwood Homes.

Posted by rollingrains at January 27, 2007 02:57 AM