November 11, 2008

Universal Design in Home Design


J. W. Elphinstone does a very good job of arraying the research-based arguments for Universal Design in home remodeling. Quoting Wendy Jordan, author of a book I highly recommend "Universal Design for the Home: Great Looking, Great Living Design for All Ages, Abilities, and Circumstances" the piece notes:

"A lot of people think that making a house more accommodating will make the house less stylish, but there are many (universally designed) homes that are beautiful and still work well for people young or old, tall or short, or if they have any kind of limitations."

Who will be the author- and the organizational champion that AARP has been - to popularize Universal Design in hotel design?

Homeowners are starting to warm to the concept, especially Baby Boomers of which 10,000 are turning 60 every day. Last Year, an American Institute of Architects survey found that nearly three-quarters of 500 architecture firms said that homeowners were asking for greater accessibility within the home through wider hallways, fewer steps and single-floor design. That was up from 66 percent the year before.

The National Association of Home Builders also reported that 63 percent of upscale builders and 56 percent of average home builders believe they'll see a growing trend toward universal design over the next decade as Baby Boomers advance in age and decline in health.

While many homeowners start taking universal design elements into consideration as retirement nears, AARP suggests making these changes as soon as possible.

"There's no time like the present," said Elinor Ginzler, senior vice president for livable communities at AARP. "All of these changes will make your life easier starting immediately."


Posted by rollingrains at November 11, 2008 07:08 PM