Jenn Danko, writing for Lowe’s for Pros in Canada, has produced a succinct summary of the seven principles of universal design using a particular renovation as a case example. An excellent case is made for why builders should incorporate universal design into any custom-built home or renovation. All residents should be able to enjoy all features of a home and age in place if they so desire. Universally designed homes are particularly beneficial for multi-generational families and families that include individuals with disabilities.
Builders can increase the appeal of their projects and increase residents’ quality of life by incorporating universal design considerations. These can include simple, cost-effective features such as lever door handles, raised power outlets, and lowered light switches. On a broader scale, design elements such as wide hallways, open spaces in common living areas, and a variety of counter heights in the kitchen are appealing to many, and in particular make access easier for those with mobility limitations.
Professionals involved in the building process can push their clients to think about their possible future needs for their space, as well as their present desires. In all projects, contractors, architects, and designers can use the principles of universal design: equitable use, flexibility in use, simple and intuitive use, perceptible information, tolerance for error, low physical effort, and size and space for approach and use.
To read the full article about the importance of universal design, click here.