Posts Tagged ‘Universal Design’
Lifetime Homes Serve You
Just posted our first Lifetime Home Survey revision for 2013.
Among the changes since Ocorber’s last quarterly update, we discovered carpet tiles by FLOR, which can be used on the floor, walls or ceiling (e.g. soundproofing). FLOR is neat for a few reasons aside from its array of colors and being made from recycled content. The flexible carpet squares adhere to one another instead of the surface so you can easily replace just one if necessary. The product is also universally designed for multiple applications, tightly woven to promote stability by the very young or anyone with balance or mobility challenges. FLOR is an adaptable alternative for those who don’t want hardwood, ceramic or vinyl flooring.
See this innovative product among many other universally designed applications and features at LifetimeHomeSurvey.com, and please share with those you care about. Lifetime homes serve you, not the other way around.
I learn best by breaking down the complex into smaller parts so I decided to teach Universal Design on our Twitter page by posting daily UD tips (i.e. limited to 144 characters for those who don’t tweet). Follow us by clicking here or the graphic to the right>>>>>>
I don’t want you to miss if you aren’t on Twitter so I’m pasting below the tips I’ve tweeted so far and will try to remember to provide here every so often.
- Every owner and renter should learn about Universal Design because UD makes home life easier and more flexible.
- Universally designed homes are naturally multigenerational/flexible (e.g. people of any age or ability can use a zero step entrance).
- Every home should have at least one zero step, flush threshold entry with 36″ door.
- In a Lifetime Home, no outlets should be lower than 18″ to prevent stooping. You should easily reach both standing or seated.
- Universal Design and “aging-in-place” (a phrase I hate) are also known as Better Living Design.
- There’s no real point in having a curbed shower, and shower drains do not have to go in the middle of the floor.
- Lever door handles are more efficient and flexible to use than traditional doorknobs. Plus kids cannot destroy as easily.
- Universal Design is inherently multigenerational. UD is easiest and convenient for people of all ages and abilities, therefore multi-gen.
- UD is kid-friendly, not only for “aging-in-place”. In Brazil, Universal Design is preferred by their younger population.
- Among solutions for creating zero step entry: via garage, gently sloped earthen ramp or inset rim atop basement wall.
- Real estate investors should adopt UD to make their props convenient, efficient and more marketable to a larger pool of buyers or tenants.
- Socially sustainable housing starts with you sustaining yourself by being able to stay in your home no matter what.
If you’d rather learn everything in one place and/or assess your property inside and out, don’t forget to visit the Lifetime Home Survey, which we update quarterly.
This project portfolio on Houzz represents a fine example of a few points I make regularly about Universal Design (UD). Now that more people are becoming aware of UD, the traditional misconceptions that it’s “ADA” or “will make my house look like a hospital” crop up. UD is for anyone, it’s kid-friendly and, despite an obvious solution, not only for “aging-in-place”.
Review these pictures, do you notice the UD features? No, not unless someone points out, just as you wouldn’t notice a wider doorway (until you’re moving a couch). UD done well blends in and is preferred for maximum convenience, efficiency and control.
UD also isn’t a “style” of house, any residence regardless of size, can be universally designed. Relate to UD applications as merely smart and proactive for any person of any ability.
So you might wonder, why isn’t every home universally designed and built? That’s what we think too, which is why we’ve adopted our mission of building Lifetime Homes.
You like cool?
Construction and design are experiencing a renaissance of new products, applications and methods and I’d like to share what we’re discovering as we scout and research for our clients.
The housing bust forced companies to innovate and differentiate in order to survive. We run into all kinds of interesting “new stuff”, our trade magazines are full of manufacturers and vendors advertising everything from futuristic appliances down to reformulated construction glue, most of which is environmentally friendly. Some is proven and now commercially available while others are merely conceptual and just being developed.
Regardless, it’s all neat and it occurred to me, as we’re discovering, I should share with you too, especially since our Cool Product of the Week section of our weekly newsletter, The Current (please subscribe to the right >>> ) appears to be the most popular.
So I’m going to start posting here cool stuff, everything from tools to methods we’re discovering during our research. I’ll be sure to point out whether we have first-hand experience using and if the product is commercially available.
For example, here are two which are not yet but still fascinating.
The LIFX multi-color, LED and WiFi enabled lightbulb is setting records as a KickStarter project, having already sold out its pledges by topping out at $1,312,407 after beginning with a GOAL of $100,000.
And check out the student designed entries in the 10th annual Electrolux Design Lab.
I love the idea of Aeroball, a floating bubble that filters the air, although it could get a little annoying (certainly would keep the cat busy), but cool nonetheless!
Revised Lifetime Home Survey (LTHS)
(For first-timers, the “LTHS mini-” is a 2-page general overview while the full version covers in grand detail every area of a property, even the yard.)
The full version remains 33 pages and covers every area inside and outside your home. Any text you see in a different color is a hyperlink either to additional information or an example of what we use on our projects. Mouse over and click the text and you’ll be taken to that website.
(Because the PDF is loaded with links, you may get a virus warning depending on your security settings or vendor. Email me if this worries you and I’ll directly email you the PDF.)
Most of the changes in this revision deal with indoor air quality, home automation, use of natural light and treatments for yard/garden. Weekly I learn something new keeping up with building science and UD, which together are gaining increasing consumer awareness, acceptance and demand.
Please share with others, especially anyone building or remodeling their “last” or “dream” home.
From the Suggestion Box, here are direct links to the PDFs. Click respectively to view and download: