What is Universal Design?
Photos courtesy of ZZang and RKnecht, 2012
The term "Universal Design" was coined by architect Ronald L. Mace, to describe the concept of designing all products and the built environment to be aesthetic and usable to the greatest extent possible by everyone, regardless of age, physical mobility or status in life. Curb cuts and sidewalk ramps, essential for people in wheelchairs but used by all, are examples of Universal Design as are these features shown below.
Wide hallways, 36-42"
Wide aisles, deep toe-kicks, roll-under sink,
tap-touch faucets, accessible drawers
Universal Design features are not inherent in Vaastu Designs.
We have chosen to integrate them into our plans with an emphasis
on safety, convenience and accessibility for all people, regardless of
age, size or physical mobility.
Universal Design & Aging in Place features may include:
- zero steps
- stair lifts
- portable or permanent ramps
- easy and complete amenities on one level
- wide doorways and hallways, 36" - 42" to allow for easy access
- improved lighting throughout
- minimum 60" turning radius in rooms for wheelchair access
- multi-height kitchen counters
- moveable counters on casters that lock into place
- lever handles, tap-touch faucets
- low thresholds, 1/4" or less to prevent tripping
- deeper toe kicks
- grab-bars in showers and/or blocking for eventual installation
- comfort-height toilets
- roll-under sinks
- barrier-free showers & bathtubs with non-slip surfaces
- package shelf at entrances for groceries, loose items
- space saving furniture solutions
- remote control maintenance for HVAC, entrances, windows, etc.
- and more. . .
"Universal Design seeks to encourage attractive, marketable products that are more usable by everyone.
It is design for the built environment and consumer products for a very broad definition of user."
- Ron Mace, Founder of the Center for Universal Design