35 Tips for Universal Design Homes...10 Years After


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Ten years ago, John Salmen, AIA, took on the task of remodeling his home so that he and his wife could age-in-place. Now, he shares the knowledge that he's gathered over the past ten years to bring you thirty five tips to creating your own universally designed home.

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  • The most important lesson to share is to:Think outside the box.The value to users is that you come up with better ideas that save time, effort, and money.To helps me to think outside the box I just look at my hand.
  • Don't overlook "disaster" properties that requires dramatic improvement, instead of a place that needs only minor improvements, especially if circulation is a problem. Having a more comprehensive project can result in better access than can be achieved with piecemeal solutions.
  • Search for new products that may offer superior features. Find them on UniversalDesign.com.Products such as Grasspave (instead of traditional pavements) can provide good accessibility plus rainwater management/control that can help to protect the environment.
  • Consider your future self. What’s going to be important as you age? What will happen when you can no longer drive?To have a place that supports you as you age.Note that these slides with all the tips will be available vial the UD Summit website after the conference.
  • Historic and Green no longer limit UD. The trick is knowing availability of products and creative solutions.To live in an existing urban neighborhood.
  • In looking at the site, we thought not only of getting to it , but getting out in case of emergency. We thought of egress, especially from bedrooms.
  • Inter-level circulation is a public activity – try to find a place or accessible vertical circulation that does not require use of private spaces, i.e. elevator in hallway, not in bedrooms or baths.To allow friends and family access without compromising your privacy.
  • Another lesson we learned is to offset walls to provide Clear Floor Space and storage/display areasTo maximize access and usability in small spaces.
  • This is a personal lesson that suits my tastes, but furthermore keeps the place fresh – changing – living.
  • Provide oversize entry areas. They are more welcoming, especially for multiple guests, and make it easier to accommodate deliveries.Wheelchair turning space (clear floor space that is at least 5’ in diameter) is a good scale to consider for these spaces.
  • This is consistent with the small is beautiful housing movement – championed by Sarah Susanka
  • The trick method is to have multiple uses for each space with Overlapping clear floor spaces.LaundryDrying/Ironing AreaChanging roomShowerSauna Ante chamberWheelchair turning
  • Remember, Clear floor spaces can always overlap.To reduce costs and maximize space.
  • Door Maneuvering Space inside of the aundry room entry door
  • Clear Floor space at the laundry sink
  • CFS at Counter
  • CFS at Washer/Dryer – take door swings into consideration when selecting the appliances.We found that we had to use a stool to prevent back pain since we did not have room to put the Washer and Dryer up on pedestal bases, which is now, normal practice.
  • CFS at Shower
  • Turning space in room
  • Maneuvering space at pull side of sauna door.
  • All of the spaces overlapping
  • Another tip is use of more doors
  • Demonstrated on the first floor by the bathroom for the guest bedroom or later, the live-in assistant suite.Very carefully laid out with three entrances. Conflict of doors is potentially a problem. Not so here, with low / shared use, conflict creates automatic privacy. Opening one closes another.
  • Here’s the accessible route through that bathroomYou’ll notice that the clear floor space is on the left hand side of the toilet.
  • Provide right side transfer with some toilets/ showers and left side with others. Flexibility.To allow easy use even if you experience limited strength on one side or another.
  • This diagram shows the left side transfer in this bath.
  • Clear floor space at the low/kids lavatory with side mounted controls
  • Maneuvering space at the door to the guest bedroom
  • Maneuvering space at the door on the right.
  • Maneuvering space at the door on the left.
  • Clear floor space beside the bathtub
  • T-turn space in the shower
  • Overlapping clear floor spaces and Maneuvering spaces
  • Overlapped by the accessible route as learned in the earlier Tip #12.
  • Clear floor space for turns can partially extend under a lavatory or toilet.To maximize maneuverability in small spaces.
  • Here the turning circle in the main area of the bath extends partially under the lavatory.
  • Provide no step entrances into showers.To eliminate stubbed toes and tripping.Have 2% floor slopes and drain heights.To have good drainage without danger.Select materials for longevity and maintenance, not just “looks”.To reduce costs and effort of maintenance.
  • Mildew resistance with concrete slabs and Corian wall surrounds to minimize grout joints and seamsEase of maintenance Design for the climate, MN v. VA v. CO. Materials and climate control, natural lighting.To have a comfortable home that is energy efficient.
  • Maximize GB by making them aesthetic statements with multiple purposes.To have good support without an institutional look..
  • This is an unofficial but hearfelt plug for the Toto washlet.
  • Provide electrical outlets near toilets.To reduce later retrofit cost.
  • Mother’s day is this weekend! There’s still time!.
  • Multi-height counters accommodate changes in tasks and changes in users.To allow anyone to help in the kitchen.
  • Efficiency pays in the long run.Recycle energy. To reduce energy cost.Coordinate controls for hand/eye ease. Remotes now available.To allow easy access to climate control even if you end up in a wheelchair.
  • Coordinate controls for hand/eye ease. Remotes now available.
  • Anticipate changing technology. Come to my keynote tomorrow to learn more about change.
  • Redundancy is so valuable.Some people find one system easier to use than another. Wall butons v. iphoneapp.
  • Don’t give in to the “normal way things are done”. Delays in construction are inevitable. Expect them, and be patient. Don’t succumb to your desire to just “get them out of your hair”.Demand careful construction and demand adherence to selected products/details.To keep from having something you will regret for the rest of the time in the home.Need to work with knowledgeable contractors – people who know what they are doing – CAPS Better Living Design Certification
  • Oversize the drains.To avoid floods.
  • Consider providing rolling carts to bring the surface or storage to the person.To maximize wheelchair access without losing storage.
  • Experience the space before installing furniture.To keep from making costly mistakes.
  • This is Jane Langmuir’s design
  • My Father came from a large but poor, immigrant family. Around our home, he frequently fixed things that were nearing their useful life. He liked to say “Necessity is the mother of Invention”.
  • The Closed fist rule guided us.
  • Tip #1 is so important I wanted to repeat it again.
  • Our final tip is that Nobody knows it all.You need to look for the best advice you can get in this time of changing options.
  • And, of course, one of the best sources of information is UniversalDesign.com
  • We’re trying to create a win-win placeThat supports and promotes growth of the Universal Design community. It is cooperative instead of competitive, allowing everyone to participate – free!Our goal isn’t to create new stuff , but rather to link people to all the stuff that everyone else is creating.Let users decide what is valuablebased on all the available information.
  • You can get a more complete collection of tips in our new book coming out this summer. Ron Knecht and I have collaborated and added insights from our two projects.Finally, remember to attend my Keynote address on Wednesday at Lunch The Future of UD
  • 35 Tips for Universal Design Homes...10 Years After

    1. 1. for Universal Design Homes. . . 10 Years After35 TipsJohn P.S. Salmen, AIA
    2. 2. www.UniversalDesign.comTip # 1Think outside the boxJust look at the 5 fingers of your hand, andremember the 5 Methods of Accommodation.To come up with better ideas that savetime, effort, and money.LessonValue
    3. 3. www.UniversalDesign.comFive Methods of Accommodation –A Human Approach
    4. 4. www.UniversalDesign.comFive Methods of Accommodation –Architecture
    5. 5. www.UniversalDesign.comFive Methods of Accommodation –Personal Assistance
    6. 6. www.UniversalDesign.comFive Methods of Accommodation –Procedures
    7. 7. www.UniversalDesign.comFive Methods of Accommodation –Equipment
    8. 8. www.UniversalDesign.comFive Methods of Accommodation –Medical Interventions
    9. 9. www.UniversalDesign.comA Spectrum of Methods
    10. 10. www.UniversalDesign.comAccessible v. Universal DesignAccessible Design(Accessibility Regulation Compliance)Designs that comply with minimum regulations thatprovide access for people with disabilities.Universal DesignThe process of imbedding choice for all people intothe things we design.
    11. 11. www.UniversalDesign.comUD DefinitionUniversal Design:The process of imbedding choicefor all peopleinto the things we design.► process not product. UD is an ongoing process thatevolves over time with society & technology► choice involves flexibility, and multiple alternativemeans of use and/or interface► people includes the full range of people regardless ofage, ability, sex, economic status, etc.► things include spaces, products, information systemsand any other things that humans manipulate or create
    12. 12. www.UniversalDesign.com7 Principles of UD1. Equitable Use2. Flexibility in Use3. Simple and Intuitive Use4. Perceptible Information5. Tolerance for Error6. Low Physical Effort7. Size and Space forApproach and UseThe designdoes notdisadvantageor stigmatizeany group ofusers.
    13. 13. www.UniversalDesign.com2012 Definition“Universal design is a processthat enables and empowersa diverse population by improvinghuman performance,health and wellness, andsocial participation.”Steinfeld, E. and Maisel, J. (2012)Universal Design: Creating Inclusive Environments.
    14. 14. www.UniversalDesign.comSustainability
    15. 15. www.UniversalDesign.comHome for the Next 50 YearsAUniversally Designedhome
    16. 16. www.UniversalDesign.comUD at all Scales• Neighborhood• Site• Circulation• Spaces• Systems• Elements & Appliances• Hardware
    17. 17. www.UniversalDesign.comUD at all Scales• Neighborhood• Site• Circulation• Spaces• Systems• Elements & Appliances• Hardware
    18. 18. www.UniversalDesign.comTip # 2Dont overlook "disaster" properties.Have a more comprehensive project thatcan result in better access than can beachieved with piecemeal solutions.LessonValue
    19. 19. www.UniversalDesign.comBefore/After
    20. 20. www.UniversalDesign.comTip # 3Search for new products that may offersuperior features. Find them onUniversalDesign.com.Products such as Grasspave (instead oftraditional pavements) can provide goodaccessibility plus rainwatermanagement/control that can help toprotect the environment.LessonValue
    21. 21. www.UniversalDesign.comBefore/After
    22. 22. www.UniversalDesign.comBefore/After2nd Floor1st Floor
    23. 23. www.UniversalDesign.comBefore/After1st Floor 2nd Floor 3rd FloorFootprintoforiginalhouse
    24. 24. www.UniversalDesign.comTip # 4Consider your future self.What’s going to be important as you age?What will happen when you can no longerdrive?To have a home that supports you as youage.LessonValue
    25. 25. www.UniversalDesign.comLocationCommercialzonesTakomaParkMDDCMain streetHome for the Next 50 Years
    26. 26. www.UniversalDesign.comTip # 5Historic and Green no longer limit UD.The trick is knowing availability of productsand creative solutions.To live with the convenience and supportfound in an established urbanneighborhood.LessonValue
    27. 27. www.UniversalDesign.comHistoric NeighborhoodVictorians c. 1890 - 1905Bungalows c. 1900 - 1925
    28. 28. www.UniversalDesign.com• Neighborhood• Site• Circulation• Spaces• Systems• Elements & Appliances• HardwareUD at all Scales
    29. 29. www.UniversalDesign.comTip # 6Think of egress, especially from bedrooms.To save your life in an emergency.LessonValue
    30. 30. www.UniversalDesign.comSite• Circulation
    31. 31. www.UniversalDesign.com• Neighborhood• Site• Circulation• Spaces• Systems• Elements & Appliances• HardwareUD at all Scales
    32. 32. www.UniversalDesign.comCentral Elevator1st Floor 2nd Floor 3rd Floor
    33. 33. www.UniversalDesign.comTip # 7Inter-level circulation is a public activity –try to find places for accessible verticalcirculation that do not require use of privatespaces, i.e. elevator in hallway, not inbedrooms or baths.To allow family and guests access withoutcompromising privacy.LessonValue
    34. 34. www.UniversalDesign.comVertical CirculationIntegrated v. Segregated
    35. 35. www.UniversalDesign.comTip # 8Offset walls to provide maneuvering spaceand storage.Maximizes access and usability in smallspaces.LessonValue
    36. 36. www.UniversalDesign.comOffset WallsTokonoma alcove18”Dining NookDisplay ShelvesDoor Maneuvering Space
    37. 37. www.UniversalDesign.comTip # 9Japanese “Wabi-Sabi” aesthetic reducesclutter, highlights important/meaningfuldisplays, improves circulation and access.Reduces stress and improves ease ofcirculationLessonValue
    38. 38. www.UniversalDesign.comTokonomaJapanese spiritual center of the homeNishie Residence, Okayama, Japanhttp://www.nishie-residence.com/index_en.html
    39. 39. www.UniversalDesign.com• Neighborhood• Site• Circulation• Spaces• Systems• Elements & Appliances• HardwareUD at all Scales
    40. 40. www.UniversalDesign.comTip # 10Provide oversize entry areas.They are more welcoming, especially formultiple guests, and make it easier toaccommodate deliveries.Safe and comfortable entry and egress.LessonValue
    41. 41. www.UniversalDesign.comBuilding SpacesManeuvering Clearances
    42. 42. www.UniversalDesign.comTip # 11Design each space for multiple uses.To minimize construction costs andmaximize use.LessonValue
    43. 43. www.UniversalDesign.comLaundry Room
    44. 44. www.UniversalDesign.comTip # 12Clear floor spaces and maneuvering spacescan overlap.To reduce costs and maximize space.LessonValue
    45. 45. www.UniversalDesign.comManeuvering Space at Entry Door48”
    46. 46. www.UniversalDesign.comClear Floor Space at Sink30”48”
    47. 47. www.UniversalDesign.comClear Floor Space at Counter
    48. 48. www.UniversalDesign.comClear Floor Space at Washer/Dryer30”48”
    49. 49. www.UniversalDesign.comClear Floor Space at Shower60”60”
    50. 50. www.UniversalDesign.comTurning Space
    51. 51. www.UniversalDesign.comManeuvering Space at Sauna Door60”18”
    52. 52. www.UniversalDesign.comOverlapping Clear Floor Spaces
    53. 53. www.UniversalDesign.comTip # 13Consider multiple doors to ease circulation.To increase usability in small spaces.LessonValue
    54. 54. www.UniversalDesign.comGuest Bathroom
    55. 55. www.UniversalDesign.comAccessible Route
    56. 56. www.UniversalDesign.comTip # 14Provide right side transfer at some toilets/showers and left side at others.Flexibility.To allow easy use for a variety of users andas age-related strength/preferences changefrom one side to another.LessonValue
    57. 57. www.UniversalDesign.comClear Floor Space at Water Closet56”60”
    58. 58. www.UniversalDesign.comClear Floor Space at Sink30”48”
    59. 59. www.UniversalDesign.comManeuvering Space at Door 148”
    60. 60. www.UniversalDesign.comManeuvering Space at Door 260”18”
    61. 61. www.UniversalDesign.comManeuvering Space at Door 348”24”
    62. 62. www.UniversalDesign.comClear Floor Space at Tub30”
    63. 63. www.UniversalDesign.comT-Turn Space at Shower36”60”36”
    64. 64. www.UniversalDesign.comOverlapping Clear Floor Spaces
    65. 65. www.UniversalDesign.comOverlapping Clear Floor Spacesand Accessible Route
    66. 66. www.UniversalDesign.comTip # 15Clear floor space for turns can partiallyextend under lavatory or toilet.To maximize maneuverability in smallspaces.LessonValue
    67. 67. www.UniversalDesign.comTurning Circle
    68. 68. www.UniversalDesign.comTip # 16Provide no step entrances into showers.Have 2% floor slopes and drain heights.To eliminate stubbed toes and tripping.To have good drainage without slip danger.LessonValue
    69. 69. www.UniversalDesign.comBathroomsWalk-in Showers &Side Access Toilets
    70. 70. www.UniversalDesign.comTip # 17Select materials for longevity andmaintenance, not just “looks”.Design for the climate, MN v. VA v. CO.Materials and climate control, naturallighting.Reduce maintenance costs and efforts.Have a comfortable home that is energyefficient.LessonValue
    71. 71. www.UniversalDesign.comBathroomsMaster Bath
    72. 72. www.UniversalDesign.comTip # 18Maximize GB by making them aestheticstatements with multiple purposes.Have support where you need it without aninstitutional look.LessonValue
    73. 73. www.UniversalDesign.comBathroomsMulti Height Sinks
    74. 74. www.UniversalDesign.comTip # 19The best appliance in our house.For personal confidence and health.LessonValue
    75. 75. www.UniversalDesign.comMaster Bath WashletToto Washlet/Bidet
    76. 76. www.UniversalDesign.comTip # 20Provide electrical outlets near toilets.For inevitable appliance development andto reduce retrofit costs.LessonValue
    77. 77. www.UniversalDesign.comElectrical Outlet Near Toilet1st FloorGuest Bath2nd FloorPowder Room3rd FloorMaster Bath
    78. 78. www.UniversalDesign.comTip # 21The best Mother’s Day (or Mother-in-Law’sDay) gift ever.Make your mother-in-law happy.LessonValue
    79. 79. www.UniversalDesign.comWashlet/BidetBest Mother’s Day Gift – Ever!
    80. 80. www.UniversalDesign.comTip # 22Multi-height counters accommodatedifferent tasks and different users.To allow anyone to help in the kitchen, or toallow you to continue to be able to makeyour own meals as your abilities change.LessonValue
    81. 81. www.UniversalDesign.comKitchenCounterHeightChoices
    82. 82. www.UniversalDesign.com• Neighborhood• Site• Circulation• Spaces• Systems• Elements & Appliances• HardwareUD at all Scales
    83. 83. www.UniversalDesign.comTip # 23The higher initial cost of energy efficientsystems pays off in the long run.Reduces energy use to reduce energy cost.LessonValue
    84. 84. www.UniversalDesign.comIndoor Air QualityUV kills bacteriaAir Intake Heat/HumidityTransfer Wheel
    85. 85. www.UniversalDesign.comTip # 24Select control locations and heights for easeof coordinated hand/eye use, or useremotes (now available).Allows easy access to climate controlregardless of your height.LessonValue
    86. 86. www.UniversalDesign.comLocation of ControlsLocated for easyhand / eyecoordination
    87. 87. www.UniversalDesign.comTip # 25Anticipate changing information andcommunication technology (ICT).To keep your house from earlyobsolescence.LessonValue
    88. 88. www.UniversalDesign.comIntegrated CommunicationCentral and interconnected
    89. 89. www.UniversalDesign.comTip # 26Provide multiple means of control.Stuff breaks!To protect yourself from inconvenience ordanger when one control or system fails orbreaks down.LessonValue
    90. 90. www.UniversalDesign.comMultiple ControllersLightingSoundSecurityRemoteControl
    91. 91. www.UniversalDesign.com• Neighborhood• Site• Circulation• Spaces• Systems• Elements & Appliances• HardwareUD at all Scales
    92. 92. www.UniversalDesign.comTip # 27Demand careful construction and strictadherence to selected products and details.Avoids having something you will regret therest of the time you live in the home.LessonValue
    93. 93. www.UniversalDesign.comBuilding SpacesWheelchair thresholds
    94. 94. www.UniversalDesign.comTip # 28Oversize the drains.To avoid floods.LessonValue
    95. 95. www.UniversalDesign.comTrench drainsWidth of the trough affects:• structure,• strength,• cleanability,• tolerance for error
    96. 96. www.UniversalDesign.comTip # 29Rolling carts can bring the surface or storageto the person andprovide knee and toe clearance for seatedusersMaximize wheelchair access without losingstorage.LessonValue
    97. 97. www.UniversalDesign.comKitchenFlexible Cabinets &Pull out Carts
    98. 98. www.UniversalDesign.comTip # 30If possible, experience the space beforeinstalling furniture.To keep from making costly mistakes.LessonValue
    99. 99. www.UniversalDesign.comKitchenAccessible Tables
    100. 100. www.UniversalDesign.comTip # 31Open shelving for things used everyday.Easy for guests/ kids/ Alzheimer’s.Encourages cleanliness.Increases independence,Makes the home more welcoming to guestsandHelps forgetful people.LessonValue
    101. 101. www.UniversalDesign.comKitchenAppliances and Storagewithin reach
    102. 102. www.UniversalDesign.comKitchenControls at the front
    103. 103. www.UniversalDesign.comTip # 32Things don’t always turn out the way youplan, but…“necessity is the mother of invention”.Allows useful life of materials and systemseven if they don’t work perfectly.LessonValue
    104. 104. www.UniversalDesign.comKitchenNecessity is the Mother of Invention
    105. 105. www.UniversalDesign.comKitchenNecessity is the Mother of Invention
    106. 106. www.UniversalDesign.com• Neighborhood• Site• Circulation• Spaces• Systems• Elements & Appliances• HardwareUD at all Scales
    107. 107. www.UniversalDesign.comTip # 33Select hardware using the closed fist rule, oredge of flail hand.Allows use even if your hands are dirty orfull, and allows use even for those witharthritis.LessonValue
    108. 108. www.UniversalDesign.comHardware
    109. 109. www.UniversalDesign.comHardware
    110. 110. www.UniversalDesign.comTip # 34Think outside the boxJust look at the 5 fingers of your hand, andremember the 5 Methods of Accommodation.To come up with better ideas that savetime, effort, and money.LessonValue
    111. 111. www.UniversalDesign.comFive Methods of Accommodation
    112. 112. www.UniversalDesign.comA Spectrum of Methods
    113. 113. www.UniversalDesign.comTip # 35Nobody knows it all.But you can know what everyone elseknows by using UniversalDesign.com.Make the best decisions on the latestproducts, materials, details. and solutions.LessonValue
    114. 114. www.UniversalDesign.comSubscribeto receiveProduct ReviewsUniversal Design NewsletterUD Alerts
    115. 115. www.UniversalDesign.comSubscribeto receive Universal DesignNewsletter, UD Product Reviews and important ADA AlertsCommenton any article on the site, start adiscussion and connect with others in the UD communityPromoteyour UD Services and Products to theworld115
    116. 116. www.UniversalDesign.comwww.UniversalDesign.comHome for the Next 50 Years
    117. 117. www.UniversalDesign.comMoreUD Home Tipsavailable fromComingthis summer!Universal Design Tips