Homes for Everyone: Universal Design Principles in Practice

Release Date: 

  • April 1996 (84 pages)

Posted Date:   

  • April 1, 1996
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The increase in both elderly population and the housing needs of persons with varying physical abilities have created a new interest in broader accessibility among architects, builders, designers, and consumers. Homes for Everyone: Universal Design Principles in Practice, a new report from HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research, showcases 16 single-family dwellings that exemplify the principles of "universal" design. The universal design approach recognizes the need for living spaces to be barrier-free and provide easy mobility and independence for people with a broad variety of physical needs.

The projects highlighted in this well-illustrated book were selected to show how the universal design approach accommodates a wide variety of design and user requirements. Some projects pictured are built into new housing, while others integrated universal design features through remodeling. The homes are generally affordable, although a few luxury homes are included. Most of the universal design elements were implemented at little or no more expense than conventional design features.

Color photographs, drawings, and floor plans illustrate the successful -- and often seamless -- incorporation of universal design features into large and small housing across the country. The features include:

  • Basic accessibility features.
  • Security or communication systems.
  • Easily traversed floors.
  • Remote control features.
  • Accessible lavatories, sinks, and counters.
  • Accessible bathtubs and showers.
  • Variable height counters and accessible work surfaces.
  • Hearing impairment aids.
  • Visual impairment aids.
This readable 86-page report will help consumers choose a flexible living environment and aid designers and builders in tapping into an expanding market for universal design housing.

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