Universal Designed "Smart" Homes for the 21st Century.
Universal Designed Interiors & Bathrooms include sustainable and healthy systems with details that provide useability for all for a life-time of living.
No steps into home provide easy access.
Smooth floor finish transitions make for easy movement throughout the home.
Universal Design Smart and Healthy Interior Design Features and Benefits included in all plans:
Following is an abreviated list of the features (what) and benefits (why) that our universal designed home plans provide. As noted on previous pages, the plan book also has complete lists with over 300 specifications (with actual dimesions for construction) that is helpful for home-owners,students, therapists, designers and of course builders, that may also be considering building a home addition, interior remodel or a compete new home.
Universal Design Interior Abreviated Checklist, with Features and Benefits.
Note: There are many more details and specifications that enhance the home and empower your families living than those that are noted here. This is a good place to start. I discuss these with every client during the design process and more are also noted on the drawings.
From the start, I have designed these homes so that every room and every floor throughout the house is inclusive and designed for all. UD smart and healthy homes should and can be built anywhere, including high-density areas. This encourages diverse inner cities with people of all ages. In some high-density inner-city areas, college students are living with elders. The UD smart and healthy home makes inclusive diversity within every dwelling possible. Following is a short list of interior features. To order the plan book with a list of over 30 features listed and explained you can find it here.
One level living is always possible in every home plan with at least one full bath on the main level. However many home plans have lower level/basements and some are two stories as noted above. When this is the case they include stacked closets that are a min. 54 x 66 inches (1370-1680 mm). These stacked closets are detailed so the floors can be removed from within the shaft. Electrical service is included in the future install.
Stacked closets allow for an elevator large enough for two people at a time. I have called these mobility closets/robot rooms in the home plans. Stairs are not eliminated; they are made as safe as possible. They are wide enough for future lifts should they ever be selected.
Open floor plans provide fluid movement and articulate with varying (or the same) flush flooring materials. Non-slip and non-reflective floors can help define spaces within an open floor plan. Varying ceiling heights and half wall shelving can also help define "rooms" within open spaces, without the barriers that full height walls can create.
People passage doors are 36 inches (914 mm) wide providing a 32 inch (813 mm) clear passage minimum for the door leaf, (when open at 90 degrees) and the most narrow door jamb on the opposite door side.
Doors allow safe, comfortable and frustration free use with 18- 24 inches (469-610 mm) of space on the pull latch side. This makes it easy for everyone to pull open a door if carrying a baby, groceries or strolling with a mobility aid such as a wheelchair or walker.
Lever handles adhere to the "closed first rule" when a closed hand-fist operation can open doors and open "D'" shaped cabinet pulls are easy to open as well.
36 inch (915 mm) pocket doors include an open loop handle while maintaining the 32 inch (915 mm) clear opening. This is a thoughtful detail in our plans. Pocket doors are sealed for soundproofing. A special detail minimizes moisture and mold that can be trapped in the pocket. This detail is specific to these plans.
At least a 60 inch (1524 mm) clear turning space is provided in every room and most have the preferred 72-inch (1830 mm) circle, allowing room for a carer. 84 inch (2130 mm) circular space is the size required for turning around using a scooter.
Flush floor transitions between differing floor materials are the goal in every UD smart and healthy home. Floor elevation changes are avoided as much as possible with thoughtful detailing. When flooring materials differ in their subflooring assemblies, they must not exceed 1/2 inch (13 mm) and are always detailed with separator strips. This is designed avoid trip hazards.
Non-slip flooring is typical throughout the home. Where carpet is used it is closed loop 1/4 to ½ inch (6-13 mm) with no pad or a firm commercial type pad. This provides foot comfort and also allows mobility aid use. Carpet with padding that is too thick can throw people with balance challenges and those that get dizzy (vertigo) off balance.
Hallways are reduced as much as possible but when they are necessary to separate private and guest spaces, they can double up as loggia or library spaces. They are brightly lit with transom or viewing windows. Traditional circulation spaces then become connecting rooms in their own right working double duty as art display areas and offering storage options too.
Hallways are a min. of 42 inches (1118 mm) and many are 48 inches (1220 mm) wide from finish to finish. Some hallways host a 60-inch circle diameter at the end that allows for easy turning for those who use mobility aids. They are a great feature for baby buggies and first responders love them as they provide easy access too.
The hallways can be equipped with an optional chair rail that serves as an integrated handrail. This can be an immense aid ambulate disabled and those who walk with a slow gait.
Hallways have light switches at the start and end. Optional motion sensors can be installed in hallways and stairways, for safety and energy savings.
Sun-tunnels are selected in critical areas such as hallway ends in many plans and offer a fine and energy efficient alternative that brings natural light deep into the home. Many plans designate these at the end of the hallway.
This home is designed for a family whose child uses a mobility device and also features circulation around sociopetal furniture layouts
Notice the open plan and smooth flooring for walker and scooter use for this elderly couple.
Universal Designing Bathroom Features:
All of the bathrooms have a min. 60 inch (1524 mm) turning circle diameter or a "T" turn space allowing use of a mobility device when wanted and a min. 30 x 48 inches (762-1220 mm) person clear use space in front of all fixtures.
Natural light is integrally designed into and feature in every bath with privacy decor considered.
Walls in showers are reinforced with marine grade 3/4 inch (19 mm) plywood for future location of balance and reach bathroom bars. These are traditionally named grab-bars but I feel that terminology creates a stigma.
Varied height of vanities and open knee space min. 30 inches (762 mm) wide for sitting under the lowest vanity at 34inches (864 mm) above the floor, or with a removable cabinet base, models that are now available in the general marketplace. This is detailed for adapting the vanity height later.
Sinks are no deeper than 6.5 inches (165 mm) at lower vanity.
Vanity mirrors extend down to the top of the backsplash no higher than 4 inches above the countertop, for seated viewing.
Front of counter or side wall electrical outlets and switches with Ground Fault Interrupters (GFI.
Single lever faucet handles for one hand and closed fist use.
Curb-less, no-step showers and often with multiple showerheads for dual showering and seats for shower relaxation.
Off set shower controls to operate so one does not get wet.
Shower controls with thermosetting /anti scald controls.
Detachable hand held shower head with min. 6 foot hose. Union where water comes out of wall is low so as to maximize the hose length.
Full extension, pull-out drawer hardware is standard everywhere.
Single lever faucets for closed fist or one hand operation if necessary.
Comfort Height water closets are 17-19 inches (483 mm) high to the W.C bowl and are 18 inches from the side wall. When they are centered in a 84-96 inch (2134-2440 mm)inch space access from both sides is possible.
A smooth floor finish inhibits falls and allows rolling use.
Green features ofUniversal Designed "Smart" Homes. May we ask you to consider the following?
What is the use of building a home with universal design features if you cannot make the utility bills or remain in your home at all times? Conversely, what is the point of building a highly energy efficient, sustainable home if you or a family member are not able to obtain basic access and able to use it?
As people live longer lives, sooner or later you, or someone you love, may experience these life challenges. Wouldn't you (or they) prefer to remain in your own home, and possibly avoid long term hospital expenses or long term out of home care at the same time?
Genuine Independent living can be achieved with Lifespan home design and sustainable and clean air features. These mutually complement each other and benefit all of your friends and family.
These building plans are designed with an energy efficient building envelope. I am also an NAHB designated Certified Green Professional (CGP). All of the homes are designed with energy efficient construction details and specifications per the 2012 IECC energy codes. You may select the code of your choice as it may be the 2015 code in some areas.
Since the heating and cooling system accounts for 50-70% of your homes total energy use, (according to the US Dept.of Energy, DOE) the savings can be large.
For both water and energy conservation we highly recommend point-of-use tankless water heaters.Water Pedals, automatic water shutoff, aerators and infrared sensors in faucets can also be selected. Other water saving features are a integral part of all designs.
These products are a good idea for those that are forgetful while saving you hundreds of dollars and gallons of water over time.People don't realize the energy required to deliver the new gold of the 21st Century.....Water.
The home plans are designed with abundant natural light, in several areas of the home that have been traditionally dark such as hallways for example. Tubular skylights are often included at the end of hallways. This is also your option. Natural light has proven to improve occupancy health and safety and is a very important feature in all designs.
I try and inform customers and educate for alternative energy sources including the use of geothermal, passive and active solar systems. Although I do not specify specific mechanical systems in the plans due to building science that varies at differing climates, I recommend the use of in-floor radiant heating for both energy efficiency, comfort and clean indoor air. Many still elect to utilize energy efficient forced air although this can cause problems for asthma and allergy sufferers.
The homes are highly insulated and the windows are specified with low-E glass as per code. The ERV or HRV mechanical ventilation system will assure adequate fresh air. Low and no volatile organic compounds (VOC) products and no urea formaldehyde finishes are specified.
The plan book includes an extensive Green Building and Sustainable Design sections as well as Clean Indoor Air with tips and specifications you can use right away.
Sample front view a plan in the book
This Zero lot line ranch doesn't count out full Access