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Universal Design

Universal Design is a worldwide movement based on the idea that all residential environments and products should be easily used and accessed by all members of the family, regardless of their age, size, or physical abilities – throughout their span of life. A modified home, utilizing the principles of Universal Design, is much more than simply a “wheelchair accessible” home. A key component of Universal Design is the market appeal it adds to a home because the universal features are integrated into the overall design. Done well, Universal Design becomes a virtually invisible element. 21st Century Building Company uses a Customer-Focused Approach when designing bathrooms, kitchens, and accessibility features. Our first appointment involves a Client Needs Assessment through an interactive interview process with the user, involved family members, and key caregivers, whenever possible.
21st Century Building Company utilizes Universal Design Principles when designing barrier-free and accessible spaces, approaches, and doorways.The 7 Principles of Universal Design are:
Equitable Use
Design is useful to people with diverse abilities, as well as the elderly Safety, security, and privacy equally available to all users Done well, is appealing to all users
Flexibility in Use
Accommodates a wide range of individual abilities Provides adaptability to the user’s pace Facilitates the user’s inaccuracy or lack of precision
Simple and Intuitive to Use
Easy to understand, regardless of users experience or concentration level Eliminates unnecessary complexity Accommodates a wide range of literacy
Perceptible Information
Design is intuitive and easy to use Design communicates necessary information to the user
Tolerance for Error
Design minimizes errors and adverse consequences of unintended actions Hazardous elements are eliminated or isolated
Low Physical Effort
User maintains a neutral body position User minimizes sustained physical effort Design use is efficient and comfortable, with a minimum of fatigue
Size and Space for Approach and Use
Appropriate space is provided for approach, reach, and use regardless of user’s mobility Provides clear line of sight to important elements for seated or standing positions Accommodates variations in hand size or grip strength