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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Information, yes. Inspiration, no., September 5, 2000
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This review is from: Universal Kitchen and Bathroom Planning: Design That Adapts to People (Hardcover)
This book is a good resource for builders, architects or people building a house.
Universal Design DOES NOT EQUAL wheelchair accessibility and this book makes that very clear. Universal Design (hereafter UD)means taking into account the best way to design for everyone, not just the small percentage of average height, "able-bodied", 20-50 year old "perfect" people in the world. This book also points out that fewer people want to move in with their kids or into a "home" when they get older. So why build houses that will prevent this from happening?
UD is about making things useable for people of almost all physical conditions; sight-impared, mobility-impared, mentally-impared, size-impared (short or tall), and even "average, healthy" people.
This book makes it abundantly clear that UD is not difficult to do on new construction. UD does not have to add hundreds of square feet to your plan.
The book does not, however, have a lot of photos or ideas on how to make UD attractive. The small number of photos in this book are small, black and white, and poor quality. They do make their point, even though they are not pretty to look at.
The book is FULL (almost cover to cover) of diagrams and line drawings which show the possibilities AND detailed requirements of universal design. Many of the details are wheelchair-oriented, but this is because wheelchair access is often the lowest common denominator.
If you need to be concerned about UD or if you feel that it is a smart thing to do (I firmly believe it is a smart thing to do), then buy this book. There are no pretty, inspiring photos to show you how to do it beautifully, but there are tons of details to make sure you don't do it wrong. EVERY ARCHITECT AND BUILDER OUGHT TO HAVE A COPY OF THIS BOOK.
(P.S. Just think of the "fun" you would have in your current house if you had to use a walker, wheelchair, or only one hand. What about even a broken leg? You WILL more than likely get old sometime. You could even be injured and become disabled (even if only temporarily). Do you want your house to be a barrier in that event? UD really should be something everyone thinks about, seriously!)
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