"Building for Everyone: A Universal Design Approach" provides comprehensive best practice guidance on how to design, build and manage buildings and spaces so that they can be readily accessed and used by everyone, regardless of age, size ability or disability.
The Building for Everyone series is available for free download here.
"Shared Space, Shared Surfaces and Home Zones from a Universal Design Approach for the Urban Environment in Ireland" explores contemporary national and international practices and thinking on Shared Spaces, Shared Surfaces and Home Zones and to investigate these concepts from a Universal Design approach in the Irish urban environment.
The Shared Space report is available for free download here.
Universal Design of the built environment goes far beyond issues of physical access alone. A building is not simply an obstacle to be negotiated. People constantly interact with the many different features of their environment and use (and often rely on) all of their senses when doing so. Therefore design should be considered from the following points of view:
- Visual — what we see
- Auditory — what we hear
- Tactile — what we touch
- Cognitive — what we understand.
The permanent nature of buildings (some lasting for hundreds of years) makes Universal Design of the built environment a pressing and critical issue. Retrofitting and renovations represent unnecessary wastage of time, money and materials. Design features that are built into an environment from the beginning are more sustainable, and are more likely to be compatible and to fit in visually with the surrounding design.
Universal Design of the Built Environment should consider:
- The building as a whole
- Each unit within a building, such as a room, hallway, corridor or stairwell
- Every design feature of that building or unit, including the floor, ceiling, walls, doors and windows
- Every piece of furniture — both fixed and loose — that is installed within a building
- The location of each unit, in relation to the rest of the units (e.g. the distance to the toilet facilities)
- The entrance to the building
- The approach to the building including the route from a road, entrance or car park to the building
- The car parking facilities
- Temporary buildings and facilities — prefabs, portaloos, camping sites
- Public transport vehicles — buses, trains, coaches, airplanes, boats
- Outdoor or open air facilities — train platforms, bus shelters, sports grounds, concert facilities, camping sites
- The protection of construction sites — scaffolding near a public walkway, parts of public walkways that are removed or dug up
- Lighting, heating, ventilation and air conditioning
- Water supply, including drinking water
- Fire safety — alarms, emergency evacuation procedure, fire doors
- Management of the building — how often facilities are serviced, how long it takes to replace or repair facilities if broken or malfunctioning, issues such as locked doors, items being left in otherwise accessible hallways or rooms, the use of accessible toilets for storage, etc.
The following section contain UDRs on the built environment under the headings:
User/Expert Involvement in Universal Design describes and recognises user and expert involvement in the design process. It includes a case study of user and expert involvement in the audit of a city.
Ringaert, L. (2001). User/Expert Involvement in Universal Design. In: Preiser W.F.E., Ostroff, E. (Editors). Universal Design Handbook. Pages 6.1-6.14.
Post-Occupancy Evaluation from a Universal Design Perspective describes a user-centred approach to informing built environment design. The approach involves evaluating buildings which are currently in use, to learn how the current users actually interact with and use the building (both from a functional and a user-satisfaction perspective), and subsequently to inform future building design.
Corry, S. (2001). Post-Occupancy Evaluation from a Universal Design Perspective. In: Preiser W.F.E., Ostroff, E. (Editors). Universal Design Handbook. Pages 56.1-56.12.
Universal design: a manual of practical guidance for architects is a design guide for practicing and student architects. Covering both public and private buildings, it aims to encourage architects to extend the parameters of normal provision, by looking to go beyond the prescribed minimum design standards of national building regulations.
Goldsmith, S. (2000)
Universal design: a manual of practical guidance for architects is available to borrow from the NDA library.
International Best Practices in Universal Design: A Global Review is an overview of international legal requirements relating to the built environment. A side-by-side comparison is carried out of accessibility codes and standards from 16 international jurisdictions specifically relating to access and use of a building, its approach and entrance.
Canadian Human Rights Commission (2006)
International Best Practices in Universal Design: A Global Review is available to borrow from the NDA library.
Affordable and Universal Homes: A Plan Book provides five floor plans, aiming to provide universal and affordable design solutions for both new and existing designs.
Center for Universal Design, North Carolina State University (2000)
Affordable and Universal Homes: A Plan Book is available to download from the North Carolina State University (NCSU) Centre for Universal Design (CUD) website. Please note that this guidance was developed in the USA and does not necessarily comply with other National building regulations.
QAP Tech Sheet is a short technical guidance document which provides a number of alternative designs and layouts for bathrooms in houses.
Center for Universal Design, North Carolina State University (2005)
QAP Tech Sheet is available to download from the North Carolina State University (NCSU) Centre for Universal Design (CUD) website. Please note that this guidance was developed in the USA and does not necessarily comply with other National building regulations.
Universal design for the home: great-looking, great-living design for all ages, abilities, and circumstances provides photographic examples of attractive Universal Design solutions and features for every room in the home. This book demonstrates how Universal Design features can in fact be invisible.
Jordan, W.A. (2008).
Universal design for the home: great-looking, great-living design for all ages, abilities, and circumstances is available to borrow from the NDA library.
- Ireland: IRL Part M 2010 Access and Use technical guidance document
- Australia: AS 1428 (Set)-2003: Design for access and mobility
- Canada: Canadian Standards Association (CSA) B651-04:2004: Accessible Design for the Built Environment
- CEN/CENELEC (2002), Guide 6: Guidelines for standards developers to address the needs of older persons and persons with disabilities, Brussels: CEN
- ISO 28803 (Under Development): Ergonomics of the physical environment - Application of international standards to people with special requirements
- ISO/IEC (2001) Guide 71: Guidelines for standards developers to address the needs of older persons and persons with disabilities, Geneva: ISO
- New Zealand: NZS 4121:2001: Design for access and mobility: Buildings and associated facilities
- South Africa: SANS 10246: Accessibility of buildings to disabled persons
- UK: British Standards Institute BS8300:2009: Design of buildings and their approaches to meet the needs of disabled people - Code of Practice