Event features home built with Universal Design elements

May 13, 2010

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – It's all in the details when it comes to accessibility in homes, and an open house hosted in part by the Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service shows how that can be done.

The public is invited to see features of Universal Design in a home built by Habitat for Humanity of Lafayette for Brian Sholty. The open house takes place from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. May 19. The home is located at 2609 Poland Hill Road in Lafayette.

The open house is sponsored by Purdue Extension Universal Design/Housing Solutions for All Ages and Abilities and Habitat for Humanity of Lafayette.

In Universal Design, elements of a home that are used every day are redesigned so that people of all ages and abilities can use them. For example, elements such as round door handles can be changed to levers. Universal Design also considers elements such as light switches, entryways, cupboards, water controls and other home design details.

Stephen Swain, rural rehabilitation specialist for Purdue Breaking New Ground, said builders and contractors, the general public and Extension educators are welcome to the open house.

"We would like to see contractors and builders incorporate Universal Design features into their homes, and this would be an opportunity for them to see these features," he said.

Swain said that using Universal Design does not drastically increase the cost of building a home.

"There could be a little bit of extra cost, but that spent early on is much less than home modifications later," he said. "I do a lot of home modification assessments for Vocational Rehabilitation Services, and I see a lot of modifications to the entrance of houses, widened doors and bathroom improvements. It can get expensive, so if we can do part of that early on, we'll save money in the long run."

For more information about the open house and Universal Design, contact Swain at 765-494-5088, swainsj@purdue.edu.
Writer: Elise Brown, 765-496-7481, brown222@purdue.edu

Source: Stephen Swain, 765-494-5088 or 800-825-4264, swainsj@purdue.edu 

Ag Communications: (765) 494-8415;
Steve Leer, sleer@purdue.edu
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