03 Feb Can Universal Design Be Appealing To All Generations?
A recent Builderonline.com article discusses the future of baby boomer housing. In that article, the need for Universal design is explained. It is considered to be a major factor in the future of development.
As noted by the article, baby boomers were the first generation to grow up in the suburbs. The irony is that they are the generation that might also leave them. As boomers have aged, most of the finishes and features in suburban homes are not ideal for their needs. Some concerns include stairs, low lighting, and conventional faucets and knobs. Recent studies say that most boomers would like to stay put but health concerns could easily change this idea.
Award winning homebuilders across the country are starting to utilize Universal design for new homes. The idea is to create a home that will age well with its owner. An example would be creating a front door landing without stairs. This can be done without sacrificing visual appeal if done correctly. It is believed that shear size of the baby boomer generation will send Universal design into the spotlight.
You may be thinking that Universal design only belongs in communities with a focus on boomers but builders are realizing its potential in neighborhoods with different generations. These design features can be transparent so the widened hallways or wide pocket doors wont make the home less attractive. Builders believe that Universal design is easy to implement if properly planned. In fact, you wouldn’t be able to see these features in a home until they’re needed. For example, towel bars in a bathroom can be swapped out later for grab bars if needed. The bathrooms are already equipped with backer supports just in case.
It is going to be interesting to see how builders incorporate Universal design in the coming year. Can it really be attractive to generations younger than baby boomers?