Universal Design as Social Sustainability
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GBCI course ID: # 0920014254
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This article argues that, to reflect societal values of democracy and inclusivity, build-ings must be designed to be accessible to all. This in turn implies that universal design must be seen not as an optional add-on, but as an essential and integrated aspect of all aspects of the built environment.
The author proposes that strategies for ‘mainstreaming’ universal design may be seen as similar to those that have successfully changed our thinking about environmental sustainability over the last 20 years.
Case studies explore how accessible design complements environmental and social sustainability, and how such examples can demonstrate to governing bodies, the general public, and to architects and designers the benefits of meeting the accessibility needs of everyone.
On completion of this learning unit, the reader will:
1. Understand and appreciate how universal design strategies can improve the accessibility and functionality of
buildings for all members of the community.
2. Understand and appreciate how universal design strategies can enhance the wellbeing of building users by
relieving stress and anxiety.
3. Understand and appreciate how early implementation of Universal Design strategies can improve the life cycle
performance of buildings by reducing the need for retrofits and facilitating ageing in place.
4. Understand and appreciate how, by incorporating universal design strategies, green buildings can demonstrate
to design professionals and the public, the synergies between environmental and social sustainability.
Narrative about Learning Outcomes
In response to the request, the learning outcomes were reviewed and the general language originally used was replaced with more specific language relating to the objectives of green building design. E.g. enabling all members of the community to access and use a building effectively improves the utilization and efficiency of a building, while reducing anxiety levels in those who would otherwise experience difficulties. Also, incorporating strategies for aging in place has a direct life cycle benefit, as it reduces or eliminates the need for future rehabilitation and adaptation.
All articles offered by SABMag are GBCI approved. To qualify for continuing education learning hours, practitioners must first read the technical article below, and then proceed to complete the short quiz at the end. You must receive 80% on the quiz to record the activity as part of your continuing education. An email will be sent to you and will act as your certificate of completion once you have successfully completed the requirements.
Quiz by: Susan Ruptash, Managing principal, Quadrangle Architects
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The most important drivers of universal design are:Correct
Incorporation of universal design strategies into buildings is currently hindered by:Correct
Legislation introduced in Ontario proposes changes to the built environment that will make the province entirely
The Ontario legislation considers Universal Design to include:Correct
Much of the momentum in the Universal Design movement comes from individuals and organi-zations who feel
excluded by current approaches to building designCorrect
From an environmental perspective, implementing Universal Design strategies at the outset of a project, rather than
retrofitting at a later date:Correct
Implementing Universal Design strategies is an important component in ‘future-proofing’ com-munities:Correct
Universal Design strategies are necessarily intrusive and will detract from the appearance and appeal of a building:Correct
Using the term ‘special needs’ in relation to Universal Design, will help increase awareness and advance the cause of
It is advantageous and appropriate to think of the range of human abilities as:Correct