Universal Design as Social Sustainability

GBCI course ID: # 0920014254

Read article here: Universal Design as Social Sustainability

Overview
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.

Learning Outcomes
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.

Assessment
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