Universal Design in Residential Architecture

Thursday, April 13, 2023 | 1pm ET

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As architects, we should be familiar with the milestone ADA standards that govern accessibility in public and federally funded facilities; we should also be familiar with how the IBC & ICC A117.1 are used and applied to multi-family residential buildings. How can we use these and other resources to help inform the best way for us to design homes where we can age in place gracefully, without needing to spend an exorbitant amount of money to recreate an environment to suit our future needs?

The presentation will focus on the inclusion of universal design within residential architecture. The course will begin with a touch on the civil rights legislation that helped spur the accessibility codes and standards that we use today, along with the development of those standards and how they come into being, including important distinctions between ADA, IBC, and ICC A117.1.

The 7 Principles of Universal Design and their applicability in the built environment will be discussed. Helpful resources for inclusive design will be shared, like the Housing Design Standards for Accessibility and Inclusion, created by the Kelsey (a non-profit centered around disability-forward housing solutions). Finally, we will discuss many simple, low-cost universal design considerations for residential builds. We will focus on holistic design aspects of the residential environment, rather than simply a checklist of accessible elements to be incorporated. Hosted by CRAN®.

Learning objectives

  • Understand important historical legislation that helped to create the accessible standards with which we are familiar today. 
  • Identify the 7 Principles of Universal Design and how they apply to the built environment. 
  • Analyze ways in which we may design the build environment so that it is ‘future-ready’ for its occupants. 
  • Familiarize participants with helpful tools for implementing universal design within residential architecture. 
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  • Katie Dailey


    Architect III  |  Perkins & Will

    Kate Dailey is a licensed architect in the state of Illinois. Hailing from Philadelphia, she moved...
  • Michele Grace Hottel

    Michele Grace Hottel

    Owner  |  Michele Grace Hottel, Architect

    Michele Grace Hottel has been practicing Architecture with her own firm, Michele Grace Hottel,...