Hub for universal design

BRANZ has recently completed a website for universal design of new and existing homes in New Zealand. Universal design –sometimes known as ‘design for life’ or ‘barrier-free design’ – is the principle of incorporating features into buildings and their immediate surrounds to ensure that they are widely accessible to all ages and all abilities while minimising compromise. It’s about making homes accessible, safe and functional, while not compromising on aesthetics.

The website is the result of an initiative spearheaded by ACC with the goal of providing an online library of ‘how to’ and promotional resources for the design community, which is complementary to the New Zealand-specific websites and information already available. Resources for the site were tailored according to the results of a New Zealand-wide survey of potential users conducted in 2013. The BRANZ site includes dimensioned drawings for key areas, a tailored costing calculator, a gallery of design photographs, and the best international resources available.

BRANZ sees this as a living website to be updated to ensure ongoing relevance. They invite your feedback – www.branz.co.nz/universal_design.  

Published in building.