Univeral Design

Zerostep Visionary Award

Heartland Builders received the 2005 Zerostep Visionary Award from Disability Advocates of Kent County for their commitment to incorporating Universal Design in their homes.

Heartland Builders, a new home Builder in West Michigan, is a strong advocate of Universal Design principles and one of the few builders in West Michigan actively promoting these progressive standards in home design. An outgrowth of the barrier-free movement, the goal of Universal Design is to build a beautiful, new home in the Grand Rapids completely accessible home where the barrier-free features are creatively integrated and fairly unnoticeable. A home that welcomes people of all physical abilities without an “institutional” look or feel to it.

Universal design allows a homeowner to continue living in their home as their physical abilities change over time. So you will never be forced out of your home by a disability. It also means you can host gatherings with family and friends regardless of the physical challenges your guests may face.

It typically costs less than $1,000 to integrate universal design into the average new home. Most of these universal design features are simple changes, such as wider hallways and doorways, lever-type handles, and rocker-type electrical switches. With a little creativity, this can be done without drastically altering the original home plan. The added spaciousness and easy-to-use features of universal design are a benefit to everyone and simply make a home more comfortable and enjoyable to live in.

Click here to see a working floor plan of a Universal Design home.

Green Building Methods

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To incorporate Universal Design features into your home plan, or to learn more about this beneficial concept in home design, just Ask Rich.