Evaluating universal design performance
Editorial comment In this chapter, the conceptual framework for building performance evaluation presented in Chapter 2 is extended to address universal design, the new, inclusive paradigm for design in the twenty-first century. The evolution of universal design is reviewed as a movement which seeks to make categories of daily necessities accessible and usable by a majority of people. Such categories might include products, interior architecture, buildings, urban spaces, public transportation, public parks (both urban and at the state/national levels), and information technology. The criteria for universal design performance were formulated by the Center for Universal Design at North Carolina State University in 1997, and are called the seven principles of universal design (Story, 2001). Each of the principles is an abstract ideal, for example, ‘Equitable Use’, which is then translated into subsets of practical design guidelines, creating significant overlap with traditional building performance criteria presented throughout this book. While there is experience with, and a growing body of knowledge on home design from a universal perspective, evaluation-based universal performance criteria for other building types are still rare, and thus, the accumulated knowledge is quite limited.