Alex Mawhinney sends this link along.
Builders are doing an admirable job of incorporating universal design features in new homes, but baby boomers continue to be slow in accepting the need for them.
Perhaps you know the type – people who do not want to accept the fact that they will eventually get old.
“I think universal design features can be likened to the first cell phones,” said John Migliaccio, director of research at MetLife’s Mature Market Institute. “At first, very few people used them. Now they are ubiquitous. In fact, every kid has one. Consumers haven’t really gotten the message on universal design, but we feel they will.”
The slow acceptance is not unlike the responses to environmentally friendly homes. For example, only 12 percent of respondents to a Metlife survey said they would pay more for a “green” home. The same folks are willing to pay an average one-time amount of $6,732 if it would save $1,000 annually in utility costs. While 23 percent of respondents said they are concerned about the environment, it does not drive their decision to buy.
The educational push by builders, architects and designers is to remove the “old” association from universal design, or UD. The universal design approach advocates that all built environments be accessible to people regardless of age, size or physical ability, and the features of these environments be compelling and appear seamless to the design of the home. These amenities and alternations can serve all ages, hence the name “universal design.”