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Thursday 23 February saw the launch of the Centre for Excellence in Universal Design’s ‘Building for Everyone: A Universal Design Approach’ publication. Launched by Phil Hogan T.D., Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government, this publication provides comprehensive best practice guidance on how to design, build and manage buildings and spaces so that they can be readily accessed and used by everyone, regardless of age, size ability or disability.
The launch event included presentations from the Centre for Excellence in Universal Design, the National Disability Authority (of which the CEUD is part), from Michelle Fagan of the RIAI and from Onny Eikhaug of the Norwegian Design Council. These presentations brought to light the importance of universal design, not just for the 15% of the population living with disability but for the 100% of the population who will experience barriers at some point in life through mobility issues, temporary injury, having to push prams through awkward spaces, being laden down with luggage or shopping bags, even having a poor sense of direction. Most importantly of all, people age, and with aging often comes mobility, sight or hearing difficulties.
‘Building for Everyone’ takes the form of ten booklets focussing on internal and external features, circulation in and around buildings, environment, services, sanitary facilities and more as a resource for architects, engineers, designers and planners. It also provides best practice guidelines for the management of buildings once open or in use. The booklets are available for free download (PDFs) from the CEUD website.
For more information on the importance and application of Universal Design, visit www.universaldesign.ie
Image of CEUD’s 24hour Universal Design Challenge