Universal design concepts not only allow for better indoor mobility, but they also make a home available for aging in place. Here are seven construction factors that use green universal design, providing environmentally friendly options that can meet or exceed the needs of older clients.Contemporary Kitchen by Palo Alto Home Builders Clarum Homes
- Installing low-flow bathroom and shower fixtures – Low-flow faucets, toilets and shower heads use less water while saving money and energy. Temperature controls also save money and reduce the risk of scald injuries.
- Using programmable “smart” thermostats – These electronic thermostats provide excellent control over indoor temperature and HVAC system function. They allow the programming of automatic temperature adjustments that save money and produce excellent indoor comfort when needed.
- Using low-VOC paints, sealers and finishes for cabinets, furniture and other indoor items – This reduces strong odors, unpleasant off-gassing and the reduction of indoor air quality that could aggravate respiratory conditions.
- Installing hands-free or sensor-controlled plumbing fixtures – These fixtures are not only designed to conserve water; they’re also practical for users with mobility or dexterity issues.
- Putting in natural flooring – Natural, sustainable flooring such as cork or bamboo is easy to walk on and reduces stress on hips, backs and joints.
- Combining LED lighting with CFL lights – Using LED light sources along with standard CFL lighting puts extra illumination where it’s needed to help users see better and avoid accidents.
- Installation of induction cooktops – Induction-based cooking surfaces remove potential risks posed by open-flame burners. They use less energy and are easier to clean and operate.
Sage Builders LLC serves residential customers in Boston and the surrounding communities with professional design, construction and consulting services. Contact us today for more information and expert advice on green universal design and how to best apply these concepts to home building and renovation for aging clients.
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