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DESIGN universal

This elegant univer- sal shower provides the choice of two styles of shower- heads (his and hers!), designer safety handrail, and low-threshold entry with ample floor space to enhance ease of use. The tub has a deck with designer grab bars to make getting in and out easier and safer. The lavatory is built into a universal design cabinet to allow the homeowner to sit comfortably while performing daily grooming activities.

creates homes that enhance ergonomic fit, safe- ty, health, work efficiency, comfort, convenience, social participation, marketability, and ultimately, freedom of choice.

The Invention Of Simple Machines

Why are simple machines invented? How can wheels, levers, inclines, and pulleys reduce the burdens of life and enhance comfort for all of us when incorporated into ergonomic universal home design? The wheel was created to reduce the bur- den of carrying heavy loads. Over 110 million Americans report back pain. If we went to the trouble of inventing wheeled conveyances to reduce stress to our backs and joints, we need to create environments that allow us to use wheeled devices. With the enactment of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), the gov- ernment mandated that public structures be built to allow for passage of people using wheel- chairs. Most of us have benefited from that requirement when we have been pulling along our roll-on luggage. The delivery men and women who use dollies certainly have benefited. Sloped walkways (inclines) without steps up to the porch or at the door allow us to roll in our baby strollers and grocery carts. Eliminating unnecessary steps enhances safety by reducing the risk of trip-and-fall injuries. Falls in and around the home are the leading cause of injury-related deaths in people over the age of 65. Reducing the risk of falls is an essential component of extending active healthy living.

Lever door handles make opening doors easier when you are carrying groceries or children and reduce the stress on joints in the fingers and wrists. Lever faucet handles reduce the repetitive stress to joints and are more hygienic. When your hands are dirty, you can turn a lever faucet handle on and off with your elbow without touching it with your dirty hands. This can reduce the spread of germs from one family member to another. Motion sensor faucets are even better at avoiding unnecessary transfer of germs.

The grand double-door entry into the master bedroom creates a stunning entry while allowing for ease of moving in large pieces of furniture. Lower windowsills expedite emergency egress.

In the Optimum Performance Homeat The Sea Ranch (featured in the Premiere Issue 1, January/February 2006 of Ultimate Home Design), the house is designed to perform better and to support the homeowners ability to perform better as well. Having easy-to-reach storage, efficient workflow, and workspaces designed to allow the homeowner to work while seated is much more work efficient and convenient than bending,


Ultimate Home Design • Issue 02 • March/April 2006

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