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Universal Design and Accessibility

Universal Design and Accessibility

  • The owners of this private residence in Newton, Mass., were able to build a home from scratch that allowed for accessibility and sustainability.

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    The owners of this private residence in Newton, Mass., were able to build a home from scratch that allowed for accessibility and sustainability.

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    Greg Premru Photography Inc.

    The owners of this private residence in Newton, Mass., were able to build a home from scratch that allowed for accessibility and sustainability.

  • LIVING ROOM

    Two sets of Lepage French doors with low-E argon-filled glass connect the living room to the screened porch and facilitate natural ventilation. For easy wheelchair access, the living room floor is at the same level as the screened porch and the doors were customized for a flush threshold. 877.289.0191. www.lepagemillwork.com.

    http://www.ecobuildingpulse.com/Images/tmpD993%2Etmp_tcm131-1235921.jpg

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    Two sets of Lepage French doors with low-E argon-filled glass connect the living room to the screened porch and facilitate natural ventilation. For easy wheelchair access, the living room floor is at the same level as the screened porch and the doors were customized for a flush threshold. 877.289.0191. www.lepagemillwork.com.

    600

    Greg Premru Photography Inc.

    Two sets of Lepage French doors with low-E argon-filled glass connect the living room to the screened porch and facilitate natural ventilation. For easy wheelchair access, the living room floor is at the same level as the screened porch and the doors were customized for a flush threshold. 877.289.0191. www.lepagemillwork.com.

  • BREEZEWAY

    A wraparound porch connects the courtyard to the main entry, while the garage, at right, is detached but accessible by a covered walkway. Because the familys minivan often runs for long periods while the wheelchair lift system is operating, the owners wanted to ensure that pollutants from the car would not enter the home. A bluestone ramp and sloped path, at left, lead to the lower backyard.

    http://www.ecobuildingpulse.com/Images/tmpD994%2Etmp_tcm131-1235925.jpg

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    A wraparound porch connects the courtyard to the main entry, while the garage, at right, is detached but accessible by a covered walkway. Because the familys minivan often runs for long periods while the wheelchair lift system is operating, the owners wanted to ensure that pollutants from the car would not enter the home. A bluestone ramp and sloped path, at left, lead to the lower backyard.

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    Greg Premru Photography Inc.

    A wraparound porch connects the courtyard to the main entry, while the garage, at right, is detached but accessible by a covered walkway. Because the family’s minivan often runs for long periods while the wheelchair lift system is operating, the owners wanted to ensure that pollutants from the car would not enter the home. A bluestone ramp and sloped path, at left, lead to the lower backyard.

  • STAIRS

    A three-level open riser stair crowned with remote-controlled Energy Star skylights from Velux brings daylighting and fresh air to the core of the home while exhausting unwanted heat. Thanks to ventilation from the skylight and an array of low-E argon-filled Lepage windows (U-factor: 0.29/SHGC: 0.22) , the owners rarely need to use air conditioning, according to architect Douglas Dick. Velux: 800.888.3589. www.veluxusa.com. Lepage: 877.289.0191. www.lepagemillwork.com.

    http://www.ecobuildingpulse.com/Images/tmpD995%2Etmp_tcm131-1235931.jpg

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    A three-level open riser stair crowned with remote-controlled Energy Star skylights from Velux brings daylighting and fresh air to the core of the home while exhausting unwanted heat. Thanks to ventilation from the skylight and an array of low-E argon-filled Lepage windows (U-factor: 0.29/SHGC: 0.22) , the owners rarely need to use air conditioning, according to architect Douglas Dick. Velux: 800.888.3589. www.veluxusa.com. Lepage: 877.289.0191. www.lepagemillwork.com.

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    Greg Premru Photography Inc.

    A three-level open riser stair crowned with remote-controlled Energy Star skylights from Velux brings daylighting and fresh air to the core of the home while exhausting unwanted heat. Thanks to ventilation from the skylight and an array of low-E argon-filled Lepage windows (U-factor: 0.29/SHGC: 0.22) , the owners rarely need to use air conditioning, according to architect Douglas Dick. Velux: 800.888.3589. www.veluxusa.com. Lepage: 877.289.0191. www.lepagemillwork.com.

  • MUDROOM

    Equipped with an automatic door opener, a wheelchair charging station, and a durable ceramic floor, the mudroom is the main point of entry for all family members. Residents and visitors store shoes here to avoid tracking mud inside as a way to reduce indoor contaminants. In addition, a nearby outdoor faucet allows for easy cleaning of wheelchair tires.

    http://www.ecobuildingpulse.com/Images/tmpD996%2Etmp_tcm131-1235937.jpg

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    Equipped with an automatic door opener, a wheelchair charging station, and a durable ceramic floor, the mudroom is the main point of entry for all family members. Residents and visitors store shoes here to avoid tracking mud inside as a way to reduce indoor contaminants. In addition, a nearby outdoor faucet allows for easy cleaning of wheelchair tires.

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    Greg Premru Photography Inc.

    Equipped with an automatic door opener, a wheelchair charging station, and a durable ceramic floor, the mudroom is the main point of entry for all family members. Residents and visitors store shoes here to avoid tracking mud inside as a way to reduce indoor contaminants. In addition, a nearby outdoor faucet allows for easy cleaning of wheelchair tires.

  • DINING ROOM

    The custom-designed sideboard is topped with EcoTop surfacing, made of an FSC-certified 50/50 blend of bamboo fiber and recycled wood fiber salvaged from demolition sites, bound together by a water-based resin that is free of petroleum and VOCs. 253.904.8608. www.kliptech.com.

    http://www.ecobuildingpulse.com/Images/tmpD997%2Etmp_tcm131-1235940.jpg

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    The custom-designed sideboard is topped with EcoTop surfacing, made of an FSC-certified 50/50 blend of bamboo fiber and recycled wood fiber salvaged from demolition sites, bound together by a water-based resin that is free of petroleum and VOCs. 253.904.8608. www.kliptech.com.

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    Greg Premru Photography Inc.

    The custom-designed sideboard is topped with EcoTop surfacing, made of an FSC-certified 50/50 blend of bamboo fiber and recycled wood fiber salvaged from demolition sites, bound together by a water-based resin that is free of petroleum and VOCs. 253.904.8608. www.kliptech.com.

  • KITCHEN

    The large, open kitchen, the central hub of the home, reflects the projects focus on modern but warm interior design. The family-friendly space offers sustainable touches: locally manufactured concrete countertops and GE Energy Star appliances. 800.626.2005. www.geappliances.com.

    http://www.ecobuildingpulse.com/Images/tmpD998%2Etmp_tcm131-1235942.jpg

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    The large, open kitchen, the central hub of the home, reflects the projects focus on modern but warm interior design. The family-friendly space offers sustainable touches: locally manufactured concrete countertops and GE Energy Star appliances. 800.626.2005. www.geappliances.com.

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    Greg Premru Photography Inc.

    The large, open kitchen, the central hub of the home, reflects the project’s focus on modern but warm interior design. The family-friendly space offers sustainable touches: locally manufactured concrete countertops and GE Energy Star appliances. 800.626.2005. www.geappliances.com.

  • BREAKFAST NOOK

    The kitchen also features universal touches, such as the custom-made table for wheelchair seating in the breakfast nook.

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    The kitchen also features universal touches, such as the custom-made table for wheelchair seating in the breakfast nook.

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    Greg Premru Photography Inc.

    The kitchen also features universal touches, such as the custom-made table for wheelchair seating in the breakfast nook.

  • EXTERIOR

    Locally sourced FSC-certified eastern white cedar shingles from Maibec, broad covered porches, and deep roof overhangs add to the homes farmhouse look. DuPont Tyvek HomeWrap protects against wind and rain while sealing the home to help it stay dry, cool in the summer, and warm in the winter. Maibec: 800.363.1930. www.maibec.com/en.  DuPont: 800.448.9835. www2.dupont.com.

    http://www.ecobuildingpulse.com/Images/tmpD99A%2Etmp_tcm131-1235950.jpg

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    Locally sourced FSC-certified eastern white cedar shingles from Maibec, broad covered porches, and deep roof overhangs add to the homes farmhouse look. DuPont Tyvek HomeWrap protects against wind and rain while sealing the home to help it stay dry, cool in the summer, and warm in the winter. Maibec: 800.363.1930. www.maibec.com/en. DuPont: 800.448.9835. www2.dupont.com.

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    Greg Premru Photography Inc.

    Locally sourced FSC-certified eastern white cedar shingles from Maibec, broad covered porches, and deep roof overhangs add to the home’s farmhouse look. DuPont Tyvek HomeWrap protects against wind and rain while sealing the home to help it stay dry, cool in the summer, and warm in the winter. Maibec: 800.363.1930. www.maibec.com/en. DuPont: 800.448.9835. www.dupont.com.

  • Carter Williams, LEED AP, LDa Architecture and Interiors.

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    Carter Williams, LEED AP, LDa Architecture and Interiors.

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    Greg Premru Photography Inc

    Carter Williams, LEED AP, LDa Architecture and Interiors.

 
 

Inside, the design directive was for a bright, open layout in keeping with a modern farmhouse aesthetic. The clients wanted the home to foster interaction among all family members while giving their special-needs daughter complete independence.

“The parents really wanted the home to work seamlessly for every member of the family even though one member had the most specific physical space requirements,” Williams recalls. “They didn’t want it slanted visually in any way.”

Three-foot-wide hallways and doorways customized to the width of the daughter’s wheelchair, zero-step transitions between rooms, and an elevator connecting the home’s three main levels provide her with full access. Her second-floor bathroom features a 6-foot-long roll-in shower that slopes below floor level to drain, eliminating the need for a curb. Other universal features in the bathrooms include vanities with open knee space under the sinks and ADA-compliant, WaterSense-certified Toto Aquia dual-flush toilets.

A large mudroom with an automatic door opener contains an electric wheelchair charging station and allows for shoe and bag storage for the entire family. “A lot of the home’s features are beneficial to the whole family,” Williams points out.

To achieve a tight building envelope, the architects relied on advanced framing techniques common to all LDa projects and Lapolla open-cell spray foam insulation in the 2x6 exterior walls and 2x10 rafter cavities.

Other energy-efficient features include shading devices on the largest south-facing windows calibrated to allow low-angle winter passive heating while blocking higher-angle summer solar heat gain, and a zoned HVAC system with four separate programmable thermostats. In addition, a south-facing garage roof was prepped for future PV or solar thermal equipment.

With an emphasis on operable windows and skylights, the project team decided against an ERV, saving about $4,000, Dick says. Instead, they installed programmable multiple-speed exhaust fans in the basement and the third-floor bathroom to continuously pull in fresh air. As an additional airquality measure, the garage is separate from the house (but wheelchair accessible via a covered breezeway).

Even with its one-of-a-kind touches and high-performance features, the house came in at $171 per square foot, modest by Boston-area standards and about 25% less costly than a typical LDa residence, Dick says. By keeping interior trim simple, eschewing fancy finishes, and choosing a small site and efficient stacked floor plan, the owners were able to keep costs under control.

“The clients wanted a stylish house but had their biggest budget priorities set on accessibility and energy efficiency,” Dick says.