Affordable and accessible: A student design challenge

Picture of three young women wearing hard hats and holding pens and looking at a drawing on a table top
University at Buffalo architecture and planning students work on a Habitat for Humanity home on Buffalo’s East Side in June 2016.

Thanks to a pilot project between Habitat for Humanity and the University at Buffalo’s School of Architecture and Planning, a family will move into their new home on Buffalo’s East Side. This home has been designed so that the family members will be comfortable staying in the house for a long time, and into their later years.

The student challenge was driven by Professor Ed Steinfeld, who is Director of the Center for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access (IDeA), and Peter Russell, the workshop manager at the University at Buffalo. Students had to develop innovative solutions for affordable housing design that could be adopted by Habitat for Humanity, but the solutions also had to include visitability, accessibility and ageing in place – all aspects of the Habitat for Humanity model of building for long term living spaces for families. The designs considered both renovations and brand new homes.  Go to the IDeA website to see the full story and for further links.

IDeA also offers online courses on inclusive design including home modifications and health, wellness and social participation.