This isUD™

is udThe Center for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access (IDeA) at the University at Buffalo has created a website tool to assist with the application of universal design principles. It utilises some of the tactics and tools for Green Building, such as the BASIX index system used in New South Wales. Other state governments have something similar. While the content clearly has the US market and professionals in mind, it offers useful guidance, particularly for those wanting to go beyond basic access compliance towards performance criteria. The website requires a login account, which is free. Here is an excerpt from the website that explains more about isUD™:

“The Center for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access (IDeA) has started an initiative to develop an evidence base for universal design practice. Professionals often need to provide evidence for their decisions. This legitimises design decisions and makes universal design a more powerful force for improving design quality overall.

The IDeA Center modeled its efforts on the success of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and the Green Building Initiative (GBI), who have each developed successful standards (LEED and Green Globes, respectively). Both organizations provide services such as certification of buildings and accreditation of professionals to recognize competency in sustainable design practices. innovative solutions for Universal Design (isUD™) is designed to offer similar resources and services to support and recognize adopters of universal design.

isUD™ provides several benefits to adopters of universal design:

  • A means to implement universal design solutions
  • A branding opportunity for engaging in socially responsible activities
  • Reduced liability in the operation of buildings by making environments more accessible, healthier, and safer
  • Increased employee and visitor satisfaction that leads to increased productivity, repeat visits, and other benefits
  • Proponents of universal design could use the program as a focus of public education programs to increase demand for universal design among consumers

The current set of solutions on this website focus on universal design of public and commercial buildings. In the future, solutions for housing, transportation, products, etc. will become available.