R&D incentives for UD in housing: Norwegian experience

Drawing of a new development showing lots of apartment buildings with a park in the middleMaking small changes to housing design to create greater accessibility seems too difficult for the house building industry in spite of the many guidelines explaining what’s required. In Australia, marketing ploys using the “tick of approval” method to advance such changes have only appeared on select properties – mostly those through government procurement. What would happen if there were financial incentives instead of costs to have a home recognised as accessible or universally designed? This is the topic of an article from Norway which argues that grants can be a driving force for innovation in universal design and that this requires the collaboration of several different stakeholders. The research was funded by the Norwegian State Housing Bank.

Given that the house building industry in Australia is a fragmented system where there is a reliance on regulations, rules, and protocols to hold it together, this research is timely as it recognises that collaboration is essential to innovation and improvements in design quality. 

View of a Norwegian waterfront with housing and the Aurora Borealis The article, Grant as a Driving Force for Innovation in Universal Design is by Tina Therese Larsen and Torben Blindheim from the Norwegian State Housing Bank, Norway.

The picture above is Pilestredet park development and the lower picture is a general waterfront scene in Norway showing the Aurora Borealis.