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Design for All

Universal Design encompasses a philosophy and practice that makes building environments accessible, safe and convenient for diverse groups of people. This design framework applies to single-family homes as well as multiple homes such as age in place cohousing. It also applies to any product that enables people to have equal opportunities to participate in every aspect of society. Universal Design homes and communities typically empower people to live as long as feasible in their own homes or intentional communities. This type of housing is often referred to as “age in place”. 

For the past decade, Green Hammer has applied Universal Design and age-in-place design build principles to buildings and intentional communities throughout the Portland and Ashland, Oregon regions We believe that every design-build process should consider the future adaptability of the space so that it can accommodate all potential occupants at all stages of life.

In 2015, we integrated Universal Design and age-in-place elements into Ankeny Row, a Net Zero Energy intentional community in southeast Portland consisting of five three-bedroom townhomes and one two-bedroom apartment above a common shared space. The universal design homes can adapt to the owners’ changing needs as they age in place. All townhomes allow for single-floor living, where the master bedroom, bathroom and kitchen are all on the first floor. The homes have wide halls and doorways and zero-step entrances to accommodate wheelchairs. The common courtyard is ADA-accessible.

Read more about Ankeny Row, an age-in-place cohousing community in Portland, Oregon. 

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