Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Competition for Architecture Students to Design a Home with 'Visitability'

Architecture students throughout Connecticut are encouraged to enter a competition to design a home with "visitability," incorporating features that make the dwelling accessible to people of all ages and abilities.

The design contest, which has a top prize of $500, is being sponsored by the North Central Area Disability Advocacy Network. James Fuller, associate professor of architecture in the University's College of Engineering, Technology, and Architecture (CETA), served as a technical advisor to the contest organizers.

Students who enter the competition will be challenged to design a 2,000-square-foot home using the three features of visitability. The three main features of visitability in home building design include a zero/no-step entrance, hallways that offer at least 32 inches of clear passage as well as wider hallways, and a bath on the main living floor that is large enough for someone with a mobility device or wheelchair to use.

Competition organizers hope to encourage young architects to utilize their skills to create home plans that offer Americans homes that meet all of their family's needs throughout their lifetime. The design contest is offering prizes to those students or teams of students that apply the principles of visitability to creative home designs that are also aesthetically pleasing and practical. A plot plan, floor plan and scale model of the final design are required.

Registrations for the design competition are currently being accepted. To register, contact Susan Salters at ssalters@independenceunlimited.org or 860.523.5021.

The North Central Area Disability Advocacy Network is sponsored by Independence Unlimited, a non-profit, non-residential center for independent living that helps Connecticut residents with disabilities to live independently in the community. Through peer counseling, information and referral, independent living skills training and advocacy, Independence Unlimited assists individuals in finding and obtaining the resources they need to stay in their homes and helps people living in nursing facilities to return to a home in the community.  The goal of the North Central Area Disability Advocacy Network's project on visitability is to increase the number of homes built with basic, simple accessibility features so people of all ages and abilities can find their place to call home.

Source: http://www.hartford.edu/daily/Articles.asp?MainID=9993&Category=1

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