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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. When applied to housing, Universal Design principles are often referred to as “age in place” design principles. This design framework applies to single-family homes as well as multi-family buildings such as age-in-place cohousing. It also applies to any product that enables people equal opportunities to participate in every aspect of society. Homes and communities designed to allow people to age in place typically empower people to live as long as feasible in their own homes or intentional communities. 

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. For the past decade, Green Hammer has applied Universal Design and age-in-place principles to buildings and communities throughout the Portland and Ashland, Oregon regions. 

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. These Universal Design homes 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. Each home as well as the common courtyard are ADA-accessible.

Read more about Ankeny Row, an age-in-place cohousing community in Portland, Oregon. We're currently working on the first net-zero energy community in the Portland senior housing market, The Oaks at Rose Villa

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