Universal Design forum is June 15


The local Universal Design Coalition is presenting a public forum from noon to 2:30 p.m. Monday, June 15, at the Realtors Association of Manatee and Sarasota at 2320 Cattlemen Road in Sarasota. Admission is free.

The panel includes John King, president of Rampart Homes; Greg Hall of Hall Architects; Kathleen Houseweart, geriatrics manager for SMH Healthcare System; and Tracy Lux, president of Trace Marketing. I will be the moderator.

The guest speaker is Wanda Gozdz, president of Golden Age Living and an allied member of the American Society of Interior Designers.

If green building benefits people and the planet by conserving resources, then universal design benefits individuals by making their homes more comfortable and functional.

The house that allows its occupants to thrive regardless of their age or mobility is one that is truly sustainable, said Sarasota architect Larry Hale, chairman of the UDC and a local architect.

“You need it before you need it,” Hale said of UD. “We age, and our mobility changes.”

By including universal design concepts when a house is built or remodeled, homes can be useful for a longer time, delaying the occupants’ need to move, he said.

Like green building, which saves homeowners money by lowering their utility bills and creating healthful indoor air, universal design also comes down to economics, said Hale. “It keeps you in your home longer.”


Harold Bubil

Recipient of the 2015 Bob Graham Architectural Awareness Award from the American Institute of Architects/Florida-Caribbean, Harold Bubil is real estate editor of the Herald-Tribune Media Group. Born in Newport, R.I., his family moved to Sarasota in 1958. Harold graduated from Sarasota High School in 1970 and the University of Florida in 1974 with a degree in journalism. For the Herald-Tribune, he writes and edits stories about residential real estate, architecture, green building and local development history. He also is a photographer and public speaker. Contact him via email, or at (941) 361-4805.
Last modified: June 5, 2015
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