Barrier Free Design vs Universal Design

Barrier Free Design vs Universal Design

Postby hllARE » Tue Aug 14, 2018 12:45 pm

I thought both Barrier Free Design and Universal Design are for people with and without help. But, when google online, barrier free design is Design for those with physical or other disabilities, involving the provision of alternative means of access to steps; whereas Universal Design is for everybody.
Please advise. Thank you in advance.
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Re: Barrier Free Design vs Universal Design

Postby MWilliams » Wed Sep 12, 2018 9:34 pm

The best I can tell is that "Barrier Free Design" is a response to an existing barrier, e.g. steps addressed by adding a ramp.

Universal Design does not use barriers in its design. It finds one solution for all, e.g a sloped walkway that everyone uses vs. steps for those who can, a ramp for those who can't.

I was involved in a project for a new classroom building with a large lecture hall. The lecture hall was slightly lowered to provide for a higher ceiling. That meant halfway down the corridor to the hall there were 3-4 steps down then the corridor continued. But the design provided a lift next to the stairs for those unable to use stairs. It made no sense to create a barrier then build an alternate solution. That would have qualified as barrier free but not as universal design. We agreed to raise the roof instead, slightly sloped the corridor, problem solved. Universal Design is easier, more equitable, and a lot more satisfying to design.
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Re: Barrier Free Design vs Universal Design

Postby Coach » Thu Sep 13, 2018 2:29 am

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