NAHB Best In American Living - Spring 2015 - (Page 16)
IN UNIVERSAL DESIGN
The Universal Design Living Laboratory
showcases the best and brightest
universal design ideas in both the home
and the garden. And oh yes, it's green,
too. Here, the home's co-creator shares
the story behind this remarkable home.
By Rosemarie Rossetti, Ph.D.
Designing and building the Universal Design Living Laboratory
has been a fulfilling labor of love that began with a terrible
accident nearly 17 years ago. On June 13, 1998, my husband,
Mark Leder, and I went for a bicycle ride on a rural wooded
trail in Granville, Ohio. After riding for a few minutes, Mark
thought he heard a gunshot and slowed down to investigate.
As he scanned the scene he saw a large tree falling. He shouted,
"Stop!" But the warning was too late. Instantly, I was crushed
by a 3-½ ton tree and paralyzed from the waist down.
Coming home from the hospital in a manual wheelchair
after my spinal cord injury, I realized how my two-story home
16 BEST IN AMERICAN LIVING | www.bestinamericanliving.com
relax in their
Their home has
design certifications and
the NGBS Gold rating.
intensified my disability. There were a myriad of things I was
unable to do: I couldn't come and go out of any door independently, roll my chair on the carpet, or fit through bathroom
doorways. I couldn't reach the clothes in my closet, nor glasses
and dishes in the kitchen. I couldn't use the oven or microwave, get food out of the freezer, nor access food in the pantry.
I couldn't take a shower or bath independently, do the laundry,
Hardwood flooring, five-foot turning radiuses, and multi-height counters make
this spacious home both beautiful and practical.
get to the second floor or basement, and I couldn't access any
of the landscape. My husband and I knew that we had to sell
our home and find something more suitable.
In September of 2004, we hired architect Patrick Manley to
draw plans for our new home in Columbus, Ohio. A few months
later, Mark and I were encouraged by our mastermind group to
make our house a national demonstration home and garden,
acquire corporate sponsors, and open it for tours to the public.
Sponsors would help us by contributing products and services
in order to make construction feasible. We wanted to share our
home for others to see so they could borrow a few good ideas.
We hired S. Robert August, a Denver-based consultant,
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