Asee peer logo

Merging Ada & Leed To Enhance Older Adult Living: A Capstone Project

Download Paper |


2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

AEC Education: Instructional Strategies and Innovation

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

13.889.1 - 13.889.10



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Darrell Nickolson Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis

Download Paper |

NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Merging ADA & LEED to Enhance Older Adult Living: A Capstone Project

Abstract An Interior Design Technology 400 level capstone project set out to develop homes designed to raise the quality of life for seniors. Enhancing the living environment for seniors is shortly becoming a growing issue for the American public and political system. The US Census Bureau 2000 statistics indicate that by the year 2010 the number of older adults (age 65 or older) would have grown to 39.4 million, up from 31.8 million in 1990. The Report also indicates that by the year 2020 this number will balloon to 52.1 million. The “graying of America” is how William Hoyer and Paul Roodin refer to it in their book Adult Development and Aging. With these population stats in mind, housing solutions will need to lend themselves to offer some key components to make them efficient, affordable, and useable. The components looked at in this capstone project which will be discussed in this paper are Universal Design, ADA Compatibility, along with Green Design leading to LEED Certification of the home designs.

Efficiently designed homes can lead to several factors that make them appealing to older adults that deal with such issues as economic restrictions, health concerns, and accessibility obstacles stemming from physical limitations that come along with the aging process. These housing designs undertaken in this capstone project looked at such things like solutions to in-door air quality by studying low VOC paints, non-off-gassing carpet glues as well as the impact of better ventilation with more efficient windows, among many other things that will be discussed in this paper. In addition this project tried to create solutions to lower cost per square foot for energy uses by researching the maximum usage of natural light, housing position in reference to sunrise/sunset, and more energy efficient appliances and utilities, among other things. Lastly, but just as important, this capstone project was set in a 400 Level Interior Design course which means topics such as space planning, ergonomics, anthropometrics, universal design, and accessibility were paramount in the solutions sought after.

This project allowed students of the institution to collaborate with a local design professional that is a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist. This professional led the students on site visits of a prototype neighborhood, as well as reviewed drawings of all the students involved. With this professional being an architect, it brought a multidisciplinary approach to our Interior Design Project.

Introduction This paper will examine the results of combining the standard benefits of Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) Certification qualities and Americans with Disabilities Act ADA guidelines to produce single family living environments where elderly occupants could live comfortably as well as have a more cost effective approach to living.

The premise of this paper is based on the outcome of the Capstone Design Project for the Interior Design Bachelors of Science degree in the Design Communication Technology Program at the _____________ School of Engineering & Technology on the ________ campus, focusing on testing the ability of the students preparing to enter the professional world of design. This course

Nickolson, D. (2008, June), Merging Ada & Leed To Enhance Older Adult Living: A Capstone Project Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--4214

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2008 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015