Narrative Box 3

Universal Design

Every project that Jones undertakes embraces universal design concepts. Quite often, we are working on campuses constructed well before laws that govern universal access were enacted, which means we don’t have the luxury of starting from scratch.

Solutions within buildings are solved as part of renovations to these structures. Many of the buildings have seen multiple overhauls since their original construction — to address deferred maintenance, the end of the natural life of particular building systems, or finish upgrades. As these incremental updates have been implemented, they are accompanied by improvements to accessibility, in compliance with the law — bathroom updates, door operation, ramps and sloped walks at building entries, etc.

However, when working on a campus, there is an ill-defined limit outside the building where the accessibility scope stops. It is not a standalone building in a parking lot where you can draw a clean line. These campuses are networks of circulation and we are often tasked with drawing these lines in ways that improve accessibility, while limiting scope to contain project cost.