WHY BUILDINGS FOR AUTISTIC PEOPLE ARE BETTER FOR EVERYONE

By Stuart Shell, AIA, WELL AP, LEED AP BD+C

NOTE: April is Autism Awareness Month. As a company dedicated to Improving Life through Better Built Environments, it is very important for our team to keep in mind all people in our research, analytics and design. A year ago, Stuart Shell explored the idea of how a building could be better giving consideration to people who live within the autism spectrum. Below is an excerpt from that article. In May, Stuart will present on this topic at the Rocky Mountain Green conference in Denver, CO. We encourage you to join us (more details below).

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If people who own, operate and design buildings are not thinking about people with autism, they will be soon. Individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, or ASD have the same rights to functional, accessible spaces that the non-ASD world enjoys. Also, with 1 in 68 children diagnosed with autism in 2012 – up from 1 in 150 in 2000 – it is time for the United States to expand its idea of accessibility.

Unfortunately, creating responsive buildings for people with ASD is difficult. Most architects, engineers, and building owners have limited knowledge of ASD. Its broad range in sensitivity also means that each individual needs different qualities in their surroundings. Even with the “perfect” building design, inhabitants must be empowered to interact with and modify spaces to meet their immediate needs.

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Taken all together, it is not a surprise that the design world has more progress to make regarding inclusive buildings. But there is also an up-side to the challenge; everyone benefits from the features that make a facility autism-friendly. This article highlights why a focus on occupants with ASD is a powerful approach to creating great architecture…

Read entire article HERE.


Discovering Human Experience in Accessibility (RMG08)

Stuart Shell

Stuart will be presenting on this topic along with Allison Dvorak, TSP, and Meghan Walls, Assistology, at this year’s Rocky Mountain Green Conference in Denver, CO. Rocky Mountain Green is the region’s largest green building conference. Over 500 attendees gather to earn GBCI and AIA CEUs and learn about best design practices and the top sustainability projects in the industry. Join us as hundreds of building professionals, sustainability leaders and change makers from across the Rocky Mountain region gather for a full day of educational sessions, networking opportunities in the expo hall, and discussions around today’s most critical sustainability and green building issues.

New this year, Rocky Mountain Green will be collocated with the Green Schools Conference & Expo (GSCE), the only national event that brings together all the players involved in making green schools a reality. This collocation will unite experts from diverse industries within the green building world for a unique opportunity for collaboration and networking. A joint Expo Hall will be open to all attendees, and industry professionals attending Rocky Mountain Green have a unique opportunity to enhance their understanding of the K-12 schools sector by extending their registration through Friday, May 4 to attend the second day of GSCE.

We hope to see you on May 3rd for Stuart, Allison, and Meghan’s presentation along with all the other events happening at Rocky Mountain Green! You can register here.

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