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Commercial Building is Adopting Universal Design

Universal design is a way of designing products and environments to be usable by all people no matter what abilities or disabilities they may have. Some commercial builders in the Springfield area have adopted this design process. KSMU's Joe Morgan reports.

Imagine if going to your favorite store included overcoming several obstacles in order to shop and get around. This is exactly the problem for many people with disabilities who often face difficulties moving around in some public buildings. Universal design might be able to solve many of these problems. Some commercial builders don't believe that universal design is worth the extra time or money but one builder who does is Springfield developer Matt O'Reilly.

O'Reilly just finished building a new store in Kansas City and he says that implementing universal design can be frustrating at times.

O'Reilly says that universal design combines many different aspects of building that must be considered to build spaces that everyone can use.

Universal design is not a new phenomenon, but like green building has gotten more popular in recent years. O'Reilly explains why it's catching on.

O'Reilly says that some universal design aspects are part of government building codes but others are not. He says that in the years to come he sees universal design becoming more of a requirement than an option in building. For KSMU News, I'm Joe Morgan.