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Check Out DC House Transformed With Universal Design

In honor of its 50th Anniversary, AARP joined forces with a host of organizations to remodel a Northeast D.C. home using universal design features — invisible elements that make it user-friendly for people of all ages and abilities. The AARP Andrus House, which was open to visitors during June, is now a private home for six older low-income adults. But you can still check out its universal design features through this online tour. Learn about a range of ways, some inexpensive and easy, and some more complex, to update homes and better accommodate everyone.

Below are the organizations that made generous donations of time, resources, expertise and products to this effort. We are grateful for those contributions, without which the AARP Andrus House could never have been completed.

The District of Columbia government made this project possible by allocating the property and more than $200,000 for construction costs, and the DC Office on Aging supported us every step of the way.

Christian Communities Group Homes, a non-profit service of Episcopal Senior Ministries, manages the home, served as a consultant to the project from its inception to completion and is responsible for identifying and selecting residents who will live in the home.

Clark Construction Group, LLC, the same company that built the new Washington Nationals baseball stadium, not only remodeled the kitchen using universal design principles, but also converted the garage into a fully-accessible bedroom, laundry room, and bath. Their collaboration came at the request of Rebuilding Together of Washington, DC.

Rebuilding Together of Washington, DC provided invaluable support and guidance on the local building industry and put us in touch with the right people.

The University of Maryland student chapter of the American Institute of Architecture Students Freedom By Design Program volunteered their time to help with the design of the garage conversion, encompassing the accessible bedroom, laundry room, and bath. Architect Michael Graves, who uses a wheelchair himself, mentored the students and shared his valuable insights.

Reico Kitchen & Bath donated cabinets for the kitchen.

General Electric, through Appliance Distributors Unlimited, donated universal design kitchen appliances and a universal design front loading washer/dryer with pedestal.

Holt Jordan of Jordan Honeyman Landscape Architecture, LLC donated landscape design and construction administrative services for the residence's grounds improvement project that integrates an existing ramp into the larger landscape scheme and creates functional "ambient" spaces for the facility's residents.

KC Company, the local distributor for Pella Windows, donated windows for the converted garage.

The Washington Architectural Foundation provided an architect from the SK&I Architectural Design Group who served as a general consultant to the project and redesigned the kitchen and upstairs bathroom.

Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind donated household items for the visually impaired.

Bedco donated and installed a Stannah Stairlift for the house.

OldCastle Architectural Products provided pavers for the new walkway and front patio.

Jose Carlotta of JMC Masonry, Inc., provided labor to lay the walkway and patio pavers.

Evergro Landscaping, Inc. provided labor to plant the new trees, shrubs and flowering ground covers.

Shemin Nurseries, Inc. donated an edging system for the new walkway.

Johnson's Nurseries and Garden Center provided a gift card for supplemental plants.

Jack T. Irwin Stone, Inc., provided stone dust needed for construction of the walkway and patio.

Truland Systems Corporation did electrical installation throughout the house.

Shapiro & Duncan Mechanical Contractors provided plumbing services.

Pierce Associates donated the materials and services to install heating and air conditioning in the converted garage.

Capital Sprinkler Contracting, Inc. donated labor and materials to extend the existing sprinkler system to the converted garage.

CB Flooring donated wood flooring for the house.

National Commercial Flooring donated tile flooring for the house.

Maryland Applicators, Inc. donated drywall.

A&M Drywall Constructions, Inc., installed the drywall.

One World Ventures donated the kitchen countertops.

Country Casual, Inc., donated a new garden swing.

Dimensional Tile installed ceramic tile in the new accessible bathroom and in the upstairs bath as well.

Delta Painting & Wallcovering donated painting materials and services.

Sun Control donated miniblinds for all of the windows in the house.

Georgetown Smith & Hawken donated lawn furniture.

UnitedHealth Group provided funding to purchase furniture and household items for the home.

Design Serenity was enlisted by United Health Group to make certain the residents would reside in a beautifully decorated setting.

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., generously donated monies and in-kind donations which will help to provide the upkeep and maintenance of the home throughout the years

Other Resources

Center for Universal Design (CUD)
The CUD is a national information, technical assistance, and research center that evaluates, develops, and promotes accessible and universal design in housing, commercial and public facilities, outdoor environments, and products.