BUFFALO, N.Y. –- Architect Danise Levine of the University
at Buffalo has completed design work with the Wounded Warrior Home
Project, which will finish construction on two houses for wounded
veterans today (Nov. 11) in Fort Belvoir, Va.
Levine is assistant director of UB's Center for Inclusive Design
and Environmental Access (IDeA Center). As an architect with
experience in universal design and accessible design, she is part
of the expert team that designed the homes for veterans and their
The houses will fit the unique physical and emotional needs of
the soldiers who will move in. The dwellings are universally
designed to be accessible to people of diverse abilities and
Sliding interior doors and wider hallways reduce obstructions
and optimize maneuverability within the home. The sink, stove and
table are equipped with automatic lifts that adjust their height to
fit different users at the touch of a switch. Designers even took
the appearance of the floor into account; contrasting floor
patterns make it easy for residents with reduced vision to identify
where one floor space ends and the next begins.
"The collaborative nature of the project allowed all members of
the design team to contribute in their area of expertise, which I
think shows in the strength of the final product," Levine says.
Both new homes -- the Freedom Home and the Patriot Home --
address a variety of challenges that veterans might face. Exterior
lights at entry points provide enhanced security and comfort for
people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD),
traumatic brain injuries and vision loss. Glass doors provide
visual access to the outside. Automatic entry doors that are wider
than usual provide unobstructed accessibility for someone with a
limb amputation or to a person who uses a wheelchair.
Levine has been working with the Wounded Warrior Home Project
since it began to take shape in February of 2010. Her expertise in
universal and accessible design guided the layout of the two homes
that the builders are finishing this week.
"Danise's feedback throughout the design stage has helped shape
the homes that we see today," says Adam Owens, project manager of
the Wounded Warrior Home Project with Clark Realty Capital.
The Wounded Warrior Home Project aims to create a model for
soldier housing that employs human-centered design, which focuses
on the role housing plays in making a person's life more dignified,
healthy and rich.
The IDeA Center will partner with the Wounded Warrior Home
Project to study the usability of the homes after their completion.
The goal is to improve future projects.
"We are excited to be a part of the UB IDeA Center's research
project to test the usability and effectiveness of the universally
designed components of the homes to help improve the design and
usability of future homes," Owens says.
Levine, a registered architect, holds a master's degree in
architecture from UB. With more than 17 years of architectural
practice experience, she has experience with architectural design
for residential and commercial buildings, accessibility assessments
and post-occupancy evaluations.
Her work has included designing close to 500 renovations to help
people with unique needs in Western New York and beyond live
comfortably in their homes.
Most of her clients are families whose children have
disabilities. But others who have sought her help include veterans,
individuals who have lost their mobility as a result of an
accident, and older adults hoping to remain in their homes as they
Levine will attend the Nov. 30 ribbon cutting ceremony for the
Wounded Warrior Home Project houses.
The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public
university, a flagship institution in the State University of New
York system and its largest and most comprehensive campus. UB's
more than 28,000 students pursue their academic interests through
more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree
programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of
the Association of American Universities.
Home Modifications: UB-Designed Renovations Are Changing
Lives, One Home at a Time http://www.buffalo.edu/news/12923
About the IDeA Center:
Wounded Warrior Home Project:
About Clark Realty Capital: