GUDC Certifies Metropolitan Convention Center of Quito as First Building in Ecuador to Comply with Universal Design

January 3, 2019

The GUDC Global Universal Design Commission is a non-profit corporation created under the laws of the State of New York, USA in 2008. It develops and promotes the understanding and use of Universal Design in the design and development of buildings, products and environments be used by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptations, improvements or specialized design. GUDC has developed the Universal Design Standards for Public Use Buildings, seeking their adoption and application in public and private buildings for institutional and commercial use.

On January 17, 2019, the Global Universal Design Commission will deliver, through its Chairman of the Board, Dr. Peter Blanck, the first certification in compliance with its Standards outside the United States, to the Metropolitan Convention Center of Quito CCMQ, the first in Ecuador and in Latin America. This building has been promoted by the Quito Metropolitan Tourist Destination Tourism Company and is part of the policy of attracting convention tourism. The building was delivered to the city by Mayor Mauricio Rodas, in August 2018.

The certification of this building is made in three categories: INFRASTRUCTURE (the first to be delivered), in which the building's plant is certified, whose construction has been in charge of the Ecuadorian Sustainable Building Council and Ekron Construcciones; PUBLIC SPACE, in which the parking lots and the entrance plaza are certified, by the EPMMOP Metropolitan Mobility and Public Works Company, which are still part of the construction; and EQUIPMENT, in which it will be certified when the contracted operator finishes the CCMQ implementation.

The CCMQ becomes one of the most important buildings in Quito, with an extensive infrastructure to hold conventions and institutional, cultural and artistic events. People of all ages, conditions and capacities, Ecuadorians or foreigners, come here. That is why its physical infrastructure must offer the facilities so that all this population can enjoy its services and the events that take place in it, in a comfortable and safe way.

It is for this reason that the Global Universal Design Commission has made a contribution to the city of Quito so that the Metropolitan Convention Center of Quito (CCMQ) is the first building in Ecuador to adopt Accessibility and Universal Design through the compliance with the Universal Design Standards for Buildings of the GUDC Global Universal Design Commission, as well as the Ecuadorian regulations on accessibility to the physical environment defined by the INEN and the Ecuadorian Construction Standard - Universal Accessibility Code NEC-HS-AU . In this way, it responds to the approach of the New Urban Agenda, which was approved in Habitat III in Quito in October 2016, where Accessibility allows all people to enjoy the services of cities with safety and comfort, autonomously, in equalization of opportunities, regardless of their condition or age; where nobody is left behind since the cities are for everyone.

The certification has been carried out by GUDC, through its representative in Ecuador, which is the company FMR S.A., which carried out an analysis of the plans and recommendations to obtain the GUDC certification in Accessibility and Universal Design.

The INFRASTRUCTURE analysis is the one that has already finished and included:

  • Building entrances and exits
  • Circulation in the Building - Surfaces / Stairs / Elevators
  • Building Elements - Auditorium / Bathrooms / Doors / Windows

Important changes were made to the original plans and currently the building has accessibility in its infrastructure for people with disabilities (physical, visual, auditory, intellectual) as for people with reduced mobility such as the elderly, people at the extremes of height, pregnant women or with children in baby carriage, international travelers, mainly.

About the Global Universal Design Commission, Inc.

(GUDC) a not-for-profit corporation, was established to develop Universal Design (UD) standards for buildings, products and services. GUDC is currently developing UD voluntary consensus standards for commercial buildings, which will expand access to buildings for all people, regardless of physical stature and varying abilities. The approved UD standards will guide corporations and government entities in the creation of barrier-free facilities, providing diverse users with access to commerce, public services, entertainment and employment opportunities.

Buildings and products designed according to the UD standards will benefit everyone, including the 650 million people living with disabilities worldwide and the growing aging population. Businesses stand to reap enormous benefits from the implementation and utilization of UD, including an increase in consumer base, customer loyalty and an expanded labor pool.

About the Burton Blatt Institute

BBI reaches around the globe in its efforts to advance the civic, economic, and social participation of people with disabilities, with offices in Syracuse, NY, New York City, Washington, D.C., Lexington, KY, and Atlanta, GA. BBI builds on the legacy of Burton Blatt, a pioneering disability rights scholar, to better the lives of people with disabilities. For more information about BBI, visit: http://bbi.syr.edu.