Sustainable Building and Accessibility by Maria Teresa Donoso, representative of the Global Universal Design Commission in Ecuador

January 9, 2019

Sustainable Building and Accessibility by María Teresa Donoso, Engineer and representative of the Global Universal Design Commision in Ecuador.

In 1987, tile United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development, will tile participation of several countries and led by Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland, who was the Prime Minister of Norway, elaborates the report Our Common Future, better known as the Brundtland Report.

This is the first time that the term sustainable development or maintainable development is used, defined as the one that "satisfies the needs of the present without compromising the needs of future generations", confronting and contrasting the position of the economic development with that of environmental sustainability, recognizing that social advancement was taking place at a very high environmental cost (global warming, depletion of the ozone layer, degradation and deforestation of forests, among others). In this way, it is brought to the table the idea that a change should be generated in terms of the scope of sustainability, considering the economic and social context of the environment, that is to say that economic growth and environmental protection must be addressed as a single issue. Read more in Sustainable Building and Accessibility.

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: