Not an exhaustive list here but a few ideas to make the incorporation of universal housing provisions more cost effective on a new build and particularly if it is to be assessed to meet the silver, gold or platinum standards for Livable Housing Australia.
Design an easy access from car park to entry from the start, and if you need a ramp, try to make it less than 8 metres to avoid a 1250 mm platform. There are a number of off the shelf threshold ramps as well.
Larger entry doors are readily accessible if they are kept to 2040 high, and lever drop handles are simply a choice.
If there are stairs, a straight run will make a chair-a-lator cheaper to install, and a lot cheaper than a lift. Alternately, include a decent bedroom and bathroom downstairs as well as upstairs.
Rather than widen corridors, try for no corridors, and this will also negate the issue of turnaround spaces at the ends.
If bathrooms are fully reinforced underneath with 12 mm ply, then grab rails can be positioned anywhere to suit the individual. Grab rails come in all shapes and are often integrated for corners or with shower rails. Clothes hooks prevent picking items off the floor and are cheap and space efficient.
Vinyl is available to run right through the bathroom and into the shower with no hob if correctly designed.
Avoid high cupboards in the kitchen and especially no high microwaves. Part of the kitchen bench can be dropped to form a work surface or a table and be designed as a feature.
Large light switches seem to have the same amount of plastic but are still a bit expensive, so shop around. And for commercial facilities, doubling up the use of amenities space is always appreciated where a toilet can also be a washroom or a change room with a bench and/or lockers.
All of it can look magazine stylish and doesn’t necessarily need to cost more with good design.