Our Mission:

The mission of the Better Living Design Institute™ (BLD™) is to change how homes and the products that go in them are designed, built and remodeled to better meet the needs of everyone at every life stage.


Design Everything for Everyone

Top view of concrete pathway and steps that lead to the porch. Plantings enhance and partially obscure the last length of pathway as it ascends to the porch.
The Better Living Design Institute™ (BLD™) promotes, educates and encourages wide adoption of Better Living Design™, the sensible design approach to improve how homes are built and remodeled in America. The BLD Institute™ has been informed and supported by over 30 other organizations, companies, universities and leaders in the universal design field. Homes in America are not currently designed and built to accommodate everyone in the household across their changing lives, and life stages. With the Boomer population in America continuing to grow, and indicating a strong desire to stay in their homes, the need for more livable home design becomes increasingly important. The BLD Institute serves as the leader in home and product design innovation that supports healthy living and safe home environments for all. We will know we have succeeded wheneverything is designed for everyone.





The Principals

Bill Owens and Richard Duncan lead the BLD Institute™. william Wm. W. Owens is president of Owens Construction, currently celebrating over 30 years as a leading residential design/build firm in central Ohio. Bill is also active with the National Association of Home Builders as a past chair of NAHB Remodelers, the Home Builders Institute, the Certified Aging in Place (CAPS) Board of Governors and recently chaired the development committee of NAHB’s Universal Design/Build course, as well as a 15-year instructor for NAHB designation courses. He is a long-time member of Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies- Remodeling Futures Steering Committee. Bill is one of the principal organizers for Better Living Design; a national effort focused on promoting voluntary universal design inclusions into market rate and affordable housing. Mr. Duncan has spent 30 years in the field of architectural and product accessibility and universal design in residential, public, and transportation environments. He has extensive experience in the design, costs, materials, and products in residential and non-residential settings. Seminars, courses, workshops and speaking engagements have taken him across North America, to Europe, Asia, and Australasia. richard

Richard also runs the RL Mace Universal Design Institute, and spent 24 years working in two of the nation’s preeminent organizations in the field, the Adaptive Environments Center (now, the Institute for Human Centered Design) in Boston and The Center for Universal Design in North Carolina. He is a graduate of Tufts University and the planning program at the Department of City and Regional Planning at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.