Caregiving experience inspires the book with healthy and home access ideas.
Upon his return from Colorado (see below), he lived with and was a caregiver for his Grandfather. It was after his Grandfather suffered a series of strokes that Charles realized most American homes do not meet the needs of the elderly or most anybody with a physical disability.
He came to believe it was nearly impossible to live one's entire life in their own home. Since 1992, Charles has been specializing in the universal designing process. He is an active proponent of sustainable building practices, healthy materials, clean air, water conservation and energy efficient and storm resilient home and commercial building design.
While completing the written portions of the book, in February 2003, Charles had a bike accident that left him with a shattered left humorous and an eventual prosthetic metal implant. He found his own home (not of his design) to be difficult to use, even with this type of non-mobility, none the less, acute injury.This experience, along with being a caregiver for his Grandfather, has convinced Mr. Schwab of the importance of universal designing for housing that encourages independent living for people of all ages and abilities.
His experience with energy efficient building and green building practices has convinced him that the combination of the two traditionally separate philosophies (up to this time in 2003) of design and practice is the preferred housing model for the 21st Century.
These experiences provided fuel for the AHA moment and conception of The Universal Designed "Smart" Homes plan book. The plans merge universal design and sustainability in home construction.
In 2003 Charles wrote, designed and published America's first accessible, universal designed and sustainable home plan book. The 1st edition was 52 plans published in 2003, the 2nd edition was72 plans and the 3rd edition was published in 2005 with 102 plans.
Mr. Schwab is working to design and inform so that accessible and sustainable homes are available. He enjoys working with people of all ages and abilities and anyone who wants to stay home for a lifetime with independent living.
Charles continues to be an advocate and design Universal Design and energy efficient housing. He contributed to EP/ Exceptional Parent magazine and others. He wrote for PN Magazine on a bi-monthly basis in a column titled Around the House from 2000 to Jan 2017. PN is the official magazine for the Paralyzed Veterans of America. He has contributed to Home Healthcare and others.
The plan book has also been featured in The Wall Street Journal, New Mobility Magazine, Ultimate Home Design Magazine, Quest Magazine, Canada's Abilities magazine and dozens of newsletters.
Charles is a graduate from The College of Environmental Design at the University of Colorado in Boulder with focus on Architecture and German. He also studied twelve months at The University of Regensburg, in Regensburg (Bavaria) in what was then "West" Germany. He traveled throughout Europe studying Renaissance Art and Architecture.
He spent much of his time sketching and watercolor painting while traveling. While attending the University of Regensburg all courses were studied in the German language.
Upon graduation from CU Boulder Co.in 1984, Charles lived and was mentored by some of Colorado's best and well known Architects as an intern architect in Aspen. He assisted in custom residential, and hotel design and detailing and construction administration. He also gained significant experience with historical remodels and working with neighborhood and local approval processes.
Mr. Schwab's first complete set of construction and detail drawings and while a project manager was created while working as the Architect-intern on the Aspen Center for Environmental studies (ACES), under award winning Architect Tim Hagman AIA. This project is located on Hallam Lake ( the building "floats" in the marsh) in the heart of Aspen. The building was and AIA Colorado, award winner and features accessible, sustainable and passive solar design and construction with additional green products and details.Known as ACES, Hallam Lake, it is open to the public daily in Aspen and serves as an elementary education resourse as well as a bird and wildlife sanctuary.
In 1987 while working as an Architect in training for the award winning Aspen firm of Hagman -Yaw Architects. He worked with the team for several years completing construction documents for The Aspen Ski Company Hotel.
In 1987 Charles worked under the employ of Charles Cunniffe Architects AIA. as an Intern Architect. Mr. Schwab worked with Mr. Cunniffe for several years on various new homes and remodels as well as light commercial pro jects. In 1992 he returned to the Midwest to study for his NCARB Architect exams and eventually began his own practice.