Universal Designed"Smart"Homes for the 21stCentury. Contact and abbreviated auto-biography.
Life Span Home Designs LLC. and Charles M. Schwab's mission is to provide aesthetically pleasing and quality home and light commercial buildings, that are universal designed for inclusion. The homes include healthy and energy efficient technologies enhancing green living based on the owners builing site. Your own house will provide lifetime, healthy and independent living for you and your family. Company Vision:
When the plan book was created in 2005 within the book the vision statement read:" By the year 2015 all homes will be built with universal design". This statement was clearly optimistic and then came the recession, greatly slowing down new home construction.
My company vision statement has been revised to: By the year 2030, new homes and remodels in America willinclude lifetime and healthy home design features that allow access:able living and are based on the universal designing process.
Image photo of Mr. Charles M. Schwab on the back Universal Designed Homes book back cover
Charles M. Schwab, Home Designer, Architect, Author
Full Disclosure statement: Charles M. Schwab is a licensed architect in the states of Illinois and Wisconsin but is not an architect in Iowa. Life Span Home Designs LLC is not an architectural firm but rather a home design and drafting service that qualify to design homes under the above statute. This company was started in an effort to provide Inclusive design services to people who may not have the resources to hire a full service architectural firm.
Charles Schwab Architects is a different company and located in a residential neighborhood therefore the precise address is not given to retain privacy. Contact Charles anytime at Mr. Schwab's by clicking here.
Charles M.Schwab, Life Span Home Designs LLC is not affiliated with the Charles Schwab financial services group of companies.
I offer the following services. Custom Home design: consultation, construction documents, construction administration for both new homes, renovations and home-modifications.
Stock home plans: included in the plan book titled above. Revisions per your building site, and particular requirements.
Home-modifications, remodels and additions with universal design and energy efficient construction. We can work with photos and dimensions and are often able to do this long distance. For larger projects a site trip is recommended.
Multi-family building design and construction documents.
Commercial building design that includes universal designed and sustainable building components.
Phone or meeting consultations pertaining to your specific project. The length of time will depend on how complete your drawings are to date. Call for an estimate and how you would like to communicate. We can connect electronically meet in person to review goals, ideas and home size and space program if you have one.
Full disclosure statement: Life Span Home Designs LLC. is a home design service located in the state of Iowa and is not required to carry an Architect's seal when creating home plans that comply with the requirements noted below. Please refer to the exemption statement below for project types that we (and any other home designers for that matter) may provide. Most states have similar exemptions for home construction documents.
Some states do require a licensed architect in their state and in hurricane and earthquake areas. Mr. Schwab can consult with professionals in the states when an architect in that state is required. The home built in Myrtle Beach shown on the main page of this website was created with that process. As a sidenote I did design a doubled up accessible bathroom and safe-room (as noted in the plan book description) and the home was undamaged in the 2018 hurricane as I recently spoke with the pleased home owner. :)
Schwab Publishers The 1st through-3rd editions of the plan book was Published by Schwab Publishers.
State of Iowa Code provision:
Following is a partial copy of the Iowa architect licensure regulations. Your state regulations are probably similar when a licensed Architect is not required to draw your house construction documents. Always verify if you need a seal before you purchase home plans. I always contact a local building inspector in your area prior to any agreement to be sure you would be in compliance if I assist you with designing your home.
This partial section of the Iowa statute for seal requirements in reads as follows and according to 544A.18 544A.18: "Exceptions. Notwithstanding the other provisions of this chapter, persons who are not registered architects may perform planning and design services in connection with any of the following:
1. Detached residential buildings containing twelve or fewer family dwelling units of not more than three stories and outbuildings in connection with the buildings."
The following information is paraphrased and is not a direct quote from the statute.
There are additional exemptions for a seal including approval to design commercial structures up to 10,000 sq. ft. for a one story structure or 6,000 sq. ft. for a two story structure. Agricultural structures and factory built buildings with size limitations are also allowed as part of the exemption list.
Education and Experience:
Charles is a graduate from The College of Environmental Design at the University of Colorado in Boulder with an emphasis on Architecture. He also studied for 12 months at The University of Regensburg, (in the former 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.
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.
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. This project is located on Hallam Lake in the heart of Aspen. This is now an AIA Colorado, award winning building and features sustainable and passive solar design and construction as well as other green products and details. It is open to the public daily in Aspen as an environmental and wildlife sanctuary.
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 projects. In 1992 he returned to the Midwest to study for his NCARB Architect exams and eventually began his own practice.
Upon his return, 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 building design .
These experiences motivated Charles to innovate with the concept of TheUniversal Designed "Smart" Home plan book.The plan merge universal design and sustainability in home construction.
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 easy 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.
In 2003 Charles wrote, designed and published America's (and the world's) first universal designed and sustainable home plans book ( 1st edition, 52 plans in 2004, 2nd edition 72 plans) The 3rd edition was published in 2005 with 102 plans.
He is continuously working to design, educate and inform so that these homes will work into the 21st Century. He enjoys working with people of all ages and abilities and anyone who wants to stay home for a life span at with complete independent living.
Charles continues to be an advocate and design Universal Design and energy efficient housing. He contributes 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. (www.pvamagazines.com )
The plan book has been featured in The WallStreet Journal,New Mobility Magazine, Ultimate Home Design Magazine, Quest Magazine, Canada's Abilities magazine and dozens of newsletters.