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Universal Design Products Encourage Ease-of-Use for All

Kolbe Products for Accessible Design

Wausau, Wis. (March 2011) – Kolbe offers a variety of universal design window and door products, as well as specialized locks, handles, cranks and sills. Its Ultra Series casement windows with push-button operation, double hung windows with crank handle and Garden-Aire sliding patio doors with sill ramp were highlighted by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) 50+ Housing Council as part of the International Builders' Show's 50+ Lifestyle Central showcase and "Universal Design Power Day."

During the Universal Design Power Day, Kolbe's product and market analyst, Lance Premeau, LEED® Green Associate, guided visitors through a tour of these products' features and benefits. He explains, "Sill ramps improve entrances for people with mobility aids. Lever handles on doors are easier to grasp. Crank handle hardware extensions for double hung windows enable people with limited strength to easily reach and operate the bottom sash with minimal effort. Motorized operators open windows at the touch of a button, which are an especially helpful solution for set-back bow or bay windows."

Kolbe's Ultra and Heritage Series wood windows and doors are available with these and other universal design options. Many of these options meet the Americans with Disabilities Act's standards. Premeau adds, "Universal design is the concept of making products and spaces accessible for people with various physical ability levels. It promotes freedom for the disabled. It allows the elderly to live independently longer."

"The housing landscape has been altered in recent years by a challenging economy, and the 50+ segment is no exception. For years, the 77 million Baby Boomers were the talk of the industry, with plenty of personal wealth, home equity and big plans for retirement," stated Mike McGowan, chairman of the NAHB 50+ Housing Council. "Suddenly, the rules have changed, and builders, developers and other 50+ housing professionals have been forced to evolve to stay competitive."

For more information on NAHB's 50+ Lifestyle Central and all 50+ Housing Council activities at the 2011 International Builders' Show, please visit More than 47,000 builders, remodelers, product manufacturers and other home building industry professionals attended the 2011 show. The NAHB is the largest building association in the United States, serving more than 175,000 members in 800 state and local home builders associations.

Learn more about Kolbe's universal design products and projects at

What began in 1946 as a two-brother team has grown into an internationally respected manufacturing company. Kolbe & Kolbe Millwork Co, Inc. remains a privately held, community-oriented business located in Wausau, Wis. Covering nearly one million-square-feet, its state-of-the-art facilities feature high-tech machinery and a design center to present the creative possibilities offered by Kolbe windows and doors.

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