The impact of AS 1428 on Interior Design for Offices in Perth
In another post I will discuss the new legislation for Building Acts which is due to come into effect early in 2012. One of the most significant impacts of BCA compliance for Office buildings and fit outs is probably AS 1428 The Disability Discrimination Act and so I will discuss briefly how this impacts office spaces and will continue to write on this topic in the future.
Over the past 15 years or so there has been a steady increase in the impact of the DDA (Disability Discrimination Act) on planning for offices. At that stage there were not many Designers who had much knowledge of these standards and hence it was not often incorporated into Interior Office Designs.
But things have changed significantly in the last 5 years…..So I will briefly outline how it really impacts your office design
How the DDA affects Interior Office layouts
- Office buildings need to allow adequate access for people with disabilites like those persons who are in a wheelchair or who have some form of disability.
- Basic Interior layouts need to allow adequate access for people with disabilites like those persons who are in a wheelchair or some form of disability.
- This means that circulation spaces throughout the office need to be designed appropriately so wheelchairs are able to freely use all spaces in the office area. This is particularly important for doorway areas which need to be a specific width as well as the space around the doors.
- Toilet areas are another important aspect of the DDA with the requirement for fully disabled toilets as well as Ambulant toilet spaces the extent of which needs to be assessed in relation to each individual building and office space.
- Stairways need to be noticeable to visually impaired people with the use of color coding and also tactile indicators on floors.
- Lifts are also another important aspect of the DDA requirements and need to be designed to enable disabled people to use them effectively.
What does it all mean?
Economics always plays a significant factor when planning new office spaces
So why bother to comply you might ask?
So what should companies do?
- For companies with existing office space they could arrange for an audit to be carried out on their current space to ascertain the level of compliance and in turn arrange for plans to be created on how compliance can be achieved.
- For companies looking at new space the requirement for a building licence will ensure eventually the DDA is complied with to the extent required to approve the work. New laws will also make occupation certificates mandatory before occupation.
- It is highly recommended that building owners and managers also seek an audit on the level of compliance with the DDA and appropriate measures employed to bring buildings up to standard as well as becoming more aware of their responsibilities and requirements as owners and landlords.
- In short these rules and regulations are not going to go away and it is predicted eventually they will be mandatory and possibly even retrospective and so it is well worth taking measures now so effective planning can be implemented for both financial and structural reasons.
This is an open resource so please feel free to leave a comment if you have any information about this post.