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Understanding The Disability Access Provisions - Australian ...

National Construction Code

Training Program

MODULE 5

Understanding the

Disability Access Provisions

Welcome and introduction

•Welcome to this training course on the access provisions for people with disability contained in

the National Construction Code.

•My name is………………………………… and I’ll be presenting this program. My training and

experience mainly relate to ………………………

•Before we start the presentation, there are a few house keeping matters that I need to advise you

about ……………………………….

•As most of you will be aware, the Building Code of Australia (or BCA) forms Volumes One and

Two of the National Construction Code and is adopted by all States and Territories as a

mandatory code governing the design and construction of new buildings, as well as additions and

alterations to existing buildings.

•This presentation has been developed to provide you with the basic information you will need to

understand the scope of the access requirements of the BCA.

•Application of the requirements for access will require careful consideration of the BCA, State

and Territory building law and regulations and in many instances referenced Australian Standards.

•As we move through the presentation there may issues you would like further clarification on - so

please ask questions at any time.

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1


Content of Module 5

• Part 1 - Introduction to Module 5

• Part 2 - Background to Access Provisions

• Part 3 - Performance Requirements

• Part 4 - Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

• Part 5 - Administrative Matters

Summarise the areas that will be covered in this Module

This module contains 5 parts:

•First, we will look at the background to Module 5 and recap a little on some other

Modules in this series

Then we will look at the background to the development of the access

requirements that were included in the BCA in 2011

•We will also look at the mandatory requirements of the BCA; that is the

Performance Requirements

•Next, we will look in more detail at one method of meeting the Performance

Requirements by using what are called the Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

•Finally, we will briefly look at a few State and Territory administrative matters

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PART 1

Introduction to Module 5

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Introduction to Module 5

• This Module is one of a series produced by

the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB);

the organisation responsible for the

development and maintenance of the Building

Code of Australia (BCA)

• For the purposes of this presentation it is

assumed that participants have a general

understanding of how the BCA works

Part 1 - Introduction to Module 5

This presentation forms part of a training program that has been developed as an

initiative of the Australian Building Codes Board - which we’ll now refer to as the

ABCB.

The ABCB is the organisation responsible for the development and ongoing

maintenance of the Building Code of Australia.

The ABCB’s training program is made up of a series of modules. This module is

number 5.

•This presentation has been developed on the assumption that even if you have

not attended presentations on Module 1, which provided an introduction to the

BCA and Module 2, which dealt with the BCA’s Performance Requirements you

have some basic knowledge of how the BCA works.

Having said that it would be good to briefly touch on a couple of fundamental

issues from those modules.

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Module 1 - recap

• Module 1 was titled ‘An Introduction to the

Building Code of Australia’

The objective of Module 1 was to provide

information on:

– the background to the development of the BCA

– the operation of the BCA, and

– the application of the BCA

Part 1 - Introduction to Module 5

•In order to understand the material in Module 5 it is important to recap a few

basic issues from Modules 1 and 2

•Module 1 essentially introduced people to the development, operation and

application of the BCA

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Module 1 - recap

• BCA applies to all new building work. This

includes:

• new buildings

• renovations or upgrades to existing buildings

Part 1 - Introduction to Module 5

The requirements of the BCA are triggered when someone makes an application

for building or construction approval for either a new building or to undertake new

building work on an existing building such as an upgrade, extension or

renovation.

•For existing buildings, the BCA will apply to the work that is covered by the

building approval application

•Example, if level 6 of an 8 storey building is being fully upgraded only the work

on the level subject to the building approval application will be required to comply

with the new BCA requirements.

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Module 1 - recap

The BCA establishes minimum acceptable

standards for new building work

The BCA:

• is referenced in State/Territory law

• is amended annually

• requirements are intended to be cost effective

• is intended to eliminate poor practice

• does not address best practice

Part 1 - Introduction to Module 5

The BCA seeks to establish a nationally consistent level of minimum acceptable

standards

•Nothing in the BCA stops a developer from going beyond the minimum

requirements to achieve best practice

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Module 1 - recap

• Volume One contains requirements for the

design and construction of commercial

buildings, i.e. Class 2 to 9 buildings, plus

some Class 10 building matters

• Volume Two contains requirements for the

design and construction of domestic buildings,

i.e. Class 1 and 10 buildings

Part 1 - Introduction to Module 5

•While some larger companies work in both the housing and commercial sector,

in general, industry tends to work in either the housing sector or the commercial

sector. The BCA endeavours to follow this division

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Module 2 - recap

• Module 2 was titled ‘Understanding the BCA’s

Performance Requirements’

The objective of Module 2 was to provide

information on how to comply with the BCA

without using Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions,

i.e. by developing an Alternative Solution

Part 1 - Introduction to Module 5

•While most times those responsible for new building work follow a deemed-tosatisfy

path for achieving compliance, Module 2 focused on how to achieve

compliance by developing an Alternative Solution

•It is important to just recap one aspect of Module 2 which covered the structure

and hierarchy of the BCA to ensure a clearer understanding of the content of

Module 5

•Proceed to the next slide

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Objective

Functional Statement

Performance Requirement

Building Solutions

DTS Provisions Alternative Solutions

Documentary Evidence

Verification Methods

Comparative Analysis

Guidance

Mandatory

Methods of

achieving

compliance

Assessment

Methods

Expert Judgement

Part 1 - Introduction to Module 5

The BCA is split into sections covering various building elements, for example,

Part F2 deals with Sanitary facilities.

•Each section is structured in a hierarchy. At the top are broad Objectives and

Functional Statements which provide overall guidance.

•Below that are a set of Performance Requirements which are the mandatory

parts of the BCA. A person responsible for a building must be able to show a

building complies with these requirements.

•Under that sit two methods for achieving compliance with each Performance

Requirement – using the Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions which provide technical

building solutions or by developing Alternative Solutions

•A building does not have to comply with the Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions if it

can be demonstrated to the relevant Building Control Authority that a proposed

Alternative Solution complies with the relevant Performance Requirement.

•Module 2 then went on to look at Assessment Methods but this Module will not

be revisiting those issues.

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MODULE 5

Understanding the Disability

Access Provisions

•Now back to Module 5.

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Objective of Module 5

The objective of Module 5 is to provide basic

information on BCA provisions for people with

disability relating to Class 1b, Class 2 to 9

buildings, as well as Class 10 buildings

• Information is also available from the ABCB

website: www.abcb.gov.au

Part 1 - Introduction to Module 5

The module provides a basic overview of the BCA access provisions.

•As building professionals you will need to give careful consideration to the BCA,

State and Territory building laws and regulations and referenced technical

standards to ensure buildings comply with relevant laws.

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People with disability

• Broad definition of disability includes people

who-

– are blind or have low vision;

– have learning or intellectual disabilities;

– are deaf or hearing-impaired;

– have a physical disability;

– experience mental health or psychological difficulties;

and

– people with an acquired brain injury.

Part 1 - Introduction to Module 5

The definition of disability used in anti-discrimination law is very broad and

covers about 20% of Australians

•People protected from discrimination by those laws may experience difficulties

using buildings, so buildings need to be designed and constructed in ways to

ensure they are accessible.

•It is not just people with a mobility disability who experience barriers to

accessing and using buildings.

•Example: a person with low vision might experience difficulty using poorly

designed stairs.

•Example: a person with a hearing impairment might experience difficulty hearing

a teller behind a fully screened counter.

•Good access has benefits for a much wider group of people than those who

currently have a disability. For example, those of us who will have a disability in

the future, families with small children, older Australians and anyone delivering or

picking up goods.

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Principle of access

• Provide safe, equitable and dignified access

to buildings, and facilities and services

within buildings

Part 1 - Introduction to Module 5

The BCA sets out how to provide safe, equitable and dignified access to

buildings.

•Good design is not just about providing some access. It is about ensuring, as far

as possible, that people with disability can use buildings independently and with

dignity.

•Example, accessible entry to a new building must be the principle pedestrian

entrance and not one around the back of the building.

•Example, gaining access to a swimming pool should not rely on someone having

to be carried into it.

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PART 2

Background to NCC

Access Provisions

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General background

Disability access requirements have been in

the BCA since 1990

• Focus was on access to commercial and

public buildings (Classes 3, 5-9)

Part 2 - Background to Access Provisions

Access requirements are not new to the BCA

•Indeed many of the issues covered in the current BCA remain very similar to

previous requirements

•Historically private housing has not been covered by any BCA access

requirements

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BCA access provisions

• BCA has historically required access for

people with disability to be provided:

– to a building

– within a building (including lifts, signage and

hearing augmentation)

– to certain carparking spaces

– to suitable sanitary facilities

Part 2 - Background to Access Provisions

There has been a progressive increase in access requirements in the BCA

covering a range of building elements such as ramps, stairs, accessible toilets

and signage.

•While these requirements remain within the new BCA there are a number of new

elements that will be covered in this module.

•Note: some people may not know what a hearing augmentation system is. It can

be described as a device to assist people with hearing impairment to access

audible information in places such as a theatre, lecture hall, conference centre or

bank where tellers are behind a glass screen for example. Typical devices use an

induction (hearing) loop, radio frequency or infrared technology. A hearing

augmentation system is required in buildings that have built-in sound

amplification systems.

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BCA scope

The BCA only addresses the physical fabric

and layout of a building, it does not:

– address the fixtures and fittings such as furniture

or reception desks used in a building

– address some wayfinding information such as

room numbers or general signs

– address management policies or staff behavior

Part 2 - Background to Access Provisions

The BCA is mainly concerned with the physical construction of the building.

•Generally speaking what happens after construction in terms of fitout and

ongoing use and management are not covered by the BCA, but continue to be

covered by discrimination law.

•Example, if a building complies with the new BCA when it is constructed but a

new fitout limits access, those responsible for the fitout may be subject to

complaints.

•Example, if the staff at a nightclub refuse to allow a blind person entry.

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The challenge of inconsistent laws

The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) has applied

to buildings since 1993

• Complaints could be made about the level and

quality of access a building provided

• Buildings could comply with the BCA, but still be

subject to a successful DDA complaint

• Uncertainty for building industry

Part 2 - Background to Access Provisions

•Even though a building could comply with the BCA at the time it was built, under

discrimination law, complaints could still be made about access problems

individuals faced.

•Building law and discrimination law was not consistent leading to uncertainty for

the building industry including developers, designers, builders and certifiers.

There have been many successful DDA complaints about buildings which were

BCA compliant. For example, Cox v the State of Queensland 1994 made against

the Brisbane Convention Centre. The cost of rectification was in the order of $300

000.

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Achieving consistency

• In 2001, Federal Gov’t asked ABCB to

develop proposals to address inconsistency

• Resulted in the development of Premises

Standards and BCA amendments to align the

two

Part 2 - Background to Access Provisions

•Following approaches from industry, building professionals and community

groups, the Federal Government resolved to address the inconsistency by

developing a disability standard covering buildings, which would form part of a

new BCA when completed.

The disability standard was to set out details of what was required, in terms of

building design and construction, to comply with the DDA.

•Complying with building law and the BCA would then also achieve compliance

with the disability standard (formal title; Disability (Access to Premises –

buildings) Standards 2010, known as the Premises Standards).

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Development of Premises Standards

• Developed through stakeholder committees,

specialist working groups and specialist

consultants

• Proposals were refined through extensive

industry and community consultation

• Draft provisions subjected to formal regulatory

impact analysis process

Part 2 - Background to Access Provisions

•As with the development of any new regulations, the ABCB consulted widely

with the community and the building industry to ensure that the new provisions

would be effective and generally acceptable.

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Regulation Impact Statement (RIS)

• All proposals for new regulation, including the

Premises Standards and changes to the BCA,

are subjected to a rigorous regulation impact

assessment process that includes cost benefit

analysis

The Premises Standards RIS is available from

the ABCB website

Part 2 - Background to Access Provisions

The activities of the ABCB are governed by an Inter-government Agreement

(IGA) that requires it to comply with the Council of Australian Government

(COAG) general principles for the development of regulations.

•In essence, these principles only allow new regulations to be introduced if other

means of achieving compliance with government policy, e.g. market forces,

consumer education or development of "guideline" documents, can be

demonstrated to have failed or give lower net benefit.

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Benefits for industry

• In addition to improving access, RIS process

sought to ensure new requirements:

– are cost-effective

– can be reasonably achieved

– provide the greatest certainty possible

Part 2 - Background to Access Provisions

The RIS showed the proposed Premises Standards and new BCA were a costeffective

way of regulating for better access and in most instances could be

reasonably achieved.

The RIS also showed that, by changing the BCA so it required the same as the

Premises Standards, industry could be confident that compliance with the new

BCA would also achieve compliance with the Premises Standards.

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Background to new requirements

• 1995: Building Access Policy Committee

(BAPC), established by ABCB, begins its

work on progressive changes to the BCA

• 2001: Gov’t asks ABCB to develop proposals

for Premises Standards and changes to BCA

Part 2 - Background to Access Provisions

The Building Access Policy Committee that developed the draft included

representatives from designers and architects, developers, the construction

industry, building certifiers, regulators and people with disability.

•Between 1995 and 2000 the ABCB introduced a number of improvements for

access, but in 2001 started work on the development of the Premises Standards

at the request of the then Government.

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Background to new requirements

• 2005: Draft Premises Standards and a

Regulation Impact Statement released for

public comment

• 2006: ABCB develops revised proposals and

a revised Regulation Impact Statement

following consideration of public comment

Part 2 - Background to Access Provisions

•After the ABCB released the draft Premises Standards and Consultation RIS for

public comment in 2005, both the Premises Standards and the RIS were revised

in 2006 to take into consideration the comments received.

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Background to new requirements

• 2008: Draft Disability (Access to Premises –

Buildings) Standards (Premises Standards)

tabled in Parliament and referred to a House

of Representatives Committee to conduct a

public inquiry

• 2009: Parliamentary Committee makes

recommendations in its report Access All

Areas

Part 2 - Background to Access Provisions

•A Parliamentary Committee undertook the third and final round of consultation

on the draft and made a number of recommendations for change.

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Background to new requirements

• February 2010: Government responds to

report and finalises Premises Standards

• 2010: ABCB aligns BCA to reflect content of

Premises Standards

• 1 May 2011: Premises Standards and BCA

2011 adopted

Part 2 - Background to Access Provisions

•Once the Premises Standards was finalised, the ABCB was able to proceed with

aligning the BCA to reflect the requirements of the Premises Standards.

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Premises Standards structure

• Premises Standards comprise:

– Parts 1 – 6 including trigger dates and objectives,

scope, exceptions and concessions and review

information

Access Code for Buildings which provides the

Performance Requirements and Deemed-to-

Satisfy Provisions

Part 2 - Background to Access Provisions

•While this module is about the BCA we need to look briefly at the structure of the

Premises Standards to understand how they fit together

The Premises Standards is in two sections. The first consists of 6 parts which

cover legal and administrative issues including some general concessions and

exemptions.

The second part is the Access Code for Buildings. This is the part that includes

Performance Requirements and Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions which give the

technical detail on how to comply. Those familiar with the BCA will recognise that

the Access Code is written in the same style as the BCA.

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Achieving consistency

• Relevant provisions in Parts 1 – 6 are to be

reflected in State and Territory building control

systems

Access Code is reflected in BCA

• Compliance with the BCA will ensure

compliance with the Access Code

Part 2 - Background to Access Provisions

•As was the case before BCA 2011, a full understanding of building requirements

can only be achieved by looking at the BCA and relevant State and Territory

building laws and regulations. Changes have been made to State and Territory

building control systems to reflect the relevant content of Parts 1 – 6 of the

Premises Standards.

The BCA changes reflect the content of the Access Code.

•Taken together, building professionals can be confident that if they apply the

BCA and relevant State and Territory building laws and regulations they are also

ensuring a building complies with the Premises Standards.

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Voluntary best practice

The Premises Standards and BCA contain the

minimum requirements for access

• Some project briefs may require a higher

standard

• Best practice and innovation is still possible

and encouraged

Part 2 - Background to Access Provisions

•As a regulatory document, the BCA contains the minimum acceptable

requirements. Individual building project briefs and documentation can stipulate

that the project exceeds the minimum requirements.

•Best practice and innovation is still possible.

•Example; if an innovative hearing augmentation system is developed, it could be

used as an Alternative Solution.

•Example; a shopping center may choose to increase the number of accessible

parking spaces from the required minimum to meet local demand.

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PART 3

Disability Access

Performance Requirements

Parts D3, E3, and F2 of

Volume One

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Key Performance Requirements

• Key Performance Requirements relating to access:

– DP1 Access to a building

– DP2 Access within a building

– DP6 Travel path to an exit

– DP8 Accessible carparking

– DP9 Communication system for hearing impaired

– EP3.4 Lifts

– FP2.1 Sanitary facilities

Part 3 - Performance Requirements

•Performance Requirements relating to access sit primarily in Section D of the

BCA although there are two others in Section E and F.

The Performance Requirements are the mandatory parts of the BCA – building

control authorities must be convinced that a building solution complies with these

requirements via either the Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions or a suitable Alternative

Solution

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Overall access objectives

• To provide, as far as is reasonable, people

with safe, equitable and dignified access to:

– a building; and

– the services and facilities within a building

Part 3 - Performance Requirements

•In broad terms the Performance Requirements seek to ensure buildings provide

a ‘continuous accessible path of travel’.

•A continuous accessible path of travel is one that does not include a step,

stairway, turnstile, revolving door, escalator, moving walkway or other feature that

might impede safe, equitable and dignified movement.

Access is required:

• to a building from the allotment boundary

• between associated buildings that are required to be accessible

• between levels (via lifts, ramps and stairs)

• In most buildings, to all areas normally used by the occupants

• to signage including braille and tactile

• to required hearing augmentation systems

• to suitable sanitary facilities

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DP1 - overview

Access must be provided to enable people to:

– approach a building from the road boundary,

associated accessible building and associated

accessible carparking space

– get into a building and to all areas normally used by

occupants including toilets

– identify accessible facilities

Part 3 - Performance Requirements

•While there are some exceptions and exemptions within the BCA, access is

generally required to all parts of the building used by the occupants - who may be

customers, visitors or staff

The Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions in the BCA and referenced Australian

Standards describe the minimum requirements to meet these Performance

Requirements.

•Example, while the Performance Requirement requires access to all areas used

by the occupants, the Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions allow for concessions in the

number of entrances that need to be accessible

•Example, while the Performance Requirement requires access to all areas used

by the occupants, the Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions allow for concessions in

relation to lift or ramp access to upper floors in some small buildings

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DP2 - overview

• People must be able to move safely to and

within a building

• Special attention should be paid to:

– walking surfaces – doors

– ramps – stairways

– landings – handrails

Part 3 - Performance Requirements

•DP2 focuses on safe movement to and within a building

•Example, the need for slip-resistant walking surfaces

•Example, the need to ensure doors are installed in a way that does not impede

access

•Example, the need for suitable handrails to assist and provide stability for people

using stairs or ramps

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DP6 - overview

• People must be able to safely evacuate the

building

• Building use and the characteristics of the

occupants, including their mobility, must be

considered

Part 3 - Performance Requirements

•DP6 addresses the issue of safe evacuation of a building and requires that the

design of paths of travel to exits must be appropriate considering the use of a

building, the number of occupants and issues such as the mobility of occupants.

•As with other Performance Requirements the Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions in

the BCA and referenced Australian Standards describe the minimum

requirements to meet this Performance Requirement.

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DP8 - overview

• Carparking spaces suitable for use by people

with disability must be provided

• Spaces must be marked and easy to find

Part 3 - Performance Requirements

•DP8 addresses the need for carparking spaces suitable for use by people who

use wheelchairs or walking frames or who may have other disabilities that require

additional space to be able to get in and out of their vehicle

Accessible carparking spaces have minimum dimensions to ensure a person

getting out of a car can, for example, get into their wheelchair safely

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DP9 - overview

• An inbuilt communication system, such as a

lecture theatre PA system, must be suitable

for people who are deaf or have a hearing

impairment

Part 3 - Performance Requirements

•DP9 addresses the need to ensure that where there is an inbuilt communication

system, as might be found in a cinema or concert hall, a means of giving access

to the information to people with a hearing impairment must be provided.

•As with other Performance Requirements the Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions in

the BCA and referenced Australian Standards describe the minimum

requirements to meet this Performance Requirement.

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EP3.4 - overview

• When a passenger lift is provided in a building

required to be accessible, it must be suitable

for use by people with disability.

Part 3 - Performance Requirements

•EP3.4 addresses the need to ensure that when passenger lifts are used to

transport people from one level to another in a building that is required to be

accessible, they must be designed and constructed in a way that allows people

with disability to independently use them.

•What makes a lift suitable for use by people with disability will be covered in the

section on Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

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FP2.1 - overview

• Sanitary facilities suitable for use by people

with disability must be provided at convenient

locations

Part 3 - Performance Requirements

•FP2.1 addresses the need to ensure people with disability are able to use

sanitary facilities in an accessible building

•Apart from the accessible unisex toilets most people will be familiar with, this

Performance Requirement also covers accessible showers and toilets suitable for

use by people with ambulant disabilities, which will be covered in the section on

Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

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PART 4

Disability Access

Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

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Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

• One method of meeting Performance

Requirements

• Compliance with Deemed-to-Satisfy

Provisions of BCA ensures compliance with

Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions of Access Code

Part 4 - Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

Reminder:

The Performance Requirements are the mandatory requirements of the BCA.

The Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions describe one way to meet those

requirements.

•It is in the Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions that you will find a number of

concessions and exemptions that define some limits to the level of access

required in specific buildings or areas of buildings.

•As described earlier, compliance with the Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions of the

BCA ensures compliance with the Access Code of the Premises Standards.

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Parts D3, E3, F2 and H2

• Part D3 covers general building access

requirements

• Part E3 covers lifts

• Part F2 covers accessible toilets and showers

• Part H2 covers requirements for public

transport buildings

Part 4 - Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

The Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions are contained within 4 Parts

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43


D3.1 General access

requirements

Part 4 - Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

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D3.1 – General requirements

• Table D3.1 sets out which buildings and parts

of buildings have to be accessible

• Different classes of buildings have different

access requirements

Part 4 - Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

•Table D3.1 is the main roadmap for determining which buildings need to be

accessible and to what extent.

•It is based on building classifications, and in some cases, specific uses within

classifications.

•Different classes of buildings may have different access requirements

•Example, while office blocks generally require access to all areas normally used

by the occupants, hotels only require access to common areas of the building

and some units but not all.

•This Table has to be read alongside other parts of the BCA which describe some

concessions and exemptions from the general rules in Table D3.1

•Example, D3.4 provides some general exemptions for access to specified areas

of buildings

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Some useful terms

Accessible means having features to enable

use by people with disability.

Accessway means a continuous, accessible

path of travel (as defined in AS 1428.1) to, into

or within a building.

Part 4 - Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

•Before looking at the broad requirements for access for different classes of

buildings in Table D3.1, considering a couple of definitions will be useful

•In the BCA, a number of terms are specifically defined and appear in italics to

alert users that a special meaning has been ascribed. These definitions are found

in A1.3

•Under the BCA something is accessible if it has features that ensure people with

disability can get into and use a building

The BCA also includes a definition of an accessway which is generally a

‘continuous accessible path of travel’ which does not include any barrier for a

person with disability and which meets the technical specifications found in

Australian Standard AS 1428.1

•This means essentially that, in order to meet the Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

of the BCA, a building must meet the requirements of Parts D3, E3, F2 and H2

and the technical specifications in referenced Australian Standards

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References to Australian Standards

• AS 1428.1 contains technical information on

the construction of accessways, for example:

– dimensions and clearances at doorways

– design of handrails

– layout of accessible toilets

Part 4 - Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

•As was the case with previous editions of the BCA, not all of the technical detail

is contained in the BCA itself. Some of it is in other documents referred to in the

BCA, such as Australian Standards.

•During this presentation, won’t be going into detail on the content of all these

documents, but will refer to relevant significant changes

•AS 1428.1 (Design for access and mobility, Part 1 – General requirements for

access – New building work) is a key reference when dealing with disability

access.

•It contains most of the technical information necessary to ensure Deemed-to-

Satisfy Provisions of the BCA are met

•Other Australian Standards cover issues such as lift requirements (the AS 1735

suite) and specifications for tactile ground surface indicators (AS 1428.4.1). In

order to fully understand the application of the Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions of

the BCA, practitioners need to refer to these Australian Standards.

Proceed to the next slide

47


Class 1b – small hostels, B&B

• Specifies number of dwellings required to be

accessible

• Specifies number of bedrooms and sanitary

facilities required to be accessible

• Specifies common areas required to be

accessible in B&Bs, guest houses etc

Part 4 - Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

•Table D3.1 sets out access requirements for Class 1b buildings which include

guest houses, small hostels, B&Bs, farmstay, cabins and retreats used for

holiday accommodation

•If the accommodation consists of cabins or cottages or similar as stand alone

dwellings, the requirement is for at least 1 dwelling to be accessible and have

accessible washing and toileting facilities. However, this requirement is only

triggered if there are 4 or more cabins or cottages used for holiday

accommodation on the allotment.

•If the accommodation is a boarding house, guest house, B&B, hostel or similar,

access is required to at least one bedroom and associated washing and toileting

facilities and to common areas such as dining rooms, games rooms, lounge

rooms or similar

The Premises Standards has different requirements for B&B type

accommodation depending on whether the facility is newly built or an existing

building. State and Territory building control systems need to be looked at to see

how they reflect these different requirements.

Proceed to the next slide

48


Class 2 – apartment blocks

Access required from a pedestrian entrance to the

front doors of sole-occupancy units (SOU) on at

least one level

• Common areas required to be accessible including

BBQ area, gym, pool

• If other levels are served by a lift or ramp, similar

access must be provided on those levels

Part 4 - Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

Access requirements for Class 2 buildings are new to the BCA

Access must be provided through at least one pedestrian entrance to at least 1

floor containing SOUs but only to the front door of those SOU. The BCA does not

require accessible design inside the SOU

The BCA also requires access to at least 1 of each type of room or facility used

in common by all the residents of the apartment block

•Example, a small apartment block has two floors and no common facilities used

by all residents. In this case access would only be required through the building

entrance and along the public corridors on one floor (most likely the ground floor)

•Example, if a larger apartment block has 3 floors and includes a laundry and a

BBQ area for use by all residents on the ground floor, access would be required

to the laundry, BBQ area and the front doors of SOU on the ground floor.

The Premises Standards does not require any Class 2 building built before 1

May 2011 to provide access when renovating or upgrading. State and territory

building laws and regulations need to be looked at to see if they reflect these

different requirements.

Proceed to the next slide

49


Class 3 – hotels and motels

Access required from a pedestrian entrance to the

front doors of sole-occupancy units (SOU) on at

least one level

• Specifies common areas required to be accessible

including BBQ area, gym, pool

• If other levels are served by a lift or ramp, similar

access must be provided on those levels

Part 4 - Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

•For hotels and motels, there are requirements for both common areas and

accommodation units to be accessible.

•For the common areas, access is required to the front door of all units on at least

1 level and to at least 1 of each type of common room or space. These

requirements also apply to all levels served by a lift or accessible ramp.

•Example, a small hotel has two floors and no common facilities other than

reception. In this case access would only be required through the building

entrance and along the public corridors on one floor (most likely the ground floor)

and to the reception area

•Example, if a larger hotel has 3 floors and includes a reception area, restaurant

and a BBQ area for use by all residents on the ground floor. Access would be

required to the reception area, restaurant, BBQ area and the front doors of SOU

on the one level.

Proceed to the next slide

50


Class 3 – hotels and motels

• Specifies the number of accessible SOUs

required depending on size of hotel/motel

• Specifies location and groupings of

accessible SOUs to ensure choice

Part 4 - Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

•In addition to certain common areas, Table D3.1 requires a specified number of

accessible SOUs be provided depending on the size of the hotel or motel

•Example, a hotel with 15 SOUs must have 2 accessible SOU with associated

washing and toilet facilities

•Table D3.1 also specifies that no more than 2 accessible SOUs can be located

next to each other and that, if more than 2 accessible SOU are required, they

must be representative of the range of rooms available

•Example, if a hotel has 100 SOUs, half of which are superior quality, some of the

five required accessible SOUs should also be of superior quality in order to

provide occupants a choice of accommodation options representative of the

range of rooms available.

Proceed to the next slide

51


Classes 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9a

• To and within:

– all areas normally used by the occupants

• Class 7a (carparking)

– to and within any level containing accessible

carparking spaces

Part 4 - Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

•Class 5 buildings are office buildings

•Class 6 buildings are service or retail outlets including cafes, libraries,

showrooms, grocery shops and banks

•Class 7b buildings are generally storage buildings such as warehouses and

wholesale retail buildings

•Class 8 buildings are generally laboratories, factories or buildings in which goods

or produce are made or assembled

•Class 9a buildings are generally health care facilities

•For these Classes of buildings, access is to be provided to and within all areas

normally used by the occupants

•An occupant is anyone who can reasonably be expected to be in a building. This

includes staff, the general public or visitors.

•Example, this would include public reception and retail areas, offices, secure

areas for staff only, staff amenity rooms and the like

•This general requirement for access to all areas needs to be read alongside any

exemptions and limitations found in other parts of D3

•Example, in some situations lift or ramp access to the upper floor of a small 2

storey building is not required under D3.2

•Class 7a buildings are carparks, and for this Class of building, access is required

to and within any level containing accessible carparking spaces

•Proceed to the next slide

52


Class 9b – educational/assembly

• For schools, early childhood centres and

universities etc.

– to all areas normally used by the occupants

• For assembly buildings such as cinemas or

concert halls

– to all areas normally used by the occupants, but not

every tier or level if no wheelchair seating spaces are

provided on that level

Part 4 - Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

•Class 9b buildings include schools, colleges, universities and early childhood

centres as well as cinemas, theatres, sports stadiums and concert halls.

•For Class 9b buildings such as cinemas, theatres, stadiums etc. there are

requirements in another section of D3 for accessible spaces for wheelchair users.

If any particular seating platform or tier in a building does not have accessible

seating spaces, access does not need to be provided to that level.

•Example, if a new cinema has two levels but all the required wheelchair

accessible spaces can be provided on level 1, there is no requirement for access

to be provided to level 2

Proceed to the next slide

53


Class 9c – aged care

• Requirements for aged care facilities are

essentially the same as for Class 3 buildings,

including access to specified common areas

and numbers of accessible SOUs

Part 4 - Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

•Aged care buildings are those that provide residential accommodation for aged

persons where personal care services are provided

•Requirements for access are similar to those required for a hotel/motel

•Not every SOU in an aged care facility need be an accessible SOU

Proceed to the next slide

54


Class 10a – toilet block/shelter

• If located in an accessible area access is

required to and within an accessible toilet,

change room or shelter

Part 4 - Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

•Class 10a buildings would generally be non-habitable buildings or facilities like a

toilet block, public shelter or change room at a sports field

The requirement for access is limited to those Class 10a buildings that are

located in an accessible area.

•Example, a toilet block next to a car park for a sports field would be considered

to be in an accessible area whereas a shelter built 5 kilometers into a walking

track in a National Park would not be considered to be in an accessible area.

Proceed to the next slide

55


Class 10c – swimming pool

• Swimming pools, other than private pools,

with a perimeter greater than 40 m are

required to provide some means of access

into the pool

Part 4 - Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

The requirement for access into pools is limited to public pools such as hotel

pools, council pools, pools in sports or health centres and the like

•Private ‘back yard’ pools and those available exclusively for use by, for example,

residents in the penthouse unit in an apartment block or hotel are not required to

provide access

The 40 m perimeter limit generally excludes access requirements for small pools

such as plunge pools or hot-tubs.

Proceed to the next slide

56


D3.2 Access to buildings

Part 4 - Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

Proceed to the next slide

57


Access to buildings

• D3.2 covers the requirements for access:

– to a building from the allotment boundary;

– between associated accessible buildings;

– to a building from accessible carparking spaces on

the allotment

Part 4 - Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

Accessways must be provided from the main points of entry at the allotment

boundary. This might require more than one accessway from the allotment

boundary depending on the location of the building and the number of pedestrian

entry points.

•An associated accessible building connected by a pedestrian link might include

two buildings operated by the same company where a specific pedestrian link

has been created other than the public footpath outside of the buildings’

allotment.

•Where an accessible carparking space is required within an allotment, the space

must be linked to the building it serves. A council public carpark outside the

building allotment would not be required to have an accessway to any particular

building.

Proceed to the next slide

58


Access to buildings

• D3.2 also specifies:

– number of accessible entrances required

– number of accessible doorways required when

there are multiple doorways at an entrance

– where a required accessible doorway has multiple

leaves, one of the leaves must have a clear

opening width of at least 850 mm

Part 4 - Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

The principal pedestrian entrance to a building must always be accessible

•If there is more than one pedestrian entrance, 50% of entrances including the

principle entrance, must be accessible unless the entrance serves an area

exempted by D3.4

•If a building has a floor area greater than 500 m 2 in total, no inaccessible

entrance can be more than 50 m from an accessible entrance

•D3.2 provides details of how to determine how many doorways must be

accessible at an entrance and specifies that when a required accessible doorway

has multiple leaves (other than if it is an automatically opening doorway) one of

the leaves must have a clear opening of at least 850 mm so that a person with a

disability using a wheelchair, for example, does not have to open both leaves to

enter

Proceed to the next slide

59


D3.3 Parts of a building

to be accessible

Part 4 - Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

Proceed to the next slide

60


Parts of buildings to be accessible

• D3.3 covers:

– ramps and stairways

– passenger lifts

– passing and turning spaces on corridors

– small building concession

– carpet pile height

Part 4 - Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

•D3.3 covers a number of accessible features [Read the content of D3.3 from the

slide]

Proceed to the next slide

61


D3.3 - Ramps

• Ramps are a way of providing a continuous

accessible path of travel between levels

• Ramps must comply with AS 1428.1

• Concessions for fire-isolated ramps

Part 4 - Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

•AS 1428.1 provides detailed specifications for 4 types or ramps. General access

ramps, threshold ramps, kerb ramps and step ramps

•Example, a general access ramp is required when raising more than 190 mm in

height between levels. It must have handrails, landings every 9 m, a gradient

between 1 in 14 and 1 in 20 and tactile ground surface indicators (TGSI) at the

top and bottom

•Example, a step ramp can be used when raising no more than 190 mm in height

between levels. It does not have to have handrails or TGSI and can have a

gradient up to 1 in 10

The BCA does not require these features on a ramp used as a fire-isolated ramp

•Note that D3.11 limits the use of connected access ramps to a combined vertical

rise of 3.6 m – this limitation recognises that ramps going higher than 3.6 m are

likely to be difficult to use due to fatigue

Proceed to the next slide

62


D3.3 - Stairways

• Stairways cannot form part of a continuous

accessible path of travel but where provided,

must meet certain requirements

• Stairways must comply with AS 1428.1

• Concessions for fire-isolated stairways

Part 4 - Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

•AS 1428.1 provides detailed specifications for stairways which apply to all

stairways except fire-isolated stairways

•Example, stairways must include features such as continuous handrails on both

sides, opaque risers, luminance contrast nosings on treads and TGSI at the top

and bottom of the stairs

•Fire-isolated stairways are only required to have luminance contrast nosings and

handrails on one side

•Note: luminance contrast refers to the amount of light reflected from one surface

or component, compared to the amount of light reflected from the background or

surrounding surfaces. High luminance contrast between the two surfaces ensures

good visibility. The BCA and AS 1428.1 require 30% luminance contrast in

various situations including at the nosings of steps.

Proceed to the next slide

63


D3.3 - Lifts

• D3.3 requires every passenger lift to comply

with E3.6, which provides the detailed

requirements for passenger lifts

Part 4 - Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

•E3.6 will be covered later in the presentation

Proceed to the next slide

64


D3.3 - Passing and turning spaces

• Passing spaces are required every 20 m

along an accessway where a clear line of

sight is not possible

• Turning spaces are required every 20 m

along an accessway and within 2m of a

dead-end

• Specifications for passing and turning spaces

are in AS 1428.1

Part 4 - Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

•Passing and turning spaces are required to ensure a person using a wheelchair

does not have to back up significant distances along a narrow passageway

•A passing space can also serve as a turning space and the circulation space

required at an intersection of two passageways is also sufficient to serve as a

passing/turning space

The dimensions for passing and turning spaces can be found in AS 1428.1

Proceed to the next slide

65


D3.3 - Small building concession

• While generally access is required to all levels of

buildings, there is a concession for certain small

buildings

• In some 2 and 3 storey buildings where the storeys,

other than the entrance storeys, are each under 200

m 2 , an accessible ramp or lift does not have to be

provided to those storeys

Part 4 - Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

The small building concession takes account of the relative costs and loss of net

lettable space of installing a lift or ramp into a small building compared to the total

cost of the building

The concession only applies to 2 and 3 storey buildings; a building of 4 or more

stories must have access to all levels

•This concession is only available for Class 5, 6, 7b or 8 buildings

•Example, if a three storey building is 600 square metres on the ground floor and

has two upper floors each of 300 square metres, all levels must be accessible

•Example, if a three storey building is 600 square metres on the ground floor and

has two upper floors each of 190 square metres, an accessible ramp or lift need

not be provided to serve those upper floors. However, note that all other

accessible features still need to be provided on those upper levels

•Example, if a three storey building is 600 square metres on the ground floor and

has a second floor of 300 and a third floor of only 150 square metres, because at

least one of the upper floors is over 200 square metres all levels must be

accessible

Proceed to the next slide

66


D3.3 - Carpet pile height

• While the use of carpets on an accessway is

allowed, if the carpet pile is too high it would

make movement in a wheelchair difficult

• A combined pile carpet height and backing

thickness of up to 15 mm is allowed

Part 4 - Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

•Traversing carpet can be very difficult for people using wheelchairs because of

the rolling resistance.

•This requirement for carpet pile height over-rides the technical specifications

found in AS 1428.1

Proceed to the next slide

67


Additional features

• While D3.3 specifically refers to design

features such as ramps and stairways, the

general requirement to comply with AS 1428.1

applies to other accessible features such as:

– doors and doorways

– switches and controls

Part 4 - Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

•While the BCA does not specifically refer to some of the features that form part

of a continuous accessible path of travel or make a building accessible such as

doors, doorways and switches, they are nonetheless important aspects of access

and usability

•As a general rule of thumb, unless specifically excluded, all the design

specifications in AS 1428.1 should be applied to building elements in areas

required to be accessible

Proceed to the next slide

68


Doorways

• for doorways, AS 1428.1 provides

specifications for:

– clear opening dimensions

– force for opening

– circulation space around doorway

– luminance contrast

– door controls

Part 4 - Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

•AS 1428.1 provides details for the design and construction of doors and

doorways

•Example, doorways must have a clear minimum opening of 850 mm

•Example, circulation space at doorways must be sufficient to allow a person

using a wheelchair to get access to the handle and turn into or out of a narrow

passage. AS 1428.1 contains detailed requirements for circulation depending on

the width of the passageway, size of the door and direction of travel as these all

affect accessibility.

•Example, AS 1428.1 specifies luminance contrast requirements between the

door leaf and surrounding wall, for example, in order to assist with identification of

the doorway for people with low vision.

•Example, door handles must be located at specified heights and meet certain

specifications for ease of use

Proceed to the next slide

69


Door controls

1. Round knob 2. ‘Lever’ type 3. ‘D’ type

Part 4 - Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

•Doorknobs can be difficult for people who have a disability which affects hand

and arm function. Opening doors can require a combination of gripping, twisting,

pushing or pulling.

•Photo 1 is a round knob. This is difficult for people with limited arm mobility and

dexterity to operate. Successful operation requires grip, a twist and a push.

•Photo 2 is a ‘lever type’ handle. While this is an improvement, it is still possible

for a hand to slip off.

•Photo 3 is a ‘D’ type handle and the type required by AS 1428.1. The shape

provides support and prevents hands from slipping off. It provides support for

closing the door.

Proceed to the next slide

70


D3.4 Exemptions

Part 4 - Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

Proceed to the next slide

71


Exemptions

• D3.4 allows exemptions from general rule

of access to all areas

• Exemptions need to be assessed on a

case-by-case basis

• This is no different to other parts of the

BCA where professional judgement is

required

Part 4 - Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

•While access is generally required to all areas normally used by building

occupants there are some areas that are exempt

•In these situations a continuous accessible path of travel is not required

•This has always been the case in the BCA and professional judgements will

have to be made on a case by case basis

Proceed to the next slide

72


Exemptions

• Areas which pose a

health or safety risk

or are otherwise

inappropriate for

people with disability

(such as a foundry

floor or rigging loft)

are exempt

Part 4 - Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

•Under D3.4, accessways are not required to certain areas within buildings where

providing access would be ‘inappropriate’ because of the nature of the area or

the tasks undertaken in that area.

These areas could include rigging lofts, waste-containment areas, foundry floors,

loading docks, fire lookouts, plant and equipment rooms and other similar areas.

•Assessment of these areas will need to be made on a case-by-case basis. Care

needs be taken, however, to ensure that any assessment of the need to utilise

this exemption is not based on assumptions about the ability of people with

disability or people with a particular type of disability to undertake work in those

settings.

Proceed to the next slide

73


D3.5

Accessible Carparking

Part 4 - Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

Proceed to the next slide

74


Carparking

• If a carpark is provided in a building or in a

carparking area on the same allotment,

accessible carparking spaces must be

provided

Accessible carparking spaces must be

designated with signage if more than 5 spaces

in total

Part 4 - Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

Accessible carparking spaces must be provided in a Class 7a building (carpark)

and in a carparking area on the same allotment as a building required to be

accessible.

•In other words if a building is required to be accessible by Table D3.1,

accessible carparking spaces must be provided in any carpark building or

carparking area associated with the building if on the same allotment.

Accessible carparking spaces need not be provided where a carparking service

is provided, such as a valet service, where direct access to the carpark is not

available to the public.

•If the carpark has a total of more than 5 spaces, the accessible spaces must be

designated and signed as accessible spaces. Where there are 5 spaces or less,

the accessible space need not be designated or signed so as to restrict its use

only for people with disability.

Proceed to the next slide

75


Carparking

• Proportion of accessible carparking spaces

determined by Table D3.5

Accessible carparking spaces must comply

with AS/NZS 2890.6

Part 4 - Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

The proportion of accessible carparking spaces required is calculated using

Table D3.5.

•Example, a Class 6 building such as a shopping centre with up to 1000

carparking spaces must have 1 accessible carparking space for every 50 spaces

provided

•Example, an office building (Class 5) or a school (Class 9b) must have 1

accessible carparking space for every 100 spaces provided

•An accessible carparking space must be connected to an accessible entry to a

building via a continuous accessible path of travel

The specifications for accessible carparking spaces are found in AS/NZS 2890.6

Parking facilities – Off-street parking for people with disabilities

Proceed to the next slide

76


Carparking

2400 2400 2400

Accessible

space

Accessible

space

Bollard

5400

Shared

areas

2400

Parking aisle or roadway

Part 4 - Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

The slide shows an arrangement for an accessible carparking space as required

by AS/NZS 2890.6.

•Two adjacent accessible spaces may share a single unloading area, which must

be protected by a bollard to prevent the space from being occupied by a vehicle.

Proceed to the next slide

77


D3.6 Signage

Part 4 - Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

Proceed to the next slide

78


Signage

• BCA contains requirements for certain

signage related directly to building matters,

including:

– identification of all sanitary facilities

– location and type of hearing augmentation

– directional information in some situations

Part 4 - Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

The BCA requires accessible signage to identify toilets and showers, rooms with

hearing augmentation systems, directions to an accessible entrance from an

inaccessible entrance and directions to an accessible unisex toilet from a bank of

toilets that does not include an accessible unisex toilet.

•Some of this signage must include International symbols for access and some

must be provided in tactile and braille form to assist blind people and people with

low vision

•Note: Other signage that might be found in a building such as tenants’ board

information, room numbers or directions to particular spaces are not covered by

the BCA.

Proceed to the next slide

79


Signage - toilets

• All toilets must be identified using tactile and braille

signage in addition to male/female signage

• All accessible unisex toilets must incorporate the

international symbol of access

• All accessible unisex toilets must identify if the toilet

is left or right hand transfer

• If there is no accessible unisex toilet at a bank of

toilets, directional signage must be provided

indicating the closest accessible toilet

Part 4 - Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

•All toilets, not just accessible unisex toilets, must have accessible signage in the

form of tactile and braille signage

•In addition, an accessible unisex toilet must be identified by the international

symbol of access (the wheelchair symbol)

•People using wheelchairs transfer from their chair to the toilet pan in different

ways. For some people transferring to the left is easier than to the right and visa

versa. When a building has more than one accessible unisex toilet they must be

designed in a way that alternates between left and right hand transfer and the

signage for the toilet must provide that information in the form of a ‘L’ or ‘R’

•In some situations a standard block of toilets must also have a cubicle designed

for use by people with ambulant disabilities such as people with arthritis who may

find it very difficult to lower and raise from the pan. Where the ‘ambulant

accessible cubicles’ are required they must have tactile and braille signage on the

door of the cubicle to indicate that they are suitable for use by an ambulant

person with a mobility disability.

•In some situations, there is no requirement for an accessible unisex toilet at

each bank of male and female toilets. When this is allowed, directional signage,

incorporating the international symbol of access must be provided at the

inaccessible toilets directing people to the nearest accessible toilet.

Proceed to the next slide

80


Non-compliant signage


Part 4 - Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

•Required signage should not be seen as an opportunity to be creative

•It is specifically designed to be legible to a wide range of people, including those

with cognitive or learning disabilities and must be presented in a consistent form

to be easily interpreted.

Discussion points:

Ask audience what parts do not comply. Some suggestions are below:

•Sharp corners

•All uppercase letters

•Symbol is not white on blue (Internationally standardised)

•Serif font is used (Picture 1)

•Symbol is abstracted (Picture 3)

Proceed to the next slide

81


Signage - hearing augmentation

• Identify a room with hearing augmentation

using the international symbol for deafness

• Within the room, indicate:

– type of system

– area covered

– if receivers are being used, where a receiver can

be obtained

• Braille and tactile signage required

Part 4 - Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

•Any space required to have a hearing-augmentation system must be identified

by braille and tactile signage as well as the international symbol of deafness

which is white on blue similar the international symbol of access.

•This signage would generally be outside the room in which the hearingaugmentation

system is available.

•Signage within the room must indicate the type of hearing-augmentation, and the

area of the room covered. Signage must also indicate if the system being used in

the room requires personal receivers, and where they may be obtained if this is

the case.

•More information on hearing augmentation will be presented later – this slide

only covers signage for hearing augmentation.

Proceed to the next slide

82


Signage - entrances

• Directional information including the

international symbol of access is required at

an inaccessible entrance to identify the

location of the nearest accessible entrance

Part 4 - Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

•In some situations an entrance to a building might not need to be accessible

(covered under D3.2) and when this is the case, directional signage including the

international symbol of access must be provided at the inaccessible entrance

identifying where the closest accessible entrance is

•This signage is directional and does not need to be provided with braille or tactile

signage

Proceed to the next slide

83


Specification D3.6

Braille and tactile signage

Part 4 - Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

Proceed to the next slide

84


Specification D3.6

• Provides details in relation to the:

– design;

– location; and

– luminance contrast

required for braille and tactile signs

Part 4 - Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

•Specification D3.6 covers issues such as:

• Location of signs to ensure they can be read by a braille reader

• Size and spacing of braille dots

• Fonts

• Luminance contrast

The need for rounded edges to ensure a braille reader does not injure

themselves

Proceed to the next slide

85


Braille and tactile sign location

• Signs should be at an

accessible height - between

1200 mm and 1600 mm from

the floor


Part 4 - Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

•Braille is designed to be read with the fingers and as such, needs to be at an

appropriate height.

Proceed to the next slide

86


Braille and tactile sign location

• A person reading braille

should not be at risk of injury

from opening doors or

pedestrian traffic

Part 4 - Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

•This sign including braille and tactile information warned people to not stand in

front of the door but the sign is placed on the door meaning that a braille reader

would have to do exactly what it is warning against

Proceed to the next slide

87


D3.7 Hearing augmentation

Part 4 - Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

Note: Remind participants about what a hearing augmentation system is. It can

be described as a device to assist people with hearing impairment to access

audible information in places such as a theatre, lecture hall, conference center or

bank where tellers are behind a glass screen for example. Typical devices use

induction (hearing) loop, Radio Frequency or InfraRed technology.

Proceed to the next slide

88


Hearing augmentation

• A hearing augmentation system is required:

– in a room in a Class 9b building, eg cinema

– in an auditorium, conference room, meeting room

or room used for judiciary purposes

– at any ticket office, teller booth or reception area

where the public is screened from service provider

…. but only if the room has an in-built

amplification system

Part 4 - Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

The trigger for a requirement to have a hearing augmentation system is the

provision of a built-in amplification system

•Example, a room in a convention centre has a built-in PA system. This room will

be required to have a hearing augmentation system as well

•Example, a small meeting room in a law firm office does not have a built-in PA

system so does not need to have a hearing augmentation system

•Example, a ticket booth at a railway station is screened off from the public and

has a speaker system in place. This booth would be required to have a hearing

augmentation system as well

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89


Hearing augmentation

• Area covered depends on system used

– Induction loop - 80% of the floor area

– Receiver based systems such as radio frequency

or infrared systems - 95%

– Ratio of receivers set out in D3.7

• Emergency-only systems are exempt

• Scoreboard or screen announcements

Part 4 - Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

There are a number of hearing-augmentation systems available. A decision on

which system to use will depend on a number of factors, such as the size and

use of the space, external interferences and building materials used.

•Hearing-augmentation is not required to cover 100% of the floor area of rooms

because such coverage could spill over into adjoining rooms and affect the

operation of any system installed in those rooms, and because design

considerations such as interference and room layout mean that it is difficult to

ensure complete coverage in every room.

•D3.7 also includes information on the number of receivers required if using a

system such as radio frequency or InfraRed.

•Example, in a room accommodating 400 people, 16 receivers would be required

to be available.

•If the built-in amplification system is only used for emergency warnings, that

does not trigger a requirement for a hearing augmentation system

•If a building such as a sports stadium has a screen or scoreboard that is capable

of displaying public announcements, it must also be capable of displaying

information given to the audience that is given over the public address system

•Example, if the public address system announces Pele has replaced Beckham in

the game, the scoreboard must be capable of displaying that information.

Proceed to the next slide

90


D3.8 Tactile indicators

Part 4 - Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

•Proceed to the next slide

91


Tactile indicators

• To assist blind people and people with low

vision, tactile ground surface indicators

(TGSIs) are used to facilitate safe movement

around buildings

• BCA only requires warning (hazard alert)

TGSIs

• Technical details of TGSIs are in AS/NZS

1428.4.1

Part 4 - Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

•D3.8 sets out the requirements to assist blind people or people with low vision to

avoid hazardous situations by the use of tactile ground surface indicators

(TGSIs).

There are two types of TGSI used in the built environment. Warning TGSIs and

directional TGSIs. The BCA only requires the use of warning TGSIs and only for

specific hazard identification

•Technical details for the design and placement of TGSI are found in Australian

Standard AS/NZS 1428.4.1

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92


Examples of warning TGSIs

Part 4 - Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

There are very specific design criteria in AS/NZS 1428.4.1 for TGSIs including

luminance contrast requirements

The TGSIs are designed so that they may be read either tactually underfoot,

through the tip of a long cane, or visually because of their luminance contrast with

the surrounding surface.

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93


Tactile indicators

• Required at the top and bottom of stairs,

escalators, moving walkways and ramps

• Also required where a person might encounter

an overhead obstruction where no barrier

exists

• Not required on fire-isolated stairs and fireisolated

ramps or those which lead to areas

exempted under D3.4

Part 4 - Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

•TGSI warn people that they are approaching some form of potential hazard such

as a flight of stairs or a change in level such as a ramp

•Good design and placement provides information to a blind person or person

with low vision to be alert to the hazard

•If there is a chance that someone walking along a path might bump into an

overhead obstruction less than 2 m high, TGSIs should be used to warn of the

hazard unless a suitable barrier is in place such as a rail or other suitable fixture

or fitting.

There is a concession in the BCA which states that fire-isolated stairways and

ramps are not required to have TGSIs.

•If an area is exempt from access requirements under D3.4, TGSI are not

required.

•Buildings specifically provided for aged care services need not use TGSIs on

stairs and ramps as long as the handrails on them incorporate a raised dome at

the end of the handrail to indicate the end of the stairs or ramp

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94


Example of when

TGSIs might be

required because of

the danger of the

overhead obstruction

created by an open

stairway

Part 4 - Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

•This open stairway creates an overhead hazard and a blind person or a person

with low vision could walk into the underside of the stairway because there is

nothing to warn of the danger

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95


D3.9 Wheelchair seating spaces

in Class 9b assembly buildings

Part 4 - Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

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96


Wheelchair seating spaces

• If fixed seating is provided in a Class 9b

assembly building, such as a cinema or

stadium, wheelchair seating spaces must also

be provided

• Spaces must be available in single and

grouped configurations

• Table D3.9 specifies number of spaces to be

provided

Part 4 - Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

•D3.9 sets out the requirements in relation to the provision of wheelchair seating

spaces in Class 9b assembly buildings with fixed seating.

•This includes the number of wheelchair seating spaces to be provided in

theatres, cinemas, auditoriums and the like, their positioning within the general

seating area and how they are to be grouped with other seats or wheelchair

spaces

These grouping requirements ensure that two or more people using wheelchairs

can sit next to each other if they wish

There is nothing in the BCA to stop building operators putting temporary seating

in wheelchair seating spaces when they are not being used

The number of spaces and placement depends on the seating capacity of the

building

•Example, a theatre with 140 seats must have 3 wheelchair seating spaces with

one single and one group of 2 spaces

•Example, a 10,000 seat stadium must have 108 wheelchair spaces with at least

5 single spaces, at least 5 groups of 2 spaces and not more than 5 spaces in any

other group.

The details and dimensions of wheelchair seating spaces are found in AS

1428.1

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97


Wheelchair seating spaces

• In small cinemas (up to 300 seats), wheelchair

seating spaces cannot be placed in the front

row

• In larger cinemas (over 300 seats), 75% of

wheelchair seating spaces must be in rows

other than the front row

Part 4 - Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

•Generally people do not rush down to the front of the cinema to take the front

row so this requirement is to ensure people with disability are not forced to sit in

the front row, which can be a particularly unpleasant experience for people with

poor upper body strength being forced to look up at the screen

•People generally have a wide range of choice of which seats they would like, so

this requirement seeks to provide people with disability with a similar choice.

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98


D3.10 Swimming pools

Part 4 - Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

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99


Swimming pools

• A swimming pool required to be accessible by

Table D3.1, and with a perimeter of more than

40 m, must be provided with at least one

means of access into the pool

• Latches on swimming pool gates are not

required to be at an accessible height

Part 4 - Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

Access requirements only apply to public pools such as those in hotels, local

government pools and pools associated with facilities such as fitness centres.

They do not apply to private household pools or pools only available to single

occupancies such as a penthouse in a hotel or apartment block.

The trigger is when a pool is greater than 40 m in perimeter. Pools under this

size are exempt.

•Example, a spa with only 10 m perimeter in a hotel is not required to be

accessible.

•Pool safety fences are designed to prevent unsupervised young children gaining

entry to swimming pools. For this purpose, latches on swimming pool gates have

to be at a height to put them out of reach of children, which also puts them

outside the height range for accessibility purposes. On this issue, safety takes

precedence over access. Therefore latches on swimming pool gates are not

required to be at an accessible height.

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100


Accessible pool entry

• Options include:

– fixed or movable ramp and aquatic wheelchair

– zero depth entry and aquatic wheelchair

– platform lift and aquatic wheelchair

– Sling-style lift

Part 4 - Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

•If a ramp, zero depth entry or platform lift is used, an aquatic wheelchair (one

suitable for immersion in water) must be available.

•A zero depth entry is typically one used in children’s pools to provide a gradual

sloping entry

•A sling-style lift requires someone to transfer from their chair onto a sling which

is lowered into the water. This is the least dignified means of providing access but

is allowed and may be the most cost effective way of providing access to smaller

pools.

•A pool over 70 m in perimeter can use a sling-style lift as a second means of

providing access but must use either a ramp, zero depth entry or platform lift as

its primary means of providing access.

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101


Specification D3.10

• Provides detailed specifications for the

different forms of access into pools including:

– dimensions

– slip resistance

– weight capacity

– handrails

Part 4 - Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

•Specification D3.10 details the design, location and safety features of each of

the four systems for providing access into a pool

•Example, a ramp must have a gradient of no more than 1 in 14

•Example, surfaces on a zero depth entry must be slip resistant

•Example, swimming pool lifts must have a weight capacity of at least 160 kg

•Example, a sling-style lift must be designed so that it will submerge not less than

500 mm below the water level

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102


D3.11 Ramps

Part 4 - Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

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103


Ramp limitation

• A series of connected ramps must not have a

combined vertical rise of more than 3.6 m

• A landing for a step ramp must not overlap a

landing for another step ramp or ramp

Part 4 - Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

•Ramps may be used as part of an accessway where there is a change in level

and must comply with the requirements specified in AS 1428.1 including a

maximum gradient, landings, TGSIs, handrails and kerbing.

•Clause D3.11 states that a series of ramps cannot be used on an accessway to

connect one level to another if the vertical rise is greater than 3.6 metres.

•This is to ensure that the overall distance required to negotiate a series of ramps

does not cause undue fatigue for a user to the point where the ramp becomes

unusable.

•In the case of step ramps, which must have a clear landing area at the top and

bottom and may have a gradient of 1 in 10, the landings must not overlap another

landing for a step ramp or ramp. This requirement aims to ensure that where two

step ramps converge in a high traffic area, sufficient space is provided to enable

manoeuvring without requiring people to wait on the ramp.

•It also aims to limit the likelihood of two step ramps being installed where a 1:14

ramp should have been provided. This is shown in the next slide

Proceed to the next slide

104


1200 landing

1:14 ramp

1200 landing

Step ramp

1200 landing

1200 landing

1:14 ramp

1200 landing

1200 landing

Step ramp

1200 landing

Part 4 - Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

The need for 2 landings where two ramps overlap

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105


D3.12 Glazing on an accessway

Part 4 - Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

Proceed to the next slide

106


Glazing on an accessway

• Visual indicators must be provided on

frameless or fully glazed doors, sidelights and

other glazing that might be mistaken for a door

or opening if there is no chair rail, handrail or

transom

Part 4 - Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

•Frameless or fully glazed doors, sidelights and other glazing situated on a

continuous accessible path of travel are difficult for people with low vision to

identify

•To assist people to safely move into and through buildings, there is a

requirement for visual indicators on the glazing if there is no other indicator such

as a rail or transom to warn people that the glazed panel is not an unimpeded

opening.

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107


Glazing on an accessway

• If relying on marking the glass, must comply

with AS 1428.1



Part 4 - Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

•Details for markings on glass are found in AS 1428.1 and include requirements

that the indicator must be a solid band at least 75 mm thick across the whole

doorway or sidelight with a 30% luminance contrast.

The photo on the left is not marked in any way.

The photo on the right is clearly marked in a compliant manner.

Proceed to the next slide

108


E3.6 Passenger lifts

Part 4 - Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

Proceed to the next slide

109


Passenger lifts

• Passenger lifts must be suitable for use by

people with disability

• A variety of lift types can be used. However,

Table E3.6a contains limitations on the use of

some types of lifts

Part 4 - Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

•E3.6 identifies the range of lifts that can be used in buildings

•Design details for each type of lift are found in a suite of Australian Standards

•Example, AS 1735.7 is a stairway platform lift which follows the flight of stairs on

rails fixed at one side

•Example, AS 1735.14 is a low-rise platform lift

•While the range is broad and allows for more cost effective approaches to small

buildings in particular, there are some limits on when each type of lift can be used

•Example, while a stairway platform lift (AS 1735.7) may be used, the limitations

on their use means that they should be a ‘lift of last resort’. The limitations on

stairway platform lifts are imposed because this type of lift does not offer the

most dignified or independent access possible but may, in some situations, be

the only option possible. Limitations on use include they must not:

• Be used in a building accommodating more than 100 people

• Be used in high traffic areas such as a theatre or shopping centre

• Connect more than 2 storeys

• Be used where it is possible to use another type of lift

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110


Passenger lifts

• Table E3.6b describes the features required

on lifts such as handrails, lighting, control

buttons and dimensions

• If a lift car is fully enclosed, it must not rely on

a constant pressure device to operate it

Part 4 - Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

•Table E3.6b provides some general requirements for the main features of

different lift types.

•Example, all lifts apart from stairway platform lifts and low-rise lifts must have a

handrail

•Example, all lifts that travel more than 12 m must have a minimum lift floor

dimension of 1400 mm by 1600 mm

•Example, all lifts, apart from stairway platform lifts must have lift landing doors at

the upper landing

•Example, all lifts serving more than 2 levels must have automatic audible

information within the lift car to identify the level each time the car stops

•For lift cars that are not fully enclosed, the operating system may be a constant

pressure device which requires someone to be constantly pressing a button or

lever in order to keep the lift moving. This system of making a lift move can be

very difficult for people with some types of disability to operate but the concession

exists for safety reasons (for example, in case a child slipped under the lift in a

situation where the lift is not enclosed)

Proceed to the next slide

111


Part 4 - Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

•Here are two examples of lifts that may be used in some situations.

The left hand side shows an unenclosed lift traveling up one level and the lift on

the right is a stairway platform lift

Proceed to the next slide

112


F2 Sanitary facilities

Part 4 - Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

Proceed to the next slide

113


F2.4 Accessible sanitary facilities

• Requires accessible unisex toilets be provided

in accordance with Table F2.4(a)

• Requires accessible unisex showers be

provided in accordance with Table F2.4(b)

• Specifies requirements for ‘ambulant

accessible’ toilet cubicles

Part 4 - Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

The general term ‘accessible sanitary facilities’ refers to:

•accessible unisex sanitary compartments (referred to generally as’

accessible unisex toilets’, not ‘disabled toilets’)

•accessible unisex showers

•toilets suitable for use by people with ambulant disabilities

F2.4 refers, throughout, to AS 1428.1, where all the design

specifications and fitout requirements for accessible sanitary facilities

can be found

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114


F2.4 Accessible unisex toilets

Accessible unisex toilets must be provided:

– in buildings required to be accessible and

containing toilets

– on every accessible storey where there are toilets

• However …

Part 4 - Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

•Table F2.4(a) provides details of number and location of accessible

unisex toilets that vary depending on the Class of building

• Example, for a Class 2 building (apartment block)

accessible unisex toilets are only required where toilets are

provided in a common area

• Example, for a Class 3 building (hotel) accessible unisex

toilets are only required in accessible SOUs and where

toilets are provided in a common area

• Example, for a Class 6 building (shopping centre)

accessible unisex toilets are required on every storey

containing toilets

The general rule is that wherever there is a bank of male and female

toilets there should be an accessible unisex toilet

•However there are some concessions ….

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115


Accessible unisex toilets

• Where male and female banks are at separate

locations, an accessible unisex toilet is only

required at one of the locations

• Where there is more than one bank of male and

female toilets on a floor an accessible unisex

toilet is only required at 50% of banks

Part 4 - Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

•Example, if female toilets are located on one floor or one side of a

building and male toilets are located on another floor or other side of

the building, an accessible unisex toilet is only required at one

location

•Example, if a sports stadium has four banks of toilets on the ground

floor an accessible unisex toilet is only required at two locations.

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116


Accessible unisex toilets

• Exceptions and exemptions:

– toilets on a floor not required to be accessible under

the small building concession (D3.3(f)) are not

required to have accessible toilets

– toilets in an area not required to be accessible under

D3.4 Exemptions are not required to include

accessible unisex toilets

Part 4 - Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

•Example, if a small two-storey building had a bank of toilets on the

ground floor and a bank of toilets on the upper floor, and the upper

floor was covered by the small building concession because it was

under 200 square metres, only the ground floor would be required to

have an accessible unisex toilet.

•Example, if an area was considered under D3.4 to be exempt from

access requirements because of the particular purpose of usage or

because of health and safety concerns, and toilets are located in that

area, an accessible unisex toilet would not be required in that area. If,

however, the toilets were located in another area not covered by the

D3.4 exemption, an accessible unisex toilet would be required at that

location.

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117


Accessible unisex toilets

• Must comply with circulation space, fixture and

fittings requirements in AS 1428.1

• Must contain closet pan, washbasin, shelf or

bench top, means of sanitary towel disposal

• Must not be accessed through an area

reserved for one gender

Part 4 - Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

The circulation space requirements, location and clearances of

fixtures and fittings are critical for ensuring the best possible access

for the greatest number of people

•While the BCA only requires a closet pan, washbasin, shelf or bench

top and a sanitary towel disposal bin within a toilet, if other fixtures

and fittings are included, such as a soap dispenser, clothes-hanging

device, mirror or baby change facility, they must also comply with the

requirements of AS 1428.1

•An accessible shelf or bench top is particularly important for items to

be placed on while, for example, someone is emptying their

colostomy bag.

•Some individuals may require assistance using a toilet. Accessible

toilets are therefore required to be unisex to allow for assistance by

someone of the opposite gender without having to enter an area

reserved for one sex.

Proceed to next slide

118


Part 4 - Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

Discussion point:

•Ask participants to identify what might be wrong with this toilet

1.It is being used as a storage area

2.The handrail is upside down and back to front – this rail cannot be

used to assist with transfer

3.There is no grab rail behind the pan to aid with front-on transfer

•This is a ‘disabled’ toilet because it does not work.

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119


Accessible unisex toilets

• Where multiple accessible unisex toilets are

provided in a building, they should be provided

for both left and right transfer in numbers as

even as possible

Part 4 - Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

•Because of differing body strengths, the effect of particular

disabilities and personal preferences, transferring from a wheelchair

to a pan might be easier, or in some cases only possible, from one

side or the other of the pan

•Having a mixture of transfer types increases the options available for

people with limited or asymmetrical physical capabilities to find a

suitable alternative.

•New signage requirements state that information about left or right

transfer must be provided in the form of ‘L’ or ‘R’ on the accessible

toilet sign.

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120


‘Ambulant accessible cubicles’

• A toilet cubicle suitable for people with an

ambulant disability must be provided if there is

a toilet cubicle in addition to an accessible

unisex toilet at a bank

• Details for design and fit out are in AS 1428.1

Part 4 - Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

•A person with an ambulant disability is someone who is able to move about

without the need for a wheeled mobility device, but who would benefit from the

availability of a raised pan and handrails to assist in raising and lowering.

•While requirements for ‘ambulant accessible toilets’ have been in the BCA for a

number of years in relation to Class 10a buildings (for example, a public toilet

block in a park) they are a new requirement for most buildings

The design specifications for ‘ambulant accessible cubicles’ are in AS 1428.1

and include features such as door openings of minimum 700 mm, grabrails on

both sides of the cubicle and a pan seat height of between 460 mm and 480 mm.

The requirements for ‘ambulant accessible toilets’ are only triggered if there are

male/female toilets in addition to an accessible unisex toilet. So, for example, if a

small building is required to only have one male and one female toilet and that

requirement is satisfied by installing a single accessible unisex toilet, there would

be no requirement to build an additional toilet to provide an ‘ambulant accessible

toilet’.

The concession for small buildings (D3.3(f)) and D3.4 Exemptions for accessible

unisex toilets also affects the requirement for ‘ambulant accessible toilets’

because this type of facility is only required where there are toilets in addition to

accessible unisex toilets. If there is no accessible unisex toilet, there is no trigger

for an for ‘ambulant accessible toilet’.

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121


Accessible unisex showers

• Table F2.4(b) provides requirements for

accessible unisex showers depending on the

Class of building

• Design specifications for accessible unisex

showers are found in AS 1428.1

Part 4 - Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

•Table F2.4(b) contains requirements for the provision of accessible unisex

showers

• Example, if a Class 1b building is required to be accessible, at least 1

accessible shower must be provided

• Example in Class 3 (hotel) and Class 9c (aged-care) buildings every

accessible SOU must have an accessible shower

•In Class 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 buildings, accessible showers are only required where

the BCA requires showers to be provided in the first place. For those classes, the

BCA only requires showers in Class 9b theatres and sporting venues. If showers

are provided voluntarily in other buildings, eg. in an office building, F2.4 does not

require accessible showers to be provided.

Proceed to next slide

122


H2 Public transport buildings

Part 4 - Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

Proceed to the next slide

123


H2 Public transport buildings

• Passenger use areas of public transport

buildings like airports or railway stations are

generally Class 9b and Class 10

These buildings are subject to sometimes

different requirements because of the earlier

Disability Standards for Accessible Public

Transport 2002

Part 4 - Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

•Since 2002, public transport related buildings have been subject to a set of

national disability standards called the Disability Standards for Accessible Public

Transport 2002. The design specifications in the Transport Standards are in

some cases a little different to those generally applied in the BCA.

•In addition, the passenger-use areas of existing transport-related buildings are

subject to a timetable for upgrade of buildings to meet the requirements of the

Transport Standards over time.

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124


Part H2

• H2 takes precedence where different to other

BCA requirements

• H2 refers to different editions of Australian

Standards for elements such as accessways,

ramps, stairways, signage, lifts and doorways

– check which edition applies

Part 4 - Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions

•To try and retain the upgrade timetable and ensure continuity, those parts of the

Transport Standards that related to buildings have been taken out of the

Transport Standards and placed in the BCA as H2

•This means that, in a few instances, the general requirements of the BCA might

be different to the requirements of H2

•Where there is a difference, the requirements of H2 take precedence

•Example, under the BCA the Deemed-to-Satisfy requirement for the minimum

width of accessible paths of travel is 1000 mm (AS 1428.1–2009) whereas Part

H2 refers to AS 1428.2–1992, which requires 1200 mm minimum width. In this

example, H2 takes precedence in relation to the passenger-use areas of

transport-related buildings

•When working on passenger use areas of transport related buildings, care needs

to be taken to refer to the correct Australian Standards listed in A1.3.

Proceed to next slide

125


PART 5

State and Territory

Administrative Matters

Proceed to the next slide

126


State and Territory matters

• BCA provides a model code, but State and

Territory building laws and regulations may

include additional material

• Relevant provisions in Parts 1 – 6 of the

Premises Standards are to be reflected in

changes to State and Territory building law

or systems

Part 5 - Administrative Matters

•Generally the BCA applies equally to new buildings and new work in existing

buildings

•Any different approaches or additional requirements or triggers a State or

Territory might want to adopt will generally be addressed through State and

Territory regulations and administrative procedures

•Earlier in this module, we looked at how the BCA and Access Code of the

Premises Standards were being made consistent. It was noted that while

compliance with the new BCA ensured compliance with the Access Code there

were a number of other issues contained within Parts 1 – 6 of the Premises

Standards that would also need to be addressed.

•It was noted that changes would have to be made to State and Territory building

laws or systems to reflect the relevant content of Parts 1 – 6 of the Premises

Standards

•As was the case before BCA 2011, a full understanding of building requirements

can only be achieved by looking at the BCA and relevant State and Territory

building laws and regulations

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127


State and Territory matters

• Different application for new and existing

buildings in some situations

• Triggers for ‘affected part’ upgrades

• Questions of possible ‘unjustifiable hardship’

Part 5 - Administrative Matters

•While building professionals need to refer to their own State and Territory

regulations for details, there are three areas for particular consideration.

The first covers exemptions for existing Class 1b and Class 2

buildings, and upgrades to existing lifts and accessible unisex toilets

The second is upgrades to what is referred to in the Premises

Standards as the ‘affected part’ of a building

The third is State and Territory arrangements for considering appeals

that full application of the BCA to specific buildings might result in an

unjustifiable hardship. I will talk more about unjustifiable hardship in a

moment

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128


Existing buildings

• Existing Class 1b and Class 2 buildings

treated differently

• Existing lifts travelling more than 12 m floor

space concession

• Existing accessible unisex toilets circulation

space and fitout concession

Part 5 - Administrative Matters

The Premises Standards states that if an existing building is developed or upgraded into

a B&B or Farmstay type Class 1b building, the access requirements are not triggered

unless there are 4 or more bedrooms made available to the public. While the BCA states

that any Class 1b building of this type must have access to at least one bedroom

irrespective of the number of bedrooms available, State and Territory regulations are

intended to reflect what the Premises Standards say.

•While the BCA does not make a distinction between new Class 2 buildings i.e. those for

which a building application was made after 1 May 2011 and older Class 2 buildings

undergoing upgrade, the Premises Standards does. The Premises Standards do not

require Class 2 buildings built before 1 May 2011 (or for which a building application was

made before 1 May 2011) to meet the requirements for access if it is subsequently

upgraded. State and Territory regulations are intended to reflect what the Premises

Standards say.

•Earlier editions of the BCA required a lift floor circulation space for lifts travelling more

than 12 m to be a minimum of 1100 mm by 1400 mm but the new BCA requires a floor

space of 1400 mm by 1600 mm for such lifts. The Premises Standards allows for a

concession for lifts in existing buildings that travel more than 12 m. As long as an

existing lift meets the earlier BCA requirements, it does not need to be upgraded in

relation to circulation space requirements. State and Territory regulations are intended to

reflect what the Premises Standards say.

The same applies to existing accessible unisex toilets that comply with the earlier BCA

requirements for circulation space and fitout.

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Affected part

• Affected part is the path of travel from the

principle pedestrian entrance to any new work

in an existing building

Access upgrades are required if the building

approval applicant is the owner or the lessee if

they occupy the whole building

Part 5 - Administrative Matters

The Premises Standards introduces a new requirement when upgrades to existing buildings are

undertaken. This is a requirement that, in some situations, there will be a need to upgrade what is

called the ‘affected part’ of a building

•This is the path of travel from the principle pedestrian entrance (main entrance) to the area of

new work. In a multi-storey building, this could mean an upgrade of the path of travel from the

main entrance to the lift and up the lift to the floor where the new work is taking place.

•Another example might be from the main entrance to a restaurant through the restaurant and into

a new dinning area being built at the back of the existing space.

•Upgrading might involve getting rid of a front entry step, upgrading required handrails or signage

or refitting a lift to provide audible announcements

The reason for the introduction of this requirement is to encourage more extensive upgrades of

buildings over time and to ensure that in appropriate cases, access is available to new areas of

buildings that include accessibility – there is little point in having level 6 or 10 of a building fully

accessible if you cannot get to that area.

There is a limit to the requirement for the upgrade of the ‘affected part’

•If the person making the application for building approval for the new work in an existing building

is the owner or a tenant who occupies the whole building, this triggers the requirement for an

upgrade of the affected part

•However, if the person making the application for building approval for the new work in an

existing building is one of a number of lessees in the building, the requirement for affected part

upgrade is not triggered

•Example, if a building has two tenants and one makes an application to upgrade the area they

rent, this does not require an upgrade of the affected part

•Example, if a building owner makes an application to upgrade part of their building, this would

trigger a requirement for an upgrade of the affected part.

•State and territory regulations are intended to reflect what the Premises Standards say about

‘affected part’ upgrades.

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130


Unjustifiable hardship

• Premises Standards allows for a defense of

unjustifiable hardship in some situations

Access Panels or similar

• Check with your State or Territory building

control administration to find out how this is

considered in your area

Part 5 - Administrative Matters

The Premises Standards include a general exception for access provisions where the full

application of requirements would result in what is called an ‘unjustifiable hardship’.

• ‘Unjustifiable hardship’ is not defined but a list of factors provide guidance as to what is relevant

in considering whether compliance with the Premises Standards might impose unjustifiable

hardship. The factors include, but are not limited to, costs, loss of value, impact on revenue,

capacity to pay and impact on financial viability, technical building factors, the relationship of cost

to the value of the building and the benefits of access, whether the building is used for public

purposes or has a community function and the effort expended in trying to comply with the

Standards. It demands an inquiry of what is fair and reasonable in the circumstances.

•Compliance with the Premises Standards is still required to the maximum extent not involving

unjustifiable hardship. For example, enlarging a lift may impose unjustifiable hardship but

upgrading the lift control panel to provide Braille and tactile buttons may not.

There is no similar general exception within the BCA but State and Territory governments have

been encouraged to set up a mechanism for dealing with questions of unjustifiable hardship

through State and Territory administrative processes

•In some States and Territories, Access Panels or similar bodies have been established to deal

with these questions

•Building professionals and developers should check with their local building administrations to

identify local mechanisms

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131


Any questions?

•Do you have any questions?

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132

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