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Wed March 03 2021

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Building accessibility standard revised

24 Jan 18 British Standards Institution (BSI) has revised its standards document that ensures building designers cater for the needs of people of all ages and physical abilities.

The revised BS 8300:2018 Design of an accessible and inclusive built environment aims to give clients, design professionals, builders, local government officials, enforcers and ultimately users of buildings the information they need to create an inclusive environment from the outset of a project.

BS 8300 now comes in two parts: Part 1: External environment – code of practice; and Part 2: Buildings – code of practice.

Part 1 primarily covers access in and around the external environment and the approaches to buildings. Part 2 provides guidance on access within buildings, including the facilities that should be provided inside buildings.

Both parts of BS 8300 supersede the 2009 version of this standard, which has been withdrawn.

The recommendations in both parts of BS 8300 are accompanied by scene-setting commentary that places the recommendations in context for readers not familiar with the barriers experienced by disabled people. In some instances recommendations are specific; in others, they include dimensional ranges. Dimensional ranges are intended to provide designers with some flexibility of design solution.

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Grab rails, touch legible signs and assistive listening systems might be needed to assist a disabled person, and recommendations are given on these features. The standard also gives guidance on accommodating an inclusive design in historic buildings and religious buildings, many of which have inherent access issues.

Public transport infrastructure, garaging and enclosed parking spaces, electric vehicle charging and pedestrian surfaces are also covered in Part 1. Corridors and passageways, changing and shower areas, ramps and slopes and toilet facilities are covered in Part 2.

Ant Burd, head of the built environment sector at BSI, said: “Creating bespoke facilities for certain people’s needs can often be necessary over the life of a building – however, it’s far more beneficial if a building and its adjoining spaces can be fully inclusive from the outset. BS 8300 1&2 gives detailed guidance and recommendations on making the goal of inclusivity a reality from day one of a project – so that by the time the work begins on site the final building has been designed to work for everyone who uses it.

“From space allowances for wheelchair manoeuvring to guidance on building an access-friendly multi-storey car park, Parts 1 & 2 of this standard provide built environment professionals best practice guidance on designing the shared facilities of tomorrow.”

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