Much like an Access Appraisal the Access to Premises Compliance Review is an introductory review of the barriers and issues to disability access within the built environment. Since the introduction of the Access to Premises (Buildings) Standard in 2010 disability access has been on the radar in a whole new way.
It’s essential to understand how this piece of legislation fits and how it can have a significant impact on the building and construction industry. To assist building owners – tenants and business owners.
Where the Access to Premises Standard can really impact is in the redevelopment of existing buildings. For example if there is some building works proposed that requires a building permit it triggers the requirements of the Premises Standard. Therefore in this case any of the proposed building works then is deemed as a ‘New Part’. Under the requirements of the Access to Premises an accessible path of travel must be provided from any ‘New Part’ to the principle entrance and from the principle entrance to the allotment boundary.
Which means that work through the building and the entrance itself my be required in order for a certificate of occupancy to be given. An example of how this can really effect a business owner is a cafe shop owner. If they decide to re-fit-out the cafe and it requires a building permit, they will also be required to make sure that the entrance etc. complies. This is often where is creates a massive issue – especially when there is a step at the entry door. The cafe Owners is then required to redevelop the entry so that it has a ramp (usually internal) and that the doorway has compliant circulation spaces.
To try and pre-empt getting to this stage ASN offer a review process that specifically focuses on the Access to Premises Standards requirements and provides advice and recommendations to ensure compliance and ultimately a certificate of occupancy can be issued.
For more information about our Access to Premises Compliance Review please contact us.
ASN’s disability access audits are extremely comprehensive and include multiple elements. Likely elements to be audited are:
Car Parking: including ratios, required numbers of bays, signage, delineation, gradient and kerb ramp provisions. Locations of bays will also be audited.
Pathways: all pathway systems from the allotment boundary and to and within the premises will be audited. Inclusive of principle entrance points.
Wayfinding: although wayfinding is silent in the Australian Standards our auditing is inclusive of assessing the interaction of required elements such as, TGSI’s & signage, to ensure these provide good wayfinding information and meaning.
Ramps: there are numerous requirements for ramps to achieve compliance. Each ramp will be audited accordingly against specific requirements determined by the type of ramp it is.
Walkways: like ramps, walkways to have numerous requirements to achieve compliance. Each walkway will be audited accordingly
Stairs: Stairs must be assessed to ensure there is compliant treads, risers and nosings. Other stair requirements such as handrails and TGSI’s will also be audited.
Doorways: doorways will be audited as there are width, force, swing and luminance contrast requirements. These will all be audited for all doorways to and within.
Circulation Spaces: there are many situations within the built environment where it is required for correct circulation spaces to be provided, such as at doorways. All requirements for circulation spaces are included in our auditing.
Handrails: the design and installation of handrails must be in accordance with the Australian Standards, mostly AS1428.1 – 2009. Every handrail required to comply will be audited.
Grabrails: the design and installation of grabrails must be in accordance with the Australian Standards, mostly AS1428.1 – 2009. Every grabrail required to comply will be audited.
Gradients: all graded surfaces will be audited. Gradients such as, 1:8, 1:10, 1:14, 1:20, 1:33 & 1:40.
Lighting Levels: minimum LUX levels are required within different setting types. LUX levels will be recorded and audited accordingly against the specific setting.
Lifts: there are different types of lifts and hence different requirements for minimum compliance. Lifts will be audited according to type.
Fittings & Fixtures: counters, customer service, seating, controls, classrooms, vending machines, information stand and the like are audited and assessed to ensure ease of use for a wide range of people.
Sanitary Facilities: have the most specific and extensive set of requirements. There are specific requirements for unisex accessible sanitary compartment, showers, ambulant sanitary facilities and change rooms. ASN’s auditing include such building areas.
Emergency Egress: it is essential that as the accessibility into a building is audited that the same be for the emergency egress from a building. This is particulary important since the release of the Australian Standard AS3745.
Luminance Contrast: probably one of the most complex areas within disability access. ASN is considered by peers as the expert in luminance contrast.
Tactile Ground Surface Indicators (TGSI’s): both directional and hazard TGSI’s are audited against the requirements of Australian Standard AS1428.4.1 – 2009 and according to the types integrated, discrete and composite discrete.
Signage: identifying accessible features as well as navigational / informational signage is required to meet the BCA deemed to satisfy provisions.
Services: delivery of services must be in an accessible form. Although service delivery cannot be directly audited against a set Australian Standard, ASN assess service delivery against industry be practices.