Slide background
Print Friendly

“Architecture & Access provides an outstanding access consulting service and a proactive approach to risk management.”

Gallery_AccessConsulting

Architecture & Access provides specialist advice and solutions to achieve access within the built environment for people with physical, sensory and other forms of disability, their families and carers.

Working with architects and designers, building certifiers and surveyors, government agencies and managers of buildings, we ensure the requirements of access and universal design are incorporated into proposed developments.

We have up-to-date knowledge of requirements under current anti-discrimination laws, work health & safety legislation and building control regulations.

Access consulting services

Architecture & Access offers a comprehensive range of services provided by experienced and qualified access experts.

Our in-house team includes access consultants, work health & safety consultants, project managers, architects, home modification experts, landscape designers, interior designers, and occupational therapists.

Services include:

  • Auditing of disability access of new building projects at all stages of design and development
  • Auditing and review of existing and proposed buildings, public transport infrastructure and conveyances
  • Reviewing building renovations, fit-outs and refurbishments
  • Providing recommendations on items that have an access or Disability Discrimination Act 1992 component
  • Site inspections during construction phase and prior to issuing of certificate of occupancy
  • Access reports
  • Reviewing alternative solutions where compliance is difficult to achieve
  • Development of design briefs to inform and guide the design process
  • Additional recommendations to achieve best practice and more closely meet the intentions of the DDA
  • Project management of the delivery of accessible objectives from design through to construction
  • OHS consulting and Safety in Design services to manage risk and meet obligations under the law.
  • Luminance Contrasting testing service to assist visually impaired people to navigate, negotiate and identify features within the built environment.

Cost-effective, achievable access solutions

Our access consultants work with a wide range of new developments and building upgrades including:

  • Workplaces
  • Residential developments – private homes, multi-unit and multi-storey
  • Commercial developments – mixed use and retail
  • Public facilities – schools, childcare centres, aged care facilities, hospitals, parks and leisure centres
  • Major transport and infrastructure sites including rail, airports and defence facilities.

Involving us early in your project – particularly where a number of design options are being explored – assists in producing the most cost-effective design in collaboration with the architect and other consultants.

Our comprehensive audits, recommendations and design solutions may cover:

  • Car parking and drop-off zones
  • External path
  • Landscaping
  • Building entrances
  • Internal circulation
  • Sanitary facilities
  • Access to swimming pools
  • Signage
  • Internal fit-out – Kitchen facilities and furniture
  • Hearing augmentation

Why is access important?

Approximately one in five (four million) people in Australia have a disability. Of these, almost 90 per cent have a specific limitation or restriction on their ability to communicate, move freely or undertake self-care activities, or a restriction associated with schooling or employment.

There are 2.6 million carers in Australia providing care and support to people with a disability.*

Accessible built environments make social and economic sense

With such a significant number of people affected by disability, access to the built environment is a key investment that is returned through attracting business patronage, increased productivity, improved education outcomes, increased employment participation, better health outcomes and reduced social isolation of people with disability, their families and carers.

Research has also shown that most Australians prefer to live in a society where equal opportunity is facilitated, and that for society in general, discrimination and unequal opportunity result in productivity and human capital losses that reduce everyone’s wellbeing.**

Accessible built environments also translate into obvious economic benefits in lessening the risk of discrimination complaints, legal fees, payouts, and loss of reputation.

*Source: 2009 Australian Bureau of Statistics Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers.

**Source: Economics of equality. A joint project between the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission and the Social Justice initiative at the University of Melbourne, Melbourne 2010.

Access is the law

Anti-discrimination laws and building control regulations make it against the law to discriminate against someone on the grounds of their disability and spell out the requirements to prevent discrimination from occurring.

The DDA requires access be provided to all levels of buildings and all facilities and services operating from them to which the public has a right to access, unless to do so would impose an unjustifiable hardship.