Australian bulk storage buildings, until recently, were not necessarily designed to offer disabled access in terms of ramps and landings, wheelchair access, continuous travel paths, door widths, corridor widths, parking spaces and garages, alarm systems, lighting, and toilets.
The guiding principles of ensuring equal access to all disabled persons no matter what type of disability is involved are provided in the Australian Commonwealth Disabilities Discrimination Act. The forum to remove existing discrimination is provided by the Australian Human Rights Commission.
State Government land use planning strategies and local Council’s built environment design guidelines seek to correct this imbalance by requiring disabled access and related facilities in all warehouse complexes whether new, altered or existing.
Changes to the Disabilities Discrimination Act are also being considered by the Australian Government that will make building owners, property managers and tenants potentially liable to discrimination claims if disabled access and related facilities are not provided to new buildings and existing building alterations approved after the Act’s gazettal date.
Australian Disabled Access Consultants and CAD Concepts said that all property developers, property managers, building designers and building owners should provide disabled facilities and access within new bulk storage buildings.
“Audits should be regularly undertaken on existing bulk storage buildings to ensure that disabled access and related facilities are provided at all times to comply with Australian Standards, local Council guidelines and the Building Code of Australia”.
Bulk storage building managers should carry out regular building audits to ensure that the storage area and the office fit-outs do not interfere with disabled access.
Bulk storage building managers must ensure that external disabled access routes are provided.”