All new public access buildings in Australia are now required to follow the rigorous design and construction standards in full compliance with the Disability Discrimination Act (1992) and the Building Code of Australia.

The Access and Mobility Code (A&M) endeavours to provide ‘safe, equitable and dignified access to buildings, services and facilities within a building’, and safeguard occupants from illness or injury during emergency evacuation.

A new white paper by Criterion Industries , ‘Up to Code, Down to Design’ explains the implications of recent changes to Australia’s Access and Mobility Code (AS1428, 2010) on the design of hinged doors and sliding doors installed in public access buildings.

The simple act of opening doors can be extremely difficult for people with disabilities with many existing door systems requiring excessive force to push/pull open, inhibiting the free movement of occupants and visitors. Architects, designers, builders and certifiers are required to at least meet the minimum specifications of the A&M; failure to comply may not only jeopardise the project, but leave the building owner liable for the costs of retrofitting doorways to code.

Specific design requirements to deliver access are detailed in the new code for all new building work, with particular attention given to providing access to people who use wheelchairs; people with ambulatory disabilities; and people with sensory disabilities. Compliance will require three key factors to be addressed for each access point: luminance contrast; spatial dimensions; and operational force.

Criterion, one of Australia’s leading manufacturers of internal doors and partitioning systems, is also a major supplier to both government and commercial construction projects. Criterion’s door and aluminium systems are designed to achieve full compliance with the Design for Access and Mobility Code (AS1428).

The Niagara Sliding Track system has been rigorously tested, delivering a consistent operational force of 19.5N for 100kg doors while the bold Definium Suite complies fully with both the A&M and Glazing Code (AS1288). Definium door jambs meet the minimum area width of 50mm luminance contrast, and conform to the Glazing Code for glass up to 15mm thick.

To download the white paper, please click here.