The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare indicates that 18.5% of the population live with a disability. That amounts to around 4.2 million people. Add to that the 2.7 million people who provide informal care to an older person or someone with a disability and that’s almost 7 million people, or around 30% of the population affected by disabilities.
The need to address this high percentage of the population with limited mobility (which will only increase with Australia’s rapidly ageing population) is evidenced in recent reforms to Australian Standards 1428.1 (AS 1428.1) Design for Access and Mobility, and the adoption of this standard and others as compulsory requirements by the National Construction Codes of Australia.
Door controls and openings play a crucial role in the continuous accessible path of travel. For those with a hand or arm disability, the type of door control can dictate whether opening the door is possible or not.
Because of this, of the three most commonly specified types of door controls, only one is compliant to AS 1428.1; ‘D’ type handles provide support and prevent hands from slipping off, as well as providing support for closing the door, and as such, are the only handle type compliant to standards.
In addition to the door control type which must be used, there are compulsory standards surrounding the clearances of the door and handle, the location height of the handle, the addition of snibs as well as the operational force required to operate the doors.
Being aware of and staying up to date with the necessary door openings standards is the key to delivering a fully compliant project. Non-compliance will be seen as a failure of the Deemed-to-Satisfy provisions of the BCA, and will result in the need to replace the non-compliant hardware, leading to time and budget blowouts that can cripple a project and damage reputations.
If you would like to find out more about the Australian Standards and NCC Compliance for Door Controls and Openings and how to stay on top of specifying compliant door hardware, download the complete guide from Madinoz by DORMA ‘Disability Access to Premises – A Guide to Door Control and Openings Compliance’.