With misunderstandings about inclusive design potentially leading to discrimination charges, costly legal disputes and damaged brand reputations, ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions has published a white paper advising specifiers on the standards door opening solutions need to meet. Titled ‘Inclusive design – why should you care?’, the new white paper provides best practice advice on how to ensure door opening solutions can meet the requirements for inclusive building designs, and the risks of not complying with these.
When talking about inclusive design, many people immediately think of those with a disability or specialist requirements. While inclusive design encompasses the needs of these people, its key objective is to make a site inclusive for all, no matter what. In fact, despite public perception and the wheelchair being the symbol for accessibility, less than 8 per cent of disabilities require the use of a wheelchair. Whether it’s the elderly, disabled or children, everyone should be able to access and use a building and its facilities easily and safely.
Inclusive design is a key consideration for most architects and specifiers, ensuring any barriers that might prevent an individual from using an environment freely and easily are removed. This approach must be reviewed in line with the guidelines governing inclusive design, which includes Approved Document M, the Equality Act 2010 and BS 8300-1 and 8300-2:2018, which sets out how buildings should be designed, constructed and maintained to create an accessible and inclusive environment for all. It applies to both new builds and refurbishments.
The white paper explains the factors that specifiers need to take into account for door opening solutions to be inclusive. It also covers some of the common issues with many door opening solutions available on the market.
In addition to covering what the guidelines governing inclusive design state for door opening solutions, the white paper advises on how specifiers can ensure these meet the necessary fire safety standards too.
;Inclusive design is viewed by most specifiers nowadays as a non-negotiable,’ states Eryl Jones, Manging Director of the ASSA ABLOY Door Hardware Group. ‘While it is the owner that ultimately bears responsibility for the design of a building, should a legal dispute arise then a specifier would be called upon to explain why a solution was recommended. In the event of a discrimination claim, those that can demonstrate that they have adhered to standards such as BS 8300-1 and 8300-2:2018 will be on safer ground than those that cannot.
‘The white paper aims to offer specifiers a helpful and informative overview of why inclusive design is so important, what the guidelines governing this state, and the considerations that they need to think about when specifying a door opening solution. This means they can be confident when recommending door opening solutions for projects, ensuring everyone – from the elderly to those with a disability and children – can access and use a building and its facilities safely.’