Why you need to talk to an Access / DDA Consultant before you start your next building project

Project team meeting, with member using a wheelchairThe need to get access for people with disabilities right is critical in the early stages of any project. The implications of stairs and ramps being designed without setbacks from a property boundary, or not fully identifying the spatial needs for circulations spaces for persons using a mobility aid (such as a wheelchair), could be costly and time consuming to address during construction documentation. Or worse still, the passenger lift that’s required for the upper floors has not been documented or budgeted for.

Access can be a complicated area, and it is highly recommended that all project managers engage a DDA (Disability Discrimination Act) / Access Consultant during initial schematic designs and prior to lodgement of any applications for planning or development approvals.

By having the designs checked for compliance there is a much greater chance of a successful project, one that can smoothly and quickly obtain a building approval and can potentially reduce any construction issues that could arise, such as building levels and footpath levels not aligning correctly.

Knowing the triggers for an upgrade of access within an existing building, knowledge of the relevant concessions under the legislation, and how best to meet the ‘performance requirements’ of the Building Code and Access to Premises Standards is Lee’s forte.

Man drawing a problem question mark, crossed out and equalling solution light bulb

Lee tends to think ‘outside the box’, which can be a very valuable trait when creativity and innovation are required to problem solve an access issue. Lee has provided 100’s of ‘performance solutions’ for the client doing just that – working through an issue to provide a great access solution.