The Door & Hardware Federation (DHF) has played a key role in rolling out a revised British standard designed to improve access to and within buildings for disabled people.
The DHF, which represents the UK’s leading door, shutter and garage door manufacturers and installers, and manufacturers of building hardware and architectural ironmongery, was a member of the BSI committee responsible for developing BS 8300:2009.
UK law requires all public buildings to be accessible. Access to those with disabilities must be considered when designing new buildings, and when planning improvements to existing buildings. Building owners, architects, surveyors, and all those involved in the design and construction of buildings must consider disabled access to buildings.
BS 8300: 2009 is applicable to a wide range of public buildings from car parks to concert halls and prisons to pubs. It addresses disabilities and considers the usage by disabled people who can be residents, visitors, spectators, customers, employees, participants in sports events, performances and conferences.
Tony Fitzpatrick, managing director of Doors & Hardware Ltd and chairman of the DHF Metal Doorset Forum, said: “The DHF was amongst a number of representatives from disability charities, building trade groups and other professional bodies, academia and local government who helped shape the new standard. We broadly welcome the new standard because it clarifies a number of inconsistencies that existed between the earlier edition of the standard and Approved Document M. All these have now been ironed out, which is good news for both door and hardware manufacturers and specifiers.”
BS 8300:2009, which supersedes BS 8300:2001, explains how the built environment can be designed or modified to anticipate and overcome restrictions that prevent disabled people making full use of premises and their surroundings. Changes to the standard include more information on means of escape from a building and more references to the BS 9999 Code of Practice for fire safety in the design, management and use of buildings.
Mike Low, director of BSI British Standards, said: “BS 8300:2009 should provide an invaluable tool for those involved in the design of new buildings or in assessing the accessibility of existing buildings. It is one of several BSI standards addressing accessibility which has either been published or is in development.”