Building code compliance for people with disabilities is poorly understood by many people in the NZ building industry. Whenever a building is altered or there is a change of use (apart from private residential buildings) the building must be assessed for reasonable and adequate provision for disabled access and alterations made accordingly.
The NZ Building Act 2004 section 118 requires: ‘reasonable and adequate provision by way of access, parking provisions, and sanitary facilities must be made for persons with disabilities who may be expected to visit or work in that building and carry out normal activities and processes in that building’.
The most common and widely known way of complying with the requirements for access and mobility is NZ Standard 4121:2001 Design for Access and Mobility – Buildings and Associated Facilities. A free copy is available here http://www.standards.co.nz
We can assist by assessing a building for building code compliance, either as a desk-top review prior to construction or by a disabled access site survey of existing buildings and producing a report identifying and proposing what are reasonable and adequate provisions to satisfy the NZ Building Act 2004. We can also design and manage any alterations that may be necessary to improve access and mobility.
The evidence of the last fifteen to twenty years of the NZ construction industry’s mistakes leads us to one fundamental conclusion: It is better to try and get it right first time rather than re-visit the mistakes later at considerable cost to building owners, tenants, designers, contractors, sub-contractors, councils, government, insurers and lenders.