On the 1 May 2011 the Commonwealth Disability (Access to Premises – Buildings) Standards 2010 (Premises Standards) was introduced resulting in dramatic changes to accessibility requirements in and around buildings.
The objectives of the Premises Standards are to ensure that ‘dignified, equitable, cost-effective and reasonably achievable access to buildings, and facilities and services within buildings, is provided for people with a disability’. It also aims to give certainty to building certifiers, building developers, building managers and other practitioners that compliance with the Access Code, forming Schedule 1 of the Premises Standards will achieve compliance with Section 23 of the Disability Discrimination Act 1993 (Access to Premises). The Premises Standards apply to new buildings and existing buildings undergoing building work.
The Access Code has been replicated within the Building Code of Australia, which now references three new Australian/New Zealand Standards that impact on car park designs:
1. ‘AS/NZS 2890.6-2009 Off-street parking for people with disabilities’;
2. ‘AS/NZS 1428.4:2009 Means to assist the orientation of people with vision impairment – Tactile ground surface indicators’ ; and
3. ‘AS1428.1-2009 General requirements for access – new building works’
AS/NZS 2890.6-2009 sets the minimum requirements for accessible car parking spaces in Australia and New Zealand and replaces the previous reference (Appendix C of AS2890-1-1993).
Since adoption of the new standards almost one year ago it is still apparent that industry is referencing the old standard and not aware of the new parking requirements for people with disabilities. Common mistakes include designing car parking spaces in accordance with the old standard, poor positioning or poor luminance contrast of tactile ground surface indicators (TGSI) and limited wheel chair circulation spaces on pathways linking buildings and accessible car parking spaces.
A summary of the key requirements of AS/NZS2890.6-2009 is outlined below:
• Angled parking spaces are to be 2400mm wide x 5400mm long (AS2890.6, Clause 2.2.1(a).
• A 2400mm wide x 5400mm long shared area is to be provided on one side of accessible angle parking space (AS2890.6, Clause 2.2.1 (b);
• The dedicated space and shared area are to be on the same level (AS2890.6, Clause 2.2.1(d);
• A bollard is to be provided in the shared area (AS2890.6, Clause 2.2.1(e)) at a height of 1300mm high (AS2890.1:2004, Clause 126.96.36.199(b);
• Pavement markings (line marking) are to be yellow only (AS2890.1, Clause 3.2).
• Pavement markings are to be non-slip (AS2890.1, Clause 3.2).
• Parking spaces to be outlined with unbroken lines 80 to 100 mm wide on all sides excepting any side delineated by a kerb, barrier or wall (AS2890.6, Clause 3.2(a)).
• The height clearance from the car park entrance to all accessible parking spaces is to be a minimum 2200 mm (AS2890.6, Clause 2.4);
• The headroom above each accessible parking space and adjacent shared area is to be a minimum of 2500mm (this may be reduced above bonnet areas to allow for structural bulk-heads, pipe work etc) (AS2890.6, Clause 2.4, Figure 2.7);
• Parallel parking spaces are to be not less than 3200mm wide x 7800mm long (AS2890.6, Clause 2.2.2(a));
• A shared area adjacent to the non-trafficked side of the dedicated parallel parking space is to be not less than 1600 mm wide by 7800 mm long (AS2890.6, Clause 2.2.2(b);
• Kerb ramps are to be provided (AS2890.6, Clause 2.5) where required and the profile of kerb ramps has also been changed (AS1428.1-2009, Figure 24(A),(B),(C)); and
• All accessible parking spaces to be identified by a white symbol of access in accordance with AS 1428.1-2009 between 800 mm and 1000 mm high placed on a blue rectangle with no side more than 1200 mm in the centre of the space between 500 mm and 600 mm from its entry point.
• Area to comprise a firm plane surface with a gradient not exceeding 1:40 in any direction (or 1:33 if a bituminous seal and area is outdoors) (AS2890.6, Clause 2.3).
Equal Access Pty Ltd is one of Australia’s leading Accredited Disability Access Consultants. We are registered with the Association of Consultants in Access Australia Inc ACAA and provide a specialist consulting service throughout Australia to enhance the built environment and to provide “Equal Access” for members of the community with a disability. For further assistance regarding access requirements please contact our office.
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Copies of Australian Standards outlined above may be downloaded here: