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Why Most Building Entrances Do Not Comply!

Why is the Luminance Contrast requirement within AS1428.1 almost always ignored?

Luminance Contrast is required on a variety of elements in the built environment to enable a person with vision impairment to differentiate between the feature and either its background or adjacent surfaces. Whilst luminance contrast may typically be considered during the design stage of projects for elements that are required specifically for access for people with disability such as TGSIs (tactile ground surface indicators), braille and tactile signage or accessible toilet seats, it is often not considered in the design of one of the most fundamental building elements, doorways.

Luminance contrast is critical for people with vision impairment to identify entrances/ exits to a building or access to spaces within a building

Clause 13.1 of AS 1428.1:2009 requires that all doorways are provided with a minimum 50mm wide area of at least 30% luminance contrast between at least one of the following:

  1. Door leaf and door jamb;
  2. Door leaf and adjacent wall;
  3. Architrave and wall;
  4. Door leaf and architrave; or
  5. Door jamb and adjacent wall

The reason that luminance contrast is required at doorways, is to ensure that a person with vision impairment can distinguish between a door and its surrounds, improving wayfinding and orientation for people with vision impairment, particularly in unfamiliar environments.