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Doorways & Interior Design

  • August 22, 2014
  • Bruce Bromley

30% Luminance Contrast NOW required for ALL doorways

With the release of the Australian Standard AS 1428.1 – 2009 came a clause that has, will have and continue to create issues for designers, architects and building certifiers. The AS 1428.1 – 2009 Clause 13.1 Luminance Contrast states:

“All doorways shall have a minimum luminance contrast of 30% provided between—

(a) door leaf and door jamb;
(b) door leaf and adjacent wall;
(c) architrave and wall;
(d) door leaf and architrave; or
(e) door jamb and adjacent wall.

The minimum width of the area of luminance contrast shall be 50 mm.

Luminance contrast for doorsThis clause is applicable to ALL new buildings and ALL doorways the are from a “New Part” of a building to the principal entry. This requirement becomes relatively difficult to meet with building materials such as anodized aluminium framing and glazing.

When considering the use of anodized aluminium framing and glazing, one must realise that the adjacent surface is the floor/wall that is seen through the glazing. It is, therefore, a test that can only be done accurately with a Photometer that measures the surface through the glazing. Luminos are able to conduct these tests as well as provide accurate analysis of the probability of the luminance contrast with the use of laboratory testing.

It is also important to note that visual indicators on glazing;
“Where there is no chair rail, handrail or transom, all frameless or fully glazed doors, sidelights, including any glazing capable of being mistaken for a doorway or opening, shall be clearly marked for their full width with a solid and non-transparent contrasting line. The contrasting line shall be not less than 75 mm wide and shall extend across the full width of the glazing panel. The lower edge of the contrasting line shall be located between 900 mm and 1000 mm above the plane of the finished floor level.

Any contrasting line on the glazing shall provide a minimum of 30% luminance contrast when viewed against the floor surface or surfaces within 2 m of the glazing on the opposite side.

Although there is no actual clause that mandates interior design to achieve 30% contrasts – it’s always a perfect way to highlight and identify key elements. 30% is the recognised luminance contrast ratio for building elements so achieving this as a minimum will ensure these are sufficiently highlighted.