Author Topic: Building Regulations  (Read 2325 times)

SunshineMeadows

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Building Regulations
« on: February 09, 2012, 04:34:10 PM »
Does anyone here have a good knowledge of things like building regulations and reasonable adjustments for disabled people?

RococoSoul

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Re: Building Regulations
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2012, 12:41:59 AM »
http://www.movemanskg.co.uk/disability-discrimination/dda_part_m_so03_a1.html


The Disability Discrimination Act which became law in 1996 has made it unlawful for service providers to treat disabled people less favourably for a reason related to their disability. When the Act became law it contained two specific deadlines: October 1999 from which time service providers have to make reasonable adjustments for disabled people, such as providing extra help or making changes to the way they provide their services: and 2004, by which time service providers will have made reasonable adjustments to the physical features of their premises to overcome physical barriers to access.

The second deadline of 2004 is the date by which adjustments to properties, such as the installation of platform lifts, hand rails, ramps, audio/visual facilities etc. have to be made, assuming the requirements of the act can be met in the meantime by providing additional temporary facilities.

Approved Document M (commonly referred to as Part M) is a section of the English and Welsh Building Regulations and principally applies to new buildings. It is not part of the DDA but is relevant to architects and contractors on new build projects and certain extensions as it is the document that gives the definitive specification of the buildings features which provide access for disabled people. For example, if a passenger carrying lift is to be installed then it must be suitable for use by the less able and Part M gives design criteria to comply with. Part M then can also be a useful reference point if, as a service provider, you have to make adjustments to the physical features of your existing premises to comply with the DDA.

In summary then the DDA sets out to prevent discrimination against disabled people, and includes the stipulation that physical barriers to their enjoying equal access should be removed by 2004. Approved Document M clearly specifies the dimensions and construction standards of features that can be used to improve access for disabled people. As a service provider you and your staff must comply with the DDA, and as an architect or contractor your building must comply with the requirements of Document M.

http://www.planningportal.gov.uk/uploads/br/BR_PDF_ADM_2004.pdf
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devine63

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Re: Building Regulations
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2012, 12:48:52 AM »
Sorry Rococco but the DDA was repealed when the Equality ACt (2010) was passed...

however the Equality ACt essentially has the same rules, the definition of disability is unchanged but there is no longer any list of everyday activities.

Sunshine - I can't claim to be an expert on these things, but can answer at least some questions - so easiest to just ask a question and will answer if I can.
regards, Deb
regards, Deb

[devine63]

RococoSoul

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Re: Building Regulations
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2012, 01:00:53 AM »
Thanks devine. I was looking for Document M and completely overlooked it. I didn't even see the date of the article. Oops! The second link is fine  :-)
People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they're not on your road doesn't mean they've gotten lost.

devine63

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Re: Building Regulations
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2012, 10:26:56 PM »
The other thing for people to bear in mind: generally speaking there is NO requirement for all existing buildings to be made fully accessible.    Any new buildings are supposed to be accessible and if building owners are undertaking major refurbishments they should include upgrades to physical access, but otherwise changes are only required if someone makes a specific request to the building owner (and the owner should do the work if it is reasonable).

regards, Deb
regards, Deb

[devine63]

AccessOfficer

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Re: Building Regulations
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2012, 08:45:37 AM »
As an Access Officer working in a Building Control department for Local Government, I and my fellow Building Control surveyors work with the Approved Documents to the Building Regs every working day.
I am more than willing to answer any questions concerning the Building Regs. Incidentaly the regs not only apply to new buildings but also extensions, some renovations and refurbishments.
As has already been stated on this thread copies of the Approved Documents can be viewed on the website of the Department for Communities and Local Government. Just follow the links from the Planning pages.
AO

devine63

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Re: Building Regulations
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2012, 06:40:28 PM »
thanks AO

Would you give us the latest news a couple of things?

a) listed / protected buildings and adaptations for access.   I notice recently Camden BC have allowed some very sympathetically done changes to a listed building near my place of work....  but I believe that often the Local Authority say changes just aren't allowed

b) what's the position for people who rent their homes?   Whether from a private landlord or LA / Housing Association it seems as if a lot of people get as far as asking the landlord, who says no, and there seems to be little more they can do?
regards, Deb
regards, Deb

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SunshineMeadows

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Re: Building Regulations
« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2012, 06:52:33 PM »
Access Officer,

I know you only have a limited amout of time but answering questions like the ones Deb put up was what I was thinking about when I started the thread.
 >thumbsup<

AccessOfficer

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Re: Building Regulations
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2012, 02:02:07 PM »
Hi,
a. For improving access to listed buildings you should contact your local Council. Ask to speak with the Conservation and Design Officer. He/She will be based in Development (Planning) Control department.
There is also an excellent publication from English Heritage that might give you a few ideas about what access questions you might like to discuss with him/her.
The link to the publication is shown below.

http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/publications/easy-access-to-historic-buildings/

These guidelines focus on physical access issues because these often pose the greatest challenges as well as opportunities for historic buildings.
Other issues such as lighting, tone, colour contrast and signing are touched upon, while acknowledging the excellent guidance on these aspects of good access design which exists elsewhere. The guidance also focuses on the challenges and constraints posed by buildings whose function is not directly related to their historic status - shops, offices and civic buildings- rather than those preserved and opened to the public purely as historic attractions. Although the guidelines are relevant to both categories of building the latter raise significant issues in relation to interpretation (sometimes refered to as intellectual access), which are largely beyond the scope of this document.

b. If you are buying or own your own home and you require access improvements you should ask your local council for details of their Disabled Facilities Grant.
If you are renting your home from a private landlord the 2005 Disability Discrimiation Act amendments/2010 Equality Act both state that a landlord must not without reasonable reason refuse you permission to improve access to or in the property you are renting. The improvements must however be done at your own expense.
If you are renting from the Local Authority or a Housing Association and you meet the definition of being disabled as defined by the Equality Act the landlord is required to make reasonable provision to accomodate your needs.
I hope this is of some use, it always helps if you can quote some Equality legislation and don't allow yourself to be fobbed off when you speak with your Local Council or private landlord.
Good luch and best wishes
AO
« Last Edit: June 14, 2012, 02:07:07 PM by AccessOfficer »

devine63

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Re: Building Regulations
« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2012, 06:07:31 PM »
Thanks AO - "fobbed off" is exactly what seems to happen, quite a lot!
regards, Deb
regards, Deb

[devine63]