Accessible home renovations
The Australian Building Codes Board administers the National Construction Code (including the Building Code of Australia Volume 1 and 2 and the Plumbing Code of Australia Volume 3), which sets the design and structure standards of buildings in Australia.
The Building Code of Australia's accessibility requirements apply to public premises, and are not a legal requirement if you are designing or building a private home.
The advantages of accessible design
There are many advantages with designing or building a home that is accessible. Incorporating accessible design principles can help you to:
- ensure your home meets your needs, and your family's needs, over time.
ensure your home is accessible to other people in the community, including your family and friends-as well as prospective tenants or purchasers.
What is universal design?
Universal design supports an approach to building and house design that caters to the needs of people with all abilities in the community.
The Australian Network for Universal Housing Design (ANUHD) is a national network that supports universal design being applied to housing. It provides principles about how universal design can apply with housing and living spaces, including by being:
- equitable to use
- flexible in use
- simple and intuitive to use
- easy to interpret
- safe and sensible to use
- requiring low physical effort
- promoting ease on approach to housing features and elements.
Examples of design and product features for homes and living spaces that are consistent with each guideline for universal design are available on the ANUHD website.
The following organisations can provide more information about topics relating to accessible home renovations and universal design:
- the Australian Building Codes Board – call 1300 134 631 or email NCC@abcb.gov.au
- Endeavour Foundation – call (07) 3908 7100
- LifeTec Queensland – call 1300 LIFETEC (1300 543 383) or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- the Australian Network for Universal Housing Design – call (02) 9370 3100 or email email@example.com
- the Queensland Action for Universal Housing Design – call 0407 233 073 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Your local council may also be able to help.