Plumbers can make a big difference by ensuring accessible toilets, kitchens and other facilities are correctly installed. When facilities are compliant everyone is happy – most of all people with disability.
Who is responsible for correct specification and installation of accessible facilities?
Plumbers are responsible for correct installation in accordance with the Building Code of Australia (BCA) and AS 1428.1 – 2009. If a mistake is made, rectification can be costly.
What happens if there is a conflict between the plan and the schedule?
This problem does come up. If there is a discrepancy, the plumber should bring it to the attention of the builder and get clear directions.
What if things don’t fit the standard requirements?
The Building Code of Australia and Disability (Access to Premises—Buildings) Standards 2010 define where access for people with a disability is required and reference a number of Australian Standards including AS 1428.1 – 2009 to provide technical solutions to meet deemed-to-satisfy provisions.
Requirements cover a wide range of elements such as toilet pan design for accessible and ambulant disability cubicles, circulation space, setbacks and clearances.
If anything is not compliant, bring the issue to the attention of the builder.
It is not acceptable to supply, install or move products outside the code specifications.
If a plumber is unsure about the correct requirements, they should contact the architect or a specialist access consultant.
Access consultants have expert knowledge of the BCA and standards in the area of accessibility and are experienced in dealing with a variety of challenges at the design stage and onsite. They can provide possible solutions within the code and advice on hardware and fittings selection and installation.
What about domestic home modifications?
The plumber may be the first person called to make suggestions and modifications to bathrooms, toilets, laundries and kitchens in private homes.
In order to deliver the right solution, it important to understand the functional needs of the client, their family and carers.
Where can I go for expert information and advice?
Specialist access consultants can provide information, advice and design services.
Architecture & Access is an Adelaide-based company with over 30 years experience in the building industry, providing:
- Advice on the technical requirements of the building code and standards in relation to disability access
- Advice on hardware and fixtures selection and installation for commercial, public and residential projects
- Design solutions
- Access audits
- Assessment and design solutions to meet functional needs of people with disability and older people
- Retrofitting to achieve compliance.
Architecture & Access have expert knowledge of the BCA, Disability (Access to Premises – Buildings) Standards 2010, AS 1428.1 2009 and other standards related to enabling access.
There are very few issues Architecture & Access consultants haven’t seen and solved as consultants to building industry professionals over the past thirty years.
People with disability began the fight for physical access more than fifty years ago, yet still face problems with new and modified toilets and other facilities failing to comply with current standards for accessibility.
For everybody’s sake, let’s get it right.
Plumbers are invited to call our office and speak to an experienced access consultant.
Phone 1300 715 866
This is an edited version of an article that appeared in Plumbing SA Jan/Feb 2015, published by Master Plumbers South Australia for their members.