ARTICLE 1: 20 July 2017

AS1428.4.2:2017 Design for access and mobility - Wayfinding

Draft Standard for Public Comment

Author: Bryce Tolliday (ACAA) ACCESS 2017 Conference Subcommittee – Chair & Plenary Presenter at ACCESS 2017

AS1428.4.2:2017 Design for access and mobility - Wayfinding “Draft Standard for Public Comment” is currently available from SAI Global. As you know I am a member of the drafting committee. I thought I’d provide this brief explanation which I hope assists those who take the time to prepare a submission and comment on the draft. The “draft” standard, as it currently stands has been prepared under the shadow of the ABCB (Australian Building Codes Board) who require that any standard which is to be referenced by the National Construction Code (NCC) must be written in measurable terms. Given that wayfinding is such an intuitive experience this meant that much of which makes up the sorts of wayfinding experiences which Australia’s great wayfinding designers design cannot be included in this standard, which is probably a good thing as it leaves enormous opportunities to develop these design experiences but it does leave us with a more restrictive performance standard which needs to be considered in the context of how it might be used, not just the words that are used to describe the intended outcome.

For those of you unfamiliar with the NCC it is a Performance Code which to comply with either requires that its Deemed to Satisfy provisions are met or it requires a Performance Solution which demonstrates that its Performance Requirements have been met. Since 2016 these paths to compliance became quite separate. I’m not going to enter into a long conversation about this because it is quite technical (many access consultants do not understand this either), but for the purpose of achieving compliance it would be possible to present a design which does not comply with this proposed standard or only complies with parts of this standard. In fact a Performance Solution might be measured against this standard to demonstrate that the solution is either equal or better than the outcomes that complying with this standard might deliver. We do not know at this stage how the ABCB will respond to the final standard, whether it will be referenced in its entirety or in part, and if it is what the Performance Requirements in Part D3 might say or be amended to say, or what the Deemed to Satisfy provisions might say.

As with the original Public Comment Draft, it was proposed to include the Handbook, however as with the original draft the Handbook is still a work in progress and as such has not been referenced in this amended draft. Some of you may recall it was referenced in the original public comment draft which caused enormous confusion and also unfortunately influenced many of the responses to the Draft. The Handbook, when it is published will be a useful tool to assist with the development of Performance Solutions and will include sections on other wayfinding built design elements and the application of technology to solve wayfinding questions. If the Handbook is not published in time for the final publication of this standard, Performance Solutions will rely more heavily on expert analysis to support the proposed designs.

That’s enough for now, I hope you find this information useful. ACCESS 2017 provides the first opportunity for wayfinding designers and access consultants to get together and explore opportunities for developing these Performance Solutions as a path to compliance. At ACCESS 2017 this Standard will be discussed not only by access consultants and the drafting committee but we will also hear from the ABCB about how they view the standard and its application and we will see products and experience technology that might form the basis or alterative design approaches. I look forward to seeing you at ACCESS 2017 and participating in as many discussions as possible about AS1428.4.2:2017.