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Access Consultancy

Accessibility is now one of the primary considerations in the offices of most Architects, Designers, Owners, Facilities Managers, Property Clients, Service Providers and employers. Several changes in legislation have now imposed duties and obligations on nearly every organisation in the country.

Part M of the Building Regulations sets out minimum requirements to ensure that a broad range of people are able to access and use facilities in buildings. Compliance with Part M does not signify compliance with the broader obligations and duties set out in the Equality Act, this is often a frequent source of misunderstanding. Approved Document M provides guidance on achieving reasonable provision. BS8300 provides further guidance. Part M applies to a) all new build projects, b) extensions to existing non domestic buildings, c) some changes of use of (or part of) existing buildings d) material alterations of non domestic buildings.

AIS will check the plans submitted for minimum Building Regulation compliance as part of the checking process. An additional thorough plan appraisal and report can be prepared showing comparison with best practice guidance.

The Equality Act 2010 brings together The Equality Act brings together and replaces existing equalities legislation, including the Disability Discrimination Act 2005 (DDA). The Equality Act requires that reasonable adjustments be made in relation to accessibility. In practice this means that due regard must be given to any specific needs of building users that might be reasonably met.

An Access Audit should be carried out to an existing building to assess the current accessibility for all users and identify adjustments/ improvements that may be required.

AIS can provide you with an Access Audit of your existing building for compliance with the Equalities Act and provide recommendation to satisfy duties under the Equality Act 2010 (formerly Disability Discrimination Act – DDA), with regard to disability and access.

The Departments for Communities and Local Government link to the Equality Act:
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2010/15/contents

We develop inclusive Policies and Access Strategies and can prepare Access Statements for submission to Planning/Building Control Bodies on your behalf.

For more information on how AIS can assist you please contact Stephen Remo at sremo@approvedinspector.co.uk or on 020 7491 1914.

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