With my 14+ years' experience focused on access and facilities for persons with disabilities, you will be getting the right accessibility advice and right scope of services for your project.
The primary auditing and reporting services I offer are:
Accessibility reports - New builds
Accessibility reports may be required by a council as part of a building consent application.
The purpose of an accessibility report is to give both the client and council an independent opinion on the level of access and facilities for persons with disabilities provided on a project. My reports achieve this by giving an overview of the proposed design or existing building against the relevant requirements of the NZ Building Code, and its acceptable solutions.
Accessibility reports can accompany a building consent application to streamlines its processing, or to make sure that accessibility has been addressed appropriately throughout the design process.
Getting an accessibility report preemptively for your projects can minimise design modifications at detailed design stage, or post construction.
Accessibility reports - EXISTING BUILDINGS (GAP/ANARP Analysis)
ANARP stands for 'as nearly as is reasonably practicable' and it is used solely on project types specifically called out within the NZ Building Act. These are:
s115 change of use
s116 extension of life
My interpretation of ANARP with regards to accessibility is that it is intended to achieve good beneficial outcomes for for all users of a building without requiring an unreasonable level of sacrifice (cost) to be made by the building owner.
ANARP is a very subjective topic with fairly limited industry guidance. But through my detailed assessment, and clear reporting with use of sacrifice-benefit analysis, it's more often than not that both the building owner and council will easily come to a satisfactory agreement as to what upgrades are reasonable and practical to undertake.
Best practice advice & Universal Design (optional)
Statistics show that 1 in 4 New Zealanders identify as having some form of disability. Considering this figure alongside our ageing population, and the relatively low bar for accessibility set by the NZ Building Code it is unsurprising that many organisations are realizing the value of exceeding code minimums and are now designing buildings with a people first focus.
Best practice & universal design provisions can be a cost neutral decision in many cases, and it's a great way to add usability and value to a building.
Be it critical, supportive or a mixture of both - sometimes it can be reassuring to have someone independent take a look at another party's work and give their comment on it.
CLARIFICATIONS / FAQ
SAL is fully independent, and receives no funding from third parties. This enables us to give completely unbiased ‘code requirement’ advice to our clients, with no hidden agenda.
I do not advise in residential 'private dwelling' accessibility matters as these are not legislated yet.
Only registered Building Consent Authorities (BCAs) have been permitted to perform certifying functions in terms of the Building Act 2004. Therefore my services do not include, or constitute 'compliance certification'.