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Disability Access Certificates – Is the design of buildings being followed throughout the construction process?

As you may be aware a (granted) Disability Access Certificate is a certificate of compliance that states if the building or works to which the application relates is built in accordance with the design it will meet the requirements of Part M of the Second Schedule of the Building Regulations.

OHAC recently inspected a number of buildings and was surprised to see how many of the design elements referenced in the granted DAC applications hadn’t been followed through during construction. Examples include:

Therefore it seems that the paper exercise of getting a Disability Access Certificate is not being followed through at all stages of the process and inaccessible buildings are still being built. 

It is important to note that Architects and Designers still have a responsibility to meet the requirements of Part M after the DAC has been granted and should be providing an opinion of compliance to demonstrate that the building has been built in accordance with the Regulations.  Maybe the new procedures outlined in the Building Control Amendment Regulations (2013) which are due to come into effect on 1st March 2014 will help get this right!

If you would like further information on making the built environment more accessible, please do not hesitate to contact us on 01-4151285 or [email protected].