Building Ministers’ Meeting establishes new minimum standards for accessible dwellings

Following the Building Ministers’ Meeting (BMM) that took place on 30 April 2021, a consensus to include minimum accessibility provisions in the National Construction Code (NCC) 2022, was reached.

30 April, 2021

Introduction of silver standards for accessible residential housing and apartments 

Following the Building Ministers’ Meeting (BMM) that took place on 30 April 2021, a consensus to include minimum accessibility provisions in the National Construction Code (NCC) 2022, was reached. The regulation will be based on the Livable Housing Design Guidelines (LHDG) silver standards and will be applicable to all residential housing and apartments. The LHDG silver standards emphasise structural and spatial design areas that are considered of widespread benefit and are adaptable and flexible to future home occupants. The 7 core design elements include:

  1. A safe continuous and step-free path of travel from the street entrance and/or parking area to a dwelling entrance that is level.
  2. At least one, level (step-free) entrance into the dwelling.
  3. Internal doors and corridors that facilitate comfortable and unimpeded movement between spaces.
  4. A toilet on the ground (or entry) level that provides easy access.
  5. A bathroom that contains a hobless shower recess.
  6. Reinforced walls around the toilet, shower and bath to support the safe installation of grabrails at a later date.
  7. Stairways are designed to reduce the likelihood of injury and also enable future adaptation.

This decision was reached after assessing findings from the Decision Regulation Impact Statement (RIS), as well as feedback from a number of key stakeholders, including community members who shared their personal experiences concerning the scarcity of accessible housing. In addition to these provisions, the ministers also agreed to the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) including a clause for voluntary adoption of the LHDG gold standards.

Adoption of the new standards

To minimise disruption in a COVID-19-recovering construction sector, the Ministers have clarified that each state and territory will have the flexibility to implement (or not implement) the new guidelines in whatever means they deem fit for their jurisdiction.

To learn more about next steps and other discussion points from the BMM, keep an eye out for the publication of the Building Ministers’ Meeting communiqués.

Your source of design inspiration.

We share design tips, tricks, and trends, as well as expert advice and inspiration from across the globe.

1 April, 2022
Dual occupancy homes vs townhouses: what is the right choice for you?

When it comes to designing a home, it is likely you’ve considered the differences between dual occupancy and townhouse options. Here at ES Design, we’re advocates of both, seeing as each has their own benefits depending on various factors, from council requirements to making the best use of the land. The truth is, both developments …

1 November, 2021
Everything you need to know about a Construction Certificate

In our articles, we’ve touched on two extremely important and necessary elements for your development – the Complying Development Certificate and Development Approval. However, we haven’t explored another integral piece of documentation needed to begin construction, the Construction Certificate (CC). In this article, we’ll expand on everything you need to know about the CC, including …

13 October, 2021
Forever home vs. investment property: how to choose between different types of residential developments

When deciding on the design for the upcoming construction of your property, you will have to determine the type of development that you want. Within residential developments, several types of design can impact the functionality and comfort of your home. Considering your needs, future goals and your family’s lifestyle is important when designing your home …

Load more articles