Part D3.4 Of The Premises Standards - Is There An Exemption For Providing Access To The Upper Floors Of Small Buildings?

This includes some areas such as loading docks, power plant rooms, a cleaners store room, mezzanine areas used only for storage and areas containing raw or hazardous materials.
This section also provides an exemption for small buildings used as retail shops (such as cafes and restaurants, grocers, hairdressers etc); offices; wholesalers and factories.
All of these buildings are required to provide access to the ground floor no matter how small.

However, if the building has one or two storeys above or below the entry level and these storeys are both less than 200 square meters floor area access to these other levels is not required by the Premises Standards.

So, for example:

  • If a two storey building was 500 square meters on the entry level and the upper floor was 250 square meters access would be required to the upper floor as well as the entry level.
  • If a three storey building was 250 square meters on the entry level and only 150 square meters on the first and second level access would only be required to the entry level.
  • If, however, a three storey building was 250 square meters on the entry level, 250 square meters on the first level and only 150 square meters on the third level access would be required to all three levels.

There is nothing in the Premises Standards, however, to stop someone from providing access to all levels no matter how small the building on upper floors.

All these types of building must provide access to all levels if there are four or more levels.

Is access required into a swimming pool?

The Premises Standards require at least one form of access be provided to swimming pools open to the public if the swimming pool has a perimeter of more than 40 meters. This includes council pools, hotel pools available to all residents and health centre pools. There are different ways access into a swimming pool can be provided including a sling style lift, a platform lift, a zreo depth entry style or a fixed or movable ramp. If the swimming pool has a perimeter of more than 70 meters, however, at least one means of providing entry must be by a ramp, zero entry or platform lift.

Do the Premises Standards require more circulation space than the current BCA?

Generally yes it does. The Premises Standards refers to a number of technical specification documents developed by Standards Australia the main one being Australian Standard 1428.1. This gives all the technical details on how to design and construct accessible features,

AS 1428.1 is currently being upgraded to refect the new requirements of the Premises Standards. This will include increased circulation space in accessible toilets, most lifts, around doorways and on corridors where there is a bend of more than 60 degrees. The minimum width of passagways generally will stay the same as the current BCA, but there is a new requirement for passing spaces and turning spaces along passageways. Passing spaces are required every 20 meters where a direct line of sight is not available along the length of the passageway and turning spaces are required within 2 meters of the end of any passageway and every 20 meters irrespective of whether or not there is a clear line of sight.

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