28 Feb How do you make your building more accessible?
The accessibility of a building can be measured by the level of ease at which wheelchair users can navigate their way around the building. Building accessibility should encompass the building and the area surrounding it. This is to ensure that from the moment wheelchair users arrive at the premise, they will be able to get to their point of interest in the building without assistance.
Numerous aspects have to be considered when enhancing the accessibility of a building. Here is a list of things to take into account when designing a building for optimum accessibility.
Designated parking and drop-off zones
Once they exit their vehicles, the first point of contact for residents or visitors to a building will be its parking space and drop-off points.
Designated parking spots and drop-off zones for people with disabilities must be in place. Be sure to indicate with clear signs the location of these areas.
You should ensure that there is sufficient amount of parking slots for the use of disabled drivers.
Passages leading to and fro the designated parking and drop-off areas should be connected to the building with access to an entrance.
Ramps and railings should be installed along these passages. Your passageway should also be spacious enough for wheelchair users to manoeuvre their wheelchairs. The surface of your passage must also be made out of material with a good grip to avoid any slipping hazards, especially during rainy days.
Keep in mind to properly illuminate these paths with lights where necessary for easy navigation at night.
The entrance to your building should be wide enough to accommodate the dimensions of a wheelchair. This should also apply to all entrances leading into different areas in the building.
Lifts are a necessity in highrise buildings. To accommodate wheelchair users, the interior area of the lift should be spacious enough. The buttons inside the lift should also be placed at an appropriate position for a wheelchair user to use. You can consider adding more panels of buttons on different sides of the lift.
Another important aspect that you have to consider is the corridor of your building. Make sure there is ample space for wheelchair users to move along the corridor.
For people living in flats or apartments, it is necessary to exercise the spirit of inclusiveness. Residents must ensure that they do not block the pathway in front of their main doors and be proactive in removing any obstruction they may come across on the building’s premise.
Ensure that the corridors and corners of a building are always well-lighted. This can prevent any unwanted incidents from happening in case there is any spillage on the ground.
For accessibility, doors in your building should be wide enough for a person in a wheelchair to go through.
As it can be a struggle to keep the door open when crossing to another room, you can either use an automated door or a door that be easily held open.
Door handles should also be at a level where it is within reach of the person.
Commercial products that enhance accessibility
It takes a lot of planning and effort to improve the accessibility of a building. Most people think that the only way to improve a building’s accessibility is by altering an existing building’s structure. An approach like this is time-consuming and would incur a higher cost.
However, numerous products on the market can be integrated into a building’s existing structure. The purpose of these products is to give wheelchair users control over their movement.
Commercial wheelchair lift
For low-rise buildings, you can consider installing a commercial wheelchair lift on top of the staircase at every level.
A commercial wheelchair lift is essentially a mobility solution for people who use wheelchairs. The lift is designed with a platform that can transport a person in a wheelchair from one floor to another. It is a go-to product for improving the accessibility of houses and buildings.
There are many variants of commercial wheelchair lifts on the market which cater to buildings with different structures. These products can be integrated both on the exterior and interior of a building.
Vertical Platform Lifts
Commercial Vertical Wheelchair Lifts are suitable to be installed in buildings or houses with two to three floors. Utilising a power supplied pulley system, the vertical platform lift can support weights up to 400kg easily transporting a wheelchair user from one level to another.
A vertical platform lift can be easily installed within approximately 2 weeks, depending on the configuration required. We recommend consulting with platform lift suppliers on the configuration needed for your building before making any purchase.
Inclined platform stairlift
For buildings where pathways and entrances have to be accessed via an extensive system of staircase or steps, an inclined platform stairlift can be installed on the stairs to provide access to wheelchair users.
The inclined platform stairlift can be easily installed on the straight railing of a staircase. This allows it to be easily installed on an outdoor staircase. It can support weights up to 225kg and allows users to control its movements using an onboard joystick
Wheelchair users can enjoy the smooth experience of being transported from the bottom to the top of the staircase without having to break a sweat.
Commercial wheelchair lifts are durable mobility solution products that prioritise the safety and comfort of the user by employing industry-standard materials and smart operating systems. The availability of such products on the market gives users the opportunity to exercise their freedom. Users are able to move about without assistance. This will give users and their family members a peace of mind.
You may consider consulting industry experts on the best products that can make your building more accessible. Innovative products such as the commercial wheelchair lift would be a great addition to your building. It will also help you make a positive stride towards becoming a part of a more inclusive society.