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Architect and client reviewing drawings

RESPONSE

Your project requires a “BCA Performance Solution Report” but these must be prepared independent of the Principal Certifying Authority. 

Sydney Access Consultants are accredited access consultants with the experience, expertise and wherewithal to specifically address the identified area of concern to assess whether it can equal the deemed to satisfy provisions of the statutory requirements, or alternatively provide practical advice to achieve a suitable outcome by discussing your design alternatives with you.

BCA 2016 requires a record to be kept of each Performance Solution and prescribes the information required to be retained. This technical document is the product of our services.

PERFORMANCE SOLUTION FEES

Our total fee for the preparation of the performance Solution Report for your project is calculated on a bottom up basis to suit your brief.

MOBILISATION FEES

Typically, mobilisation fees are payable upon commencement, and the balance is due and payable upon issue of the draft report (100% payment is payable prior to release of our authorised report). 

COMPLETION

If commissioned, I am able to complete the draft report for your review within 48 hours.

DISCRETION

The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) provides few discretionary dispensations to apply in express circumstances. These may be applicable to your project, but I can only assess whether they apply on a case by case basis and by a very thorough examination of the circumstances, the Australian Standards and the DDA as it applies to the Building Codes.

RELIANCE ON THE USE OF PERFORMANCE SOLUTIONS IN THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY

Sydney Access Consultants apply regional best practices, informed by experience, industry conferences, forums, discussions and ongoing education, research and training in the field of Access Consulting however, the responsibilities imposed on you by the DDA cannot be abrogated. Public Authorities, organisations and individuals must therefore satisfy themselves that the recommendations offered in our reports protect their interests. 

To be perfectly frank, a certifying authority is never obliged to accept the alternative solution offered by any professional access consultant. Acceptable Performance Solutions require that the team get together and agree on an acceptable strategy. A draft report, on your instructions, is always forwarded to your principal certifying authority for their comment to ensure that your efforts will satisfy the certifier.

YOUR FUTURE DISABILITY ACCESS PLANNING

We advise that legal issues in the area of anti-discrimination law are in the process of change and that many areas of the legislation remain untested in the courts. Until Judges settle questionable interpretations of the Disability Discrimination Act's requirements we must rely on educated opinion. In addition, constant change is occurring in relation to the various applicable Australian Standards and in our Building Codes, as well as within our area of expertise. Our industry guides professional access consultants through the Association of Access Consultants Australia, by way of regular conclaves of the membership for the purpose of professional development research and for development of a consistent approach between experts in this field, and Sydney Access Consultants staff are active participants in this process. 

We offer you a professional standard of advice as of the moment, but by reason of the potential volatility of change, building owners and occupants are encouraged to consider revisions in Standards as they arise with due reference to the potential for additional statutory obligations and risk of further liability in future. Clients are encouraged to continue to review their approach to disability access, and into the future, beyond this report, we remain available to assist you. 

DISCLAIMER

While a professional standard of care will be taken by Sydney Access Consultants in preparing a Performance Solution Report, Sydney Access Consultants does not accept responsibility or liability for the result of specific action taken on the basis of this information nor for any errors or omissions.

If you have any questions, please call at your convenience on 0295863111

 

Gary Finn

Architect Principal #5774 (NSW)

 

Unlike the rest of Australia, every house in Sydney carries a price tag of, on average $1m, so throwing a few thousand bucks for a really good architect's advice is even more difficult to afford, but potentially something that can save you a million dollars!!

 

 

Attracting this segment of our society makes business sense and business people need to be made more aware of this. Max explains.....

 

 

 

 

NSW Aged Care facilities are occupied at a rate of 95% capacity which ensures that entry costs will increase year upon year.

In NSW the average entry price is approximately $250,000 for the moment, in the form of a refundable accommodation bond. However, expert predictions are that aged care providers will need to increase entry level prices of aged care facilities to approximately 75% of the average house prices in the surrounding precinct. For the majority of Sydney this would mean an entry price of approximately $750,000. So much for tough love.

If you're lucky enough to have purchased a home in Sydney years ago, there'll be precious little remaining to leave to your children when you sell it on to purchase your way into a retirement facility. That's if you can find one with vacancies. Typically 70% of your "refundable accommodation bond" is returned, usually without accruing any interest attributable to your estate, when your surviving family could benefit from it.

Whether aged care providers will implement these increases remains open to cynical debate, however, construction costs and land limitations are the apparent driving forces in the Sydney market, so the odds are stacked in favour of significant increases. 

ACFA (the Aged Care Financing Authority) estimate that an additional 86,000 places will be needed in the next 5 years and although this figure includes demands estimated Australia wide, on present forecasts, the industry is most unlikely to meet this future demand with self contained accommodation.

Home Care represents the government's present best strategy for picking up the expected overflow. So over the next 5 years we expect the larger Aged Care providers to include Home Care services and home nursing to clients in their existing homes.

In 2011 the Federal Government implemented its "Livable Housing Design Guidelines" for just this purpose, but punters seem less aware than they ought to be.

If I were a forward thinking future retiree, I'd be contemplating making my current home one that can be adaptable for future use, and as a property investor, Im thinking that demands for such homes will undoubtedly increase. That's when you'll need a competent architect, experienced in accessibility.

 

Gary Finn   

 

Read more about it here: why-is-aged-care-changing

 

 

 

Livable Housing Design Assessor Logo
LHA Design Guideline Assessor Registration Number 20086

Livable housing designs

Home designs

As architects with many years in business designing, documenting and constructing livable housing solutions for Social Housing providers as well as private clients, we are highly specialised professionals and our services are available to you in the arduous process that is building procurement. We don't just prepare your plans, but that is some of what we can do for you. Indeed, many of our repeat clients are practicing architect firms looking for peer review to satisfy their quality assurance programs, and improve the approvals processes.

SDA

With the introduction of the NDIS, it has become important to meet the Platinum Level for registration of Specialist Disability Accommodation. The NDIS requirements exceed those indicated in the Livable Housing Design Scheme, so we prefer to refer to "Platinum Plus" or "Silver Plus" for SDA design assessments. We have designed and documented in excess of 40 group homes for the NSW Government, and more for the private and NGO sector. We are Accredited Livable Housing Design Assessors to assist developments of SDA and home modifications under the NDIS and My Aged Care. Because of our ageing population, we are passionate about the prospect of modifying existing homes so that owners can "age in place" with home care, without relocating to a nursing home if possible.

SEPP 65

Any development of multi-housing required to meet the SEPP 65 needs to incorporate Universal Housing Solutions and comply with the BCA for Class 2 or mixed use development. We are accredited access consultants and accredited Livable Housing design Assessors to assist SEPP 65 developments to meet their obligations, by auditing the designs prior to construction and certifying the building for its potential for compliance with the access obligations upon completion.

AS 4299

The Adaptable Housing Standard is often adopted by local government to provide housing which seeks to meet the needs of an ageing population. developers are often tasked with the opportunity to include AS 4299 compliant dwellings within new multi dwelling developments. Our role is to audit the design documents and certify the compliance on completion, as Accredited access Consultants.

What is Livable Housing Design?

Livable Housing designs are designs that incorporate disability access solutions so that a family can age in place and cater for unplanned events. These solutions provide for great practicalities in circumstances where you may appreciate no immediate need for "access for the disabled". I can assure you that these come with little or no extra construction cost.

By using an access architect, best practice solutions are tailored specifically for your family and current circumstances, taking into consideration your own dreams and aspirations into the future. 

That said, however, it is possible to outline a number of key principles that enable a livable design and these are well founded on the Australian way of life.


 

Key Livable Housing Design inclusions


 In brief, these are:

  1. Access to your home from the street is made without steps on a stable surface. Going to the letterbox and putting the garbage out on the darkest of nights can be achieved without waking your neighbours.
  2. Your entry doorway has no steps and is wide enough to fit your largest friend waiting under cover while you answer the door.
  3. Internal corridors are wide enough to push one of those double prams for your twin grandchildren, and internal doors and doorways enable you to turn the handle and enter, carrying those bags of groceries or a basket of washing without scuffing your walls.
  4. You ought to have a toilet which is located on the ground floor of your home in a space large enough to allow the help of an assistant, should you or a family member ever need it in unforeseeable circumstances, such as pregnancy, sports injury, work injury, illness or even terrible hangover.
  5. Similarly you ought to consider a shower which is located on the ground floor of your home in a space large enough to allow the help of an assistant, should you or a family member ever need it in unforeseeable circumstances. The shower ought not have any steps and the shower cubicle, for practicality, ought have circulation areas generous enough to help prevent injury should you slip or faint.
  6. If you reinforce your shower and toilet walls, this enables you to adequately fix, at a later date, grab rails, additional towel rails, shower seats, soap holders, foot rests or whatever you desire or require.
  7. Internal stairways should be wide enough for two people to pass and have an adequate handrail on at least one side to help you traverse the stairs safely, in the dark.
  8. Your kitchen space should have adequate circulation so that at least a few of your nosey chef friends can get in there and feel needed, without really getting in your way.
  9. Similarly, your laundry space needs adequate circulation space to turn around without tripping over the washing basket or clothes your child has left on the floor.
  10. At least one bedroom on the ground floor ought to be provided in the event that you, or a family member is unable to travel up a flight of stairs. It's good practice that this be of adequate proportions to accommodate your grandparents, or a visiting couple of friends.
  11. Switches and power points should be easy to operate and at a height that can be reached by a person with height challenges.
  12. Door and tap hardware should be lever action type so that you can operate them with one arm full of wriggling infant and still have an injured hand.
  13. The family and living room space should allow sufficient space for dancing. It's becoming a lost art and yet is so very good for your health and well being.
  14. Your window sills should be low enough to let you see the world outside while sitting in a comfy lounge.
  15. Your flooring should not be slippery even when a glass of wine is spilled upon it. It should be firm enough so that stilettos do not puncture it and allow you to move furniture without leaving visible furniture indents. You ought to avoid trip hazards at changes in finishes by providing smooth level transitions.

 

If you incorporate all of these elements with due regard to the relevant Australian standards for access, your home will incidentally be suitable for purchase by a person with a disability and you will no doubt increase its potential value looking forward to a population of Australians who are aging.

If you would like a fee proposal for planning and getting this right, we are just a call away.

(02) 95863111

For the Federal Government "Livable Design Guidelines" visit http://livablehousingaustralia.org.au

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