GAI: opening the door on more flexible specification.
GAI makes accessibility more accessible
Published: 17 July, 2009
LONDON: The Guild of Architectural Ironmongers (GAI) has issued guidance to specifiers and merchants about the complex area of ‘Accessibility for All’.
Its latest Technical Update offers advice on the changes in this field in the recently published BS 8300 and is available free of charge from GAI’s website.
Accessibility for All has been a source of confusion due to issues identified in the original BS 8300 published in October 2001 and its conflicts with Approved Document M, most noticeably concerning opening forces and visual contrast.
The original Code of Practice often identified issues and problems, without providing solutions or guidance in how to solve them.
This confusion has lead to the publication, in February 2009, of a fully revised version of the Code of Practice.
This document includes heavily modified guidance on ironmongery and doors, much of it relating to a relaxation in design, allowing a more flexible approach to its specification.
The GAI Technical Update gives detailed guidance on these changes as they relate to architectural ironmongery and doors, including substantial changes in handrail design and fixing, clear widths through doorways, the design of vision panels and manual door opening and closing furniture. There are also extensive amendments to the way in which internal doors are scheduled.
The new BS 8300 additionally clarifies the way in which specifiers use light reflectance values (LRVs) to assess visual contrast between door opening furniture and the face of the door.