Performance codes and UD in architecture

A floor plan drawing with a black penAll 700 Danish architectural firms were invited to participate in a research study on how they experience the accessibility requirements of the Danish Building Regulations. The analysis showed that participants thought a performance-based model would be better suited to support “accessibility zoning”. However, this model would not in itself promote inclusive architecture. The authors of Do Performance-Based Codes Support Universal Design in Architecture, claim that this is partly because professionals’ understanding was client orientated rather than citizen orientated. Also, architects’ understanding of inclusiveness was relatively limited. See the article for more.

Abstract. The research project ‘An analysis of the accessibility requirements’
studies how Danish architectural firms experience the accessibility requirements of the Danish Building Regulations and it examines their opinions on how future regulative models can support innovative and inclusive design – Universal Design (UD). The empirical material consists of input from six workshops to which all 700 Danish Architectural firms were invited, as well as eight group interviews. The analysis shows that the current prescriptive requirements are criticized for being too homogenous and possibilities for differentiation and zoning are required. Therefore, a majority of professionals are interested in a performance-based model because they think that such a model will support ‘accessibility zoning’, achieving flexibility because of different levels of accessibility in a building due to its performance. The common understanding of accessibility and UD is directly related to buildings like hospitals and care centers. When the objective is both innovative and inclusive architecture, the request of a performance-based model should be followed up by a knowledge enhancement effort in the building sector. Bloom’s taxonomy of educational objectives is suggested as a tool for such a boost.