Universal design is a thinking process that aims for the most inclusive design solutions possible – designing universally. It is a process that improves through iteration. This means that you can’t specify a standard, which is for one point in time, because it stops the process of continuous improvement. But we don’t live in a perfect world and some people just want to know they got it right. That means they want a standard.
NATSPEC is an non-profit organisation with the aim of improved construction and productivity in the built environment. The information is free but you might need to login to get access.
The NATSPEC website has a long list of technical notes, which cover many construction elements. New to the list are:
These technical notes are just two pages long. They are good for quick reference and for anyone new to universal design concepts. The Accessible Housing guidance refers to the Adaptable Housing Standard (AS4299), Livable Housing Design Guidelines, and the Access to Premises Standard. It was written prior to the adoption of the Livable Housing Design Standard which is now mandated in the NCC and is required in Class 1a and Class 2 buildings.
Designing with inclusion in mind will sometimes mean that more than one solution is required. So a “one-size-fits-all” approach can be counterproductive. It also means doing the best you can with what you have at the time with a view to improving with the next iteration.