Singapore’s Universal Design Guidelines

Front cover of the Singapore Universal Design Guidelines.The Singapore Government’s Building and Construction Authority has a section on universal design guidelines. It has three key guides as well as other related information.

The 2016 Universal Design Guide for Public Places is a good practice guide for the built environment. It’s been well thought out and is presented clearly with many illustrations and drawings. This is a comprehensive guide that goes beyond basic accessibility requirements of previous guidelines. 

The 2007 version of the Universal Design Guide has more detailed information including residential as well as public buildings. 

The fifth version of the Code on Accessibility in the Built Environment introduced more accessibility and universal design. The first version was published in 1990 – long before many other countries. 

Note that these digital documents are large and take time to download. 

Access consultants might wish to compare these documents with the Australian Access to Premises Standard, and the guidelines which can be downloaded from the Human Rights Commission website.


Access to Premises Standard and existing buildings

A Westpac bank branch in NSW country town. It is a large old two storey house with steps to the entranceMichael Small’s Churchill Fellowship report tracks and compares discrimination laws and industry practice in relation to public buildings. He questions whether the control of the Access to Premises Standard is falling more into the hands of industry as Human Rights Commission resources are becoming increasingly constrained. Three of his recommendations are: that more training is needed for industry to help them understand the standards; more flexibility is needed for building upgrades; and better systems are needed for compliance enforcement and auditing. The title of his report is, Ensuring the best possible access for people with disability to existing buildings that are being upgraded or extended. The countries visited and compared are Canada, United States of America, Ireland and United Kingdom.