Aspire’s Policy Manager, Andy Shipley, has just been appointed by the British Standards Institution (BSI) as the new Chair of its committee overseeing its code of practice on Design of an accessible and inclusive built environment, known as BS8300.

BS8300 provides technical guidelines on how the built environment should be designed, constructed and maintained to be inclusive of the requirements of disabled people. It encompasses both internal and external environments and is in two parts.  Part one deals with the external environment and encompasses streets, parks, landscaped areas, the approach to buildings and the spaces between and around buildings.  Part two deals with buildings, encompassing entrances, outward opening doors and windows (where they affect external circulation routes), reception areas, horizontal and vertical movement and other features and facilities within the building. The committee also has responsibility for British Standard 9266 – Design of accessible and adaptable general needs housing.

These codes of practice are used by planning officers, building inspectors, access specialists, conservation officers, architects, interior designers and landscape designers. Andy says, “We find ourselves at a time when the quality of our buildings and the way they are planned, designed, built and managed, was never more under the spotlight. If we are to achieve the kind of culture change that Dame Judith Hackit described our development sector as needing, in her review of fire safety and building regulations, codes of practice such as BS8300 and its sister documents across the BSI portfolio, have a vital part to play.”

Aspire has a long history in supporting people with Spinal Cord Injury to obtain housing that meets their needs to enable them to live independent and active lives. Crucially this involves campaigning for the adoption of building standards that enable disabled people to live independently in their own homes and access community life and the economy. Andy’s work chairing this BSI committee will play a critical role in furthering these aims, by encouraging the wider adoption of these standards, to bring about that much needed culture change and see inclusive design take its rightful place at the heart of how we plan, design and build the places in which we live, work and play.

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