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New RIBA guidelines put accessibility and inclusion at the heart of building design

Posted: 13th July 2023

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has today published new guidance to ensure that inclusion and accessibility are considered at every stage of the design and construction process.

The guidance has been developed with the specialist inclusive design consultancy Motionspot, and with the support of Heathrow and Jane Simpson Access. Intended to be widely understood and used by anyone involved in the built environment sector, it assigns clear responsibilities and tasks to the different roles involved in a building project – including client, project management, design, construction, and asset management teams.

What is inclusive design?

  • Inclusive design seeks to create buildings and spaces that welcome everyone, regardless of age, sexual orientation, gender, health condition, disability, ethnicity, or religion. It means considering the needs of people with physical, cognitive and sensory impairments, including neurodivergence and dementia.
  • Inaccessible design can systematically exclude people. Designing with human diversity in mind can remove barriers to access across all the places people work, visit and live.
  • Inclusive design is about more than buildings and the space around them. Enabling everyone to participate equally, confidently and independently in everyday activities is a vital part of creating a sense of belonging and making society more equitable.
  • An accessible built environment is also vital for improving sustainability, as it is used more efficiently, and is more flexible and adaptable for different users and uses.

Download the Inclusive Design Overlay.

Organisations and projects that demonstrate the application of the RIBA Inclusive Design Overlay may be eligible for CIC ‘Inclusive Environments Recognition Certification’. Please click here for further information.