Accessible and universal design – A forward-thinking combination

Some people may see inclusive design or accessible construction as a task that only affects a small group of people. But it delivers much more. An accessible environment makes a significant contribution for everyone, both with and without a disability.

The UN Disability Rights Convention (UN-BRK) recognises the right of everyone to play a full, active and equal part in life as an inalienable human right. Implementing this right requires a high level of commitment from planners, builders and manufacturers. However, solutions that are good and useful for people with disabilities also benefit others, such as children or elderly people. Accessibility improves the quality of life for everyone.

Accessibility as a megatrend

The impacts of demographic change must also be taken into account, as our society is ageing. Anyone who builds a building and develops the relevant building solutions should include accessible solutions in their planning. And rather than placing restrictions on design, this should be regarded as a challenge and incentive to develop new skills. The ASSA ABLOY Group is facing this social task and already has an impressive range of innovative solutions in the field of accessible doors.

Even the smallest edge can be a barrier

With the new generation of the Planet X3 drop-down seal, Planet GDZ AG, part of the ASSA ABLOY group, now offers a future-proof, accessible door solution, which, in combination with the modular click threshold system, is ideally suited for new construction and renovations. Of the thresholds available, the Planet F-120 is the actual zero threshold. It offers full accessibility thanks to its completely flat profile. For wheelchair users and elderly people, even the smallest edge can become a trip hazard or even an insurmountable obstacle.

Design for all

The Planet X3 drop-down seal was developed based on the “universal design” concept, also known as “design for all”. The goal is to achieve a functional design for architecture, products and systems to enable them to be used by as many people as possible without further adaptations or specialisations. And there’s a good reason for this: There is a growing realisation that anyone could be affected by a “disability” during the course of their life. Whether you have to rely on crutches after a sports injury, whether your hearing or vision deteriorates as you get older, or whether you are suddenly faced with a flight of stairs while pushing a pushchair.

The “design for all” philosophy has really taken off on an international level over the past few years. The standards SIA 500 “Obstacle-free Building” and VSS SN 640 075 “Obstacle-free Traffic Areas” define the requirements of “design for all” in the building sector for Switzerland. Accessible building products therefore have enormous market potential. According to a current study by the specialist magazine “bfb barrierefrei bauen”, the need and demand are increasing significantly, particularly in apartment block and care home construction.

Accessible solution from ASSA ABLOY at Holz 2019

Barrier free access does not mean just to level the ground but to help people with handicap to improve their day to day lives and to open doors.
Read more about the topic barrier free access around the door in further blog contributions.

At the Holz Exhibition 2019, Switzerland’s biggest fare in timber industry, you will have the opportunitiy from 15th. til 19th of October to discover the first time the new Planet X3 drop-down seal and the modular click-threshold system.