DCAN 11(Draft): Access for all - Designing for an Accessible Environment
Entrance to the Building
7.32 Entrance arrangements to a building should provide a welcome for everyone. Accordingly the access needs of disabled people should be integrated into the design rather than treated separately.
7.33 It is preferable that the approach to the principal or main entrance of the building should be level, so that everyone can enter the building through the main entrance.
7.34 The use of secondary or service entrances to buildings for people with disabilities should be avoided. Nor should disabled people have to ring door bells or wait to be escorted into the building by a member of staff.
7.35 Only in exceptional circumstances, such as certain listed buildings, is it likely to be acceptable to have a secondary entrance as the accessible way into a building. In such cases, a sign outside the building at the main entrance should indicate the way to the accessible entrance, using the international disability symbol.
7.36 Staff entrances and fire exits, as well as the main entrance, should be fully accessible so that people with disabilities can use the same routes as others.
7.37 Entrance doors should have a clear opening width of at least 800mm and have a glazed panel giving a zone of visibility with an unobstructed space of at least 300mm next to the opening edge of the door, unless the door is automatic opening.
7.38 Automatic sliding doors are the most convenient form of access for people with disabilities. Revolving doors should be avoided. Where these are to be installed an alternative entrance door should be provided.
7.39 Plate glass doors should be easily discernible, for example through use of prominent signs, logos or colour banding, to prevent people accidentally walking into the glass.
7.40 Entrance thresholds should be built flush with the external level. Traditionally many shop floors were built one step above the external level. Even a single step at the entrance can be very hazardous as it often goes unnoticed. Coping with a step and a door at the same time is impossible for many people with disabilities.
7.41 All new shopfronts and alterations to existing ones should be designed to be accessible to people with disabilities.