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Siting & Approaches to Buildings

Universal Design Principles

To provide a whole of campus with buildings and facilities that are logically arranged, easy locate and identify ensuring low effort and equitable and dignified access for all people.

Arrival points

Design Criteria

Within the Curtin context campus arrival points should:

  • Site buildings and entry points in a manner that minimises level changes and distances between accessible parking, transport hubs, campus arrival points, the principal pedestrian routes including the accessible campus route and campus buildings.
  • Plan buildings to orientate principal entrances that they are logical and easy to find.
  • Provide wide, navigable wayfinding paths that consist of a continuous accessible path of travel leading to the principal and required secondary entrance doorways. These paths of travel are to have a clear shoreline in accordance with AS1428.4.2. Any vertical or horizontal shoreline is to have the appropriate surface treatment as per AS1428.4.2.
  • Include a 600mm wide, traversable textural surface contrast to provide ground level wayfinding information to all users, as per AS1428.4.2, where the approach to the building is off a plaza area and a vertical or horizontal shoreline to the building entrance(s) are not provided. Columns and light poles can be used as visual cues to orientate the person to the principal approach path and entrance, however these must be set off the pedestrian path of travel.
  • Ensure that any obstacles that abut a path of travel have sufficient luminance contrast to the ground surface, wall surfaces and surrounds to maximise safety and orientation. Any such infrastructure is to work towards aiding orientation rather than creating a barrier or misinforming pedestrians.
  • Use artwork, architectural feature or landmark as a wayfinding cue to identify the principal route towards a building and the associated principal entrance.
  • Ensure there is a level entry at the principal entrance, managing vertical circulation within, rather than external to, the building.
  • Ensure no person is required to take a more complex, longer or more onerous route to gain access.
  • Provide directional signage at each wayfinding decision point where there is more than one directional choice, as per AS1428.4.2.
Hot Tip
  • Hazards should not protrude into any shoreline more than 100mm.
  • If this is unavoidable, hazard protection should be provided where the object protrudes more than 100mm and the lower edge is more than 300mm above ground level.
  • Hazard protection on the ground to be provided by a solid kerb or fixed element 100-300mm above floor level under the protruding obstacle so that it detectable by a cane.
  • The hazard protection should not extend beyond the front edge of the object, nor should it be set back more than 100mm from its front edge.


Signage is essential in reinforcing wayfinding within well designed logical environments. There must be efficiency in providing identification and directional signage without cluttering the environment with signs. Signage that meets the needs of people with disabilities, with clear and concise, logically arranged information enhanced with internationally recognised symbols, will be able to be understood by most people.

Design Criteria

Within the Curtin context campus signage should:

  • Meet the requirements ofAS1428.4.2 Section 2 – Wayfinding Systems which provides information on the provision of:
    • Wayfinding information points, detailing the means of providing orientation information in a premises that contains more than a sole occupancy
    • Information to be provided at wayfinding decision points
  • 4.2 Section 3 – Signage, provides detailed information on:
    • General design guidelines including glare minimisation
    • Reach ranges for raised tactile and Braille signage
    • Sign types including information signs, directional signs and identification signs
    • Sign specification including general information, font, pictograms and Braille
    • Design requirements for non-raised tactile wayfinding signs for pedestrians with low vision
  • Contain information that is clear and unambiguous to read. Use consistent unambiguous words and symbols that are familiar to all.
  • Not be over proliferated or be overly complex, as this approach is more likely to cause confusion and be of minimal benefit.
  • Incorporate consistent and clearly understood pictorial information, as this is beneficial for people who have learning difficulties, people who have difficulty reading text and people who are not familiar with the English language.
  • Give consideration to audible information in addition to visual signs and information.
  • Be installed (where it is a wall mounted finger sign) with a height clearance of 2000mm (height of a continuous path of travel). Also ensure there is a corresponding increase in font size of the sign so that it will still be readable.
  • Be placed at least 2000mm high, where there is a possibility that it could be obscured at any time, (e.g. by crowds or in a foyer). Locate signage consistently along the accessible path of travel so that it can be readily found, without obstructing the path. Signage and sign boards should not obstruct any building shoreline.
  • Afford wheelchair approach and turning space on a firm and level surface adjacent to any signage placed off the path of travel.

Artwork, architectural feature or landmark

Deliberate placement of an architectural feature, landmark or artwork is an astute and contemporary method to assist all users identify a building and orientate to the principal pedestrian entrance.

Design Criteria

Within the Curtin context campus artwork, architectural features and landmarks should:

  • Be located adjacent to or off the accessible path of travel and in a position where they do not create a barrier to pedestrians.
  • Designed and orientated to avoid a head height obstruction.
  • Be designed in such a manner that the base can be tactually detectable for a minimum height of 350mm above the floor / ground surface by a person using a long cane where in proximity or adjacent an accessible path of travel.
  • Have sufficient luminance contrast to be perceived by as many people as possible. Illuminate the artwork for night time orientation.
  • Ensure that the use of illumination as an artwork installation does not create visual confusion along principal access routes or at entrances, does not dazzle or create reflections or glare that may impede navigation of an environment.
  • Give consideration to providing additional wayfinding features such as audibly running water, plants with rustling or scent or artwork that incorporates similar visual, tactual and audible features. Ensure if water is a key feature of a landmark or artwork that there is a suitable barrier between any water feature and the adjacent pathway and water overspray does not create a slip hazard on any pathway.

Bollards and chicanes

Design Criteria

Within the Curtin context campus bollards and chicanes should:

  • Only be installed when absolutely necessary.
  • Be positioned to preserve a 1200mm accessible path of travel.
  • Be tactually and visually detectable. Specify bollards at least 1000mm high x 200mm wide. Select a product that is in luminance contrast to the surrounding surfaces in a variety of weather and lighting conditions. Where this cannot be achieved apply a luminance contrasting strip to the top of the bollard 900-1000mm height zone.
  • Not be linked by chains (bollards).
  • Be positioned (chicanes) to preserve a 1500mm accessible path of travel, including entrance and exit points.
  • Have a solid crossbar/rail installed at the base (chicanes) 100-300mm high to be detectable by a cane.