Part D1 Excessive noise
The Objective of this Part is to—
Safe, equitable and dignified access—D1O1(a)
D1O1(a) requires the provision of safe, equitable and dignified access to a building and its services, as far as is reasonable. Several of these terms are explained below.
As far as is reasonable
There may be occasions when the application of a rule is “unreasonable”. Use of the phrase “as far as is reasonable” indicates that the BCA provisions are not absolute. This is consistent with the intent of the DDA.
One of the primary intentions of the DDA is to provide people with a disability with the same rights as the rest of the community. The word “equitable” combines concepts of fairness and equality. It does not mean that all people must be able to do precisely the same thing in the same way. However, if some people can use a building for a particular purpose, then most people should be able to use the building for that purpose.
If most members of the community enter a building at a particular point, normally the front entrance, people with a disability should be able to enter the same building at that point. However, this may not mean entry through the same door. For example, a revolving door may not be suitable for guide dogs or wheelchairs. However, people who use guide dogs or wheelchairs should be able to enter the building at an adjacent door.
The concept of “equitable” does not necessarily mean that everybody should be able to access all parts of a building.
A person with a disability should be able to gain access to and within a building, and to the services and facilities of buildings, in a manner which is not devaluing or demeaning.
Safeguarding people evacuating—D1O1(b)
D1O1(b) refers to safeguarding occupants while evacuating in an emergency. This includes people with a disability who cannot independently use exits and may require specific egress arrangements.
A person who is able to walk without assistance is able to reach a public space on an upper level of a building with dignity, perhaps by walking up a flight of stairs. A person with a mobility disability should also be able to access that space with similar dignity. It is unlikely that having to be carried up the stairs would achieve this requirement.
A plumbing and drainage system must operate in a way that avoids the likelihood of excessive noise of any part of the plumbing and drainage system, and minimises any adverse impact on building occupants.
VIC D1F1 Excessive noise2019: DF1
It also excludes the application of D1P1 to a Class4 part of a building.
Emphasis on access for people
The required access is for people, including people with a disability.
To the degree necessary
D1P1 uses the term “to the degree necessary”. See Explanatory Information in BCA Volume One for A1G4(3)(c).
- Part F7 in Volume One of the NCC contains Performance Requirements F7P1 through to F7P4 which cover sound transmission and insulation in walls and floors of Class 2, Class 3 and Class 9c buildings.
- Part H4 in Volume Two of the NCC contains Performance Requirement H4P6 which covers sound insulation of walls in Class 1 buildings.
D1P2 generally sets the performance required for safe movement within a building for most people, including those with a disability.
The D1P2(a) requirement for a safe gradient is to facilitate access and safety for all people, and refers to the crossfall as well as the longitudinal grade.
D1P2(b) aims to make sure people are not put at risk by doors impeding egress or causing them to be trapped.
Slip-resistant walking surfaces—D1P2(c)(i)
People moving on stairways and ramps should not slip and fall. This is a particular issue during an emergency.
Handrails may be necessary to assist people using stairways and ramps, particularly in helping them maintain their stability.
Landings for stairways and ramps—D1P2(c)(iii) and (iv)
Under D1P2(c)(iii) and (iv), it is necessary to provide landings for ramps as well as stairways. As with stairways, the landings on a ramp are used as a place to rest when necessary. Landings at doorways provide a level plane from which doors may be safely opened.
Safe passage on stairways—D1P2(c)(v)
D1P2(c)(v) requires that a stairway must be suitable for the safe passage of people, and appropriate to the nature, volume and frequency of use. This is a reference to the riser and going of the treads, and the width of the stairway. Hence the rise, going and width may differ between buildings as long as a safe passage is provided.
NT D1D1 Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions2019: D1.1
- B1D3 for cold water services.
- B2D9 for heated water services.
- B3D3 for non-drinking water services.
- B4D2 for fire-fighting water services.
- B6D2 for rainwater services.
- C1D3 for sanitary plumbing systems.
- C2D4 for sanitary drainage systems.
VIC D1D2 Undue noise2019: D1.2
- B1D3 for cold water services; or
- B2D9 for heated water services; or
- B3D3 for non-drinking water services; or
- B4D2 for fire-fighting water services; or
- B6D2 for rainwater services; or
- B7D4 for rainwater storage, or
- C1D3 for sanitary plumbing systems; or
- C2D4 for sanitary drainage systems, or
- C3D2, C3D3, C3D4, C3D5, C3D6 and C3D7 for on-site wastewater management systems, or
- E3D2 for stormwater drainage systems, and
- E4D2 for surface and sub-surface drainage systems.