An overview of accessibility in public buildings

Are you wondering how easy or difficult it is to access and use the building you will be visiting? Bygg for alle gives you the possibility to, in advance, find valuable information on the accessibility of the building. On the website there is information about the entrances and the various visiting targets within the building.

At Bygg for alle you will find specific information about accessibility to public spaces in most of the public buildings that Statsbygg manages. You can see the details of individual visiting targets and of possible obstacles on the way to your destination. Searches can also be based on a chosen group of disabilities. For the time being, much of the information available is directed at people with physical impairments, but we are constantly trying to expand the information in our database.

Criteria for accessibility

The buildings are evaluated in relation to the demands and recommendations for new buildings set by the Guidelines to the Technical Regulations for the Planning and Building Act 1997/Guidelines to the Regulations concerning requirements for construction works and products for construction works (Veiledning til teknisk forskrift). Wherever necessary, recommendations from user organisations such as The Norwegian Association of the Blind and Partially Sighted have also been included, as well as the registered aberrations from the broader requirements of the universal framework recommended by the National Office of Building Technology and Administration, and The Norwegian State Housing Bank in the guidelines Bygg for alle.

Due consideration as to what is technically, economically and aesthetically possible must be given when trying to reach the demands for the best possible accessibility. However, the goal will always be to attain complete accessibility for everyone.

The system and the website "Bygg for alle"

The system consists of three modules.

The public module: Gives people with disabilities access to www.byggforalle.no , which can be used to investigate accessibility to buildings administered by Statsbygg, along with other public administrators.

The registration module: Provides the functionality for the registration and analysis of a building's accessibility. The registration module is used by registrars and other non-commercial parties. The module is free and open for use. Access to downloading functions is available by sending an inquiry to byggforalle@statsbygg.no. Klick here for instructions and downloading of the registration module.

The administration module: gives administrators a better overview of the status of how universal design is being overseen within the buildings, properties/complexes, institutions/regions. This includes administration of registered buildings and formula data. In addition, the module offers the possibility for analysis, an overview of identified improvement measures, an overview of costs and simple reporting. The module is only available to public administrators who have gone into an agreement with Statsbygg. A membership fee for the administration module is calculated from the principle of uploaded square meterage.

The information that is collected in the registration module is recorded with consideration for persons with movement impairments, visual impairments or hearing impairments, and for allergists and asthmatics. All data is obtained to weigh in relation to public requirements and the respective user organisations' guidance to give the most accurate picture of accessibility possible. The website Bygg for alle includes primarily the majority of Statsbygg's public-related properties. The rest of the public-related properties will be included in due course, as soon as information collection is completed. It is possible for other administrators to make their properties available on this website.

Statsbygg is primarily behind the development of the website, while The Norwegian Ministry of the Environment and the National Office of Building Technology and Administration have also contributed economically. Statsbygg is responsible for the content and operation, while the owners of the respective buildings have the responsibility for the quality of the data entered into the system.

The system and website Bygg for alle is developed by Statsbygg and Knowit. Statsbygg is the owner of this system.

Obtaining information

Entrances, internal connections and visiting targets are registered by taking measurements of widths, gradients and force needed to open doors etc. At the same time, estimated illumination, signage, orientation possibilities and other conditions that may be important for those with visual impairment, and possible problems for asthmatics and allergy sufferers will be registered. A link in the investigations is also to carry out a simple interview with local managers or operational leaders to map out any available equipment, and how the building is used etc.

All buildings have a main entrance and some may have an alternative entrance for people with physical impairments if the main entrance has poor accessibility. There are further internal connections consisting of corridors, steps, ramps, lifts etc. All of these elements must be accessible for everyone if the building is to satisfy the demands for accessibility.

It is however, the different visiting targets that are the reason that one will visit the building in the first place. Some targets are so important that the entire building can be considered inaccessible if they cannot be reached, while other targets may be of lesser importance. For each visiting target, it is the weakest link in the route from the entrance point to the destination which defines the accessibility.

Accessability illustration

The way of thinking is illustrated in the figure above, where one can see a "tree" with connections from the entrance to the individual visiting targets. The buildings are analysed using, among other things, the following investigative elements:
  • Entrance including approach

  • Internal connections inside the building leading to each visiting target

  • Approaches to, and shaping of the individual visiting targets inside the building

  • Connections between the buildings

Responsibility

The information on Bygg for alle is intended to be as simple, concise and practical as possible and Statsbygg aims to keep the site up to date. Statsbygg however reserves this right, as incomplete, incorrect or imprecise information may occur as a result of building work, redevelopment etc.

All images, text and logos on Bygg for alle belong to Statsbygg, and must not be copied, modified or published without the consent of Statsbygg. The text on Bygg for alle can however be copied and made use of if the information will be used for learning- or information activities. In these instances, you must acknowledge www.byggforalle.no as your source.

Contact

Byggforalle.no is a website established by Statsbygg. Questions and comments regarding the website should be directed to Statsbygg by sending an email to the following address: byggforalle@statsbygg.no