This report is the first of two studies investigating accessible housing conducted through the Summer Foundation–La Trobe University research program. These reports provide an evidence base to inform decision-makers on incorporating minimum mandatory accessibility standards in the 2022 National Construction Code (NCC).
This study seeks the expert opinions of access consultants and architects on how expensive and complicated it would be for builders to incorporate specific accessible features into all new homes. It surveyed 24 access consultants and architects with expert knowledge of the Liveable Housing Australia Design Guidelines. The survey asked respondents to rate the relative cost and difficulty of incorporating 28 accessible features into new houses, apartments, and townhouses. The survey found that:
- A total of 12 features are inexpensive and easy to incorporate in all dwellings.
- Features that are costly or difficult to incorporate in one type of dwelling may be inexpensive and simple in another.
- Including accessible features during the design phase of new builds is the best way to ensure cost-effectiveness.
- Targeted exemptions to accessibility standards could mitigate issues arising in the minority of homes with site-specific challenges.
These findings indicate that a substantial proportion of the accessible features could be feasibly incorporated as mandatory minimum accessibility standards in the NCC.