Love Ageing

ThomsonAdsett’s David Lane leads the conversation in Canberra on freeing up the building code for seniors housing

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For some time David Lane has been arguing that the Federal Building Code of Australia (BCA) has changed little since 2003 and is the major impediment for architects designing buildings that clients want and future consumers will demand.

Last week he and colleagues Judy Martin and Blake Challen from ThomsonAdsett met with the Department of Ageing and the four Heads of Residential Aged Care Services, Quality Assurance and Community Care to press their case for a review of the BCA from an ageing point of view.

The previous week we co-hosted 21 aged care and development leaders over lunch at solicitors Russell Kennedy (pictured) to provide background for the Department meeting.

Lane gives the example of clients who wish to build apartments suitable for ageing and adaptable up to in-home high care. The 15 year old BCA regulations around fire imposes extra costs that make the development price non-competitive.

Each apartment door would require an auto-closing door at an additional cost of $7,000. The landing on each floor and meeting point would need to be wider. Corridors would need to be configured to allow a stretcher around the corners in the event of a fire.

However tomorrow’s customers (and even today’s developer clients) want to build these buildings now.

Lane points out that he achieved these changes in Singapore and Hong Kong in the 90s with the result the cities are developing significantly more vibrant and mixed communities.

The Department was engaged and committed to extend the conversation.

Want to join David in the conversation? You can email him at [email protected].