Universal design

Stockholm South Hospital

LINK arkitektur has accumulated extensive expertise in universal design over the years. This applies, for example, to school buildings where we have designed schools according to requirements level 2 for accessibility for the physically disabled (Hetland v.g. school, Rogaland County Council).

The subject of universal design is an important part of the procedures and check-lists for designing, and the relevant regulatory requirements and guidelines that apply to public buildings and schools are specifically incorporated into this process. Our designs must meet the requirements of TEK, requirements specified in standards and any additional specifications for the level of accessibility.

All of our designs are based generally on the applicable regulatory requirements, but for school projects we also aim to exceed the specified regulatory requirements.

The design must facilitate access by persons with various types of disabilities, such as restricted movement, orientation limitations (vision, hearing, and cognitive impairment) and environmental issues (e.g. asthma and allergies). The building must be inclusive by conforming to all the requirements for mobility. It must be easy to navigate in and it must not be allergenic. By emphasizing this at an early stage of the design process, good solutions can be found without these necessarily being expensive solutions.

There are many conditions that must be met in order to ensure access for everyone, e.g. that the access routes to the building and the communication routes in the building are designed to facilitate easy access. Vertical transport in the building is best served by elevators that are logical and accessibly located in the building.

As designers, we need make conscious choices in terms of usability. This applies, for example, to the use of materials, the use of colour, contrast, lighting and equipment. Signage and useful technical devices must be an integral part of the building. Larger teaching spaces must be equipped with electronic sound amplifiers and listening equipment to aid those with impaired hearing. Induction loops and/or infra-red systems are recommended, depending on the area to be covered, the requirements for flexibility and the possibility to move from one room to another.

In order to achieve positive outcomes in terms of universal design, it is important to focus on this during every project phase. The project must be developed in collaboration with various representatives of the users in order to identify the issues and in order to obtain input regarding the preferred solutions.

There is no such thing as an average person - Daniel Tammet

Contact Person

Ivar Jonassen
Ivar Jonassen Civil Architect
+47 932 92 837
There is no such thing as an average person - Daniel Tammet