Wheelchair Access Ramps

Australian Standards and Guidelines

What is the Access to

Premises Standards 2010?

The national Disability (Access to Premises — Buildings) Standards 2010 (Premises Standards) came into effect on 1 May 2011. Being federally legislated the Premises Standards would normally take precedence over any local or state government legislation. The key aim of the legislation is to help improve the accessibility and safety of new and upgraded buildings. The Premises Standards is in place to also ensure that dignified, equitable, cost-effective and reasonably achievable access to buildings is provided for people with disability.

The Main focus of the standards is to provide for the following:

  • Continuous accessible paths of travel and circulation spaces for people who use wheelchairs
  •  Access and facilities for people with ambulatory disabilities
  •  Access for people with sensory disabilities.

Buildings managers, certifiers and developers can refer to the code to assist with any current or new access changes, normally the code is used in conjunction with technical specifications outlined in the BCA (AS1428.1 Design for access and mobility General requirements for access - New building works) standards to ensure building design is carried out in accessible compliant manner. These standards are designed to be used in a commercial environment and do not apply to residential space however in design and functionality the standards are normally applied.

What are Alternative Solutions ?


Within the Building Code of Australia, the defined term Alternative Solution means a Building Solution which complies with the Performance Requirements other than by reason of satisfying the Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions which are detailed within the Building Code of Australia (BCA).

An ‘Alternative Solution’ is considered when compliance is not available or physically impossible due to building restraints or design restrictions.In brief it allows the designer flexibility in the use of materials, forms of construction or design, provided that the intent of the BCA is met – it is a performance-based approach to compliance. If a performance-based approach is adopted to achieve compliance an ‘Alternative Solution’ must be developed for acceptance by the building surveyor / building certifier.

An example of applying ‘Alternative Solution’ is Ramp Access to Heritage Buildings - when designing ramps you typically cannot affix to the building structure or working space is limited so in most cases the `Deemed-to-Satisfy’ provisions of the BCA cannot be met. Therefore ramps are designed and constructed to fit the site and the designer may have to consider changes in width and length in proposing a performance-based solution, hence an ‘Alternative Solution’.