Compliance today has such a large impact on design development of the built environment, of which accessibility is but one issue to resolve.  It was heartening to see in 2014 the National Affordable Housing Consortium place ‘accessibility issues’ to the forefront with a design competition open nationally to selected universities titled ‘Whole of Life: Whole of Use’.

The design competition arose from The National Disability Insurance Scheme reforms which has the potential to stimulate accessible housing growth in the future.

The UNSW Built Environment Master of Architecture Students were awarded first place in 2014, proving winners in two categories.  The educative process was holistic engaging both private and public expert advice for the students to engage with.  Dr Dijana Alic course coordinator of the UNSW students described the process as a ‘steep learning curve’ as the principles of adaptability, accessibility, independent living, Livable Housing Guidelines (platinum level) and safety by design were incorporated into the competition solutions, resulting in a high level of accessibility.

Congratulations to UNSW masters students and the NAHC for promoting awareness of ‘accessibility and inclusiveness’ in design of the built environment.

Louise Bieler