Building access standards for people with a disability

Under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992, building certifiers and people involved in designing, constructing and managing a building must comply with standards to provide building access to people with a disability.

Accessible housing guidelines

On 30 April 2021, a majority of Building Ministers agreed to include minimum accessibility provisions for residential housing and apartments in the National Construction Code (NCC) 2022 based on the Livable Housing Design Guidelines (LHDG) silver standards.

National Construction Code 2022

In 2022, the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) published new minimum accessibility requirements for Class 1a buildings (houses) and Class 2 sole-occupancy units (apartments) within the National Construction Code (NCC) 2022.

The National Construction Code (NCC) 2022 commenced on 1 May 2023 with the phase in of the Modern Homes provisions for livable (accessible) housing commencing on 1 October 2023.

Learn more about the NCC 2022, including information and guidance material.

Premises Standards

The national Disability (Access to Premises–Building) Standards 2010, known as the Premises Standards, outlines the building standards for providing public access to buildings for people with a disability (other than for a Class 1 building).

The Premises Standards apply to:

  • new buildings
  • upgrades of existing buildings.

These standards:

  • ensure that people with a disability have dignified, equitable, cost‑effective and reasonably achievable access to buildings, and facilities and services within buildings
  • give building certifiers, building developers and building managers certainty that providing access in compliance with the standards also complies with the Act.

The Premises Standards have harmonised building compliance to be in line with the Disability Discrimination Act 1992.

Accessible adult change facilities

As of 1 May 2019, the National Construction Code mandates the inclusion of accessible adult change facilities in certain new and significantly refurbished buildings. Generally, these include:

  • large shopping centres
  • large sports venues, museums, art galleries and theatres
  • airport terminals.

In consultation with stakeholders, the Queensland Government has also developed a non-mandatory Queensland Development Code for accessible adult change facilities (PDF, 867KB) that achieves a higher specification than the National Construction Code. The Queensland Development Code is a useful guide for those wanting to build above the mandatory standard to achieve an outcome that better suits the needs of people with disability.