Personal access doors

7 April

Personal access doors for your shed: rules and requirements

How big should the doors be in your shed?

When you’re building a commercial structure such as a steel shed, it’s important to ensure you take accessibility into account. This means understanding the legal requirements for shed designs and how to include personal access doors that are both practical and meet the necessary building legislation.

Compliance requirements for personal access doors in commercial steel sheds

Australian Standard 1428.1:2021 provides general information on designing for access and mobility, and the Disability Act includes a specific access code for buildings. This covers accessibility measures for people with restricted mobility and vision impairment including tactile floor markers, signage, braille signage, ramps and elevators, and accessible bathrooms.

This article is mainly focused on the personal access door requirements in the Disability Act, and what you need to know to ensure you comply with regulations.

We have pulled some of the relevant clauses out of the Act that relate to commercial sheds, however, if your shed will be used for purposes such as education or a healthcare business there are a range of additional things you’ll need to comply with.

In general, all the pathways, access doors and ramps in and around your shed have size and location requirements that your design needs to adhere to. These include the below clauses from the Disability Act:

The width of your pedestrian pathway around the site should be at least 1.2m:

“The minimum unobstructed width of an accessway must be 1.2m”

If your public entrance is required to be accessible, you should ensure an accessible entrance is close to the regular entrance:

“In a building with a total floor area of more than 500 m2, a pedestrian entrance which is not accessible must not be located more than 50m from an accessible pedestrian entrance”

Personal access doors should be at least 850mm wide so wheelchair users can travel through the doorway easily:

“Where a doorway on an accessway has multiple leaves, (except an automatic opening door) one of those leaves must have a clear opening width of not less than 850mm in accordance with AS 1428.1.”

(It’s important to note that ‘clear opening’ means not hindered by door handles, door stops, architraves or skirting boards.)

Other requirements to ensure equal access

Disabled parking

It’s important to provide accessible parking on site as well as adequate access for wheelchair users to exit their vehicles and manoeuvre around your facility.

For most of the mid-sized commercial structures that we build at Steelcorp, the requirement is 1 accessible car parking space for every 100 regular spaces.

Fire requirements for accessible buildings

For commercial buildings, accessible fire exit requirements are a must, meaning that all ramps, accessways and stairways should be designed for accessibility.

It’s critical to ensure that fire exit routes are accessible and meet the minimum space requirements to enable wheelchair users and disabled people to safely exit the building in case of a fire or emergency.

Ensure your shed design is accessible – talk to our design team today

The team at Steelcorp has decades of experience designing and building commercial sheds.

We can provide advice and assistance to ensure you comply with all the relevant regulations for your building including accessibility requirements. Give our friendly team a call to discuss your commercial shed project.

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