Access > Guidelines > Architecture and planning

C.P.W.D. Guidelines

The primary objective of this report, drawn up by Central Public Works Department (C.P.W.D.), Ministry of Urban Affairs and Employment, India, is to frame guidelines for non-ambulant (chair bound), semi-ambulant (lower limb impairments), visual, and hearing disabled persons.

Following the CPWD guidelines will lead to more accessible design and will prevent situations such as this one where a person on a whhelchair can not see the numbers of the phone instrument since it is kept at standing height.This construction and maintenance standard should be followed in all categories of buildings and facilities used by the public for making design accessible to, and functional for, physically disabled persons. Although the recommendations are concerned exclusively with the requirements of disabled people, but the facilities will invariably make buildings more convenient for elderly persons and persons suffering from any kind of physical aliments. A safer, easier environment for the physically disabled benefits everyone. The main purpose is to integrate disabled and elderly persons fully into the society. The presumption that all elderly are handicapped, is an over simplification of the needs of both groups and is a disservice to both.

Builders, designers and architects are ultimately the users of this standard to ensure that the specific environment created by them is suitable for all categories of people. The standard also indicates that barrier-free design can be achieved without economic burden to the client, builder, designer and the architect. It will help to provide a framework for developing policies to ensure a barrier-free environment and eliminate the lack of awareness in both the public and private sectors to the problem of accessibility.

Excerpts from Guidelines and Space Standards for barrier-free built environment
for Disabled and Elderly Persons

Central Public Works Department, Ministry of Urban Affairs and Employment , India, 1998

The C.P.W.D. guidelines are recommendations for designers and architects and cover the following areas:

  1. Type of disabilities
  2. Mobility devices
  3. Controls
  4. Constructions and maintenance standards
  5. Classification of buildings
  6. Minimum access provisions required in various types of buildings
  7. Design elements within the building premises (public buildings)
  8. Guiding/warning floor material
  9. Other facilities
  10. Design elements outside the building
  11. Residential buildings
  12. Auditorium
  13. Parks
  14. Restaurant
  15. Railway stations
  16. Model building bye-laws

Below are excerpts from the guidelines. If you want to view the complete guidelines, please email us at access@ncpedp.org

Introduction

A barrier-free environment is one which enables people with disabilities to move about safely and freely and to use the facilities within the built environment. The goal of barrier-free design is to provide an environment that supports the independent functioning of individuals so that they can get to, and participate without assistance in everyday activities such as procurement of goods and services, community living, employment, and leisure. The fundamental principles should be followed in developing standards/norms for various facilities to meet disabled people’s standards for safety, convenience and usability. Barrier free design standards should satisfy anyone who is hampered in his mobility or functioning (as compared with a non-disabled person) as a result of obstacles put in his way by the design of a building, the choice of hardware and equipment, and the arrangement of outside space.

The primary objective of this report is to frame guidelines for non-ambulant (chair-bound), semi ambulant (lower limb impairments), visual, and hearing disabled persons. This construction and maintenance standard should be followed in all categories of buildings and facilities used by the public for making design accessible to and functional for physically disabled persons. Although the recommendations are concerned exclusively with the requirements of disabled people but the facilities will invariably make buildings more convenient for elderly persons and persons suffering from any kind of physical ailments. A safer, easier environment for the physically disabled benefits everyone. The main purpose is to integrate disabled and elderly persons fully into society. The presumption that all elderly are handicapped are elderly, is an over simplification of the needs of both groups and is a disservice to both.

Building types to which the recommendations may be applied are residential buildings other than domestic buildings, healthcare institutions, educational establishments, community and religious centres agriculture and transport facilities. The guidelines have also indicated the minimum access provisions required in various types of buildings.

This standard shall be a valuable document to exchange comments between disabled consumers architects and others interested in an environment which does not exclude disabled people. This may also generate research activities to provide required knowledge base.

Type of disabilities

Various disabilities which have been considered while preparing the guidelines for barrier-free built environment are broadly classified under four categories

1. Non-ambulatory: Impairments that, regardless of cause or manifestation, for all practical purposes, confine individuals to wheelchairs.

2. Semi-ambulatory: Impairments that cause individuals to walk with difficulty or insecurity. Individuals using braces or crutches, amputees, arthritics, spastics and those with pulmonary and cardiac ills may be semi-ambulatory.

3. Sight: Total blindness or impairments affecting sight to the extent that the individual functioning in public areas is insecure or exposed to danger.

4. Hearing: Deafness or hearing handicaps that might make an individual insecure in public areas because he is unable to communicate or hear warning signals.

Mobility devices

Controls

Construction and maintenance standards

A) Non-ambulatory disabilities

B) Semi-ambulatory disabilities

Persons in this category are those who use walking aids such as crutches or canes, who are amputees, who have chest ailments or heart disease. The persons in this category include those who can not walk without a cane and those who have some trouble in their upper or lower limbs although they can walk unassisted.

Design requirements

Sight disabilities

Persons in this category are blind or with impaired vision. Visually impaired persons make use of other senses such as hearing or touch to compensate for the lack of vision. It is necessary to give instructions accessible through the sense of touch (hands, fingers or legs). While walking with a cane the person may bump his or her head or shoulder against protruding objects. Persons with may be able to discriminate between dark and bright shades and defferences in primary colours.

Design requirements

Hearing disabilities

Elderly persons

Elderly persons may suffer impaired mobility. Sight disabilities (partially or fully), hearing disabilities or any other physical difficulties, for which the design guidelines for them within and outside the buildings and facilities shall be similar to those for other physically disabled persons.

Minimum access provisions in various types of buildings

Walks and paths

Parking

For parking of vehicles of disabled people the following provisions shall be made:

a) Surface parking for two care spaces shall be provided near the entrance for physically handicapped persons with maximum travel distance of 30 m from building entrance.
b) The width of parking bay shall be minimum 3.60 metre.
c) The information stating that the space is reserved for wheelchair users shall be conspicuously displayed.
d) Guiding floor materials shall be provided or a device which guides visually impaired persons with audible signals or other devices which serves the same purpose shall be provided.

Signages

Guiding/warning floor material

Shapes of guiding blocks for persons with impaired vision

(1) Shape of liner block
(2) Shape of spot block

Places to instal guiding blocks for persons with impaired vision

Other places where installation of a guiding block for persons with impaired vision is considered effective (for example, locations abruptly changing in level or ramp) are:
Entrances: Example using 30 cm square flooring material
On premises: Intersection/L-shaped intersection/T-shaped intersection

Other Facilities

Counters
To make a counter easily accessible for a wheelchair user, allow a space about 700 mm high and 350 mm deep under the counter.

Water fountains (Drinking)
Allow sufficient space around the water fountain to make it easily accessible for wheelchair users. Depending on the type of water fountain allow a space about 700 mm high and 350 mm deep under the fountain.

Telephones
Allow a space about 700 mm high and 350 mm deep under the telephone stand. The telephone receiver must be placed at a height of 110 cm or less.

Mailboxes
The mail slot must be located at a height of 1200mm or less.

Vending machines
The coin slot must be located at a height of 1200mm or less.

Counter/drinking water fountain
Telephone stand/wall-mounted telephone
Mailbox/vending machine

Design elements outside the building

Bus stops

Taxi stand

Telephone booth

Railway stations

Approach to station

Paved surfaces

Platform entrances and exits

Reservation or information counters

Concourse

Lifts (elevators)

WC

Ticket gates

Platforms

Railway and subway cars

ANNEXURE-A

5. Building requirements

The specified facilities for the buildings for physically handicapped persons shall be as follows:

1. Approach to plinth level
2. Corridor connecting the entrance/exit for the handicapped.
3. Stairways
4. Lift
5. Toilet
6. Drinking water


5.1 Approach to plinth level: Every building should have at least one entrance accessible to the handicapped and shall be indicated by proper signage. This entrance shall be approached through a ramp together with the stepped entry.

5.1.1 Ramped Approach: Ramp shall be finished with non-slip material to enter the building. Minimum width of ramp shall be 1800 mm with maximum gradient 1:12, length of ramp shall not exceed 9.0 metre with 800 mm high handrail on both sides extending 300 mm beyond top and bottom of the ramp. Minimum gap from the adjacent wall to the handrail shall be 50 mm.

5.1.2 Stepped approach: For stepped approach size of tread shall not be less than 300 mm and maximum riser shall be 150 mm Provision of 800-mm high handrail on both sides of the stepped approach similar to the ramped approach.

5.1.3 Exit/entrance Door: Minimum clear opening of the entrance door shall be 900 mm and it shall not provided with a step.

5.1.4 Entrance landing: Entrance landing shall be provided adjacent to ramp with the minimum dimensions 1800 mm x 2000 mm. The entrance landing that adjoins the top end of a slope shall be provided with floor materials to attract the attention of visually impaired persons (limited to coloured floor material whose colour and brightness is conspicuously different from that of the surrounding floor material or the material that emits different sound to guide visually impaired persons hereinafter referred to as “guiding floor material” (Annexure-I). Finishes shall have a non slip surface with a texture traversable by a wheelchair. Curbs wherever provided should blend to a common level.

5.2 Corridor connecting the entrance/exit for the handicapped: The corridor connecting the entrance/exit for handicapped leading directly outdoors to a place where information connecting the overall use of the specified building can be provided to visually impaired persons either by a person or by signs, shall be provided as follow:

a) ‘Guiding floor shall be provided materials’ or devices that emit sound to guide visually impaired persons,
b) The minimum width shall be 1500mm.
c) Ina case there is a difference of level slope of 1:12.
d) Handrails shall be provided for ramps/slope should be ways.

5.3 Stair-ways: One of the stairways near the entrance/exit for the handicapped shall have the following provisions:

a) The minimum width shall be 1350mm.
b) Height should be not be more than 150 mm and width of the tread 300 mm. The steps shall not have abrupt (square) nosing.
c) Maximum number of risers on a flight shall be limited to 12.
d) Handrails shall be provided on both sides and shall extend 300 mm. on the top and bottom of each flight of steps..

5.4 Lifts: Wherever lift is required as per bye-laws, provision of at least one lift recommended for passenger lift of 13 persons capacity by Bureau of Indian Standards.

Clear internal depth: 1100 mm.
Clear internal width: 2000 mm.
Entrance door widt : 900 mm.

a) A hand rail not less than 600 mm long at 1000 mm above floor level shall be fixed adjacent to the control panel.
b) The lift lobby shall be of an inside measurement of 1800 mm x 1800 mm or more.
c) The time of an automatically closing door should be minimum 5 seconds and the closing speed should not exceed 0.25 Metre/Second.
d) The interior of the cage shall be provided with a device that audibly indicates the floor the cage has reached and indicates that the door of the cage for entrance/exit is either open or closed.

5.5 Toilets: One special W.C. in a set of toilet shall be provided for the use of handicapped with essential provision of wash basin near the entrance for the handicapped.

a) The minimum size shall be 1500 mm x 1750 mm.
b) Minimum clear opening of the door shall be 900 mm and the door shall swing out.
c) Suitable arrangement of vertical/horizontal handrails with 50mm. clearance from wall shall be made in the toilet.
d) The W.C. seat shall be 500 mm from the floor.

5.6 Drinking water: Suitable provision of drinking water shall be made for disabled people near the special toilet provided for them.

5.7 Designing for children: In buildings meant for the pre dominant use of children, it will be necessary to suitably alter the height of the handrail and other fittings and fixtures, etc.

Guiding/warning floor material

The floor to guide visually impaired persons, with a change of colour or material with conspicuously different texture and easily distinguishable from the rest of the surrounding floor materials, is called guiding or warning floor material. The material with different texture gives audible signals with sensory warning when a person moves on this surface with walking stick. The guiding/warning floor material is meant to give the directional effect or warn a person at critical places. This floor material shall be provided in the following areas:

Proper signage