DDA Compliant Street Furniture

The Australian Disability Discrimination Act 1992, or DDA, in relation to public spaces, ensures public areas are accessible to all people, including those with a disability. Public spaces will require DDA Compliant Street Furniture in order to comply.

DDA Compliant Street Furniture - Wheelchair Accessible Table SettingDDA promotes human diversity and following this principal in relation to street furniture means public places and furniture should meet the needs of any user. DDA focuses on disability but is also inclusive of age, size, and abilities. These principals can prove challenging for DDA Compliant Street Furniture design. Comfort in one design cannot always be achieved for all users of the furniture due to different mobility needs.

The DDA is a broad document and does not specifically outline recommended specifications for DDA Compliant Street Furniture, but relies on Australian Standards AS1428.2: Design for Access and Mobility Pt.2, as a guideline. And as a guide, it is important to note that street furniture can still be accessible without strictly adhering to AS1428.2 dimensions. AS1428.2 must be considered a guideline, as the prescribed measurements may not consider the specific user. More importantly, and to re-enforce the DDA principal mentioned above, furniture design must meet the common mobility needs for each site. If the site receives mixed mobility needs it is recommended that a range of furniture is specified. With dimensions that cater to those specific mobility needs.

DDA Compliant Since 1992

Draffin Street Furniture has 65 years manufacturing experience. And when AS1428.2 came to be, it was quickly adopted into Draffin Street Furniture designs, with the majority of seats now conforming or able to be conformed to the standard. As Draffin Street Furniture manufactures all products to order, most outdoor furniture suites can be adapted to conform to AS1428.2. on request.

Draffin Street Furniture’s Melbourne based factory has in-house engineers and skilled staff to design and manufacture commercial grade outdoor furniture to any specification required.

For public furniture that meets the common mobility needs on your project: it is as simple as specifying dimensions at the order stage.

AS1428.2 Recommendations

Australian Standards AS1428.2 guide recommendations pertaining directly to street furniture are as follows:

Seating in pedestrian areas

  • Seat height should be 400mm to 450mm. However where a high proportion of elderly users are anticipated, preferred seat height can be raised up to 520mm.
  • Kids and smaller people prefer seats potentially as low as 350mm. This is where a range of seat heights should be provided.
  • A minimum 30mm radius is recommended on the front edge of the seat.
  • All external edges and projections have a radius of no less than 5mm.
  • Special consideration is needed if the seat has a solid base, like a concrete plinth. The front of the seat should have a clear space at ground level to within 150mm of the front edge of the seat. And to within 100mm of the seat height, preventing feet from being caught underneath seat.
  • All seats require armrests placed within the centre of gravity of the seat. The top of the armrest should be at the height of 260 ±40mm above the seat.
  • Bench seats with no back or armrests, by definition, don’t comply with DDA requirements. However, they can still be used in DDA/AS1428.2 compliant table settings where wheelchair space is provided.
  • The seat shall drain free of water.

AS1428.2 dimensions for a typical park benches are shown below:

Tables (including counters and worktops)

Table Heights

It is important to note, that no single table height or the clearance beneath will work with all mobility needs. Preference is given to tables with a height within the range of 700mm to 850mm from the ground. Without a considered table height specified, some users will be unable to use a table. Therefore a range of table heights would be recommended. It would give greater chance of suitable furniture for a wider range of mobility needs. For example:

In a public space where a single table is provided, the height to the top of the table and the height beneath the table should be as follows:

  • Height from the ground to the top of the table: 850 ±20mm
  • Height of clearance beneath the table from the ground: 820 ±20mm

But where two tables are provided, the height to the top of each table and clearance beneath should differ as follows:

Height from the ground to the top of the table:

  • 1st table: 750 ±20mm
  • 2nd table: 850 ±20mm

Height of clearance beneath table, from the ground:

  • 1st table: 730 ±20mm
  • 2nd table: 820 ±20mm

Please note: table heights beyond 800mm limit practical and comfortable use by most users. So if a wider range of users are expected, a range of tables with different heights should be provided.

 

And a minimum clearance beneath the table at all wheelchair accessible seating spaces should be maintained as shown below:

Typical AS1428.2 Table Requirements

Pedestal tables (as above) and tables with splayed centrally mounted legs are generally not recommended. That is unless they are within the tolerances stated above. Tables with corner mounted legs and supports are preferred. They generally have less obstructions under the table, so long as all other clearances are observed.

Wheelchair Clearance

In order to provide a wheelchair accessible seating space, the minimum clearance between the legs and other fixtures beneath a table on at least one side of the table should be 800mm wide. The distance between furniture and a wheelchair space is also noted at a minimum of 1600mm.

Drinking fountains

At each location where drinking fountains are provided, at least one of these should fit in accordance with the following specifications:

AS1428.2 compliant drinking fountain

The drink bubbler can be as close as needed to the front of the water fountain. The drink bubbler should direct the water stream to a height of 80mm to 100mm. And in a trajectory that is nearly parallel to the front of the water fountain.

The control buttons should be easily accessible, centrally positioned, or if positioned at the side, located on both sides. Any one-handed controls should require an operating force of not more than 19.5 N. And foot-operated controls are acceptable but only if installed in addition to, and not instead of, hand-operated controls.

And where a drinking fountain is recessed, in addition to complying with the clearance requirements above, 800mm of clear space underneath should be provided.

DDA and Draffin Street Furniture

The above specification guidelines can be interpreted to suit the majority of mobility needs, and most Draffin Street Furniture products can be adapted to follow them.

Draffin Street FurnitureDraffin Street Furniture considers AS1428.2 specifications during the design stage and include them wherever possible. But it is important to maintain comfort to as many user groups as possible. Due to the basic design principles of a park seat, a greater number of seats from our product lines will already fit into these guide specifications. Mobility requirements are more demanding for tables, and specifications (especially table heights) will vary depending on individual requirements.

It is all about comfort for the end user, regardless of age, size, disability, or ability. Specifying the right furniture and/or dimensions will all depend on whom the user will be. Almost no furniture will cater for all mobility needs. But depending on where the street furniture is placed, comfort for the majority of users should govern the right dimensions and requirements for each public space.


Customising furniture to fit DDA requirements

Design

With 65 years experience manufacturing street furniture for Australia, Draffin Street Furniture has been manufacturing DDA compliant furniture since 1992, when the Disability Discrimination Act was first published.

All Draffin Street Furniture products are made to order in our Victorian based factory. This gives us the unique ability to promptly and efficiently custom manufacture our furniture to the exact dimensions required, whether to comply with all DDA furniture details &/or to your specific requirements.

 

Contact Draffin Street Furniture with your DDA furniture requirements.

 
Contact Us