Heritage and Access
Heritage buildings play an important part in communicating Australia’s history to present and future generations. Our heritage buildings constitute a considerable percentage of our existing built environment. They include places of administration such as town halls, post offices and court buildings, places of worship, places of social gathering such as community halls, and hotels and places of cultural interest.
Access to heritage buildings can be difficult to achieve where there is new building work proposed within the building. In can be argued in some cases that access would not be feasible if the heritage asset is to be preserved in its current state. In other cases, it might be possible to implement an innovative performance based solution that complies with the performance requirements of the BCA/NCC.
It is important to review the conservation management plan that have been prepared for the heritage building. If one is not available, advice from a heritage consultant should be sought. An access audit including a site visit should be undertaken to find the best possible solution or options to achieve compliance. This should be closely discussed with the heritage consultant and other relevant stakeholders for acceptance. Any alterations that are proposed as part of the solution should be sympathetic to the existing heritage fabric of the building and reversible if possible. New materials that are used should be of similar calibre to the existing materials used on the heritage building.