Accessibility & Universal Design

Universal Design (UD) refers to “design for all”.  It aims to create products and environments that address the physical needs of as many people as possible, regardless of abilities and age.

In Singapore, BCA focuses on developing a user-friendly built environment through promoting the concept of UD for buildings and public places where the young, the old, and persons with disabilities can work, live and play.  They are carried out in 3 aspects:

For Existing Buildings in the private sector, BCA administers the Accessibility Fund that provides capital incentives to help owners of pre-1990 non-barrier-free accessible buildings improve their buildings’ accessibility.   The Fund is available until 2026. 

For New Buildings, the Code on Accessibility in the Built Environment is periodically updated to reflect the needs of users in the built environment.  The Code stipulates minimum accessibility requirements for new developments, or when building developments undergo additions and alterations changes.  A UD Guide for Public Places was published to raise awareness on the needs of persons with disabilities, the elderly as well as families, and guides designers in incorporating UD principles in the design of public transport facilities, hawker centres, shopping centres, and so on.

To encourage building owners and developers adopt UD in their developments, BCA implements a Universal Design index self-assessment framework to encourage integration of user-friendly features in projects and to indicate their level of user-friendliness. Developers, building owners and designers who have adopted UD principles and successfully integrated user-friendly features in their projects will be accorded the Universal Design Excellence Award.

Between 2013 and 2021, BCA had also certified projects using the UD Mark Certification Scheme. Please click here for the list of projects certified under the scheme.

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