Prioritising People: A Holistic Approach to Commercial Building Design

When embarking on the design journey of a commercial building, be it a medical center, office, retail space, or public facility, it’s not just about meeting codes and regulations. The true essence lies in understanding and catering to the needs of the occupants who will inhabit the space.

Beyond the rigid framework of building classifications, the paramount question that should guide the design process is: Who are the people for whom this building is being created?

Consider a public building, for instance. While a place of worship might place emphasis on religious practices and serenity, a training facility prioritises functionality and conducive learning environments. Each space has its own unique set of users and requirements that must be carefully considered.

The same level of thoughtful consideration should extend to residential care facilities. For individuals and families relying on NDIS support for their day-to-day living, the design of these spaces goes beyond mere aesthetics. It’s about fostering independence and ensuring safety through tailored structural elements and services.

Simply meeting minimum standards isn’t sufficient when dealing with individuals who require extensive assistance. Cutting corners could potentially jeopardise the safety and well-being of those who depend on these facilities the most.

It’s worth noting that while SDA-registered housing addresses some accessibility needs, it represents only a fraction of the broader spectrum of accessible and disabled housing required within our communities. There are many individuals in need of similar housing options who may not have access to SDA funding.

Therefore, when approaching the design of any space, it’s imperative to center the focus on the intended users. If there’s uncertainty, it’s perfectly acceptable to seek clarification, educate oneself, and explore diverse options. After all, the ultimate goal is to create spaces that prioritise the safety, comfort, and inclusivity of all individuals within our communities.

The hashtags of #housing, #safety, and #people aren’t just buzzwords—they encapsulate the fundamental principles that should underscore every stage of the commercial building design process.

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