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Recent Research

Study on The Description Handbook of Barrier-free Facilities Specifications Design Code

Abstract


一、Research Rationale

Architecture and Building Research Institute, Ministry of the Interior, ROC (Taiwan) has completed research project related to the “Design Specifications of Accessible and Usable Buildings and Facilities” in 2007 and the research results were released by Construction and Planning Agency (CPA), Ministry of the Interior.

However, the “Design Specifications of Accessible and Usable Buildings and Facilities” were drastically amended in 2015 and 2016. The amendment includes illustrations and texts regarding the regulations. Currently, the amendment to the regulations has been completed and is undergoing legal process. In view of the fact that after the release of the “Design Specifications of Accessible and Usable Buildings and Facilities” in 2008, a study of the description handbook had been conducted and the research results were published to provide governments of municipalities, cities, counties, construction and interior decoration industries,associations for people with disabilities and the public as a reference. The publication were valued and appreciated by all walks of life. Thus, in response to the drastic amendment of the new version of the regulations, we have made a research plan for the reorganization of the handbook for the description of the

“Design Specifications of Accessible and Usable Buildings and Facilities”.

二、Research methods and processes

The research methods are as follows:

1. Literature Review:

The description handbooks of the “Design Specifications of Accessible and Usable Buildings and Facilities” from various countries are collected by the method of literature review. Then the collected data are compared with the handbook compiled and researched in Taiwan nowadays to find out the differences between the descriptions, representation of the illustrations, and the advantages and disadvantages of the chapter structures in various countries. The description handbooks and the regulations concerning barrier‐free building facility design are mainly collected from the United States, the United Kingdom and Japan. This research figures out the items, illustrations and representation that are different from Taiwan’s handbook and integrates the strengths and weaknesses as the reference for Taiwan to organize and compile its  handbook in the future.

2. In‐depth Interview:

In‐depth interviews are adopted in the second phase. The items and representation that are obtained from the handbooks of other countries via literature reviews are the theme of the interview questions. The different contents between the newly amended regulations that are going to be released soon in the future and the old regulations are collected. The differences are also the focus of the interview questions. A total of 20 interviewees, including barrier‐free facility inspectors of Office of Building Administration, the representatives of Association of Architects, Engineering Contractors' Association,

Association of Interior Designers, barrier‐free related groups and social service units

in Taiwan's six cities (Taipei City, New Taipei City, Taoyuan city, Taichung City, Tainan

City and Kaohsiung city) are interviewed, so we can understand the unclear or

overlooked items in the regulations and the expected operational considerations of

the new regulations.

3. Field Survey:

Taking pictures and recording the excellent cases mentioned in the interviews and make them the reference materials of the handbook for the non‐professional public.

4. Specialist Focus Group:

A total of five expert seminars will be held. The seminars will be conducted in the way of focus groups. Twenty four interdisciplinary experts from architectural design field, barrier‐free facility inspectors and barrier‐free groups will be invited to the seminars. The results of the description handbook of the “Design Specifications of Accessible and Usable Buildings and Facilities” proposed by our institute will be reviewed by the experts and the improvement suggestions will also be raised.

三、Contents of Survey

The amended regulations are obtained in phrase one. The items in the regulations are organized and the differences between the original and amended regulations are figured out. Then the controversial descriptions or unclear items are listed. In phase two, those items are put in the interview questions as the main issues.

6. What are the most misleading items in the illustrations or texts of the current barrier‐free facility design regulations?

7. In your practical experience, which illustration or text in the current barrier‐free facility design regulations cause the misunderstanding or communication failure between you and the other party (owner, designer,engineering contractor, inspector, etc)? Please describe the situation.

8. Are the current text descriptions of the newly amended “Design Specifications of Accessible and Usable Buildings and Facilities” clear? What are the directions that the supplementary descriptions in the handbook need to be noticed? What are the possible controversies of carrying out the regulations in the future?

9. In term of the items in the handbooks of the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan and Taiwan, what kind of drawing method is easier to be accepted and understood by the general public? Are there any items that can be improved?

10. Is it possible to provide Taiwan's well‐designed barrier‐free facility cases as

references to the description book?

四、Conclusion and Chapter Structure of the Handbook It is known from the initial interviews of this study that to compile a complete handbook of “Design Specifications of Accessible and Usable Buildings and Facilities”, besides the interpretation and review of the new amendment, we will still need to address and discuss the common problems of the concept and design of the barrier‐free facilities. It is necessary to put the needs of designers,engineering contractors and the general public for the handbook in to

consideration when compiling the contents of ordinances, basic concepts,specification and design case references. The behavior patterns of the disables using barrier‐free facilities and the correct and wrong cases are adopted as the supplementary descriptions of the handbooks.

Through the comprehensive discussion and descriptions of unclear parts among experts of various fields, the direction of the description handbook is gradually defined as explaining the regulations including the functions of providing the functions of design, construction, purchasing, learning and promoting. The handbook will be arranged as educational and training modes. The content cannot be more stringent than the regulations or exceeds the requirements of the regulations. The contents of the interviews and the expert seminars are compiled and the focus will be on three parts, including the interpretation of the regulations,the description of the users’ behavior pattern and the description of the correct and incorrect patterns. Then the handbook will be organized according to the three main functions: the elaboration of ordinances (explain the articles with design regulations for the educational and training purposes and the contents of the ordnances shall not be more stringent than the regulations required); the reduction of mistakes (collect current cases of errors and make case‐by‐case explanations based on actual pictures and provide excellent cases as references to reduce the occurrence of errors); providing references on materials and construction methods (introduction of component materials related to the facilities and equipment and construction methods to enhance the depth and breadth of the handbook).