Inclusive Projects


5 key points of good practice

Part I: Introduction
1. About this guide
1.1. The purpose of this guide
1.2. Who is this guide for?
1.3. Terms used in this guide
1.4. How widely does this guide apply?

2. The built environment
2.1. Introduction
2.2. What are inclusive environments?
2.3. Inclusive environments - the business case
2.4. The social/moral benefits of creating inclusive environments
2.5. The legal benefits of creating inclusive environments
2.6. The commercial benefits of creating inclusive environments

3. Enhancing the delivery of inclusive environments
3.1. Three steps to success

Part II: The development and project briefing processes
4. The development process explained
4.1. Introduction
4.2. The strategic definition phase
4.3. The design and construction phase
4.4. The occupation phase

5. The project briefing process explained
5.1. What is the 'project briefing' process?
5.2. The strategic briefing phase
5.3. The design and construction briefing phase
5.4. The occupational briefing phase
5.5. The link between 'project briefs' and 'access statements'

Part III: Preparing project briefs - best practice
6. Examples of best practice
6.1. Strategic briefs
6.2. Design and construction briefs
6.3. Occupational briefs

Part IV: The Access Champion
7. The Access Champion
7.1. Introduction and definition
7.2. Two important points
7.3. The relevant skills of an Access Champion
7.4. Finding an Access Champion and assessing their abilities

Part V: Delivering the briefs - best practice
8. Introduction and project structure

9. A guide to best practice
9.1. The strategic definition phase
9.2. The design and construction phase
9.3. The occupation phase

10. Appendix A: Typical pitfalls and possible causes
11. Appendix B: Glossary/terms used


CABE believes that good design is fundamental to higher quality buildings and open spaces and represents true value for money. Function is one of the cornerstones of good design and accessibility is vital for a project to function well. Creating places and facilities that are accessible to everyone should not be seen as merely an afterthought, or as compromising other aspects of the overall design. The Disability Discrimination Act means that designing for people who are impaired becomes our first consideration so that integrated solutions become the automatic standard for all services and new developments.

This Act is placing new demands on providers of services and those who commission and design the environment in which those services will be delivered. Everyone involved in the procurement process has a part to play but those who manage and maintain facilities in the long term have a particularly important role. At CABE we have often emphasised the importance of a clear brief in achieving design quality, but the task of providing an inclusive environment is on-going and I support the emphasis on the Occupational Brief in this document.

Successful projects need strong, informed leadership. CABE has campaigned for Design Champions to be appointed throughout the public sector to promote and safeguard design quality in new buildings and open space projects. I welcome the call to appoint Access Champions to perform a parallel role to mainstream issues concerning access at all stages in every project.

I am very pleased to sponsor the publication of this considered and useful guide and I am confident that by adopting the best practice set out in these pages we can achieve fully accessible buildings, open spaces and streets that can be a benefit and a source of pride for everyone.

Jon Rouse
CEO, Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment

5 key points of good practice

Good practice point no.1

  • The implementation, design and construction team should understand and commit to the commercial, legal and moral benefits of inclusive environments.

Good practice point no.2

  • Appoint an appropriate project Access Champion and:
    (a) empower them to act effectively within the project structure in the interests of access; and
    (b) pay a fee for the services the Access Champion will have to undertake. Do not deem the services to be included within a designer's existing appointment.

Good practice point no.3

  • Actively consider and integrate access issues at all stages of the project briefing process.

Good practice point no.4

  • Through the proactive and consistent contributions of the key participants, convert the access requirements of the project briefs into appropriately designed and constructed buildings that meet the requirements of the briefs.

Good practice point no.5

  • Review projects upon completion and use any lessons learned for enhancing the delivery of future projects.