Bahrain mulls disabled-friendly buildings
Manama, May 26, 2013
All new buildings in the Muharraq area of Bahrain could soon be forced to ensure they are equipped for people with special needs, a report said.
Councillors have agreed to order commercial and residential establishments to include such facilities in their designs before building permits are awarded, according to the report in the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.
The proposal, which was made by Muharraq Municipal Council's technical and services committee, has been forwarded to Municipalities and Urban Planning Affairs Minister Dr Juma Al Ka'abi for approval.
"It seeks to have any new establishment whether residential, investment or commercial include services to serve special needs citizens," said committee chairman Ali Al Muqla.
"If approved, any new establishment should ensure such regulations are included in its designs to get a building permit from the municipality. The municipality should also be obliged to follow such regulations in its own projects."
The proposal includes ensuring that entrances and exits to buildings have wheelchair access, railing support and ramps and paths and pavements outside are made using anti-slip materials.
It also states five per cent of parking spaces should be allocated to people with special needs, with a minimum of two in every establishment.
Councillors also want enough space inside buildings to allow easy movement for people with special needs, including in public toilets.
"Signs should be written in clear text with different colours to surrounding environment to be read with ease," says the proposal.
"They should also include the Braille language for the visually impaired in clear areas to be easily accessed."
Other conditions include the width and length of windows, doors as well as elevator entrances. – TradeArabia News Service