Wavefront Centre for Communication Accessibility, a nonprofit in Vancouver, has achieved the highest national accessibility rating to date under the Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification (RHFAC) program.
With a score of 96 out of 100 points (96 per cent), the ‘RHF Accessibility Certified Gold’ rated building has set the Canadian benchmark for meaningful accessibility in the built environment.
The RHFAC program rates the level of meaningful access of the built environment, based on the holistic user experience of people with varying disabilities affecting their mobility, vision, and hearing. To date, over 1300 sites across the country have been rated through the program.
Wavefront Centre’s Gold rating demonstrates the organization’s commitment to removing barriers for people with disabilities by creating an inclusive and highly accessible office space. Key innovative accessibility features that led to Wavefront Centre’s benchmark Gold rating, include:
- rounder corridors for improved sightlines and wider corridors so people can walk side by side and face each other when signing or speaking;
- acoustic baffles, ceiling tiles, and wall panels to reduce reverberation (echo) and for improved sound absorption; and
- door and wayfinding signs in high contrast and braille.
“Wavefront Centre has raised the bar for accessibility building standards across Canada through this outstanding achievement, and we are delighted to celebrate with them,” said Rick Hansen, founder of the Rick Hansen Foundation. “We encourage other organizations to look at Wavefront Centre for inspiration in reviewing the meaningful accessibility of their buildings, and begin the journey toward creating a more inclusive future for everyone.”
“As the leading provider of services that break down barriers to communication for people who are deaf, deaf-blind, and hard of hearing, we wanted to build an inclusive environment that showcased the best in universal design for our clients, employees, and community,” said Christopher T. Sutton, CEO of Wavefront Centre. “To achieve this high standard, we brought experts from around the globe together to ensure this facility was a space that welcomed everyone.”
The concept of total accessibility is noteworthy and an important goal for us to achieve. As an introduction to this concept and the RHFAC program this article has left me wanting a lot more information about the program and precisely who was involved and how they achieve the high rating for this project. I’ll dig deeper and hopefully discover an important aspect of responsible design we have overlooked to now.
Thank you Construction Canada for carrying this story. A lot of hard work went into completing this project, and a great collaborative team to make it successful. Full project Credits as follows:
Client: Wavefront Centre for Communication Accessibility
Base Building Architecture: Mallen Gowing Berzins Architecture (MGBA.com)
Interior Design: Mallen Gowing Berzins Architecture (MGBA.com)
TI Contractor: Fusion Projects
Base Building Contractor: Kindred Construction
Base Building Developer: Conwest Group
Real Estate Consultant: Field & Marten Associates
Electrical Consultant: Opal Engineering
Mechanical Consultant: Fluid Mechanical
Branding & Signage: Harc Creative & Early Creative
Code Consultant: Protection Engineering
Base Building Structural: Wicke Herfst Maver Structural Engineers
Base Building Envelope: Aqua-Coast Consulting Engineering
Landscape: PMG Landscape Architects