Luminance Contrast Requirements for Doors

Brown door in dark wall

AS 1428.1 Clause 13.1 is often a topic of discussion by building certifiers, building surveyors, architects, designers and project managers.

Clause 13.1 outlines the luminance contrast requirements for doorways. Each doorway in an accessible part of a building must achieve compliance with AS 1428.1 Clause 13 (luminance contrast, door clear width, controls/door handles, and spatial/circulation spaces).

Luminance contrast of doors is required so people can easily identify a doorway, and a door doesn’t blend into the wall background, making it difficult to see.

There a range of options to achieve compliance. Each option is independent of the others and only one option is required to achieve compliance. These options are detailed in AS 1428.1 Clause 13.1.

Beach huts with colourful doors

Clause 13.1 says:

13 DOORWAYS, DOORS AND CIRCULATION SPACE AT DOORWAYS
13.1 Luminance contrast
All doorways shall have a minimum luminance contrast of 30% provided between—
(a) door leaf and door jamb;
(b) door leaf and adjacent wall;
(c) architrave and wall;
(d) door leaf and architrave; or
(e) door jamb and adjacent wall.
The minimum width of the area of luminance contrast shall be 50 mm.

The wording of this Clause could be a lot clearer to indicated that each option is an “OR”. There is not an invisible “and” after each option.

If you comply with one of these options listed above, the doorway will comply. This can be achieved using a 50mm band (minimum) in a painted colour, a timber or metal finish, using a powder-coated steel plate, by painting the door or many more finishing options.

What AS 1428.1 Clause 13.1 should say to remove any confusion or misinterpretation is the following:

13 DOORWAYS, DOORS AND CIRCULATION SPACE AT DOORWAYS
13.1 Luminance contrast
All doorways shall have a minimum luminance contrast of 30% provided between—
(a) door leaf and door jamb; or
(b) door leaf and adjacent wall; or 
(c) architrave and wall; or 
(d) door leaf and architrave; or 
(e) door jamb and adjacent wall.
The minimum width of the area of luminance contrast shall be 50 mm.

If you have any questions about luminance contrast please contact our office.

Alternatively, please visit www.luminancecontrast.net.au to read more about the area and to register for our free Luminance Contrast Assessment Tool (LCAT).

We’re also offering training for a limited number of people on 4th April 2019 in our offices. See the Eventbrite listing for more information.

Lastly, for those observant readers, you’ll see a step in the doorway used in the feature image. We can also help design a compliant step ramp to provide an accessible doorway for everyone.