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.

 

Luminance Contrast of Doorways: Do you See it? You Should

Old red door in a white washed brick wall

Doors need to be visible for two main reasons:

  1. So we can find them; and
  2. So we can safely move through them.

The Building Code of Australia (part of the National Construction Code) and the Premises Standards (under the DDA), both require compliance of doors under the general provisions of Table D3.1 (i.e. “to and within all areas”) and at entrances under Clause D3.2.

AS 1428.1 (2009) outlines two specific requirements for luminance contrast of doors. Luminance contrast is defined as “the light reflected from one surface or component, compared to the light reflected from another surface or component.”

Fully glazed doors need a visual indicator glazing band across the door so it is more visible to people, particularly those with some level of vision loss, which is why the band must be solid and 75mm wide as per below:

6.6 Visual indicators on glazing

Where there is no chair rail, handrail or transom, all frameless or fully glazed doors, sidelights, including any glazing capable of being mistaken for a doorway or opening, shall be clearly marked for their full width with a solid and non-transparent contrasting line.

The contrasting line shall be not less than 75 mm wide and shall extend across the full width of the glazing panel. The lower edge of the contrasting line shall be located between 900 mm and 1000 mm above the plane of the finished floor level.

Any contrasting line on the glazing shall provide a minimum of 30% luminance contrast when viewed against the floor surface or surfaces within 2 m of the glazing on the opposite side.

Also, there must be a 50mm band around each door, as per below (noting, that only one of the listed options is required – not all of them):

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.

Additional areas where a higher luminance contrast of door features would be very beneficial include:

  • Door handles
  • The vertical leading edge of glass doors
  • A lower level visual indicator glazing band for shorter people and children

For more information, Access Central has published a specialised website just for luminance contrast – www.luminancecontrast.net.au