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BSI announces its first building design standard for people with sensory and neurological processing difficulties

Paper butterflies (representing diversity) in rainbow colours mounted on a plain backgroundBSI Group, the UK’s national standards body, has just announced a new project to create the first set of guidance for the design of the built environment (PAS 6463 Design for the mind – Neurodiversity and the built environment – Guide).

This standard which is to be fast-tracked — expected publication date is April 2021 — will address the needs of people who experience sensory and neurological processing difficulties. It will seek to reduce the potential for sensory overload, anxiety or distress addressing sensory design considerations including acoustics, décor, flooring and lighting.

To be developed by a Steering Group comprising experts in built environment, neurodiversity, planning and transportation fields, PAS 6463 will provide information for designers, planners, facilities managers and decision-makers on particular design features which can make public places more inclusive for everyone.

Head of Healthcare Standards at BSI, Bob Turpin commented: “Neurodivergent people face daily design-based challenges living and working in the built environment … PAS 6463 will take the first step to help address these challenges by developing authoritative guidance on how to create mindful, modern and inclusive environments that recognise the diverse needs of individuals.