Project Launch: First Building Design Standard for Sensory and Neurological Needs

BSI, in its role as the UK National Standards Body, announces a new project to create the first set of guidance for the design of the built environment to include the needs of people who experience sensory and neurological processing difficulties and/or differences. This includes neurodivergent, neurodegenerative and other neurological conditions which may affect sensory processing and mental wellbeing.

The fast-tracked standard, PAS 6463 Design for the mind – Neurodiversity and the built environment – Guide, will provide information for designers, planners, specifiers, facilities managers and decision-makers on particular design features which can make public places more inclusive for everyone, in particular by reducing the potential for sensory overload, anxiety or distress. It will address sensory design considerations including lighting, acoustics, flooring and décor.  

The standard will be developed by a steering group of experts in the built environment, transportation, planning and neurodiversity fields. It is sponsored by Transport for London (TfL), Forbo Flooring Systems, BuroHappold and the BBC.

Rob Turpin, Head of Healthcare Standards at BSI said: “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.”

Alan Bainbridge, Director of Property at BBC said: “As Director of Property for the BBC my team are committed to making the workplace the best place to work for as many people as possible. With the proper care and attention the built environment can have a huge impact on people’s lives in and out of work and supporting the development of this standard builds on the work the BBC is already progressing at sites such as our new building in Cardiff’s Central Square.”