Accessibility in the built environment
This provides an overview of the accessibility regulations for which Boverket has responsibility.
Accessibility is governed by several different sets of regulations, some of which are managed by other agencies. The tab "Elaboration" at the top of this page provides a description of who is responsible for what. We also describe the regulations for the certification of experts.
The purpose of the accessibility regulations is to enable as many as possible to participate in society on equal terms. It should be possible for the built environment to be used both by people who have full mobility and by people who use, e.g. wheelchairs, walking frames or canes. People with impaired vision, impaired hearing or other impaired orientation capacity should also be able to use the built environment.
If you are planning to build something or make an alteration, it is your municipality that can tell you what you may do or must do. It is the developer that is responsible for compliance with the regulations.
Which sets of regulations are applicable?
The UN Convention
Sweden is legally bound by the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The Swedish laws are based on the Convention.
The Planning and Building Act (PBA) and the Planning and Building Ordinance (PBO)
A general requirement for accessibility and usability for people with impaired mobility or orientation capacity is given in Chapter 8, Sections 1, 4, 7 and 9 of the Planning and Building Act (2010:900), PBA, and in Chapter 3, Sections 4, 18 and 23 of the Planning and Building Ordinance (2011:338), PBO.
Boverket's Building Regulations (BBR)
Boverket's Building Regulations, BBR, contain mandatory provisions regarding application of the Act and Ordinance. Boverket's Building Regulations apply for a new building or for an alteration, including altered use. Most of the regulations are found in section 3, but there are also regulations in section 8.
Buildings must be accessible and usable for people with impaired mobility and orientation. Sites intended for development must be accessible and usable if this is not unreasonable with reference to the terrain and conditions in general.
Holiday homes with no more than two dwellings are exempt. Work premises are exempt if it is unjustified to make the premises accessible and usable with regard to the nature of operations.
The standards to which BBR's general recommendations refer may be followed. The general recommendations give examples of ways to meet the requirements placed by the mandatory provision. You can do things differently if you can show that the requirements of the mandatory provision are met. Standards are not available on the internet but may be ordered from SIS(Swedish Standards Institute).
Easily eliminated obstacles, HIN
Easily eliminated obstacles must be remedied according to Boverket's mandatory provisions and general recommendations on the removal of easily eliminated obstacles to and in premises to which the public has access and in public spaces (BFS 2013:9 - HIN 3). The regulations of HIN apply retroactively. An accessibility consultant can make an assessment of whether an obstacle is easily eliminated and can also help with an action plan.
Accessibility and usability in public spaces, ALM
When constructing new public spaces and areas, these shall be made accessible and usable. This applies, for example, to streets, squares, parks, recreational areas and outdoor baths. The regulations are contained in Boverket's mandatory provisions and general recommendations on accessibility and usability for people with limited mobility or orientation capacity in public spaces and in areas for constructions other than buildings (BFS 2011:5 ALM 2).
Accessibility is assessed already at the building permit stage
As regards accessibility, the Planning and Building Act contains both design requirements and technical property requirements. The difference is that design requirements are to be assessed in the building permit, while the technical property requirements are dealt with in the start-up statement and control plan. Here you can see which requirements are design requirements or technical property requirements, or both: Guidance document using different colours and styles to show design requirements and technical property requirements for BBR 3:1 Accessibility and 3:2 Dwelling design.
Certification of experts in accessibility – TIL
The Building Committee may require a certified expert to control that the accessibility requirements are met in cases where the developer´s self-implemented control is not adequate.
The certification of experts in accessibility is managed by the company Kiwa Sverige. Boverket thus does not issue any certificates.
Boverket drafts the regulations that say which requirements apply for a person to become certified as an expert in accessibility. The regulations are contained in TIL – certification of experts in accessibility.
For further information, please contact Boverket.