Inclusive Design in the Built Environment Training


Wales can lead the way in establishing sound principles of inclusive design. This interactive training is aimed at planners, architects and anyone whose work impacts on the built environment who want to be a catalyst for establishing Wales as an exemplar for inclusive design practice.

Building on the commitments set out by the Welsh Government in the Framework for Action on Independent living and in the context of proposed changes to Design and Access Statement (DAS) requirements, this half-day course will provide delegates with a clearer understanding of the principles of inclusive design and how to use these principles in their working lives.

The workshop-style training will cover:
> The social, legal, moral and economic context of inclusive design
> Who we are designing for and the impact of a disabling environment
> The principles of inclusive design
> The design process – beyond regulatory codes and towards a philosophy
> Addressing access with or without a DAS
> Recognising and overcoming conflicts of interest

Whether you are new to the concept of inclusive design or familiar with the principles, this training will provide new material for you to expand your knowledge, understanding and application of the approach.

The training is coordinated by the Design Commission for Wales, RSAW, Constructing Excellence in Wales and RTPI Cymru on behalf of the Welsh Government. The training will be led by Sandra Manley. Sandra is a visiting research fellow at UWE whose research and teaching has focused on the importance of designing to ensure disabled, elderly people and young children are able to participate fully in mainstream community life.

The training is taking place in Aberystwyth, Cardiff, Llandudno and Swansea in March and April.  It is free but you will need to register to secure a place. Please use the links below to book via Eventbrite and download the event flyer for  further information. If you have any queries please contact DCFW on or 029 2045 1964.

Please click on location below to book via Eventbrite

Aberystwyth, 10th March 2016

Cardiff, 18th March 2016

Llandudno, 7th April 2016

Swansea, 13th April 2016

Education Reports

Cardiff and Vale College (May 13)

Commercial Reports Residential/housing

Cardiff ISV Waterfront (Mar 13)

Press & Comment Press Releases

Statement from Cindy Harris, Head of Design Review, Design Commission for Wales, on the Cardiff International Sports Village Waterfront Scheme

Cindy Harris said: “The Commission welcomes all developments of good quality that can help drive economic growth, and we recognise the potential for a development on this site. However, while we welcome the ambition of the project, there are several fundamental issues with the current proposals which we feel must be addressed. These are set out in our full Design Review report which is publicly available and can be found on our website (

“The review was attended by two members of the architectural team and the relevant Local Planning Authority officer and the observations made during the review meeting and subsequent report are intended to assist the developers and architects behind the scheme to maximise its full potential and have a positive impact on the economy and public realm.

“We recognise the constraints that architects must work within, and we highlight issues outside of the scheme’s architecture, which are significant issues in their own right, such as the scheme’s energy and sustainability strategy, access and transport, the varying levels proposed and its relationship with the neighbouring Cardiff International Pool.

“If the developers wish to press ahead with their application without addressing these, then in our view the success of the scheme – its commercial viability, quality and value – is compromised.

“We would obviously welcome any further consultation on the project should the developers wish to make revisions to the proposals, otherwise we will follow with interest how Cardiff Council’s planning committee take the scheme forward.”

Reports Residential/housing

Residential, Cardiff Bay (Sep 12)

Case Studies Public / Cultural

Chapter Arts Centre

Planning and Design Process

Public Space

The essential architectural move is the creation of a broad shaft of public space running right through the building between two entrances of equal priority, one opening off a new paved piazza to the south, the second to the car park on the north, by way of a new partially covered courtyard space with external seating. The effect is to make Chapter more open and welcoming and in the few months since reopening, Chapter has seen a more than doubling of both visitor numbers and turnover. This ‘broad shaft of public space’ is busy. Parents with prams, students with laptops, elderly people, small groups, residents of Canton, Cardiff and beyond; they’re all here.


You can enter Chapter through one end of the building and leave from the other.  At the south entrance the new two-tone tarmac piazza, its pattern inspired by Stockholm’s Sergels Torg, clears away a complicated, multi-level approach to the building through groves of shrubbery. Three new entrance doors replace one.  Above the south entrance, a large lightbox hosts a series of artists’ commissions and lights the first floor theatre foyer, carved from a multitude of small rooms and giving easy access into the refurbished studio theatre. From the car park, a convoluted back door route is replaced by a large glazed entrance into a planted courtyard which, in summer becomes an extension to the café area.

Sequential spaces

The public areas of Chapter now occupy a continuous series of interpenetrating spaces which wrap around the longest bar in Wales. The box office reception is no longer in a box, and is open and friendly. The school’s old tiled dadoes have been revealed. The gallery and shop spaces have been reconfigured, with better access from the foyer and new lighting. The cinema foyer opens through to the two cinemas. The 60 seat Cinema 2 has been fully refurbished, its colour scheme a homage to another Stockholm icon, Asplund’s 1923 Skandia Cinema.

Sustainability Outcomes


Although there was limited scope for improving the sustainability of the existing fabric, given that the budget did not allow a comprehensive refurbishment, wherever fabric was repaired it was done so to a high standard of insulation. The new roof, new wall areas and new windows are highly insulated.

Energy usage

In areas where a full refurbishment took place, or where new build extensions were added, improvements to the building’s energy performance were well in excess of Building Regulations requirements. In particular, the building’s boilers were replaced with high efficiency condensing boilers, heating controls were carefully zoned for better efficiency and low energy lighting with intelligent controls are used.

‘If there is a better municipal arts centre than Chapter anywhere in Europe, I would like to see it. I remember helping to splash on the walls and sand the floors back in 1970. The new Chapter looks stunning.’

Wales’ First Minister Rhodri Morgan, at the launch event in November 2009

Related links

Ash Sakula Architects