Built Environment

Our commitment: Buildings and outdoor spaces on Dalhousie University's campuses provide meaningful access for intended users


Policies, standards and guidelines


Adopt Provincial Built Environment Accessibility standards. Where feasible, Facilities Management (FM) will follow CSA B651, in the interim of NS Provincial Built Environment Accessibility Standards


Organize a study to identify areas across campus for designated quiet spaces


Integrate the Provincial Built Environment Accessibility Standards into the FM Built Environment Accessibility Audit Tool


Implement accessibility design and operational guidelines to guide campus development and operational procedures, including the review of Rick Hansen Foundation (RHF) building features. Update documents to capture Provincial Built Environment Accessibility Standards, once released


Update interior and exterior signage standards and Dalhousie Design Guidelines, ensuring accessible wayfinding is incorporated into the Campus Master Plan and reflects Provincial Built Environment Accessibility Standards


Develop processes to use and document provincial alternative compliance mechanisms for renovations that are unable to meet Provincial Built Environment Accessibility Standards


Develop a strategy for Accessibility Plan implementation and funding, including amulti-year budget and annual allocation for built environment initiatives 


Collaborate with government to develop a built environment cost assessment  

Campus planning


Develop a process and review requirements to capture accessibility features for all projects throughout inception, design, construction, and project completion phases. If Provincial Built Environment Accessibility Standards cannot be met, then reasons should be documented following processes for alternative compliance mechanisms


Implement a blended approach strategy to identify, prevent and remove barriers to accessibility through:
  • Projects to meet accessibility design and operational guidelines  where applicable
  • New projects for building exterior approach, entrance, and washroom to ensure meaningful access (consultative approach used to prioritize teaching, research, mixed teaching and research, student experience and administration)
  • New capital projects - ensure they hold a higher standard of accessibility, including RHF building features where feasible


Prioritize renovation to ensure accessibility in residences on the Agricultural Campus (AC) This recommendation is supported in the AC Framework Campus Development Plan (Agriculture Campus Master Plan)


Increase collaboration with stakeholders when planning, designing, and implementing built environment accessibility features that intersect with university, municipal and/or federal infrastructure


Review existing planned FM elevator upgrade projects to meet accessibility design and operational guidelines where feasible


Review and update existing procedures and processes to identify and eliminate accessibility barriers and better support persons with (dis)Abilities in temporary building disruptions and emergency situations during:
  • Temporary building and weather-related disruptions (procedures for snow removal, communication regarding projects and other unplanned events with accessibility impacts) 
  • Evacuation procedures - including fire alarm upgrade, expansion of accessibility scope and updates to emergency evacuation signage to meet Nova Scotia Provincial Built Environment Accessibility Standards

Documenting, reporting and auditing


Implement a process for ongoing built environment audits to assess accessibility improvements 


Develop common reporting and auditing tools, in collaboration with the Post-Secondary Accessibility Working Group (PSAWG) 


Develop a response plan, portal, process, and funding plan for additional accessibility enhancements and requests