Inclusive Design Webinar

Time: 16:00 - 17:00

Date: 15-19 March 2021


Inclusive Learning Environments for Mental Wellbeing and Neurodiversity: Jean Hewitt, BuroHappold

With such a wide spectrum of neuro profiles in society, how can we design better to ensure that no one feels distressed and everyone is able to reach their full potential – this is particularly relevant in places where learning and education takes place.

BSI have developed a new fast tracked PAS standard – 6463 Design for the mind – Neurodiversity and the built environment – Guide, to provide information for designers, planners, specifiers, facilities managers and decision-makers on design features which can help or hinder individuals with a range of sensory sensitivities.

Every designer and building manager should understand how the environment has potential to cause sensory overload, anxiety or distress and the PAS is the start of a new level of understanding, looking at everyday considerations including lighting, acoustics, flooring and décor.  Developed by a steering group of experts in the built environment, transportation, planning and neurodiversity fields, it has been 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.”

Educational environments are key to our personal development but can be a significant everyday challenge for the many people who are not neurotypical.  As technical author, Jean will give an insight into how the PAS has been developed, some of the challenges, and how it is hoped that the guidance will make a positive contribution to the design of all mainstream environments including places for education and learning.

To read more:,the%20potential%20for%20sensory%20overload%2C%20anxiety%20or%20distress.

Presentation Learning Points:

  • Understanding Inclusive design principles for learning environments
  • Why design guidance around neurodiversity  is needed and how it is structured
  • Key considerations when designing places where everyone can flourish

New Design Guide: The Future of SEND Design: Claire Barton, Haverstock and Matthew Tabram, sixfootstudio LLP

The talk will take listeners on a journey; starting with a look at historic space standards and their evolution to the present day. We will chart the development of approaches to SEND school design and look at the challenges surrounding the integration of new SEND school buildings into a mature and complex primary/secondary SEND education domain.

Using UK and International case studies, both complete and on the drawing board, we will look at recent examples of some of the most innovative approaches to building design for children and young people with special needs and we will share our current thinking, assembled from working closely with schools, parents, children and young people.

We will:

  • present a series of strategies for optimizing internal and external building/ landscape adjacencies, in the contexts of organization, operation and function
  • identify synergies between the design imperatives of climate change and the exemplar aspects of SEND accommodation
  • consider the challenge of accommodating often complex, mixed pupil/student cohorts
  • propose a synthesized design approach that meets the strictures of current space standards and modern methods of construction

The talk aims to help you gain a deeper knowledge in the following areas:

  • Understand the evolution of design for SEND and the changing space standards
  • Understand the synergies between the design imperatives of climate change and the exemplar aspects of SEND accommodation
  • Gain some insight into best practice design for complex, mixed pupil/student cohorts
  • Learning from best practice case study examples



  • Sarah Williams Principal & RIBA Client Adviser - S Williams Architects

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