Opening the Black Box of Accessibility Regulation

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Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to open the black box of prescriptive requirements by analysing their role in shaping interests and decisions on accessibility, and discuss the consequences hereof for a futuremove to a performance-based accessibility model based on Universal Design principles.
Design/Methodology/Approach: A single case study based on 15 qualitative interviews with clients about their approach to accessibility and Universal Design is analysed by using actor-network theory (ANT)
as the theoretical framework.
Findings: It is shown that the prescriptive requirements in the Danish building regulations constitute a black box, which is decisive in defining the clients’ perception of the users and their level of ambition for accessibility by inscribing specific expectations, actions and ways of knowing about accessibility.
Research Limitations/Implications: The study is based on a qualitative single case study. We argue that analytical generalisations nevertheless can be drawn.
Practical Implications: Performance-based regulations can be a source of innovation but also entail negative consequences for the quality of the built environment if treated in an isolated manner alone.
The paper contributes to the discussions on Universal Design and the
implementation of performance-based accessibility regulation by illustrating how current prescriptive requirements are not mere “matters of fact” but play an active role in mobilising and shaping a network of users, technologies, norms and practices, which the introduction of performance-based requirements will
radically alter.
Titel10th Nordic Conference on Construction Economics and Organization
RedaktørerIrene Lill, Emlyn Witt
Antal sider6
ForlagEmerald Group Publishing
Publikationsdato1 maj 2019
ISBN (Elektronisk)978-1-83867-051-1
StatusUdgivet - 1 maj 2019
BegivenhedCEO2019 - 10th Nordic Conference on Construction Economics and Organization : Regional markets, networks and opportunities - Tallinn University of Technology, Tallinn, Estland
Varighed: 7 maj 20198 maj 2019


KonferenceCEO2019 - 10th Nordic Conference on Construction Economics and Organization
LokationTallinn University of Technology
NavnEmerald Reach Proceeding Series


  • Accessibility
  • Building regulations
  • Clients
  • Performance-Based Models
  • Prescriptive requirements
  • Universal Design

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  • Citationsformater

    Grangaard, S., & Gottlieb, S. (2019). Opening the Black Box of Accessibility Regulation. I I. Lill, & E. Witt (red.), 10th Nordic Conference on Construction Economics and Organization (Bind 2 , s. 365-370). Emerald Group Publishing. Emerald Reach Proceeding Series