Building specialist disability accommodation (SDA) means achieving the perfect blend of ensuring that you’re meeting the SDA design standards for the design category you wish to enrol your property in, while achieving functionality and aesthetic appeal for the tenants.
Breakout rooms have been introduced under the latest design standard for the ‘Robust’ SDA design category. Here’s what you should know if you’re building or investing in a Robust SDA property.
What does the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) require for Robust builds?
The Robust design category is specifically suited to NDIS participants who may experience complex behaviours. While the dwellings approved under the Robust category incorporate a reasonable level of physical access, the design aims to reduce harm to the SDA participant who occupies the home and reduce the likelihood of reactive maintenance by using resilient materials. Laminated glass, high-impact wall lining and secure windows, external doors and external areas are all standard features in a Robust home.
Initially designed with adequate space to reduce harm to other residents and staff, such as NDIS service providers, the design standard now incorporates a breakout room.
What is a breakout room?
Breakout rooms are separate rooms within specialist disability accommodation designed to respond to the participant’s needs. The rooms are designed to provide opportunities for learning, relaxation or exploring — often, these rooms house lighting and sound equipment to support appropriate activities for the participants.
Are breakout rooms and seclusion rooms the same thing?
No, breakout rooms and seclusion rooms are designed for different purposes. Seclusion rooms aim to provide sole confinement for a person that is agitated or distressed and requires separation for a short period of time.
Seclusion rooms also work to provide a safe haven for NDIS service providers or other residents who may need to isolate themselves from periods of challenging or complex behaviours.
Do all specialist disability accommodation properties have breakout rooms?
Of the four SDA design categories, a Robust SDA is the only design category that requires a breakout room. Across the other design categories, however, there are different requirements. For example, in the fully accessible design category, there needs to be a clear opening width door, a high level of assistive technology and emergency power solutions as standard.
The National Disability Insurance Scheme regularly updates its website to cover changes to the design standard. If you’re an SDA provider or prospective SDA investor, then understanding how changes or amendments to the SDA design category standards apply to your build or design plans is crucial in ensuring that your project remains SDA-compliant and that you have sufficient financing for your project.
Ensuring you can finance a build that exceeds the design standard
Regardless of which SDA design category you opt to invest in, whether it’s Improved Liveability, High Physical Support, Fully Accessible or Robust, your investment works to provide suitable housing and achieve independent living for Australians with significant functional impairment. It’s for this reason that dwellings ought to be appealing and functional, as well as compliant.
At NDIS Loan Experts, we provide expertly tailored finance solutions to suit NDIS property investment. Talk with us about your unique financing needs so that we can help you make a difference in the life of an Australian with disability.