Presentation by Stanis Smith - Board Member of the Rick Hansen Foundation
Why should the building industry concern itself with better accessibility? Arent codes good enough?
This presentation will answer both questions and will provide insight into the standard developed by the Rick Hansen Foundation that is being adopted by Public and Private Sector clients across the country and beyond. Just as LEED transformed sustainable design, our standard, named the RHFAC, is transforming accessible design from a code-minimum approach to a more aspirational and inclusive one. Major cities such Surrey, universities such as Carleton, and clients from many market sectors are adopting the RHFAC because it takes a holistic approach to accessibility, and includes recommendations for mobility, vision, hearing and other disabilities. It is worth remembering that all of us are likely to be disabled at some stage in our lives, whether due to accident or aging, and those things that make a building more accessible for people with disabilities make it more accessible for everyone. Understanding the principles behind the RHFAC will support what the Rick Hansen Foundation is trying to achieve, namely a more accessible built environment where everyone can fulfill their potential.
Stanis is a Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, former executive of Stantec, and former leader of Stantec's Buildings group and Airport group. Prior to that he was CEO of Architectura, one of Canadas pre-eminent architectural firms. He has led the design of many award-winning airport and other projects around the world, and is currently working as an independent architect. He has spoken at international conferences on subjects ranging from Universal Design and Sustainability to Airport Design and Mergers & Acquisitions. In his other life Stanis is on the Board of the Rick Hansen Foundation, and in that capacity is involved with promoting their Accessibility Certification program. He is also a classical musician with a Performers Licentiate from Trinity College London, and is on the Board of the Vancouver Opera. He is married, with two daughters, and enjoys hiking, tandem-cycling, and skate-skiing.