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Creating accessible environments ­for people with vision loss

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Home > Design Needs > Exterior Design Elements > Exterior Doors > Glass Doors, Glazed Screens and Sidelights

Glass Doors, Glazed Screens and Sidelights

Three glass doors:
  • The first door is a good example of high colour contrast around the edge of a door. However, there is nothing at eye level to help identify the glass on the door.
  • The second door shows a high-contrast strip at eye level and a cross-marking pattern on the glass to aid detection.
  • The third door displays high-contrast edging and highlighting at both the upper and lower levels.

Frameless glass doors, fully glazed doors (with frames), glazed screens and sidelights can be hazardous for people with vision loss if they are not properly designed. These should be made more visible through the use of signs, logos, emblems or decorative features applied in a continuous strip across the glazing. The strip should run the entire width of the glass just below eye level, 1,350 – 1,500 mm above the finished floor. The strip should be a minimum of 100 mm wide and in distinct colour contrast from the immediate surroundings. The edges of frameless glass doors should also be highlighted with colour-contrasted strips.

It can be helpful to also add strips at a lower level, including a second strip between 850 and 1,000 mm above the ground and a third strip of 150 mm skirting the bottom of the glass panel.

Strips of highlighting on doors should be identifiable from both the inside and outside of the building under any lighting conditions. With etched or panelled glass decals, strips of contrasting colour should also be provided. Etched strips within the glass, or decals providing the same effect, don’t provide enough colour contrast to be effective.