Promoting Building accessibility through technology

Discovering how everything currently being done indoors can be done better digitally is one of the most exciting things about NavVis technology. And while many of the applications are still waiting to be discovered, there are a growing number of cases where NavVis technology is already making a meaningful difference. One such case was recently discovered when NavVis teamed up with the German non-profit organization Lebenshilfe Offenburg to help improve building accessibility for people with disabilities.

Many of us take for granted that we can walk up the front steps of our office building and arrive at our desks in time to start the working day. But for some people it’s not that easy; getting around the office can be a barrier preventing otherwise capable people from being part of the workforce. That’s one of the many reasons Lebenshilfe Offenburg focuses on promoting building accessibility. It is a crucial component for the organization to achieve its primary goal of enabling the inclusion of people with disabilities in the working world.

Lebenshilfe Offenburg has been leading by example in building accessibility, even before it introduced digital technology. At its headquarters in Offenburg, Germany, the organization had previously implemented a classic system of orientation and guidance. Developed in partnership with the Offenburg University of Applied Sciences, this system included the use of colors, braille and tactile, raised lettering to identify entrances, rooms, signs and objects.

Having recognized that technology could further improve building accessibility, Lebenshilfe Offenburg decided to collaborate with NavVis on a digital “barrier-free guidance and navigation system”, powered by the NavVis IndoorViewer. Working with the organization, NavVis mapped the support services facility and provided the scanned 3D data to enable easier, more intuitive movement within the building. For further assistance, a voice command function was integrated to be made available if required.

Visitors and users of the facilities are now able to find their way around the building using a smartphone. They can even remotely access the virtual building to get a feel for whether the building is accessible to them or if they might require assistance at any point.

Improving accessibility is one of the many benefits unlocked when buildings are digitized. In addition to a 3D visualization and digital maps, these include facility management, emergency response planning, and remote access to important building information.

Topics: Building Accessibility