Innovative Practices 2014 on Accessibility

Certification scheme for Universal Design

The BCA Universal Design Mark (UD Mark) accords recognition to the building owners and designers who go beyond the code compliance to create user-friendly buildings. It allows assessment of projects at design stage, thereby facilitating the incorporation of UD principles from the onset of project development.

“The UD Mark Certification is a great way to get the building owners, designers and builders to achieve a well-integrated design that caters to all.”

GOH Siam Imm
About the practice at a glance
Name of Innovative Practice:BCA Universal Design (UD) Mark
Organisation:Building and Construction Authority (BCA)
of origin
Beneficiaries targeted Persons with disabilities, older persons
Approach/ model/ solution:Computer and internet learning laboratory, knowledge sharing, scientific research


  • Voluntary certification scheme launched in October 2012
  • 26 plaques were given since the launch of UD Mark Certification of which 2 were Platinum
  • 20 projects are currently being assessed
  • 5 courses on Certificate of UD Assessor (4 day duration) were conducted for about 250 architects, designers, facilities managers, project managers and builders
  • 3 courses are scheduled for 2014


With the prospect of 1 in 5 of the population being aged 65 years and above in Singapore by 2030, it is necessary that buildings are made barrier-free and user-friendly.


To support the ‘ageing-in-place’ lifestyle and an inclusive environment, the BCA launched the Accessibility Master Plan. The UD Mark is part of this and provides a 2-stage assessment process: upfront credit for the concept design and subsequent award affirmation when the development is completed. This encourages the developer and designer to think ‘Universal Design’ (UD) and accessibility at the early design stage. A UD ‘self-help’ checklist was created to make UD more tangible and easier to comprehend and implement.


The UD Mark identifies and distinguishes developments that have gone beyond meeting the minimum mandatory code requirements. It has attracted strong industry interest and buy-in as the certification enhances companies’ corporate branding. The conduct of pre-assessments allowed BCA to influence several projects at an early stage, leading to enhancements in UD/accessibility provisions. The project supports the ageing population, the rise in accessible tourism and the greater awareness of user-friendly design. There are four UD Mark ratings available: Certified, Gold, GoldPLUS and Platinum.

187_BCA UD Mark Singapore_Foto_UD MarkThe UD Mark plaque will be displayed at buildings. (photos: BCA Singapore)

Ms. GOH Siam Imm
Building and Construction Authority
5 Maxwell Road, #07-00, MND Complex
069110, Singapore | +65-6325 8611


Top marks for:
• Access to built environment

Nominated by: Valerie FLETCHER, Institute for Human Centered Design