In the developing world, Botswana has experienced one of the fastest rates of development in construction. However, it is evident that the building codes that are applied pay minimal attention to designing buildings that are easily accessible to occupants with mobility problems and that are also easy to evacuate. According to the statistics, at least 10 per cent of the Botswana population experience some kind of disability. It has been of primary concern to the government to assume the responsibility and care of disabled people. Such responsibility would include the provision of an environment within which disabled people could move freely, particularly in urban areas. This paper discusses some loopholes in current building design approaches and presents a framework for design that incorporates a measure of the ability of building occupants to move during an emergency; when quick and planned movement is often necessary. This framework, based on the evacuation performance index concept developed by the authors, provides a useful tool that links the design of buildings to the movement requirements of both disabled and able-bodied populations. With the present rate of construction in Botswana, significant changes in design are inevitable. The framework described makes allowances for any given change in design that might occur in this field.