1. ACCESS TO BUILDINGS TO WHICH THE PUBLIC ARE TO BE ADMITTED
(i) External Features
Car parking requirements are set out in Appendix 2.
Pavements and Paths
- To be firm and even with a minimum width of 1.8m for intensive use, 1.5m for moderate use, and 1.2m for rarely used routes.
- A dropped and blistered textured surface at road crossing points helps wheelchair users as well as blind or partially sighted people.
- Preferred ramp gradient to be between 1:20 and 1:12.
- Non-slip handrails on both sides of ramps and steps between 900mm and 1.0m above pitch line. These should extend for 300mm on the level at either end of the steps and ramps.
- Level landing at least 1.2 sq.m outside entrance door.
- Doors should have a minimum clear opening width of 800mm, and should be easy to open by people with limited strength. Automatic doors are desirable.
- Glazed doors to be clearly identifiable as such.
- Other doors should include a visibility panel.
- All doors should be provided with a kicking plate.
- Ironmongery should be about 1m above the ground, be easily usable and clearly identifiable.
- Thresholds should be flush. If raised thresholds are necessary, maximum height 15mm.
(ii) Internal Features
- Doors to be sited for easy, unobstructed approach.
- Lobbies should be of adequate size to allow for wheelchair manoeuvre.
- Sanitary facilities should be located such that a wheelchair user should not have to travel more than 1 storey.
- A well-lit clear space in front of lift doors to be a minimum of 1500 x 1500mm.
- Lift doors to be a minimum clear width of 800mm.
- Minimum internal lift dimension is 1400 x 1100mm.
- Raised floor/level numerals, touch light controls with embossed digits and both illuminated and audible systems inside lift and at landings.
- Lift control buttons to be located between 900mm and 1.2 m above floor level.
- Corridors and circulation spaces to be unobstructed, with adequate turning space and a minimum width 1200mm.
- Projecting objects and surfaces hazardous to blind people to be avoided.
- Minimum clear opening width of each leaf to be 750mm.
- Corridor doors require vision panels
- Sited for easy, unobstructed approach.
- Door handle height of 1.0m preferred.
- Male and female or a unisex sanitary accommodation would require minimum internal dimensions 2000 x 1500mm and should be appropriately fitted out.
These notes are for general guidance only. For further, more detailed design guidance, the following publications should be consulted:
British Standard Code of Practice for Design of Buildings and their Approaches to meet the needs of Disabled People, BS 8300: 2001 British Standards Institution.
2. LIFETIME HOMES STANDARDS
New properties built to Lifetime Homes Standards incorporate 16 design standards, set out below, which help to ensure that the home is flexible, adaptable and accessible, and add to comfort, convenience and safety. Such properties meet the varying needs of a household as they may change over a lifetime or can accommodate the majority of adaptations that may be necessary with maximum ease and minimum cost.
- Where car parking is adjacent to the home, it should be capable of enlargement to attain 3.3 metres width.
- The distance from the car parking space to the home should be kept to a minimum and should be level or gently sloping.
- The approach to all entrances should be level or gently sloping. (Gradients for paths should be the same as for public buildings in the Building Regulations).
- All entrances should be illuminated and have level access over the threshold, and the main entrance should be covered.
- Where homes are reached by a lift, it should be wheelchair accessible.
2. Inside the Home
- The width of the doorways and hallways should accord with the Access Committee for England’s standards.
- There should be space for the turning of wheelchairs in kitchens, dining areas and sitting rooms and adequate circulation space for wheelchair users elsewhere.
- The sitting room (or family room) should be at entrance level.
- In houses of two or more storeys, there should be space on the ground floor that could be used as a convenient bed space.
- There should be a downstairs toilet, which should be wheelchair accessible, with drainage and service provision enabling a shower to be fitted at any time.
- Walls in bathrooms and toilets should be capable of taking adaptations such as handrails.
- The design should incorporate provision for a future stairlift and a suitably identified space for potential installation of a house lift (through-the-floor lift) from the ground floor to the first floor, for example to a bedroom next to the bathroom.
- The bathroom/bedroom ceiling should be strong enough, or capable of being made strong enough, to support a hoist at a later date. Within the bathroom/bedroom wall provision should be made for a future floor to ceiling door, to connect the two rooms by a hoist.
- The bathroom layout should be designed to incorporate ease of access, probably from a side approach, to the bath and WC. The washbasins should also be accessible.
3. Fixtures and Fittings
- Living room window glazing should begin at 800mm or lower, and windows should be easy to open/operate.
- Switches, sockets and service controls should be at a height usable by all (i.e. between 600mm and 1200mm from the floor)
Copies of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation leaflet “Building Lifetime Homes”, which sets out further advice and information, is available from Planning Services.
Detailed Guidelines can be found in:
Building Lifetime Homes – Joseph Rowntree Foundation Feb. 1997
Part M of the Building Regulations
BS 8300: 2001 – Design of Buildings and their Approaches to meet the needs of Disabled People – Code of Practice