On-going upgrading of facilities at Cambridge University’s Department of Physics to equip the faculty for the 21st century have headed to the toilets.

The Department, which has educated Nobel prize winners, has turned to state-of-the-art lavatory technology under the upgrade. In the Rutherford Building, it has installed its first wheelchair-accessible toilet, complete with a Closomat Palma Vita automatic shower/wash and dry toilet in place of a standard WC.

Looking like, and capable of being used as, a conventional toilet, the Palma Vita has integrated facilities which wash and dry the user instead of them wiping with paper. Its delivery of a consistent, efficient process gives greater cleanliness for all users, regardless of impairment. The Department has further chosen to add an extended douche, and touch sensitive switch for simplified operation by people with limited manual or body strength.

“We have a new student who needs specialist toilet facilities,” explained Laboratory Superintendent Peter Norman. “We needed to provide up-to-date accessible toilet facilities at the Faculty and had already installed a Closomat in the student’s accommodation, so this met both requirements.”

The Equality Act requires service providers to make reasonable changes- including to the built environment-where a disabled person would otherwise be at a substantial disadvantage. Under the 2013 Building Regulations Approved Document M, toilet accommodation needs to be suitable not only for disabled people, but for all people who use the building.

Closomat is Britain’s leading supplier of fully compliant disabled toilet solutions for in and out of the home. Its Palma Vita is the only automatic wash and dry toilet developed specifically for disabled people, and has a raft of options that enable tailoring to individual needs, initially and as those needs change over time.