Accessible, adaptable bathrooms
Written by Angela May Published: 3 September 2019
As the Government is urged to make accessible, adaptable housing mandatory within Local Plans, public and private sector housing developers are being offered a simple way to achieve it.
Leading social provider Habinteg is lobbying the Government to ensure more new homes meet the Building Regulations Approved Document M4(2) baseline. It points out that currently only 7% of homes in England meet the basic ‘visitable’ criteria, yet there are almost 14million disabled people in the UK.
Closomat says it is not hard for homes to be built to meet the M4(2) criteria, especially in the bathroom. “The bathroom is perhaps the most important room in a home that is accessible,” says Robin Tuffley, Closomat marketing manager. “It is the room most frequently adapted, and the toilet the fixture most commonly altered. Yet a little thought at the initial design stage, and little extra cost during construction, could ensure it is both appropriate for all occupants’ needs, even if those needs are different, and easily adaptable.
“Tiny changes to a design before a brick is laid - level access, space to manoeuvre a wheelchair, a peninsular WC, walls strong enough to support grab rails under load- can make it a bathroom fit for life, and deliver new housing that meets the needs of our increasingly elderly and disabled population- now, and for the future. That saves money in the long term, reducing the requirement for retrospective, disruptive and often compromised, alteration and adaptation.”
Closomat has produced a simple quick reference guide that highlights key areas to consider in the bathroom in accessible housing. The guide can be downloaded free of charge here:
Habinteg has further produced a “mythbusting” guide, to accessible housing which can be found here: https://www.closomat.co.uk/images/downloads/campaigner-resources/housing-age-uk-mythbuster-apr-19.pdf