Helping access adaptable housing
Written by Angela May Published: 2 January 2020
A new campaign is calling for all new build homes to be designed to be accessible and adaptable, to work for a lifetime and any generation.
Closomat is lending its support to the drive, re-iterating the statement by campaign organisers Age UK and Habinteg, that most people want a home in which they can spend as much of their life as possible- and a bathroom that is easy to use regardless of age and ability(1). The campaign wants the current Building Regulations Approved Document M section 4(2) to become the compulsory standard for new build homes- including to be structurally strong enough to support adaptations, and have a WC at entrance storey.
“Presently, when a home is adapted, more often than not it is the bathroom that is altered,” observes Robin Tuffley, Closomat marketing manager. “The most common adaptation therein is the WC- the seat changed, the height adjusted, grab rails added. Yet, for a nominal cost on the overall build, the home could be designed and constructed to be accessible and adaptable from the outset.
“Age UK and Habinteg put the cost of making sure doors are wide enough, the structure strong enough to bear the loads added via grab rails etc at less than £1500/dwelling(1). Even going as far as replacing a conventional WC with our Palma Vita wash & dry toilet- the only one of its kind that can be accessorised with additions such as support arms so it evolves with changing needs- still makes a negligible extra cost when you consider the average house price in the UK today is £230,000+(2).
“Remember, awareness of the hygiene benefits of wash & dry toilets are becoming increasingly understood beyond- and appreciated- the disability sector, are perceived as aspirational fixtures. Such fixtures meet certain cultural and religious practices too. So such a change not only makes the dwelling accessible and adaptable, but appropriate to a wider market, and adds a USP.”
Find out more about Closomat toilets here:
(1) Home Truths- Rebutting 10 Myths about Building Accessible Housing published by Age Uk and Habinteg
(2) Land Registry Data 08/2019