Kelvin Grimes, away from home project manager at Clos-o-Mat

How can the British Standard for Inclusion be revised to meet the needs of the majority?

  • 28 Jun 2017

  • Share

Clos-o-Mat’s away from home project manager, Kelvin Grimes, challenges the British Standard for Inclusion’s approach to away from home toileting.

Currently under revision, the British Standard for accessibility and inclusion in buildings (BS8300) provides good practice guidelines for architects, contractors and installers working on buildings with public access. 

However, as far as away from home toilets are concerned, the British Standard is actually being exclusive.  

Excluding wheelchair users 

The British Standard assumes that wheelchair users can manoeuvre themselves and use a WC independently, without the help of a carer.  However, it has been officially stated that Changing Places toilets – which are at least 3m x 4m and feature adult-height adjustable changing benches, ceiling track hoists, privacy screens and a shower – have not been designed for use by independent wheelchair users.

While some wheelchair users may be independent, they may also have larger-than-average wheelchairs, in which case they will be unable to access conventional wheelchair-accessible toilets. 

Wheelchair users may be too heavy for their carers to lift, highlighting the need for the kind of hoists offered by Changing Places toilets.  At 3m x 4m,  a compliant Changing Places is more than wide enough to accommodate the 1.8m turning circle of a bariatric wheelchair.

Changing Places toilets offer inclusion for all

An inclusive society?

One of the reasons Changing Places campaigners are frequently given as to why a venue won’t install a facility is the space requirement in addition to conventional wheelchair accessible toilets.

If we are to become a truly inclusive, accessible society, we need to start by designing a toilet facility that meets the needs of the majority in the first instance. 

Current Regulations say that where space is limited for any toilet provision, then a unisex wheelchair-accessible toilet should be provided. We need to review the whole toilet provision: from the outset, a 3m x 4m unisex wheelchair-accessible WC with a hoist, changing table(s), privacy screen should be required. 

Additional toilets – such as separate male, female, baby change and ambulant disabled facilities – can be added as space and budgets allow.

It is true that you can’t please everyone all the time. But, as we are supposed to live in an inclusive society, we should be fundamentally changing our approach to providing accessible toileting.  

Wouldn’t it be better to go back to the starting point, instead of tweaking what exists, with the review of BS8300?

Contact:

Closomat
Building 1, Brooklands Place,
Brooklands Road,
Sale,
Cheshire,
M33 6SD,
United Kingdom

Visit Closomat's website

Leave a Reply

More articles

SFS INTEC

Help and support from SFS seminar

A new seminar by door hinge manufacturer SFS Intec is designed to extend its technical support for architects, interior designers and fit-out contractors.

Posted in Articles, Building Industry Events, Building Industry News, Door sets, Doors, Doors & Gates, Exhibitions and Conferences, Posts, Seminars

  • Share
Kingspan TEK Building System at RHS Wisley

Kingspan TEK Building System erected at RHS gardens

A new office building has been constructed at the Royal Horticultural Society’s Wisley-based gardens, using the Kingspan TEK Building System of SIPs.

Posted in Building Products & Structures, Building Systems, Industrial, Portable, Modular & Prefabricated Buildings, Roof Installation & Maintenance, Roofs, Walls

  • Share
Pressential PR - Studor Ltd press release - Tec-Vent

Updated Tec-Vent from Studor sure to interest

Studor, the world leader in drainage ventilation, has updated the Tec-Vent fire retardant Air Admittance Valve (AAV).

Posted in Articles, Drainage, Drainage, Footings & Piling, Drainage, Guttering, Soffits & Fascias, Innovations & New Products, Pipes & Fittings, Posts, Taps and Valves, Valves, Ventilation

  • Share
rehau logo

Window companies reliant on timber may need rethink says REHAU director

A director of uPVC window specialists REHAU has said its timber counterparts in the industry may need to re-assess their use of the material.

Posted in Articles, Building Industry News, Glass, Innovations & New Products, Posts, Research & Materials Testing, Sustainability & Energy Efficiency, Timber Buildings and Timber Products, Timber Windows, uPVC windows, Windows

  • Share