An informal survey is highlighting that accessible housing is easy for developers to build, without adding any significant cost.The survey reinforces findings from other recent reports, and growing calls for the Building Regulations Approved Document M Part 2 to become a legal compliance in new build developments.
Undertaken by Closomat, Britain's leading manufacturer and provider of accessible toilet and bathroom fixtures, the survey asked disabled people what features they would want included in accessible homes.
Almost every respondent wanted level access and wheelchair-wide doorways. Other popular requests were a ground floor bathroom/toilet (ideally including a Closomat shower/ wash dry WC), height adjustable fixtures in the kitchen and bathroom, a wetroom in place of a bathroom and potential for inclusion of a ceiling track hoist between bedroom and bathroom/wetroom.
"Most of the things people want are already in the Lifetime Homes and Category 2 housing specifications, and actually cost nothing in the overall scheme of things to provide. Most new build houses have a downstairs cloakroom now too.
All that is needed is a little thought at the design stage, to widen doorways and rethink layouts so a wheelchair can manoeuvre. Indeed, several respondents actually suggested open plan layouts, not only to ease manoeuvrability if in a wheelchair, but to enable enhanced interaction," observes Robin Tuffley, Closomat marketing manager.
"In the drive to enable people to remain at home rather than moving into care, maybe housing developers need to simply address their design. Accessibility isn't hard to build in, and, judging from what our respondent want, it isn't expensive to incorporate either."
The toilet (including WC, downstairs cloaks, bath/wetroom) accessibility can be met efficiently using a project management service available from Closomat. The leading provider of accessible bathroom solutions can survey, offer design advice, supply, install, commission and provide ongoing service & maintenance. The service is available across Closomat's product offering, including shower toilets, toilet lifters, height adjustable washbasins, shower seats, ceiling track hoists. It is fully Construction (Design & Management) compliant.
Closomat is already the 'go to' provider for accessible toilet provision in domestic and 'away from home' environments. Its website www.closomat.co.uk is acknowledged as a key resource to help take the first steps towards efficient accessibility provision, including design guidance, white papers, CAD blocks, NBS specification clauses and case studies.
The expertise within the company represents the combined wealth of knowledge amassed from 57 years' helping disabled people optimise their dignity and independence in the bathroom, at home and away.
Find out more at www.closomat.co.uk