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Sanitaryware in public buildings

Some WCs must be provided for ambulant disabled people and wheelchair users in all buildings which are accessed by the public. There should be separate facilities for men and women and the needs of different ethnic groups should be considered.

The number and location of wheelchair accessible WCs will depend on the size of the building and its layout. There should be at least one wheelchair accessible WC on each floor.

WC facilities in public buildings cannot be prescribed since every building is different. But, generally, a public building should include a separate unisex facility which also incorporates sufficient access for wheelchairs. This has become known as a DOCM facility.

Five other recommended WC cubicle layouts can be used in public buildings – the details of these are shown in Building Regulations Approved Document M.

Other key points
If more than one WC facility is to be made available then a choice of layouts suitable for left hand and right hand transfer must be provided. 

In every washroom with several WC cubicles there must be at least one ambulant cubicle. The cubicle door should preferably open outwards. The cubicle needs to be 800mm wide with a clearance of 750mm from the front edge of the WC any inwards opening door must not intrude into this space. The WC must have a seat height of 480mm from the floor. There must be two horizontal grab rails and a minimum of one vertical rail.

The relationship of the WC to the hand rinse basin and other accessories should allow a person to wash and dry their hands whilst seated on the WC.

Flushing cisterns that will be used by wheelchair users should have their flushing mechanism positioned on the transfer side of the WC. The flushing lever should be operable by a clenched fist.

Bidet Toilets
An automatic shower/bidet toilet combines the functions of loo and bidet in one unit, enabling many disabled people to use the toilet unaided.

Counter top, wall mounted or semi-pedestal washbasins allow more room for a disabled person’s legs when in a wheelchair, so that he or she can get closer to wash. 

Wall-mounted washbasins are more flexible than pedestal-mounted basins as they can be installed at an appropriate height for the wheelchair user or someone using a perching stool.

Some washbasins are available with adjustable height. This is an alternative to a wall-mounted basin and may provide a more adaptable long-term solution in, say, care homes or hotels.

Urinals for adult males and children should be made available with inclusive access for wheelchair users. Two 600mm long vertical grab bars with their centre lines at 1100mm above the floor must be positioned either side of the urinal. 


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