Disability Access

Accessible Homes

Quality of life without barriers

When planning and realising an accessible living design, the focus falls not only on creating a welcoming living environment but also on tailoring the home to the day-to-day requirements of those with or without disabilities to offer a high quality of life in every living situation. Customised solutions for happy, carefree living also allows those of advancing years to continue living in their own homes as they enter later life.

ECOHAUS recommendations for consideration during the planning of an accessible home include:

  • Where possible, arrange all living spaces, bedroom(s) and a bathroom on one level or alternatively install a wheelchair-adapted lift.
  • Space to manoeuvre with wheelchair turning areas of 1.40m diameter.
  • Doors and hallways with a minimum width of 1.0m.
  • Open Plan design where possible.
  • External doors without a threshold or steps.
  • A floor-level, wheelchair-accessible shower with shower seat.
  • Wheelchair-accessible washbasin and handles on all sanitaryware.
  • Wheelchair access to the house from the garage/parking area.
  • Durable floorings with low rolling resistance, such as laminate floors or tiles.

Building Regulations – England & Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland

The relevant Building Regulations will vary dependent upon which country within the United Kingdom that the building is listed. England & Wales – Approved Document M of the Building Regulations for England & Wales (“Part M”)

Approved Document M of the Building Regulations for England & Wales (’Part M’) was revised in May 2004 to replace the 1999 edition. Part M provides guidance on design elements focusing on access to and use of buildings, highlighting elements that should be incorporated into the design wherever possible. This includes detailed guidelines for vertical circulation between levels for individuals with impaired mobility which can be found in paragraphs 3.17 to 3.49.

If you would like to read the document for yourself it can be found via the Planning Portal website.

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