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transfer between wheelchair, changing bench and toilet.

6. Privacy Screen A curtain or screen between the toilet and the rest of the room allows the toilet to be used in privacy by the disabled person or the carer.

7. Design Fittings and grab rails should be in visually-contrasting colours to the background walls. There should also be a visual contrast between wall and floor colours.

8. Floor Floor coverings should be hard- wearing and slip-resistant. Select a ‘hydrasafe’ floor covering with a floor drain for the shower/changing area.

9. Alarms An assistance alarm with internal pull cords and an external indicator will enable the user to call for assistance.

10. Access A ramp may be required or the building positioned so the entrance threshold is level with the ground. Ramps must have anti-slip handrails and colour- contrasting steps, landings and kick plates for visually-impaired users.

Doors should be wide enough for wheelchair access and be outward opening.

An experienced toilet building supplier should advise on the equipment required and the design and layout to meet all regulatory requirements and user needs.


FACILITIES Existing Building Conversions:

• Is there sufficient space to meet the size recommendations for accessible washrooms? The minimum size for a fully accessible toilet is 3m by 4m. Existing buildings may need to be extended or the facility located in a separate building.

• Does the door have a 1000mm clear width for wheelchair access and is it outward opening? Check for narrow corridors.

• Can the ceiling support a hoist system? HOW TO CHOOSE A TOILET BUILDING SUPPLIER

1. Turnkey solutions For conversions and new buildings, statutory consents are likely to be required – planning permission, Building Regulations approval and, for listed buildings, listed- building consent.

Some suppliers offer a full service, from planning approvals and groundworks to equipment installation and filling soap dispensers.

A single point of contact can help a project run more smoothly for delivery on time and budget.

2. Product quality Toilet facilities need to be hard- wearing and easy to maintain. Visit the supplier’s factory, service centre, or recent installations to assess quality.

Look for wipe-clean, hygienic surfaces and hard-wearing floor finishes. External doors should be secure and robust. Good integral ventilation is important to keep the interior pleasant.

For stand-alone facilities, choose buildings constructed from steel, which is attractive but will withstand heavy use.

Choose a supplier familiar with recommended heights of fittings,

positioning of equipment and room dimensions for standard and fully accessible toilets.

3. Site surveys Ensure the supplier visits the site to fully understand the requirements and any constraints. Vehicle access, obstructions or limitations such as overhanging trees, and the proximity of waste, water and electricity connections should be assessed.

Can the building supplier manage the connection to all necessary services, and in the absence of mains services, provide high- quality alternatives?

A supplier of portable or modular buildings will also need to consider the foundations according to site conditions, building weight and floor loads.

4. Value for money Ensure cost estimates are comparable. If the project involves more than just sourcing a toilet, does the quote include project management, groundworks, service connections, access ramps and any other fittings required to complete the accessible facility?

Does the supplier offer ongoing maintenance and a consumables refill service to keep the facility in use at all times?

TOMORROW’S FM | 51 New Accessible Toilet Buildings:

• Will the facility be stand-alone or linked to an existing building?

• Does the site have access to mains water, waste and electricity? If not, could self-contained units be installed with effluent tanks

and water bowsers?

• Is the location convenient for users and with sufficient space for a regulations-compliant ramp, if required, with a maximum 1.12 gradient?

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