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64 INTERIORS FUTURE-PROOF


It is easier than ever to future-proof the design of a stylish bathroom, so that it enables as many users as possible to optimise its functionality


to future-proof the design of a stylish bathroom, so that it enables as many users as possible to optimise its functionality from the outset. First, people need to get into the room. Doorways need to be wide enough to allow for a wheelchair, level access, and ideally the door opening mechanism’s compliant with fire regulations but still light enough to enable someone in a wheelchair to open it and manoeuvre through. Whether at home or away, the most common reason for a bathroom to be accessed is to use the WC. Simply changing the conventional WC for a wash dry/shower toilet instantly broadens its use. It actually simultaneously gives any user improved cleanliness and hygiene. It is perhaps the ultimate in accessible bathroom fixtures, addressing diverse religions, cultures and most disabilities, alongside enhanced cleanliness, wellbeing and hygiene for your ‘average Joe.’ Indeed, the RIBA age-friendly guidance cites inclusion of such equipment as exemplar. To optimise scope for all, consider too that we are not all the same height, whether or not we are walking into the room or entering via a wheelchair. Height adjustable


fixtures and fittings enable each user to set the washbasin, shower seat, even the WC and changing bench, to the most appropriate/ convenient height. With the prevalence towards obesity and ageing, manual handling is a correspondingly increasing consideration. At home or away, a ceiling track (‘X/Y’) hoist provides a safe solution that accesses every point of the room – and spaces beyond.


Hoist design has advanced: the motor units themselves look more aesthetic, they are more discreet. The systems can be installed unobtrusively, even if the ceiling and/or walls do not provide sufficient load bearing: utilisation of modern materials means slimline gantry legs are almost invisible once fitted.


Just by implementing these few elements, bathrooms and washrooms become accessible and future-proofed, addressing the needs of almost every potential user, yet still delivering a contemporary, hygienic, relaxing environment to undertake our ablutions.


Robin Tuffley is marketing manager at Closomat


WWW.ARCHITECTSDATAFILE.CO.UK


ADF MAY 2019


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