21 Dec, 2020

Government has released an amendment to the Building Regulations Approved Document M, which comes into force in January 2021.

As indicated in the amendment document the new requirement applies to the following buildings;

  • Assembly, recreation and entertainment buildings with a capacity for 350 or more people; or a collection of smaller buildings associated with a site for assembly, recreation or entertainment such as zoos, theme parks and venues for sport and exhibitions, with a capacity of 2,000 people or more;
  • Shopping Centres/ malls or retail parks with a gross floor area of 30,000m2 or more;
  • Retail premises with a gross floor area of 2,500m2 or more;
  • Sport and leisure buildings with a gross floor area more than 5000m2;
  • Hospitals and primary care centres;
  • Crematoria and cemetery buildings.

The changes do not apply where a notice has been issued prior to the 1st January 2021 and works commence within two months (works commenced prior to the 28th February 2021). Where this is not the case, the amendment will apply to all building work; new build, extension or material change of use.

The Approved Document amendment refers you to a document called BS 8300-2:2018, Clause 8.6 in particular. Here is a condensed list of guidance from Clause 8.6, regarding design;

  1. CP toilets should be located close to other managed facilities in a development. If remote from reception/ management point, the facility should have controlled access.
  2. CP toilets are in addition to (not instead of) standard and accessible toilets. A sign should be provided at the entrance to the CP toilet indicating the location of the nearest unisex accessible toilet and any baby change facilities.
  3. CP toilets should be at least 3m wide and 4m long with a ceiling height of 2.4m. (Note additional guidance, particularly for existing buildings can be sought from the Changing Places Consortium).
  4. Doorway should have a clear width of 1,000mm with a level threshold. Ideally this should open out with a horizontal grab bar. Where the door must open inward a turning space of 1,800mm should be provided to enable someone to enter before the door is closed.
  5. A full room cover overhead tracked hoist system conforming to BS EN ISO 10535. The host system should be capable of supporting a safe working load of 200kg. (Mobile hoists are deemed to restrict the flexibility and long term usage. Written instructions on use of equipment need to be displayed besides
  6. Ceiling mounted fixtures and fittings should be flush, recessed or shallow to allow free movement of the moving rail.
  7. Either a mobile or wall mounted height adjustable bench suitable for showering which can be cleaned and dried should be provided.
  8. A power operated, height adjustable washbasin should be provided to accommodate use by both wheelchair users and assistants.
  9. A peninsular WC layout should be provided, with drop down support rails either side.
  10. A retractable privacy screen (not ceiling mounted) should be provided to allow the disabled person to maintain their dignity when using the WC, as an assistant will always be present.
  11. Ventilation extract fans should be as quiet as possible in operation as their noise can cause distress to some people and can be a barrier to communication.
  12. The CP toilet should be heated, as users might be undressed and in the facility for a long period.
  13. The illuminance in the room should be maintained at 300 lux at changing bench level. Timed lighting should not be used.
  14. A CP toilet should contain, as a minimum, the fittings and accessories shown in the example layout in Figure 48 (see below).
  15. Clear instructions and notices should be displayed with any weight limits and a reminder, where appropriate, to return the hoist to the charging point.

"The changes documented in this amendment will have a big impact in terms of lost retail/ usable space and will be expensive in terms of equipment such as hoists." – Karl Guest, Stroma Building Control Technical Manager.

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