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Designers Checklist of Provisions/Areas for Consideration. NB. This list is not intended to be comprehensive; it merely acts as a quick reference guide to assist Architects/Surveyors/Designers, on achieving compliance with Part M of the Building Regulations. You are advised to consider all other areas outside the scope of the Building Regulations to ensure your proposal is compliant with the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA) and the Disability Discrimination (employment) Regulations 1996.


Access Statement provided YES / NO (See separate guidance note on Access Statements – these will be required on all commercial applications).


o Provisions start at edge of the site, car parking provisions, vehicle and pedestrian accesses.
o Level approach, maximum slope of 1:60 and maximum cross fall of 1:40.
o Surfaces to be firm, durable, slip resistant, with maximum undulations 3mm in 1000mm.
o Clearly defined setting down point close to principal entrance of alternative entrance.
o Larger designated parking spaces (4800mm x 2400mm) together with 1200mm access space to end and side.
o Ticket machine location, accessibility and height of controls (Min 750mm / max 1200mm).
o Clearly define pedestrian routes, well-lit and signed using International Symbol for Access.
o Pedestrian routes protected from hazards i.e. open windows / door edges and vehicles, Blister paving at vehicle crossing points.
o Minimum path width 1500mm with passing places 1800 x 2000mm in sight of each other (or 1.8 path width throughout).


(If site constraints necessitate an approach of 1 in 20 or steeper a ramped approach must be provided).

o Ramps to be readily apparent or clearly sign posted.
o 1500mm width with visually contrasting 100mm edge kerb.
o Level landings to top and bottom min 1200mm and clear of any door swings.
o Intermediate landings min 1500mm and clear of any door swings.
o Passing places / intermediate landings (1800mm x 1800mm) where end of ramp out of sight and where 3 or more consecutive ramp flights.
o Landings to be level – max 1:60 gradient along length and max 1:40 cross fall gradient.
o Gradient between 1:12 and 1:20.
o Maximum ramp length 10m, maximum ramp rise 500mm for max gradient of 1:20.
o Maximum ramp length 5m, maximum ramp rise 333mm for max gradient of 1:15.
o Maximum ramp length 2m, maximum ramp rise 166mm for max gradient of 1:12.
o Surfaces to be durable, slip resistant and ramp slope to visually contrast with landings.
o Clearly sign posted steps required as well as ramp where rise exceeds 300mm.
o Alternative access method where total rise is greater than 2m. An external lift is to be provided.


o Clearly sign posted steps required as well as ramp where rise exceeds 300mm. o Approved Corduroy tactile warning top and bottom of stair - 800mm wide (layout as per Dia 4 A.D.M) o Treads surfaces to be durable and slip resistant.
o Level landings to top and bottom min 1200mm and clear of any door swings.
o 1200mm min surface width between enclosing walls, strings or upstands.
o Consistent rise of between 150 and 170mm – risers to be closed and of approved profile as Dia 6 A.D.M – avoid step nosing over the tread below (if necessary max 25mm). (150mm max rise and min 280mm going for schools).
o Going to be between 280 and 425mm (425mm acts as a rest platform).
o Maximum number of risers, 12 with going 350mm or less or 18 with going 350mm or more
o No single steps o Nosing and riser to visually contrast with step, 55mm contrast band
o Wider stair flight to be divided down to 1800mm wide ‘channels’ with additional handrails HANDRAILS.
o Handrail both sides, which are continuous throughout the flights, ramps and landings, visually contrasting, easy to grip: slip resistant, non-reflective and not cold to touch.
o Handrails to project 300mm beyond top and bottom landings with closed ends.
o Handrails to be between 900mm and 1000mm above surface or steps pitch line / 900mm and 1100mm above surface of landings.
o Handrail profile to be diameter between 40mm and 45mm (where circular) or Oval 15mm min radius (preferred solution) min 50mm width (refer dia 7 A.D.M).
o Max 100mm projection into surface width of steps, landings or ramps.
o Clearance of between 60mm and 75mm between handrail and any wall surface.
o Min 50mm clearance between the cranked support and the underside of the handrail.
o Inner face to be N.M.T 50mm beyond the surface width of the ramp or step access.


o Avoid hazards on access routes that could come into contact with people both at low and high level.
o Any permanent obstructions or temporary obstructions i.e. open windows / doors that project more than 100mm into the access route below 2100mm above the access level are to have appropriate guarding, incorporating a kerb or other solid barrier for cane detection.



o Accessible entrances to be clearly sign posted and easily recognisable (i.e. by using lighting and visual contrast features). Watch for obstructions such as canopies / support posts etc. Signed using International Symbol for Access.
o Obstructions and hazards outside entrance doors to be avoided – particularly non-building related items i.e. planters / sign boards etc.
o Level landing outside entrance door 1500 x 1500mm clear of door swings – surface finish non-slip and of materials that would not impede wheelchair access.
o Level threshold entrance door – max 15mm / chamfered or rounded edges.
o Weather protection to be provided for non-powered doors.
o Access systems to be suitable for deaf and hard of hearing (CCTV).
o Internal floor surfaces adjacent to threshold must suit wheelchair users / or create trip hazards. I.e. no soft matting. Mat wells must be flush with floor surface.


o Powered door solution preferred option – preferably sliding to avoid accidental collision.
o Doors to have maximum opening force at leading edge of 20N and to be held shut.
o Door furniture to be easily operated by a closed fist, visually apparent i.e. contrasting with door surface and not cold to touch.
o Door clear width measured from handle to jamb. Varies according to angle of approach. Straight approach to door – 800mm clear width / right angle approach to door with access route min 1500mm - 800mm clear width / right angle approach to door with access route min 1200mm - 825mm clear width / External doors used by general public – 1000mm clear width.
o Revolving doors not considered acceptable without additional compliant bypass doors.
o Doors and side panels to doors wider than 450mm to have vision panels provided – visibility zone between 500mm and 1500mm and if necessary interrupted between 800mm and 1150mm above floor level e.g. to accommodate an intermediate horizontal rail (refer to dia 9 A.D.M).
o Unobstructed 300mm min space on door pull side between door leading edge and wall (not to powered doors).


o Controlled by motion sensors or manual push pads / swipes etc (remember size to suit limited manual dexterity / visual impaired). Controls to be min 750mm / max 1000mm above floor / operable by closed fist / visually contrasting from background / where fitted to door leading edge side – must be min 1400mm from door edge.
o Suitable early opening and timed closing to allow disabled safe entry and exit – safety stops to prevent trapping.
o Outward opening doors – suitable audible and visual warnings to be provided to warn of door opening / shutting. Doors not to project into access circulation routes when open.
o Manual operation available or fail to open position if power fails.


o Glass doors in glass façade to have 150mm high contrast strip at door edges, and door protection if capable of being left open.
o Manifestations include additional lower level 850 to 1000mm and higher level 1400 to 1600mm, repeated on side screens. At least 150mm high if logo / sign or if decorative feature i.e. broken lines min 50mm high.
o (Supersedes Part N manifestation guidance) NB – 2 levels required.
o Manifestations should visually contrast inside and out and in all lighting conditions.
o Zone of visibility lowered to 500mm above ground level.


o Thresholds to be level but if unavoidable a maximum of 15mm, chamfered if over 5mm.
o Lobby size related to door size, door swing and footprint of wheelchair and its companion (refer to diagram 10 A.D.M). Generally 1570mm min clear space between door swings in an open position.
o Min width of 1200mm or door width + 300mm which ever is the greater (single doors).
o Min width of 1800mm(double doors).
o Lobby floors to have wheelchair friendly surface (not soft finish), be trip free and to remove water from wheels and shoes to reduce slippy surfaces within building. Mat wells must be flush with floor surface.
o Avoid distracting reflections from glazing.
o Any columns, ducts and similar full height elements projecting into lobby more than 100mm to have visually contrasting guardrail.


o Reception desk easily identifiable and wheelchair accessible - counter section 1500mm wide, max 760mm high and 700mm knee recess above floor level.
o Clear approach and manoeuvring space in front of desk 1200mm deep by 1800mm wide if there is a min 500mm knee recess to counter, otherwise min 1400mm deep by 2200mm if no knee recess provided.
o Induction loop to reception point.
o Slip resistant floor surface.


o Doors to have maximum opening force at leading edge of 20N.
o Door furniture to be easily operated by a closed fist, visually apparent i.e. contrasting with door surface and not cold to touch.
o Door clear width measured from handle to jamb. Varies according to angle of approach. Straight approach to door – 800mm clear width / right angle approach to door with access route min 1500mm - 800mm clear width / right angle approach to door with access route min 1200mm - 825mm clear width / External doors used by general public – 1000mm clear width.
o Doors and side panels to doors wider than 450mm to have vision panels provided – visibility zone between 500mm and 1500mm and if necessary interrupted between 800mm and 1150mm above floor level e.g. to accommodate an intermediate horizontal rail (refer to dia 9 A.D.M).
o Unobstructed 300mm min space on door pull side between door leading edge and wall (not to powered doors).
o Door frames to contrast surrounding wall surfaces.
o Manifestation at two levels, 850mm to 1000mm and 1400mm to 1600mm.
o Glass doors in glass façade to have 150mm high contrast strip at door edges, and door protection if capable of being left open.
o Manifestations should visually contrast inside and out and in all lighting conditions.
o Fire doors self-closing either fitted with hold open devices or free swing devices and close on activation of the fire alarm (to negate requirement for 20N opening force).


o Corridor unobstructed widths of 1200mm with 1800mm by 1800mm passing places or 1800 width without passing places.
o Passing places to be at reasonable intervals.
o Projections in to the corridor to have contrasting guardrails.
o Floors to be level – max gradient 1 in 60. Any gradients steeper than 1 in 20 to be designed as ramps. Ramps less steep than 1 in 20 to have max rise 500mm with 1500mm long rest landings.
o No door to open across the corridor (doors should be recessed back from corridor) - except a unisex toilet door where the corridor is 1800mm wide. Some minor utility cupboards can outward open i.e. small store cupboards.
o Slip resistance floor surfaces. Avoid patterns to floor coverings.
o Glazed screens alongside the corridor to have manifestation at two levels – as glazed doors above.
o Ensure wider leaf of asymmetrical double doors is on same side of corridors.
o Internal lobbies to be as external above and in accordance with diagram 10 A.D.M.
o Projections in to the lobby to be protected with contrasting guardrails.


o Passenger lifts preferred option for all buildings, however for existing buildings in exceptional circumstances a platform lift may be considered and in exceptional circumstances, in an existing building giving access to a small area with a unique function, a wheelchair platform stair lift could be considered and argued in the access statement.
o All new developments to have a passenger lift provided serving all storeys.
o An unobstructed manoeuvring space of 1500mm x 1500mm or 900mm straight access route to the lift.
o Landing call buttons located between 900mm and 1100mm – 500mm from any return wall, with raised symbols for tactile reading. Controls to have contrasting finish from background.
o Avoid dark colours to car floor and ensure floor frictional qualities similar or higher than the landing floor.
o A handrail on one wall 900mm above the floor.
o An emergency communication system.


o Lift car to be designed in accordance with Diagram 11 A.D.M. - 1100mm wide x 1400mm deep and the provision of a mirror to allow wheelchair user to see behind.
o Min 800mm clear width of opening doors – doors to have timing and re-opening activators to allow for people and any assistance dogs to enter or leave car. Doors to contrast surrounding surfaces.
o Car controls between 900mm and 1200mm.
o Audible and visual indication of lift arrival and location in and out the car.
o Avoid use of visually and acoustically reflective wall surfaces.


o Vertical travel distance of 2.0m maximum with no enclosure and no floor penetration. More than 2.0m with a lift enclosure.
o Over 3m travel a product certificate issued by a Notified Body is required.
o Continuous pressure controls located between 800mm and 1100mm and at least 400mm from any return walls.
o Landing call buttons located between 900mm and 1100mm – 500mm from any return wall, with raised symbols for tactile reading. Controls to have contrasting finish from background.
o Three platform sizes depending on enclosures and accompanied or not; 800mm wide x 1250mm deep minimum – non-enclosed platform and no provision made for wheelchair companion. 900mm wide x 1400mm deep minimum – enclosed platform and no provision made for wheelchair companion. 1100mm wide x 1400mm deep minimum – 2 doors at 90 degrees relative to each other / enclosed platform and provision made for wheelchair companion.
o Doors either 800mm or 900mm wide (for 1100mm wide x 1400mm deep platform). If possible position doors at different levels to allow forward movement in and out.
o Clear instructions are available for use.
o Audible and visual announcement of platform arrival.
o Avoid use of visually and acoustically reflective wall surfaces.
o Watch use in unsupervised environment.


o In a single stairway condition ensure clear width of stair for means of escape when the lift is parked.
o Continuous pressure controls designed to prevent unauthorised use.
o Platform size of 800mm wide and 1250mm deep with access width of 800mm minimum.


o Design as external stair dimensions.
o 12 risers maximum to a landing, but exceptionally no more than 16 in small premises where plan area is restricted.
o Rise of between 150mm and 170mm and going at least 250mm. (150mm max rise / min 280mm going for schools).
o No need for tactile warnings as external stairs.
o Provide guarding under landings less than 2100mm to prevent visually impaired walking into them.


o Design as external ramp notes above.
o Where the change in level is more than 300mm – 2 or more clearly signposted steps must be provided in addition to ramp.
o Where the change in level is less than 300mm – a ramp is to be provided instead of a single step.
o All landings to be level – subject to a max 1 in 60 gradient along their length.
o Provide guarding under landings less than 2100mm to prevent visually impaired walking into them.


o As external handrails.


(make reference to good practice guides 4.11 A.D.M for sports facilities).

o The route to wheelchair spaces is accessible.
o Stepped access required fixed handrails (see 1.34 – 1.37 A.D.M).
o Minimum numbers of permanent & removable spaces (see table 3 plus diagram 13 A.D.M).
o Provide a range of views of event.
o Minimum clear space for access to wheelchair spaces / space to be allowed for wheelchair to be 900mm wide by 1400mm deep & floor space should be horizontal.
o Allowance for assistance dog required.
o See diagram 14 or 15 A.D.M for stepped terrace design requirements.


o Access to podium or stage for wheelchair via ramp or lifting platform to be provided.
o Hearing enhancement system to be provided (see 4.36 A.D.M).


o All users have access to all parts of the facility. Including wc’s, public telephones and external terraces. Where premises contain self-service and waiter service, all patrons should have access to both.
o ALL different floor levels created by changes in floor areas for atmospheric design – must be accessible.
o Working surfaces or bar/serving counter at max 850mm above floor level.
o Shared areas / tea-making worktops to be max 850mm above floor level with a clear space beneath at least 700mm (see diagram 16 A.D.M). Water supplies to be accessible.
o Threshold between external seating area & internal facility (see 2.7 A.D.M)

SLEEPING ACCOMMODATON – Hotels, Motels & Student Accommodation. For all Bedrooms:-

o Accessible bedrooms to be no less advantageous than able bodied bedrooms – adequate space to transfer into bed and access all the room’s facilities, including wardrobe facilities.
o Width of doors / door leading edges /handles as described previously (table 2 A.D.M).
o Wardrobe / swing doors to open 180 degrees – handles to be usable by closed fist and contrast the background surface.
o Openable window controls between 800mm and 1000mm above floor level and easy to operate single-handed.
o Visual fire alarm signal to be provided in addition to audible signal.
o Any room numbers to have embossed characters. For wheelchair – accessible bedrooms:-
o At least 1 wheel chair accessible room provided for every 20 standard rooms, situated on accessible routes leading to all other available building facilities.
o To be located in a choice of locations and have standard of amenity equipment as standard rooms.
o Width of doors (3.10 table 2 A.D.M) / 300mm leading edge clearance / 20 N max opening force
o Wheelchair 1500mm x 1500mm space & transfer space alongside beds (diagram 17 A.D.M)
o Wheelchair accessible sanitary facilities (see 5.15 to 5.21 A.D.M).
o Balcony facility if provided (see table 2 (4.24 (o and p)).
o Emergency assistance alarms including re-set button and signal to central control point.
o Wide-angle door viewers located between 1050mm and 1500 above floor level to entrance door.


o Wall mounted sockets, telephone and TV sockets between 400mm and 1000mm above floor level. (Preference to lower end of scale). Sockets 350mm away from room corners.
o Permanently wired appliance switches between 400mm and 1200mm above floor level.
o All switches and controls that require precise hand movement to be 750mm and 1200mm above floor level.
o Push button type controls and easy to read.
o Pull cords for emergency alarm to be red in colour with 50mm bangles at two levels. 1 at 100mm and other between 800mm and 1000mm above floor level.
o Large push pads to general public areas align horizontally with door handles between 900mm and 1100mm above floor level and for ease of location.
o All to include on/off position and front plates to contrast visually with their backgrounds. Generally unless required for safety reason – switches and controls to be usable single handed – and all switched sockets to indicate that they are on


o Clear audible public address system – supplemented by visual information.
o Hearing enhancement in rooms for meetings, lectures, classes, performances, spectator sport or films, and at service or reception counters when situated in noisy areas or behind glazed screens.
o Specialist telephone provision to be provided for hearing impaired.
o Artificial lighting is compatible with other electronic and radio frequency installations.


(Reference to be made to details included in this section of the Approved Document).


o Bath and washbasin taps & door opening furniture capable of being operated using a closed fist e.g. lever action or lever handles.
o Visual contrast as follows: a) door furniture and door surface b) door frame and surrounding wall c) sanitary fittings/grab bars and wall and floor finishes d) wall and floor finishes.
o Light action privacy bolts designed for lack of manual dexterity and self-closers to doors – 20N max force.
o Doors to have a release mechanism capable of being opened outward in an emergency.
o Outward opening doors not to obstruct emergency escape routes.
o Fire alarms to emit a visual and audible signal. An emergency assistance alarm system operable from seated position to be provided. Alarm to sound different than fire alarm.
o Lighting controls as provisions in Section 4.
o Heat emitters screened or to have surfaces below 43 degrees Celsius.
o W.C. pans should accommodate variable height toilet seat risers
o Cistern flushing mechanism positioned on open or transfer side.


o A wheelchair accessible unisex type where only one toilet is provided in a building. Size enlarged to 2.0 x 2.2m – layout in accordance with Diagram 18 / 19 / 20 A.D.M.
o At least one wheelchair accessible unisex toilet at each location where sanitary facilities are provided.
o In separate sex toilet accommodation at least one ambulant disabled persons w.c. cubicle layout in accordance with Diagram 21 is provided and where there are 4 or more cubicles an enlarged cubicle (1.2m wide) is to be provided.


o One located near to entrance and/or waiting area in a building. o Not located in a way that compromises privacy of users.
o Located in similar position of each floor of a multi-storey building with choice of transfer layouts on alternate floors. o Choice of transfer layouts when more than one unisex toilet is available.
o Where w.c is the only one in a building the width must be increased to 2000mm to accommodate an additional standing w.c.
o Located on accessible routes that are direct and obstruction free.
o 40m maximum travel distance to an accessible toilet. Travel between floors restricted to one floor if a lifting platform is only provided.
o Minimum dimensions as diagram 18, heights and arrangements of fittings as diagrams 19 & 20 A.D.M.
o Doors to outward open – sized as previously described, with horizontal closing bar to rear.
o Heat emitters not to restrict wheelchair manoeuvring space or space beside w.c.


o Ambulant disabled people should be able to use a w.c compartment within any separate sex toilet washroom.
o 450mm diameter manoeuvring space is provided in cubicle between door swing and edge of pan.
o Minimum dimensions of compartments for ambulant disabled people as diagram 21 A.D.M.
o Compartment doors for ambulant disabled people preferably open outward.
o One low level washbasin and urinal with vertical grab bars.


For changing and shower facilities:-
o A choice of left and right hand transfers is provided, when more than one individual changing / shower compartment is provided.
o Wall mounted drop-down support rails and tip up seats.
o Sub-divisions in communal shower and changing facilities.
o Individual self contained shower and changing facilities in sports facilities in addition to communal separate sex facilities.
o Limb storage facilities for amputees.

For changing facilities:-
o Arrangements of equipment and controls to comply with diagram 22 A.D.M – min 2000mm by 2200mm size.
o Level slip resistant floor when in association with showers.
o 1500mm manoeuvring space in front of lockers.
o NOTE – For changing facilities not associated with showers, for example shop changing cubicles the dimensions and fittings as per a self contained changing cubicle need to be provided. Min clear area 1500mm x 1500mm.

For shower facilities:-
o Shower facilities as diagram 23 A.D.M.
o Minimum one accessible shower for staff in commercial developments where showers provided.
o Shower curtain operable from shower seat.
o A toiletries shelf within reach of shower seat or wheelchair.
o Level slip resistant floor when in association with showers.
o Shower terminal fittings to comply with guidance note G 18.5 and have logical and clear markings.
o Shower controls between 750-1000mm above floor level.

For shower facilities incorporating a W.C:-
o Arrangement of fittings comply with diagram 24 AD.M.
o Left and right hand transfer layouts available, when more than one shower area is provided.
o Level slip resistant floor when in association with showers.


o Arrangement of fittings as diagrams 25 & 26 A.D.M.
o Left and right hand transfer layouts.
o Slip resistant floor.
o 400mm deep bath transfer seat.
o Outward opening doors with horizontal closing bar

Building regulations Part M: review of access and facilities for disabled people

Background to the executive summary
In May 2000 the Department invited views on the provisions that Part M of the Building
Regulations makes for disabled people in buildings other than dwellings, and how they might be
improved. We were interested in feedback particularly from disabled people on the operation of the
current Part M. The responses, which are summarised in the attached report, will be used to assist
in developing detailed proposals for revising Part M as it applies to buildings other than dwellings.
The Department will need to weigh the various views expressed in the report and cannot undertake
that particular views or recommendations will be adopted, but there will be a further opportunity to
comment, probably towards the end of this or early next year, on any proposed changes before they
come into effect.

The executive summary


Study aims

The study was undertaken for DETR between January 2000 and January 2001 by The Camden
Consultancy, a grouping of independent consultants in the construction field.
The overall aim of this study was to gather ideas to form the basis of a revised Part M through an
initial consultation which would identify:

• Aspects of the existing guidance that should be clarified;
• Ways in which Part M could be extended to existing buildings;
• Appropriate building features for which guidance should be included;
• and, where possible, quantify potential benefits, practical problems or regulatory burdens.

The study was also to consider the provisions of Part T of the Scottish Building Regulations and
Part R of the Northern Ireland Building Regulations.

Outline of study method

The study used postal surveys and six seminars to gather ideas from building regulation users and
disabled users of buildings (together with their organisations and companions). Two types of postal
survey were used: 784 copies of one were sent to organisations and a few individuals known to
have an interest in Part M of the regulations. 433 copies of the other was sent in response to
requests, mainly to disabled people and groups representing disabled people. Different versions of
the questionnaires were prepared for Scotland and Northern Ireland. A total of 408 responses
(33.25 per cent) were received.

The questionnaire responses, and the 6,642 written comments, together with records of issues
raised by the 161 people who attended the seminars, provide the data which were analysed to report
the study findings. Conclusions were then drawn from these findings.

This summary deals briefly with the issues and findings and gives a short version of the conclusion
drawn in italics at the end of each section.

General issues
Regulation of disabled access and facilities: 89 per cent of those who responded to the question
thought that Part M (T&R) had been helpful and few thought that it should not continue in some
form. Many respondents wanted close co-ordination with the Disability Discrimination Act. Others
wanted better co-ordination with guidance on Planning, Fire safety and Staircases.

There were many suggestions for additions and improvements to Part M (T&R) which was often
seen as being out of touch with current thinking. Most respondents, particularly disabled people and
their representatives, have very high expectations of the revision. Even the organisations that will
design or have to pay for additional provisions are prepared for change. It is widely accepted that
from 2004 onward the DDA will bring in a new approach to meeting the needs of disabled people
in buildings used by the public.

A revision of the Regulations in the next 2 years in parallel with BS 8300 (the revision of BS 5810)
and the DDA code for the 2004 provisions will be timely and generally welcomed.

The requirement

Criticism of the requirement focused on two aspects: the word 'reasonable' and the way 'disabled
people' is interpreted.

It was felt by many disabled people that requiring only 'reasonable' provision allowed developers
and designers to .get away with less than a minimum standard of provision. Other words such as
'adequate', 'optimum' or 'best practice' were suggested. In Scotland the word 'adequate' is used
rather than reasonable but the same criticism was levelled at 'adequate' by Scottish respondents.

There is a need for flexibility in these requirements, particularly if they are applied to existing
buildings. 'Reasonable' has a recognised meaning in terms of building control and allows
flexibility. Use of another word would not be a significant improvement.

Interpreting disabled people in terms of specific disabilities was not liked and there were strong
objections to a question that suggested extending the requirement to other specified disabilities. It
was said that the 'medical' rather than the 'social' model of disability had been adopted and that in
future the Regulations should deal with the social model and concentrate on the barriers that
buildings present rather than on the impairments of building users. It was pointed out that the
provisions in Part M benefited many able bodied building users as well as disabled people.

The requirement should be revised to deal with standards of access and convenient use. The
interpretation of disabled people should be based on the DDA definition.

Existing buildings
Change of use: 82 per cent of respondents wanted Part M ( R) applied to changes of use, 15 per
cent did not express an opinion and only 3 per cent did not want Part M applied. In Scotland Part T
already applied to change of use, so the question was not asked.

The difficulty here is that change of use in Part M is principally related to fire safety and use by the
public is only recognised in 'public buildings' whereas the DDA will apply wherever goods and
services are offered to the public. Respondents wanted to see a rationalisation of the planning and
the building regulation changes of use or at least some redefinition of categories as in Scotland.
However any change in categories is a general issue for the Regulations and outside the scope of
this study. Applying just Part M to all changes of use where the DDA would apply would
considerably increase the load on building control.

Part M should apply to changes of use and its application should be taken into account when any
new use categories are considered.

Material alterations: 77 per cent of respondents wanted Part M (R) applied to material alterations,
14 per cent did not express an opinion and 9 per cent did not want Part M applied. In Scotland Part
T already applied to alterations, so the question was not asked.

A strict application of all minimum standards for all material changes of use does not make sense.
Where floors are never likely to be accessible to wheelchairs there is no need to eliminate steps,
widen doorways and provide accessible facilities but in many instances applying minimum
standards to material alterations would be sensible and would greatly increase accessibility of the
existing building stock. There are also cases where it would be sensible to widen doorways and
leave space for facilities where, for instance, a passenger lift might be added later.

Part M should apply to material alteration work but a distinction should be made between floors
that are accessible to wheelchairs, floors that could be made accessible and floors that are never
likely to be accessible.

Extensions: 64 per cent of respondents wanted Part M (T&R) applied to extensions with no
entrance at ground floor level, 23 per cent did not express an opinion and 13 per cent did not want
Part M applied. If the suggested application of Part M to material alterations is adopted there is no
reason why a distinction should be made between extensions and material alterations.

Part M should apply to all extensions as if they were material alterations.

Reasonable application of minimum standards: From the comments on many questionnaires and
from the seminars it is clear that judging what minimum standards it is 'reasonable' to require is a
key issue. Some respondents wanted the minimum standards to apply by prescription to all work
covered by the Building Regulations many others suggested limiting requirements by building size,
by use or by storey etc.

A clearer definition of what is reasonable and the involvement of disabled people themselves in
advising on the reasonable application of standards to particular circumstances would be
welcomed. Such a definition and consultation could apply to new construction as well as existing
buildings. Many local authorities, particularly in Scotland do consult access groups on significant

The meaning of 'reasonable' as applied to Part M should be spelt out either within the guidance or
in instructions to local authorities and approved inspectors. Local authorities considering refusal
or relaxation should take account of criteria based on:
• use,
• consistency,
• practicality,
• best practice,
• proportionality with size and cost,
• effective reduction of barriers,
• safety,
• reversibility in historic buildings,
• provision for extension of accessibility in the future,
• value of innovation.

Local authorities and approved inspectors should be urged to consult local or national access
organisations on significant applications and could be obliged to consult them in certain
circumstances e.g. where no level access, passenger lift or accessible toilet is proposed.

Clarification of existing guidance

Respondents were asked about the relationship of Part M to other documents and about differences
of interpretation of the Part M provisions.

• 35 per cent of respondents were aware of problems or confusion between Part M and other
legislation (in particular the DDA, Planning legislation and fire safety requirements).
• 31 per cent of differences of interpretation of Part M (in particular ramps).
• 20 per cent found problems with the overlap between the ADs (in particular B and K).
• 20 per cent thought that disabled people's interests could be better served by controls or guidance
not related to the Building Regulations (in particular the DDA and the revision of BS 5810).

There is a need to co-ordinate the guidance in DDA codes, A.Ds. B and K and BS 8300.
Explanatory cross references in Part M and in the other documents would be helpful.

Issues external to the building

Respondents to the questionnaire for organisations were asked for comments and suggested
modifications to the provisions of Section 1 of Part M.

• 46 per cent wanted to see changes in guidance on principal entrance doors,
• 40 per cent on approach to the building,
• 33 per cent on revolving doors,
• 29 per cent on handrails,
• 28 per cent on entrance lobbies and
• 25 per cent on hazards on access routes.

The main issues suggested as requiring improved guidance included:

• Tactile paving (at top and foot of ramps and not to conflict with wheelchair use)
• Ramps (level access preferred, 1 in 12 too steep, passing places on long ramps)
• Handrails (contrasting colour)
• Entrance doors (to be wider and wherever possible to be automatic)
• Revolving doors (to be avoided)
• Lobbies (larger and to have transitional lighting)
• Hazards on access routes (bollards and street furniture to be better positioned).

New guidance was called for on:
• Paved surfaces (not cobbles or gravel)
• Parking and setting down places (level parking and setting down to be provided)
• Signage (to identify the building and its entrance)
• Automatic doors ( use when possible better guidance on operation and controls)
• Opening force to operate doors (limit to be stated)
• Ironmongery (guidance needed on easily operated door furniture)
• Reception spaces (guidance needed on layout, lighting and seating).

All the above issues should be considered for inclusion in a revised Part M.

Applicants could be required to state what measures they have taken to meet performance
requirements, e.g. for parking and setting down, signage, door operation.

Circulation within the building

Respondents to the questionnaire for organisations were asked for comments and suggested
modifications to the provisions of Section 2 of Part M.

• 46 per cent wanted to see changes in guidance on doors,
• 39 per cent on passenger lifts,
• 34 per cent on wheelchair stairlifts,
• 33 per cent on corridors,
• 27 per cent on platform lifts
• 26 per cent on internal stairs.

The issues suggested as requiring improved guidance included:
• Doors widths (including width of double door leaves
• Glazing in doors (dividing bars, height and width, correlation with standards)
• Corridor widths (including space to pass and manoeuvre)
• Obstructions (in corridors)
• Lobby dimensions (for different configurations)
• Passenger lift dimensions (larger lifts)
• Passenger lift controls (tactile buttons, position of controls, voice announcements)
• Stairlifts (uses, cntrols, dimensions)
• Platform lifts (uses, controls, dimensions)
• Tactile surfaces (top and bottom of stairs and ramps and in corridors)
• Internal stair dimensions
• Marking of stair nosings
• Stair handrails (tactile indicators).

New guidance was called for on:
• The weight of doors (force required to operate)
• Ironmongery (handles etc)
• Automatic doors (controls, warning of closing, entrapment of visually impaired persons)
• Colour contrast (of handles, of door and surrounding wall and in corridors, lift controls, handrails)
• Lighting (in corridors and on stairs)
• Signage (for accessible exits, facilities, and wayfinding)
• Sliding doors (operation, space requirements)
• Lifts for emergency evacuation (use, suitable phones)
• Floor surfaces (soft carpets, slippery surfaces, ribbed stair treads).

Most the above issues should be considered for inclusion in a revised Part M.

Applicants could be required to state what measures they have taken to meet performance
requirements, e.g. for colour contrast, lighting and signage.

Facilities in buildings

Several questions were asked about issues in Parts 3,4 and 5 of Part M and the equivalents in
Scotland and N. Ireland. (The percentages here relate to the questionnaire that went to organisations
unless otherwise stated.)

• Wheelchair accessible toilets: 51 per cent wanted changes in guidance.
• Ambulant user's toilets: 30 per cent wanted changes in guidance (47 per cent of respondents to the
questionnaire for individuals said Yes when asked whether they would like to see other provisions
included for either type of toilet) (e.g. more provision and close conformity with revised standards in
BS 8300)
• Changing facilities: 34 per cent wanted changes in guidance (e.g. specific requirement for more
building types)
• Aids to communication: 38 per cent wanted changes in guidance (e.g. suiting systems to spaces)
• Spectator seating: 41 per cent wanted changes in guidance (e.g. more choice of seating ).

These provisions should be reviewed in the light of comments and the revision of BS 3800.

Performance standards and guidance should be considered for bathrooms,, rest areas, seating,
switches and controls.

Application to different building types

39 per cent of the respondents to the questionnaire that went to organisations wanted changes in
guidance on restaurants and bars (e.g. more floor area accessible). 42 per cent wanted changes in
guidance on hotel and motel bedrooms (e.g. more provision and choice of location).

Respondents were asked to suggest other buildings to which the provisions in Part M should apply.
Travel interchanges, hospitals, clinics, health centres, churches and crematoria were suggested, and
elsewhere schools, open auditoria, small spectator events and visitors centres were mentioned.

The hotel and restaurant provisions should be reviewed in the light of comments and the revision of
BS 8300.

Widening the application of the regulation could increase accessibility and the coordination for the
DDA and Building regulations but may only be feasible when the application of other Parts of the
Regulations is also widened.

Scotland and Northern Ireland

Some of the conclusions of this study do not apply to Scotland because the regulations have now
been dispersed throughout the Scottish Standards and Deemed to Satisfy (dts) Provisions. This
change has been accepted by the majority of Scottish respondents. The regulations already apply to
existing buildings in Scotland. However the definition of disability and the dts guidance from
Disability Scotland (which is less detailed than Part M ) are now seen by some Scottish respondents
to be out of date. Additions to the dts references could be considered.

The dispersed regulations should be retained.

The definition of disability should be reconsidered.

The deemed to satisfy document from Disability Scotland needs to be revised and expanded.

Northern Ireland
The Northern Ireland Regulations and the Technical Booklet for Part R are much closer to Part M
than the Scottish Regulations. The conclusions of this executive summary could apply equally to
part R. However different terminology, the illustrations of application to existing buildings and
anti-discrimination legislation will all have to be taken into account.

The conclusions for Part M should be rephrased to suit Northern Ireland and applied to Part R.

Benefits and costs
Many respondents pointed out that the benefits of the Part M provisions would be shared by other
building users; in some cases (e.g. passenger lifts) by virtually all users of upper and lower floors
and in others by a particular categories of user (e.g. mothers with small children). The benefits
should increase the efficiency and postpone the obsolescence of the building stock with an added
value being reflected in increased rents.

Some of the measures suggested for inclusion (e.g. colour contrast, floor surfaces) would have
virtually no cost implication. However the measures that provide access for wheelchair users to
buildings are costly, particularly level parking, level access, passenger lifts and accessible toilets.
Lifts and automatic doors have the added penalty of high maintenance costs. Extending these
provisions to all non-domestic refurbishment projects will have major cost implications - but also
major benefits.

There will be additional work for building control, particularly if more consultation with access
groups etc is involved (although consultation on significant developments is already routine in
many areas). The cost of training staff, checking plans and extending inspections will need to be
covered by building control fees.

The linking of the DDA Codes to the Building Regulations should also be taken into account.
Bringing new provisions into Part M (T & R) will mean that they can also be required wherever the
DDA applies, whether or not building work is being carried out (e.g. handrails on both sides of
existing stairs, wheelchair accessible controls in existing lifts). These items may not come under
building control but could apply because they would be a requirement of the regulations if a new
stair or lift was being installed. Costs brought in by this route will be hard to estimate.

For a true picture of benefits and costs, the benefits to all building users and the costs of extra work
under the DDA should be taken into account.

Form of publication

Form of publication: Respondents were asked whether the guidance in Part M (R) should be
dispersed to other related sections as has been done in the fifth amendment to the Scottish
Regulations. Opinion was divided but the majority favoured a single booklet and more cross
referencing to other sections - some saying that the time was not yet right for dispersal and that it
would be easier to promote the necessary awareness of any new provisions with a single booklet.
Those in favour of dispersal felt that a single booklet gave the wrong message by treating disabled
people as a distinct group. Complete dispersal of Part M provisions would not be easy as there is no
natural home in the current Regulations for such issues as hotel bedrooms and spectator seating.

The benefits of a single booklet for the forthcoming revision outweigh those of dispersal but in the
longer term dispersal should be foreseen. Part M could have separate sections on 'access' and
'facilities'. The 'access' section could then be integrated with Part K in a later revision.

Other issues

Increasing awareness
There are several issues affecting disabled people that should be considered and acted on when
designing buildings but where guidance on minimum standards does not seem entirely appropriate.
Communication systems and signage are examples. In both these areas Building Control will find it
difficult to ensure that appropriate measures are adopted. In both cases there are several options and
small differences in the use, size or furnishing of spaces will tip the balance in the choice of system.
Building control need to ensure that applicants are aware of the issues and have followed best
practice advice. Building control should be able to ask for an applicant's statement saying how such
issues were to be dealt with. If the response was not satisfactory, Building control could ask for
fuller details and seek advice on responses from experts and disabled people's organisations.
Training for designers at both student and practitioner level is essential and should be a principal
objective of access groups and organisations representing disabled people with incentives for
training and execution of projects.

For new buildings, changes of use and extensive alterations applicants should be asked for
statements on the provision of appropriate measures for communication systems, signage, colour
contrast, lighting, rest areas and seating.

Performance criteria and reference to advice on best current practice for these and other issues
should be included in the AD for Part M.

In response to several questions there were comments on the lack of effective enforcement of Part
M. The issue was also discussed at seminars where the related issues of 'disabled access in the
design process' and of 'pre-application consultation' were raised.

The recommendations in this report that extend the provisions of Part M will increase the problems
of enforcement. Final decisions on several aspects of disabled access are commonly made at a late
stage in design and even towards the end of the construction process. It is difficult to control such
things as ironmongery, lighting, colour contrast and the surface of external paths through the plans
approval system. If designer were to submit statements on how they intended to meet the guidance
at plans submission stage, besides alerting the designers it might be easier to pick up omissions
during inspections and to have them put right if the original intentions had not been followed.

Designer's statements on appropriate measures should be used to make enforcement more effective (see under 'increasing awareness')


The importance of management was emphasised by several respondents and at the seminars. For
some provisions to be fully effective staff need to be trained and management procedures adopted.
The relationship between building regulation provisions and management is an issue that goes
beyond Part M and applies to B, F, L, etc. In each case there is information available to the
designer which needs to be passed on to the people responsible for cleaning, maintenance repair
and refurbishment.

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