Section 2: Ramps

  1. Section 2

    Section 2

    Scope

    2.1 The guidance provided in this document covers internal and external ramps when they are part of the building. Additional guidance is provided in Approved Document M when external ramped access also forms part of the principal entrances and alternative accessible entrances, and when they form part of the access route to the building from the boundary of the site and car parking. See Approved Document M Section 1 (for buildings other than dwellings) and Section 6 (for dwellings).

    Appearance of ramps

    For buildings other than dwellings

    2.2 Ensure that ramps are readily apparent or clearly signposted.

    Steepness of ramps

    For all buildings

    2.3 Ensure that the relationship between the gradient of a ramp and its going between landings is as shown in Diagram 2.1.

    NOTE: A floor level with a gradient of 1:20 or steeper should be designed as a ramp.

    Diagram 2.1 Relationship of ramp gradient to the going of a flight Part K
    Diagram 2.1 Relationship of ramp gradient to the going of a flight Part K
    Construction of ramps

    For buildings other than dwellings

    2.4 A ramps surface should be selected in accordance with both of the following:

    a. Use a ramp surface that is slip resistant, especially when wet, and a colour that will contrast visually with that of the landings.

    b. Ensure that the frictional characteristics of the ramp and landing surfaces are similar.

    2.5 On the open side of any ramp or landing, in addition to any guarding, provide a kerb that complies with both of the following:

    a. Is a minimum of 100mm high.

    b. Will contrast visually with the ramp or landing.

    2.6 Where the change of level is:

    a. 300mm or more: in addition to the ramp, provide two or more clearly signposted steps

    b. less than 300mm: provide a ramp instead of a single step.

    2.7 If the soffit beneath any ramp is less than 2m above floor level, protect the area beneath the ramp with one of the following.

    a. Guarding and low level cane detection.

    b. A barrier giving the same degree of protection.

    Design of ramps

    For all buildings

    2.8 Design all ramps and landings in accordance with Diagram 2.2.

    Diagram 2.2 ramp design Part K
    Diagram 2.2 ramp design Part K

    Width of ramps

    For buildings other than dwellings

    2.9 Regarding the width of a ramp.

    a. For a ramp that provides access for people: ensure the ramp has a minimum width between walls, upstands or kerbs of 1500mm.

    b. For a ramp that forms a means of escape, refer also to Approved Document B: Volume 2 – Buildings other than dwellinghouses, B1, Section 5.

    Obstruction of ramps

    For all buildings

    2.10 Keep ramps clear of permanent obstructions.

    Handrails for ramps

    For buildings other than dwellings

    2.11 Provide a handrail on both sides of the ramp and design them to comply with paragraph 1.36.

    In dwellings and for common access areas in buildings that contain flats

    2.12 Provide all of the following.

    a. For ramps that are less than 1000mm wide: provide a handrail on one or both sides.

    b. For ramps that are 1000mm or more wide: provide a handrail on both sides.

    c. For ramps that are 600mm or less in height: you do not need to provide handrails.

    d. Position the top of the handrails at a height of 900mm to 1000mm above the surface of the ramp.

    e. Choose handrails that give firm support and allow a firm grip.

    f. The handrails may form the top of the guarding if you can match the heights.

    Landings for ramps

    For buildings other than dwellings

    2.13 Provide all of the following.

    a. At the foot and head of a ramp, provide landings which are a minimum of 1200mm long and are clear of any door swings or other obstructions.

    b. Ensure that any intermediate landings are a minimum of 1500mm long and are clear of any door swings or other obstructions.

    c. If either a wheelchair user cannot see from one end of the ramp to the other or the ramp has three flights or more then provide intermediate landings a minimum of 1800mm wide and a minimum of 1800mm long as passing places.

    d. Make all landings level or with a maximum gradient of 1:60 along their length.

    For dwellings and for common access areas in buildings that contain flats

    2.14 Provide landings for ramps, as described for stairs in paragraphs 1.19–1.22 and 1.24.

    Guarding of ramps

    For all buildings

    2.15 Provide guarding for ramps and their landings at their sides in the same way as stairs (see paragraphs 1.38–1.41).