3.18 The provisions of Section 3B apply only where a planning condition requires compliance with optional requirement M4(3) for a wheelchair user dwelling (see paragraphs 0.3 to 0.6).
3.19 The provisions of Section 3B apply to private entrances, other external doors and key elements within the dwelling. They also cover any associated private outdoor space, garden, balcony or private roof terrace.
3.20 In order to demonstrate that the dwelling is capable of meeting the functional and spatial provisions for a wheelchair adaptable or wheelchair accessible dwelling, furnished plan layouts that show the access zones and other provisions of Section 3B and the furniture of the furniture schedule included as Appendix D of this approved document should be provided to a scale of at least 1:100.
3.21 All the provisions of Section 3B apply to wheelchair adaptable and wheelchair accessible dwellings, except where noted otherwise.
Principal private entrance
3.22 The principal private entrance to the individual dwelling should comply with all of the following (see Diagram 3.3).
a. There is a level external landing with a minimum width and depth of 1500mm and clear of any door swing.
b. The landing area is covered for a minimum width and depth of 1200mm.
c. Lighting is provided which uses fully diffused luminaires activated automatically by a dusk to dawn timer or by detecting motion.
d. There is a minimum 1500mm clear turning circle inside the entrance area, in front of the door when closed.
e. A minimum 300mm nib is provided to the leading edge of the door and the extra width created by this nib is maintained for a minimum of 1800mm beyond A minimum 150mm nib is provided to the hinge side of the door (to allow for the fitting of a cage to the inside face of the letter box).
f. The door has a minimum clear opening width of 850mm, when measured in accordance with Diagram 3.2.
g. Where there are double doors, the main (or leading) leaf provides the required minimum clear opening width. A minimum 200mm nib is provided to the following edge of the door and the extra width created by the nib is maintained for a minimum of 1500mm beyond it.
Diagram 3.3 Features associated with principal private entrance
h. The door is located reasonably centrally within the thickness of the wall while ensuring that the depth of the reveal on the leading face of the door (usually the inside) is a maximum of 200mm.
i. The threshold is an accessible threshold.
j. Where there is a lobby or porch, the doors are a minimum of 1500mm apart and there is a minimum of 1500mm between door swings.
k. Door entry controls, where provided, are mounted 900-1000mm above finished ground level a minimum of 300mm away from any external return corner.
l. A fused spur, suitable for the fitting of a powered door opener, is provided on the hinge side of the door.
Other external doors
3.23 All other external doors – including doors to and from a private garden, balcony, terrace, garage, carport, conservatory or storage area that is integral with, or connected, the dwelling comply with provisions f. to k. of paragraph 3.22 and should have a minimum 300m nib to the leading edge of the door with the extra width created by this nib extending for a minimum 1800mm beyond it.
Circulation areas, internal doorways and storage
Hall and door widths
3.24 To facilitate wheelchair movement into and between rooms, internal halls and doors should comply with all of the following (see Diagram 3.4).
a. The minimum clear width of every hallway, approach or landing is 1050mm.
b. Where the approach to a doorway is not head-on, the minimum clear width of the hallway or approach is 1200mm.
c. Any localised obstruction, such as a radiator, does not occur opposite or close to a doorway or at a change of direction and is no longer than 2m in length, as shown in Diagram 3.4.
d. Every door has a minimum clear opening width of 850mm, irrespective of the direction of entry, when measured in accordance with Diagram 3.2.
e. Where an outward opening door is located close to a corner and another door is located on the return wall within 800mm of that corner, the leading edge of the outward opening door is a minimum of 800mm from the corner, as shown in Diagram 3.5, unless a 1500mm turning circle is provided immediately outside the door.
f. A minimum 300mm nib is provided to the leading edge of every door.
g. A minimum 200mm nib is provided to the following edge of every door.
NOTE 1: The provisions of paragraph 3.24 do not apply to:
- cupboards unless they are large enough to be entered, or
- en-suite bathrooms or showers that are additional to the provisions of paragraphs 3.41 to 3.43.
NOTE 2: Double doors effectively provide nibs where each leaf is a minimum of 300mm wide.
Diagram 3.4 Minimum door and hall widths and restrictions on localised obstructions
Diagram 3.5 Outward opening doors in a corner
Wheelchair storage and transfer space
3.25 To enable a person to charge and store up to two wheelchairs and transfer between an outdoor and an indoor wheelchair, a dwelling should have a storage and transfer space which complies with all of the following.
a. A minimum 1100mm deep by 1700mm wide space is available on the entrance storey, preferably close to the principal private entrance.
b. Is accessible from a space that has a minimum clear width of 1200mm, as shown in Diagram 3.6.
c. A power socket is provided within the space.
d. In wheelchair adaptable dwellings the storage and transfer space may be used for another purpose such as general storage (and doors fitted if required) provided that:
- the provisions of paragraph 3.25 can be met without alteration to structure or services, and
- the space is additional to the minimum requirements for storage, living spaces and bedrooms set out in paragraphs 3.26, 3.31 and 3.35.
Diagram 3.6 Wheelchair storage and transfer space
General storage space
- To make adequate provision for the storage of household items, general built-in storage space should comply with Table 3.
Table 3.1 Minimum area of general built-in-storage
NOTE: For the purposes of Table 3.1, include areas with reduced headroom as follows:
- headroom between 900mm and 1500mm: at 50% of its area
- lower than 900mm: do not count.
The full area under a stair that forms part of the storage provision should be counted as 1m2.
Through-floor lifting device provision
3.27 To ensure that provision can be made for a wheelchair user to access to all parts of a dwelling on more than one floor level, the dwelling should comply with either the requirements of paragraph 3.28 for a wheelchair adaptable dwelling or 3.29 for a wheelchair accessible dwelling.
3.28 Where the dwelling is defined as wheelchair adaptable, it should be easy to install a The space for the liftway can, however, be used for another purpose (such as storage or part of a habitable room) providing it is demonstrated that the dwelling complies with all of the following.
a. Any floors, walls and doors that have been installed to allow the potential liftway to be used as storage or for other purposes could be easily removed without structural alteration.
b. Future provision for the liftway is a minimum of 1100mm wide and 1650mm long internally linking circulation areas at every floor level of the dwelling.
c. Where walls forming the liftway enclosure are not initially installed, they can be easily reinstated without the need for structural works and would not compromise compliance with this or any other part of the Building Regulations.
d. Drawings demonstrate how all the provisions of paragraph 3.29 can be complied with if a suitable lifting device is fitted in the future.
e. The space for the future lift installation is not used to meet other requirements and in particular is not included in the minimum living, kitchen and eating area set out in paragraph 3.31.
3.29 Where the dwelling is defined as wheelchair accessible, a suitable through-floor lift or lifting platform should be installed and commissioned and the dwelling should comply with all of the following.
a. There is a continuous liftway a minimum 1100mm wide and 1650mm long internally linking every floor level of the dwelling.
b. The liftway can be entered from the same one of its narrower ends at every floor level.
c. A minimum 1500mm clear turning circle, clear of the liftway door when open at 90 degrees, could be provided in front of the liftway door at every floor level, as shown in Diagram 3.7.
d. A power socket, suitable for powering the lifting device, is provided close to the liftway.
e. The shaft is positioned to allow the lift to run between the circulation areas in every storey of the dwelling (irrespective of the number of storeys).
f. Lifting devices should be positioned with the end opposite to the entry point located against a wall at every floor level.
g. Doors are power operated.
NOTE: In a two storey dwelling the requirement can typically be met by a home lift to BS 5900 or lifting platforms to BS EN 81-41. A lifting platform may require a larger liftway than stated in paragraph 3.29 and may also require a three-phase power supply.
Diagram 3.7 Access to through floor lift
Private stairs and changes of level within the dwelling
3.30 An ambulant disabled person should be able to move within, and between, It should also be possible to fit a stair-lift to the stairs from the entrance storey to the storey above (or the storey below where this contains the bathroom required by the provisions of paragraph 3.41). The dwelling should comply with all of the following.
a. Access to all rooms and facilities within the entrance storey is step-free.
b. There are no changes of level within any other storey.
c. The stair from the entrance storey to the storey above (or below) and any stair within the storey above (or below) has a minimum clear width of 850mm when measured at 450mm above the pitch line of the treads (ignoring any newel post).
d. A power socket suitable for powering a stair-lift is provided close to the foot or head of any stair to which a stair lift may be fitted.
e. All stairs meet the provisions of Part K for private stairs.
3.31 To provide usable living spaces that have a convenient, step-free relationship between the living space, WC and principal private entrance, living areas should comply with all of the following.
a. The principal living area is within the entrance storey.
b. The minimum combined internal floor area of living, dining and kitchen space meets the provisions of Table 3.2.
c. Glazing to the principal window of this living area starts a maximum of 850mm above floor level or at the minimum height reasonable in achieving compliance with the provisions of Part K for guarding to windows.
Table 3.2 Minimum combined floor area for living, dining and kitchen space
Kitchen and eating areas
3.32 The relationship between the kitchen, dining and living areas should be convenient and step-free. Kitchen and eating areas should comply with all of the following.
a. The kitchen and principal eating area are within the same room, or connected to each other, and located within the entrance storey.
b. There is a minimum clear access zone 1500mm wide in front of, and between, all kitchen units and appliances.
3.33 Where the dwelling is defined as wheelchair adaptable, in addition to the provisions of paragraph 3.32, the kitchen should comply with all of the following.
a. The overall length of kitchen worktop meets at least the provisions of Table 3.3.
b. Drawings demonstrate how the kitchen could be easily adapted to meet the provisions of paragraph 3.34 and Table 3.4 at a future date without compromising the space in any other part of the dwelling and without the need to move structural walls, stacks or concealed drainage.
Table 3.3 Minimum length of kitchen worktop, including fittings and appliances, to be fitted at completion for a wheelchair adaptable dwelling
Diagram 3.8 Example of wheelchair accessible kitchen layout
3.34 Where the dwelling is defined as wheelchair accessible, in addition to the provisions of paragraph 3.32, the kitchen should comply with all of the following (see in Diagram 3.8).
a. The overall length of kitchen worktop meets the provisions of Table 3.4.
b. The worktop includes a continuous section that incorporates a combined sink and drainer unit and a hob, and all of the following.
- The section of worktop is a minimum 2200mm long.
- The section of worktop is either a height adjustable worktop, or is a fixed section capable of being refixed at alternate heights.
- There are no fixed white goods (appliances) placed beneath this section of worktop.
- This section of worktop provides clear and continuous open leg space underneath (capable of achieving a minimum of 700mm clearance above floor level).
c. The sink is not more than 150mm deep with insulation to the underside to prevent scalding of a wheelchair user’s legs.
d. Taps should be lever operated and capable of easy operation.
e. A suitable space has been identified for a built-in oven (with its centre line between 800mm and 900mm above floor level) to be installed.
f. A pull out shelf is provided beneath the oven enclosure.
g. There is a minimum of 400mm of worktop to at least one side of the oven and fridge or fridge freezer where this is taller than the worktop height (or to one side of a pair of tall appliances where they are located together at the end of a run).
h. Water supply to sinks includes isolation valves and flexible tails.
i. Drainage is either flexible, or is fixed but easily adaptable to suit worktop heights between 700mm and 950mm above finished floor level.
Table 3.4 Minimum length of kitchen worktop, including fittings and appliances, to be fitted at completion for a wheelchair accessible dwelling
3.35 One bedroom should be close to an accessible bathroom suitable for a wheelchair All other bedrooms should be accessible to a wheelchair user. Bedrooms should comply with all of the following.
a. Every bedroom can provide a minimum clear access route, 750mm wide, from the doorway to the window.
b. Every bedroom can provide a minimum 1200mm by 1200mm manoeuvring space inside the doorway, clear of the bed and the door (when the door is in the closed position).
c. The ceiling structure to every bedroom is strong enough to allow for the fitting of an overhead hoist capable of carrying a load of 200kg.
d. A principal double bedroom is located on the entrance storey, or the storey above (or below) the entrance storey, has a minimum floor area of 13.5m2 and is a minimum of 3m wide clear of obstructions (e.g. radiators).
e. The principal double bedroom can provide a minimum 1000mm wide clear access zone to both sides and the foot of the bed and in front of all furniture, and a minimum 1200mm by 1200mm manoeuvring space on both sides of the bed (see Diagram 3.9).
f. Every other double (or twin) bedroom has a minimum floor area of 12.5m2 and is a minimum of 3m wide.
g. Every other double bedroom can provide a 1000mm wide clear access zone to one side and the foot of the bed, and in front of all furniture.
h. All single and twin bedrooms provide a minimum 1000mm clear access zone to one side of each bed and in front of all furniture.
i. Every single bedroom has a minimum floor area of 8.5m2 and is at least 2.4m wide.
NOTE 1: When demonstrating compliance with these provisions, bed sizes and furniture should comply with the requirements of the furniture schedule in Appendix D.
NOTE 2: The loading for strengthened ceilings is considered suitable for many types of adaptations but additional localised strengthening may be required to support high point loads at the time that adaptations are fitted.
Diagram 3.9 Clear access zones and manoeuvering spaces to principal bedroom
3.36 Dwellings should provide suitable WC and washing Reasonable provision will vary depending on whether dwellings are wheelchair adaptable or wheelchair accessible. To provide suitable and convenient sanitary facilities, a dwelling should comply with all of the following.
a. WC facilities are provided which comply with the relevant requirements of paragraphs 3.37 to 3.40, and bathroom facilities are provided which comply with the relevant requirements of paragraphs 3.41 to 3.43.
b. Any dwelling with four or more bedspaces provides access to a minimum of two WCs in separate bathrooms or WC/cloakrooms (see Table 3.5).
c. Every room that contains an installed level access shower is constructed as a wet room.
d. All walls, ducts and boxings to every WC/cloakroom, bath and shower room are strong enough to support grab rails, seats and other adaptations that could impose a load of 1.5kN/m2.
e. The ceiling structure to bathrooms and WC/cloakrooms required by paragraphs 3.36 to 3.40 is strong enough to allow for the fitting of an overhead hoist capable of carrying a load of 200kg.
f. Where sanitary facilities are wheelchair accessible, WC flush controls are positioned on the front of the cistern on the transfer side and can be easily gripped, e.g. a lever flush handle.
g. Where sanitary facilities are wheelchair accessible, WC pans should be a minimum of 400mm high.
h. Where sanitary facilities are wheelchair accessible, basins and sinks should be wall hung (typically with their rim 770-850mm above finished floor level) and the clear zone beneath basins, services and pedestals is maximised to enable wheelchair users to Ideally this clear zone should be in the range 400-600mm from finished floor level.
i. Stacks or soil and vent pipes should only be positioned adjacent to WC where there is no practical alternative and should always be on the wall side of the WC.
NOTE 1: The loading for strengthened walls is considered suitable for many types of adaptations but additional localised strengthening may be required if adaptations are fitted that impose high point loads.
NOTE 2: The provisions of paragraph 3.36 do not apply to sanitary facilities that are additional to the provisions of paragraphs 3.36 to 3.40.
NOTE 3: For the purposes of establishing number of bedspaces relevant to these requirements, a bedroom at or above 8.5m2 and below 12.5m2 in size is counted as one bedspaces, and equal to or greater than 12.5m2 as two bedspaces.
Table 3.5 Summary of minimum requirements for sanitary provision in typical dwelling types
WC facilities on the entrance storey
3.37 To make suitable and convenient provision for a wheelchair user to use a WC, the dwelling should comply with all of the following.
a. Every dwelling has, on the entrance storey, a wet room (which may be a WC/cloakroom or a bathroom) that contains a WC, a basin and an installed level access shower and complies with the requirements of either paragraph 3.38 or 3.39.
b. Where the dwelling provides both a bathroom and a WC/cloakroom on the same storey, the WC facility need only comply with the requirements of paragraph 3.40.
c. The door to the WC facility opens outwards.
3.38 Where the dwelling is defined as wheelchair adaptable, WC facilities should also comply with all of the following.
a. The WC, basin and shower (and their associated clear access zones) meet the provisions in Diagram 3.10. An example of a compliant design is shown in Diagram 3.12.
b. It is demonstrated how the WC/cloakroom could be easily adapted in future to meet the provisions of paragraph 3.39.
Diagram 3.10 Sanitary fittings associated clear access zones and permitted encroachment of basins – wheelchair adaptable
3.39 Where the dwelling is defined as wheelchair accessible, WC facilities should also comply with all of the following.
a. The WC, basin and shower (and their associated clear access zones) meet the provisions in Diagram 3.11. Examples of compliant designs are shown in Diagram 3.12.
Diagram 3.11 Sanitary fittings, associated clear access zones and permitted encroachment of basins – wheelchair accessible
Diagram 3.12 Example of wheelchair adaptable WC/cloakroom layout with potential to be wheelchair accessible
3.40 Where the dwelling provides both a bathroom and a WC/cloakroom on the same storey, the WC and basin in the WC/cloakroom (and their associated clear access zones) should as a minimum comply with the provisions shown in Diagram 3.13. Examples of compliant designs are shown in Diagram 3.14.
Diagram 3.13 Sanitary fittings associated access zones and permitted encroachment of basis for second WC/cloakroom where on same floor level as first WC
Diagram 3.14 Examples of compliant second WC/cloakrooms where on the same floor level as the first WC
3.41 To make suitable and convenient provision for a wheelchair user to bathe or use a wheelchair accessible shower, with assistance where necessary, the dwelling should comply with all of the following.
a. Dwellings with up to four bedspaces should have as a minimum a bathroom that contains a WC, a basin and an installed level access shower with the potential for a bath to be installed above it (unless a bath is provided in addition to the installed level access shower within this bathroom or elsewhere on the same storey).
b. The bathroom containing the installed level access shower should be located on the same storey as the principal double bedroom described in paragraph 3.35.
NOTE 1: In dwellings with five bedspaces or more, where the provisions of paragraphs 3.42 or 3.43 are satisfied by providing both a bathroom and a shower room, either room (but not both) may be an en-suite bathroom.
NOTE 2: Where there is a fully accessible shower room on the same storey as the principal bedroom, a separate room providing the bath need only comply with the requirements set out in paragraph 2.29 for a Category 2 bathroom.
NOTE 3: In dwellings with up to four bedspaces it would be reasonable for a bath to be fitted above the installed level access shower at the point that the works are completed.
3.42 Where the dwelling is defined as wheelchair adaptable, it is assumed that most commonly a bath will be installed over a useable level access shower, though this is not a requirement. Wheelchair adaptable bathrooms should also comply with all of the following.
a. The WC, basin, bath and shower (and their associated clear access zones) meet at least the provisions shown in Diagram 3.10. Examples of compliant designs are shown in Diagram 3.15.
b. Drawings illustrate how the bathroom could be easily adapted in future to meet the provisions for a wheelchair accessible bathroom set out in paragraph 3.43 (but need only show either a bath or level access shower, not both).
3.43 Where the dwelling is defined as wheelchair accessible, the bathroom should also comply with all of the following.
a. The WC, basin, bath (where provided) and shower (and their associated clear access zones), meet the provisions in Diagram 3.11. Examples of compliant designs are shown in Diagram 3.16.
b. In dwellings with up to four bedspaces, an installed level access shower is provided as the default but a bath can be accommodated as an alternative if required.
c. In dwellings with five bedspaces or more, both a useable bath and an installed level access shower are provided (either in one bathroom or in more than one bathroom on the same storey as the principal bedroom). Examples of bathrooms with shower and bath are provided in Diagram 3.17.
d. The level access shower is positioned in a corner to enable a shower seat to be fitted on one wall, with shower controls fitted on the adjacent wall.
e. The bathroom (or bathrooms) provides a minimum 1500mm clear turning circle.
Diagram 3.15 Examples of wheelchair adaptable bathroom layouts with potential to be wheelchair accessible
Diagram 3.16 Examples of wheelchair accessible bathrooms
Diagram 3.17 Examples of wheelchair accessible bathrooms with both bath and shower
Services and controls
3.44 To assist wheelchair users who have reduced reach, services and controls should comply with all of the following.
a. Consumer units should be mounted so that the switches are between 1350mm and 1450mm above floor level.
b. Switches, sockets, stopcocks and controls, except controls to radiators, are located with their centre line 700-1000mm above floor level and a minimum of 700mm (measured horizontally) from an inside corner, and are not positioned behind appliances.
c. Kitchen appliances in wheelchair accessible dwellings have isolators located within the same height range.
d. The handle to at least one window in the principal living area is 700-1000mm above floor level, unless fitted with a remote opening device that is within this height range.
e. Handles to all other windows are 450-1200mm above floor level, unless the window is fitted with a remote opening device that is within this height range.
f. Door handles, locks, latches and catches are both:
• easy to grip and use, and
• fitted 850-1000mm above floor level.
g. Light switches are on individual plates unless wide rocker or full plate fittings are provided.
h. Switches to double socket outlets are located at the outer ends of the plate (rather than in the centre).
i. A door entry phone with remote door release facility is provided in the main living space and the principal bedroom.
j. Suitable provision is made in the principal bedroom to install bedhead controls in the future (comprising a 2-way light switch, telephone and broadband socket, TV aerial and power socket outlets, and the door entry phone provision described above, grouped adjacent to the head of the bed), for example, by providing blank sockets, conduit and draw wires.
k. A main electrical power socket and a telephone point are provided together in the main living space.
l. Taps and bathroom controls are suitable for a person with limited grip to operate and for single handed operation.
m. Boiler timer controls and thermostats are either mounted 900-1200mm above finished floor level on the boiler, or separate controllers (wired or wireless) are mounted elsewhere in an accessible location within the same height range.
n. In wheelchair accessible dwellings, radiator controls are mounted 450-1000mm above floor level.
Private outdoor space
3.45 To enable a wheelchair user to use every private outdoor space that is provided, whether a private garden, balcony or roof terrace, outdoor space should comply with all of the following.
a. Every outdoor space both:
• has a minimum clear width of 1500mm, and
• provides a minimum 1500mm level clear turning circle, free of any door swing.
b. There is a level or gently sloping path with a minimum clear width of 1050mm to every private refuse, recycling, cycle or other external store.
c. Every path terminates in a clear turning circle a minimum of 1500mm in diameter.
d. Every gate (or gateway) has a minimum clear opening width of 850mm, a minimum 300mm nib to the leading edge and a minimum 200mm nib to the following edge.
e. The door to every private external store that is integral with, or connected to, the dwelling has a minimum clear opening width of 850mm.
f. All paved areas have a suitable ground surface.