Helping access adaptable housing

Housing Tue, Jan 7, 2020 3:44 PM

A new campaign is calling for all new build homes to be designed to be accessible and adaptable, to work for a lifetime and any generation.

Closomat is lending its support to the drive, re-iterating the statement by campaign organisers Age UK and Habinteg, that most people want a home in which they can spend as much of their life as possible- and a bathroom that is easy to use regardless of age and ability.

The campaign wants the current Building Regulations Approved Document M section 4(2) to become the compulsory standard for new build homes- including to be structurally strong enough to support adaptations, and have a WC at entrance storey.

“Presently, when a home is adapted, more often than not it is the bathroom that is altered,” observes Robin Tuffley, Closomat marketing manager. “The most common adaptation therein is the WC- the seat changed, the height adjusted, grab rails added. Yet, for a nominal cost on the overall build, the home could be designed and constructed to be accessible and adaptable from the outset.

“Age UK and Habinteg put the cost of making sure doors are wide enough, the structure strong enough to bear the loads added via grab rails etc at less than £1500/dwelling. Even going as far as replacing a conventional WC with our Palma Vitawash & dry toilet- the only one of its kind that can be accessorised with additions such as support arms so it evolves with changing needs- still makes a negligible extra cost when you consider the average house price in the UK today is £230,000+.

“Remember, awareness of the hygiene benefits of wash & dry toilets are becoming increasingly understood beyond- and appreciated- the disability sector, are perceived as aspirational fixtures. Such fixtures meet certain cultural and religious practices too. So such a change not only makes the dwelling accessible and adaptable, but appropriate to a wider market, and adds a USP.”

Closomat’s Palma Vita looks like- and can be used as- a conventional WC. Unlike a conventional WC, it has integrated douching and drying. Thus each user can choose whether to wipe in the traditional way, or opt for a more hygienic, hands-free solution whereby their bottom is washed and then dried. Uniquely, it is the only wash & dry toilet on the market in the UK that can be accessorised, initially and retrospectively, to accommodate user’s changing needs. Thus, the seat can be changed, support arms added, the height changed, the operating mechanism altered.

To help private & social housebuilders, Closomat has a unique package whereby it can offer design advice, supply, install, commissioning and subsequent service & maintenance as required- all in-house, in the UK. It further has a raft of support material on its website www.closomat.co.uk, including white papers, CAD blocks, NBS specifications, top tips and design and installation guidance.

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