New ‘best practice’ guidelines have been published that, for the first time, specifically address disabled student accommodation.

Simultaneously, Britain’s leading provider of disabled toileting solutions, Closomat, is announcing new developments that enable providers to comply, stylishly, with a unique package from specification, through fitting to future service & maintenance.

The options help enable providers to meet the growing number of disabled students, which now represents almost 10% of the student population in the UK!

BS8300:2018 Design of an accessible and inclusive built environment extends the remit of compliance covered under its predecessor BS8300:2009. The latest version is not specific to new build projects, and applies to all building types that require permanent sleeping accommodation for disabled people.

It also, for the first time, incorporates a specific set of criteria for student accommodation bedrooms. Under the new guidelines, up to 4% of bedrooms should be wheelchair accessible, up to 1% of rooms should include a fixed track hoist system, and up to 5% should be easily adaptable for independent wheelchair use. If only one accessible bedroom is provided, it should include an accessible shower room, with the preferred solution being a level access shower with shower seat if required, and include a WC. The adaptable rooms should have the space and design features to allow for addition of grab rails, shower seats, with ceiling height to allow for a track hoist (2.4m).

Closomat offers a range of contemporary ceiling track hoist systems that can be tailored to individual needs, enabling movement and transfer within a room, through to an en-suite, or beyond.

In the bathroom, it can provide a stylish wall track system, that integrates with a range of fixtures such as grab rails, height-adjustable or fixed washbasins, shower seats, enabling quick and easy adaptation to individual occupant needs.

Its range of wash & dry toilets take accessibility into higher realms of inclusion and intimate hygiene, with contemporary styled floor- standing, wall-mounted and height adjustable variants. Wash and dry toilets have the added benefit of satisfying cultural and religious considerations, regardless of the enhanced hygiene they provide against conventional wiping.

“Accessibility is a growing consideration in building design,” explains Robin Tuffley, Closomat marketing manager. “Disabled student numbers have increased by 56% in less than a decade, so it’s a sector that accommodation providers need to consider, and address.

“As the new British Standard points out, because such accommodation is booked or reserved in advance, there is greater scope for it to be adapted correctly, as required, to suit an individual student. It goes so far as to advise that in effect a ‘show flat/ bedroom’ should be provided on build completion so people can asses how their requirement may be met!”

Closomat’s website is the ‘go to’ resource to help take the first steps towards efficient accessibility provision, including design guidance, white papers, CAD blocks, NBS specification clauses and case studies.

The information represents the combined wealth of knowledge amassed from over 55 years’ helping disabled people optimise their dignity and independence in the bathroom, at home and away.

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