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What is Approved Document M of UK Building Regulations

Approved Document M is a part of the UK Building Regulations that provides guidance on access to and use of buildings, including facilities for disabled visitors or occupants, and the ability to move through a building easily, including to toilets and bathrooms. It covers both dwellings and non-dwellings, and is divided into two volumes: Volume 1 covers dwellings, and Volume 2 covers non-dwellings.

It covers a wide range of issues, including:

  • Access to and within the building
  • Facilities within the building, such as toilets and bathrooms
  • The use of stairs and ramps
  • The provision of handrails and grab rails
  • The use of lifts and hoists
  • The design of doors and entrances
  • The provision of parking spaces and drop-off points

Additionally, Approved Document M offers suggestions on how to plan and develop buildings that are user-friendly and accessible. This includes advice on how to create accessible restrooms, how to utilise colour and contrast to make a space easier to navigate, and how crucial it is to have clear signs.

Overall, Approved Document M is a valuable tool for everyone involved in the design or construction of structures, including architects, builders, and other construction industry professionals.

Current Requirements of Approved Document M.

The current requirements of Approved Document M consist of a set of “rules” that all buildings now have to follow. It is important to note that this only applies to new builds.

The current requirements of Approved Document M are:

  • Access to and within the building must be step-free, and all parts of the building that are open to the public must be accessible without the need for steps or stairs.
  • Doors and corridors must be wide enough to accommodate wheelchair users, and there must be sufficient space for wheelchair users to turn around.
  • Accessible toilets must be provided, with appropriate facilities for disabled visitors or occupants.
  • Stairs and ramps must be safe and easy to use, with appropriate handrails and lighting.
  • Lifts or other means of vertical access must be provided where necessary.
  • Signage must be clear and easy to read, with appropriate colour contrast and tactile information for visually impaired users.
wooden building with access ramp
sliding doors into garden

Flush Threshold Sliding Doors for Accessibility

A crucial component of Keller minimal window systems that guarantees a seamless transition between internal and outdoor environments is the flush threshold. Because of this design element, there is no need for steps or ramps, which makes the system perfect for use in structures where accessibility is an essential concern. The flush threshold also makes an open and flexible living environment possible by seamlessly bridging indoor and outdoor areas.

The Keller minimum windows slider has been approved for barrier-free access in addition to the flush threshold. This certification indicates that the system complies with DIN 18040-1, a German standard that outlines requirements for barrier-free building design. This certification guarantees that the system is appropriate for use in structures where accessibility is a top priority, like public structures, schools, and hospitals.

This system development has allowed Keller minimal windows to adhere to the ever-changing Approved documents.

Glass Doors for Wheelchair User Dwellings  

Glass doors are an excellent alternative for homes for wheelchair users since they can offer an unhindered view and let natural light into the space. To make sure that wheelchair users can use the glass doors safely and easily, it’s crucial to make sure they adhere to the relevant accessibility standards.

The width of the door is one important factor. A wheelchair user should be able to fit through the door, and the clear opening width should be at least 800mm. It’s also crucial to check that there is adequate room in front of the door for the wheelchair to move around without difficulty.

The type of door handle or lock utilised is a further variable. As they require less grip power to operate, lever handles are typically simpler for wheelchair users to use than knob handles. Additionally, it’s crucial to check that the door lock can be reached while seated and is simple to use.

Finally, it’s critical to confirm that the glass used in the door is reliable and secure. It is advised to choose toughened or laminated glass because it is less likely to break and, if it does, won’t shatter into sharp pieces. To avoid any potential safety risks, it’s also crucial to make sure the glass is correctly boxed and placed.

An example of a modern home with the highest standard of wheelchair accessibility is Claywood House. This project was designed with full wheelchair accessibility as a priority due to one of the owners being in a wheelchair from day to day. See Claywood House below.

For more information, contact the minimal windows team today.

inside of modern home