Category 3 – Appendix D: How many seats does an 8 person dwelling need?

It would be reasonable for living rooms in an 8 person home to have 8 seats, not 1 as is currently shown in Appendix D: Furniture Schedule. The 8 seats in the living room can be distributed between combinations of 2 and 3 seat sofas and 1 seat armchairs, Furniture layouts are required to demonstrate compliance in a Category 3 layout.

Category 3 – Appendix D: How does the furniture schedule in Appendix D apply?

Category 3: Wheelchair user dwellings require that fully furnished layouts should be provided for both adaptable and accessible options in order to demonstrate compliance. These layouts should include all of the furniture set out in Annex D (other than coffee tables and occasional tables which are optional, and where included may sit within manoeuvring zones) which shows typical module sizes, the number of elements per room and per size of dwelling. Other than for Category 2 Bedroom layouts, and for sanitary accommodation, furnished layouts are not required to demonstrate compliance of Category 1 or 2 dwellings.

Category 3 – M4(3) 2a and 2b: Is moving a wall, a soil vent pipe or a stack a simple alteration?

When considering alterations required to change an adaptable dwelling into an accessible wheelchair user dwelling it would be reasonable to allow for moving lightweight internal partitions and the associated making good works or moving local wall mounted services, sockets and plugs. Moving or modifying structural walls, block work walls, party walls or fire compartment walls, soil stacks, soil vent pipes and major building services may not be considered a reasonably simple alteration. Any change however simple should still comply with all of the relevant requirements of the building regulations.

Category 3 – 3.16A: Can wash hand basins in Category 3 dwellings encroach on clear access zones?

Diagrams 3.10 and 3.11 show the maximum encroachment of basins into the WC access zone – the maximum penetration is typically 200mm, but 300mm adjacent to a WC. In wheelchair accessible layouts (diagram 3.11 and paragraph 3.36h) the intention is that there is a clear zone from the floor to the underside of /drainage/pipes/ services of between 400-600mm. This is to maximise ease of approach, whilst recognising that services have to be accommodated in some form. It is anticipated that pipes and drainage may need to be through-wall penetrations to achieve this result rather than running to the floor. Diagram 3.16A shows wash hand basin access zone encroaching by 200mm, in line with requirements set out in 3.11.

Categories 2 and 3 – in examples 2.7A and 2.7B 3.12A, 3.12B, 3.15A, 3.15B, 3.16A, 3.16B, 3.16C, 3.17A and 3.17B: Can pumped solutions for floor level drainage be considered as an alternative to gravity drainage when designing provision for a future level access shower?

Yes. In new build dwellings, particularly flats, planning for floor level gravity drainage requires recesses and connections in the floor which may prove unreasonably difficult to achieve. Shower waste pump kits can be fitted as an alternative when gravity drainage is not an option and it would be reasonable in these circumstances for the future level access shower provision to be designed to accept this arrangement. Drainage solutions that work using gravity drainage will perform and maintain better.

For purpose-built and purposed designed Category 3 dwellings it may be reasonable to expect a gravity drainage system from the outset.

Category 3 – diagram 3.12A and 3.15A: What is the purpose of a planted door stop?

A planted door stop can be easily repositioned to allow a door which opens inwards to be re-hung outwards without the need to change the door frame as a whole. Category 3 Wheelchair adaptable dwellings can, therefore, have inward opening doors, but must be capable of easy adaptation to provide the outward opening door required for Category 3 Wheelchair accessible dwellings. Flats typically need outward opening doors on the entry-level accessible WC.

Category 3 – paragraph 3.43d: Paragraph 3.43d sets out that a shower should be positioned in the corner of a room to enable easy access to controls – but diagram 3.17 shows the shower adjacent to the bath. Which is correct?

It is always preferable for a shower to be positioned in the corner of a bathroom, and this should be the case wherever possible. It would be reasonable for a shower to be away from the corner as shown in diagram 3.17, but only where both a bath and a shower are in the same room and the shower can be increased in area at a later date if necessary.