Creating Better Spaces for Everyone

Armitage Shanks Doc M

Adhering to Document M (Doc M) of the Building Regulations is vital to create inclusive commercial spaces. The regulations provide guidance for the design, access and use of buildings, including commercial washrooms - offering best practice advice on how to ensure they are both accessible and practical for all users.

When designing commercial washrooms, compliance with Doc M requires specifically designed fittings and components. The legislation also demonstrates pre-determined room layouts which offer users an easier experience in a washroom, depending on the location and type of facility in question.

However, if you are refurbishing an existing washroom, rather than creating one from scratch, current limitations to layout may mean that it is not always possible to meet all requirements within Doc M. Instead, building and facilities managers must do their utmost to make sure that they are improving accessibility for all users with the space they have available. Considering the detail within the guidelines, for many, using a Doc M pack with tailor-made solutions can make the process of purchasing everything needed for a fully accessible washroom much easier.

 

Our solutions

At Armitage Shanks we are experts in Doc M requirements, and know that a broad range of solutions are needed. This is why our Doc M solutions guide contains a variety of different fixtures and fittings all geared to improve accessibility. You can also be assured that because of our extensive expertise there won’t be issues further down the line. If you were to specify one of our tailor-made packs, you can rest easy with the knowledge that they are fully compliant with planning regulations.

Our packs also have specification options that focus on the small details, as well as the big, this means you get more for your money, as we follow guidance and offer innovative solutions - right down to the smallest considerations. For example, all our basins are available with a left or right-handed option, meaning that the user can easily wash their hands while sat on the WC as recommended in the BS8300 guidelines, which is a feature many manufacturers wouldn’t even include in their option list. We also go above and beyond when it comes to the guidelines and the wellbeing of end-users, and a great example of this is our taps which are all copper tailed, because copper is anti-bacterial in nature. This isn’t specified anywhere across Doc M, but we include it because we know it can make a real difference in high-traffic commercial washrooms, especially in facilities where hygiene and health are vitally important.    

When it comes to people with limited mobility, they need to feel especially safe and secure when manoeuvring around a washroom, particularly if they are transferring from a wheelchair to a toilet - meaning that grab rails are essential. Our grab rails are tested to 200kg for extra security, which is in excess of the minimum weight requirement, and are made from aluminium to ensure that they have a long lifespan, even in damp environments. For the visually impaired, we have created grab rails in bright red, helping to reflect light, making them easier to see and offering extra support for people living with dementia and limited vision.

 

Contemporary design

We have worked with award-winning designers to make sure that our Doc M products are not only practical, but stylish. Our Contour 21 toilet, designed by Robin Levien, has a contemporary feel making it a welcome addition to any washroom. This emphasis on the look of the Doc M solutions also means that the fittings can seamlessly blend into any aesthetic, meaning that contemporary design doesn’t necessarily mean inaccessibility. Featuring an extended projection of the pan and raised height, the WC has been designed for optimal wheelchair transfer. The spatula flush lever is also reversible for left- or right-hand use, guaranteeing easy operation for end-users.

 

Hygiene considerations

Mindfully-designed basins are the key to ensuring better accessibility and hygiene. Armitage Shanks’ Contour 21 basin has a short projection and is compact in size, making it easier to maintain personal cleanliness and allowing wheelchair users to rinse their hands from a seated position. The basin also has no overflow or chain hole, minimising the risk of bacteria growth. When coupled with the Sensorflow 21 Compact Mixer, which offers hands-free operation, the basin provides the perfect hand-washing solution.

The importance of properly adhering to Doc M in all commercial environments cannot be understated. Enhancing independence and comfort, these solutions offer people living with disabilities an improved quality of life when carrying out their daily routine. For commercial washrooms, there are now many fixtures and fittings on the market that can be used to help meet the requirements of Doc M guidelines. With the breadth of solutions we cover, our team are also inevitably, very experienced in a variety of issues when it comes to problem-solving in washroom design. So, if you have an issue, no matter how unique, our team will always be able to find a solution that will suit, and with our specialist Doc M solutions brochure, it is now easier than ever to improve accessibility for all.

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