What are building regulatons?
Building regulations in England (as well as Section 4.2 of the Technical Handbook (Scotland) 1985), lay down requirements to ensure that buildings are designed such that they can be entered and used safely.
Although most building regulations are centred on persons without disabilities, it also deals with the requirements of disabled users. Gartec follow these regulations during installation and can discuss requirements with you if required.
Building regulations: provision of lifting devices
The Building Regulations (para 3.17 & 3.21) state that where assistance is required for the vertical circulation of the building users between storey and another, a conventional passenger lift is the most suitable form of access. However in certain circumstances other forms of lifting device may be used, providing they are argued in the access statement.
Generally, with respect to Enclosed Platform Lifts, reasons for specifying a platform lift (or other form of lifting device) are as follows:
- A: The building exists and cannot contain a conventional lift
- B: The building exists is listed and as a consequence cannot contain a conventional lift
- C: Access is required to an area which is not a separate storey.
In all these cases, the platform lift must conform to certain requirements to meet the needs of persons with impaired abilities, including the accommodation of a wheel chair and user. Further guidance is given in BS 8300:2010.
The machinery directive
Platform lifts are now covered by the ‘EC Machinery Directive’, and a normative standard EN 8141:2010 and it is generally accepted that these should be followed.
Basic requirements under EN 8141:2010 are:
- A: Compliance with the EC Machinery Directive (not the EC Lifts Directive)
- B: Their comparatively slow speed of travel
- C: Press and hold platform controls
- D: No or virtually no pit
Priority requirements for Platform Lifts
Amongst the multitude of requirements the following list includes some of the most important. If you are having issues with regulations, just get in touch with us for some straightforward advice.
- Preferred size of platform – 1480 x 1100
- Illumination on platform minimizes glare, reflection, confusing shadows or pools of light and dark.
- Unobstructed manoeuvring space of 1500mm x 1500mm (or straight access route 900mm wide) in front of each entrance/exit.
- Landing call buttons located between 900mm and 1100mm from the floor of the landing and at least 500mm from any return wall.
- Landing call button symbols, where provided, and lifting device control button symbols are raised to facilitate tactile reading, and users, including wheelchair users, should be able to reach and use the controls that summon and direct the lift
- All call and control buttons contrast visually with the surrounding face plate, and the face plate similarly contrasts with the surface on which it is mounted
- The floor of the lifting device should not be of a dark colour and should have frictional qualities similar to, or higher than, the floor of the landing
- A handrail is provided on at least one wall of the lifting device with its top surface at 900mm (nominal) above the floor and located so that it does not obstruct the controls or the mirror.
Further information is given in the normative standard EN BS 8141:2010. For more information about Building Regulations, visit the government website.