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  1. ainsworthej

    A question has come through:

    Hi Liz

    Some advice pls

    I have assessed the bathrooms at units at a local retirement village – units are approx 2 yrs old. The residents comment regularly about the very slippery bathroom floor tiles and the fact the water floods the bathroom.

    They are hobless showers with shower curtain measuring 950mm x 950mm.

    As there is ample floor space my recommendation was to have 1200mm x 1200mm hobless showers. The committee of the retirement village are in agreement but want something in writing.

    Is it documented in the Australian Standards that wet floor/hobless showers should be 1200mm x 1200mm? If so where or do you have some advice on what to base my recommendation on? I see the Aust Standards mention the gradient of the flooring (AS 1428.1-2009 15.5.2 floor and waste outlet )

  2. ainsworthej

    My comment:

    AS 1428.1 (2009) is currently not called up under the Building Code of Australia and does not have to be adhered to (in some circumstances….if people are doing work with Crown Land there is a need to comply now in building activity apparently) until May 2011. AS 1428.1 (2001) still applies to public building design. Saying that though….I have received advice that indicates that it would be prudent for people to use the 2009 version anyway as it just enhances the 2001 version just a little bit more.

    If you want to use either version of the standard, just go to the clauses but just as importantly, the diagrams in the document as they have the dimensions of the shower

    AS 1428.1 (2001) – see clause 10.5 and the associated figures 25 and 26, appendix E
    AS 1428.1 (2009) – see clause 15.5 and the associated figures 47 and 50.

    The measurements are just a minimum and in my private practice work I have increased the measurements to at least 1200mm x 1200mm or even larger depending on what equipment is needed to fit in the area and if a carer needs room too. The measurements mainly suit people aged between 18-60 who are wheelchair users or ambulant with disabilities. If you are working with older people who exceed the 60 years of age limit, it could be argued that you could request more space as they need carer assistance (carers aren’t really catered for by the dimensions in the standards) and their equipment (which may not fit the wheelchair template that the standards are based on eg a shower trolley)

    I had a chat to an OT who is an access expert and she advised the following:

    ” To the best of my knowledge there is sadly no design regulations governing retirement village design in Queensland. It seems that they could have an internal spiral staircase if they chose and still call it a retirement unit. (In NSW the state government has developed some very strict access criteria for Seniors Living developments that allow developers to get some ‘concessions” – so are very popular).”

    “Whether a proportion of units must comply with either AS1428.1 or AS4890 ( as per aged care facilities Class 9C) is another issue, but to date I do not believe there is such a requirement. Under the BCA I imagine that they fall under Class 3 which currently has no access requirements internally. I am not 100% sure of this”.

    ” Local councils may have some level of accessibility requirements that they have devised for retirement villages in their area – this is not common in Queensland yet”.

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