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Something that trips up clients- Level access and the IDP checklist

What it is 

A document created to ensure that three amenities that can be specified in Code are accessible and usable by people regardless of disability. Combines three British Standards and Parts H and M of the Building Regulations.

What it covers

  • Code Category Was1- mandatory credit- to makes sure that the resident can get from their house to the outside bin easily.
  • Code Category Was3- optional credit make sure that the resident can access their compost bin easily.
  • Code Category Hea3- optional credit- to make sure that the resident can access their private garden.

What the developer needs to do

There are six A4 pages of requirements in the IDP checklist but many developers are falling short on the very first point. This comes down to making sure that the nearest door to the amenity (main bin, compost bin, garden) has level access. Level access means

  • No steps
  • No lip at the door more than 15mm high
  • Slope of path no steeper than 1 in 12

There must also be hard-standing outside to turn a wheelchair, either as a 1.5m x 1.5m circle or a 1.7m x 1.4m ellipse.

Most common mistakes when Energist inspects 

  • Lip at back door
  • Step down about 1 brick-height onto patio
  • Only front door has level access but the nearest door to bin store and garden is the back door
  • Steps outside front door (might comply with Part M of the Building Regs but not Code).

Why this is really important

If there is not level access to the bins from the nearest door in the house, we cannot issue a Code Certificate. It's a fail. If the compost bin or garden do not have level access, then important Code credits are lost and the house might not reach the required Code Level, or it might be very expensive for the client to put right. By Rosemary Bailey, Code Assessor at Energist UK

Dominique Stockford

Author: Dominique Stockford

This article was published by Dominique Stockford on 10.02.2015.