Changing Places Assessments

Access Central are competent assessors of Changing Places facilities. We can check the design of any proposed facility to ensure it meets the intent and design requirements of the Changing Places initiative and can be certified for use.

Lee Wilson, Principal Consultant and Director of Access Central helped develop the first Information Kit, being the design package and technical guide on how to build Changing Places facilities. A copy of the current information kit can be downloaded by clicking the cover image below:

Changing Places Information Kit Cover

Lee has also held a position on the Technical Advisory Team for Changing Places and is an active campaigner for these important facilities in all large public spaces, transport hubs, sports stadiums and the like.

More recently, Lee has written on the topic and has two articles published on Sourceable.net. The following is an extract from the first article. To read the full article, please click this link.

Changing Places toilets fill an important gap in the current building codes requirements. They cater for a different user group compared to standard accessible (or disabled) toilets.

Toilets are a necessity for everyone. Everyone needs a toilet in their home or workplace and when we go out we expect to be able to use a toilet when visiting a public space or building. This should be a basic entitlement for every Australian. But unfortunately, it’s not the case for everyone.

When it comes to commercial buildings (i.e. hotels, offices, shops, restaurants, public assembly buildings or the like) the Building Code of Australia (BCA), forming part of the National Construction Code 2015 and the Disability (Access to Premises-Buildings) Standards 2010 (Premises Standards) mandates what type of toilets are required within each use of building. As a result, we typically see three different types of toilets:

  1. Standard toilets
  2. Ambulant toilets (which are longer cubicles with grabrails found in a male or female toilet block)
  3. Unisex Accessible (or disabled) toilets (with an accessible toilet pan, washbasin, grab rails and backrests)

Unfortunately, accessible toilets have been acknowledged as not meeting the needs of all people with disability, including up to 200,000 Australians with a severe or profound disability. This limits the ability for some families or individuals to be able to plan long trips outside a small radius from their own homes. Unless of course, they’re prepared to use a standard accessible toilet and change their family member on the toilet floor, which is not healthy, hygienic, dignified or safe when manual lifting is required.

Outside the requirements of the BCA and Premises Standards, we find another type of toilet facility – Changing Places Toilets which arrived in Australia in 2012.

The Changing Places campaign has however been around since 2006 in the UK and there are now 741 facilities across the UK. The technical requirements for a UK facility have been adopted in the British Standard 8300 and referenced in the Approved Document M of UK Building Regulations, which recommends that large public buildings install a Changing Places facility.

More recently the campaign started in Ireland with 10 facilities currently at various stages of planning and a facility has opened at the Munich International Airport in Germany.

Changing Places toilet facilities may on first appearances seem very similar to standard accessible toilets – but they’re not. They cater for a different user group and the facilities have been designed with differing spatial needs to those accessible toilets required in the BCA. Changing Places toilets have more space, in fact, enough for an assistant on both sides of the toilet pan and they have additional equipment including an adult-sized height adjustable changing table and an overhead hoist system built into the room.

Cover image – Changing Places Marina Way Hartlepool UK, www.changing-places.org