What does Doc M stand for?
Doc M is short for ‘Approved Document M’, also known as Part M of the Building Regulations. The Building Regulations are minimum standards for design, construction and alterations to virtually every building. Part M of the Building Regulations ensures that adequate facilities for people with disabilities are provided in certain types of building.
Why should you specify Doc M compliant products?
In buildings other than dwellings (for example commercial facilities such as transport hubs, office buildings and hotels) provision must be made for buildings to be accessible to disabled persons, including wheelchair users. The guidance outlined in Document M is widely-recognised best practice, and is the very minimum that is required by law. However, it’s about much more than just complying with the law; it’s all about making everyday life easier for everyone, in particular wheelchair users and ambulant disabled people. See Doc M compliant products here.
The product says BSI approved – is this the same as Doc M?
No. BSI is an acronym for the British Standards Institute. There are many British Standards, and only a few have any relevance to accessible facilities. One of the British Standards, BS8300-2, is concerned with access to buildings for disabled people. At Dolphin we work very closely with David Spooner, who is a BS8300 committee member. He has direct input into the product development of the Dolphin Ease range, which is designed specifically to meet the requirements of a commercial accessible environment. For more information on how disabling disabled toilets really are read our blog. The Dolphin Ease range can be viewed on our website.
Do Doc M products cost more than non-compliant products?
No. It is just about selecting the correct design of product. Let’s take a toilet paper dispenser for example. Most often a jumbo toilet roll dispenser will be installed, which costs £56.00 (RRP).
However jumbo dispensers are not suitable for accessible washrooms, as tearing off the paper can be difficult for users with limited dexterity. A toilet tissue dispenser which dispenses individual sheets of toilet paper is required, which costs £52.00 (RRP).
In addition, at Dolphin we have developed fully compliant Doc M room sets, which include everything required for the fitout of a completely compliant disabled WC or shower room. This has added benefits being delievered as a one-box solution, and ensures all of the items in the room are of a co-ordianted design. Some examples can be found on our website.
My product is not Doc M compliant – can it still be used for my project?
No. Your design will not be compliant with the Building Regulations, and more importantly, your facility will be more difficult for disabled persons to use. It could even pose a serious threat to disabled users.
Does Doc M compliancy change on a frequent basis? Will the washroom need updating on a regular basis due to different compliancy standards?
No. Although the regulations are updated every few years, the changes are usually only minor. However as manufacturers we are working very closely with wheelchair users, access consultants, university students and the BSI to develop new solutions that go above and beyond what is required by the regulations.
Can I use Doc M products and still have a stylish washroom?
Yes, although the vast majority of disabled toilets are terribly ugly and not very nice to use. Book our CPD ‘Disabled Toilets? They probably are…’ which has a large section on how to achieve stylish compliance!
Alternatively you can see stylish Doc M compliant room sets on our website here We also have some of these sets installed and fully operational at our head office showrooms, so feel free to pay us a visit!
Do you offer fully compliant accessible washroom sets?
Yes of course, and they are stylish! We will be launching more in the near future too so watch this space! View our current range here.