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Commercial Flooring News

New Standard Makes Entrance

Chloe Taylor on what the new British Standard means for floorlayers

THE new British Standard 9266:2013 ‘Design of accessible and adaptable general needs housing’ has important implications for flooring contractors.
BS 9266:2013 has been developed following research into demographic trends regarding the aging population and covers areas including common circulation areas in blocks of flats, circulation areas within dwellings and the provision of key rooms and facilities, as well as car parking and external access routes to blocks of flats or individual housing.
This new standard will have a direct effect on flooring contractors, residential property developers, architects, designers and house builders. The document has key principles explaining how those with illnesses and disabilities can have more choice over where they live, as general housing is to be made much more accessible.
Office of National Statistics (ONS) figures show that in Britain, for the first time, there are more people of a pensionable age than children under 16.
This has huge ramifications on the population as a whole, as well as public services such as the NHS and public buildings; more specifically how dwellings are designed and built. With this in mind, it is crucial to select the correct products to ensure all dwellings are completely accessible to those with temporary or permanent disabilities, in line with the new British Standard
In a recent survey by The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) 97% of respondents stated that it’s important to adapt and improve the built environment for the elderly. But only 25% of those who acknowledge this importance are already incorporating designs appropriate for the elderly into their projects. In general, respondents felt that accessibility is the most important aspect of adapting the built environment.
BS 9266 gives guidance and recommendations in a number of areas including stepped access routes (internal and external) and entrances.
The advice for stepped access states that the stair edging used should be 50mm to 65mm on the tread and 30mm to 55mm on the riser. It then states that the whole width of the tread and the nosing should incorporate a slip-resistant material, starting as close to the front edge of the nosing as possible.
Stair edgings can also help to deliver inclusive environments by creating visual contrast between the edge of each step and the floorcovering on the staircase. BS 9266 outlines how to achieve visual contrast between stair edgings and surrounding floorcoverings using differences in Light Reflectance Values (LRVs).
The new standard also recommends that suitable entrance matting be used in blocks of flats to help collect rain water and debris from the soles of shoes.
According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), up to 90% of all slip injuries in public buildings result from wet floors. By removing dirt and moisture from pedestrian and wheeled traffic at the point of entry, barrier matting can reduce the risk of slips to create a safer and more accessible environment.
Gradus offers a wide range of stair edgings and entrance matting, including heavy duty TEX and TX stair edgings.
Chloe Taylor is product manager for Gradus
T: 01625 428922

This article has been reproduced from the Contract Flooring Journal website. You can find them at