BS 9266:2013 Design of accessible and adaptable general needs housing. Code of practice
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BS 9266:2013

Design of accessible and adaptable general needs housing. Code of practice

Status : Current   Published : July 2013



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BS 9266:2013 Design of accessible and adaptable general needs housing. Code of practice

BS 9266:2013 gives recommendations for the design of accessible and adaptable general needs housing, whether in the form of flats or individual houses. It covers car parking, external access routes to blocks of flats or individual houses, common circulation areas in blocks of flats, circulation areas within dwellings, and the provision of key rooms and facilities.

BS 9266:2013 is intended to be used for new dwellings that are designed to be accessible and adaptable. The recommendations can also be used for assessing the accessibility and adaptability of existing dwellings and, where practicable, as a basis for their improvement. The extent to which the recommendations apply to renovations, refurbishments and conversions (including listed and historic buildings) is determined on a case-by-case basis.

Information about this document

BS 9266:2013 converts DD 266 into a full British Standard. It is a full revision of the Draft for Development, and incorporates the following principal changes:

  • Change of title and clarification of scope
  • Significant restructure of the document
  • General revision to take into account other recent guidance, including BS 8300:2009+A1
  • Revised recommendations for stairs and ramps
  • Revised recommendations for lifts
  • Revised and simplified recommendations for bathrooms and WCs
  • Additional guidance on lighting

Much new housing in Britain is widely recognized to be spatially constrained. The recommendations in this standard have been developed in the light of these constraints, and in the knowledge that households might have to make compromises (e.g. reducing furniture), to accommodate family members who have developed or acquired temporary or permanent impairments.

With reasonable space and careful attention to the design of kitchens, bathrooms, and the amount and location of storage space, homes designed in accordance with BS 9266 might be suitable for some wheelchair users. However, many wheelchair users and some older people with particular access, storage and circulation needs might need the space and circulation standards of a home designed in accordance with the Wheelchair housing design guide.

Contents for BS 9266:2013 includes:

Normative references
Terms and definitions

General principles of accessibility
Facilities requiring step-free access from the entrance
Provision of an accessible or adaptable bathroom
Manoeuvring within a dwelling

Car parking and setting-down points
Individual houses with on-plot parking
Dwellings without on-plot parking
Setting-down points

External access routes
Access route gradients
Surface of access routes
Access routes from car parking spaces
Access routes to blocks of flats
Access routes within individual house plots
Hazards on access routes
Ramped access routes
Steps on access routes
Handrails to ramps and steps
Lighting of access routes to blocks of flats

Entrances to individual houses or blocks of flats
External lighting to entrances
Weather protection
External approach area
Door entry and call systems
Door opening and locking hardware
Entrance doors
Thresholds to external entrances
Entrance matting in blocks of flats

Communal areas within blocks of flats
Identification of access routes to individual flats
Design of common steps and stairs
Visual contrast between surfaces or building elements
Thresholds to entrance doors to individual flats
Corridor widths
Means of escape from flats

Circulation areas within a dwelling
Entrance hall within a dwelling
Dimensions of internal circulation spaces
Effective clear width of internal doors
Clear space at the leading edge of doors
Thresholds to internal doors
Means of escape from dwellings

Vertical transportation within blocks of flats or individual houses
Vertical transportation in blocks of flats
Vertical transportation in dwellings of two or more storeys

Location of outlets, switches and controls
Electrical and wired services
Mains services

WC and bathroom facilities
Accessible WC
Accessible washbasin
Accessible or adaptable bathroom
Space and drainage provision for an accessible shower
Structural provision for grab rails and other support equipment

Other facilities and amenities
Living/socializing space
Temporary bed space
Windows and glazed doors
Balconies and terraces
Storage facilities outside the dwelling
Waste and recycling facilities


This British Standard supersedes DD 266:2007, which is withdrawn.

Standard NumberBS 9266:2013
TitleDesign of accessible and adaptable general needs housing. Code of practice
Publication Date31 July 2013
Cross ReferencesBS 5395-1, BS 5900, BS 6180, BS 6440, BS 9991, BS 9999, BS EN 81-1, BS EN 81-2, BS EN 81-28, BS EN 81-40, BS EN 81-41, BS EN 81-70, BS 5655-6, BS 6262-4, BS 7671, BS 7953, BS 8300:2009+A1:2010
ReplacesDD 266:2007
Draft Superseded By12/30230430 DC12/30270897 DC
DescriptorsRamps, Corridors, Bathrooms, Lighting systems, Access control systems (buildings), Parking areas, Circulation and space systems (buildings), Design, Housing, Aids for the disabled, Kitchens, Doors, Circulation spaces, Electrical equipment, Guard rails, Stairs, Disabled people, Accessibility, Sanitary facilities, Handicapped people, Car parks (buildings), Entrances, Lifts, Buildings
ISBN978 0 580 72024 6
File Size192 KB

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