What is an Ambulant Toilet?

Ambulant toilet signage

The requirement to have accessible sanitary facilities ensures people with disabilities are able to utilise a building’s sanitary facilities, and that those facilities are able to be used by them. Suitable sanitary facilities must be provided in convenient locations and that the provision of sanitary facilities should take account of the function or use of a building, the number and gender of occupants and the needs of occupants including people with a disability.

Ambulant toilet

From the 1 May 2011 the Building Code of Australia /Premises Standards now states that where there are standard toilets, in addition to a required accessible unisex toilet at any bank of toilets, a compartment suitable for use by a person with an ambulant disability must also be provided for use by males and females.

If the additional toilet is a single unisex toilet for use by either sex, it must make this provision. If there are separate toilets for use by both males and females, each gender-specific toilet must make this provision.

For example, if a building was required to provide 8 toilet pans for occupants and all were located in the same part of the building as a male/female toilet block, the requirement would be:

  • an accessible unisex toilet (which can count as one male and one female toilet pan)
  • a female block with three toilet cubicles, with one of these being an ambulant toilet, and
  • a male block with three toilet cubicles (and any other additional urinals), with one of the three toilets being an ambulant toilet.

In another example where the building is only required to be provided one male and one female toilet this provision would be met by providing a single accessible unisex toilet and ambulant toilets are not required as there are no additional toilets required.

The requirements for a compartment suitable for use by a person with an ambulant disability are detailed in Clause 16 of AS 1428.1 and include:

  • Minimum clear circulation spaces of 900mm x 900mm on either side of the airlock (toilet entry) door.
  • 900-920mm width inside the cubicle.
  • Accessible signage on the cubicle door.
  • 45mm long privacy locking snib lock lever  (the same requirement as an accessible toilet).
  • Minimum clear circulation spaces of 900mm x 900mm on either side of the cubicle door.
  • 900mm distance between the door swing (if door is swinging inwards) and the toilet pan or 900mm distance between the door opening and the toilet pan (if door is swinging outwards).
  • A coat hook within the cubicle.
  • The need for grabrails on each side of the cubicle. Each grabrail must be able to withstand a force of 1100N applied at any position (Clause 17).
  • A 610-660mm toilet pan projection from the rear to the front of the toilet pan.
  • A 460-480mm height range of the toilet pan seat above the finished floor level (the same requirement as an accessible toilet).
  • A toilet roll holder in an accessible location (the same requirement as an accessible toilet).
  • The washbasin for each ambulant toilet must be outside the circulation spaces outlined above.
  • A minimum clear opening in the ambulant cubicle doorway of 700mm.

Why Can’t I Have A Unisex Ambulant Toilet?

Tanisha Cowell looks at why Unisex Ambulant Toilets can no longer be provided as was included within the 2016 version of the Building Code of Australia that the DtS requirements require separate sanitary facilities for males and females.

How big is a Disabled or Accessible Toilet

Click on the following link for How big is a Disabled Toilet

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