Personal tools
You are here: Home VivaCity2020 Toolkit Toilet Case Studies Case Study: Milton Keynes

Case Study: Milton Keynes


Theme – Regional Metropolitan Provision


MKToiletsFollowing a £16m refurbishment of the shopping centre in Milton Keynes, in 1999 thecentre:mk was awarded two national Loo of the Year Awards for its provision of accessible toilets and baby-changing facilities. During the refurbishment, the centre’s customer toilet facilities had been dramatically upgraded to include unisex accessible toilets that offered left and right hand transfer options, and a parent and child / baby changing including a screened nursing area, bottle warmers and toddler seats in the changing areas. Additional thought in provision included a television and magazines in the nursing area and mounted toys on changing benches to keep toddlers occupied.


However, the major development in toilet provision for customers in the centre was the inclusion of an adult changing / toileting room fitted with a height adjustable changing bench, a hoist, and WC facilities. It is believed that thecentre:mk’s provision of a changing room for older children and adults who require the assistance of one or more carers to toilet, or require a changing bed, was the first of its kind in the UK within a public space. It has gone on to become the benchmark for fully inclusive accessible toilet provision.


The research group visited thecentre:mk in August 2006 to include the accessible toilets within the project. We found that provision in the accessible facilities exceeded recommended guidelines in many respects, most notably in the provision of automatic door opening mechanisms on some of the cubicles, and the provision of disposable urine bottles.


Most of the recommended fixtures and fittings had been included within the cubicles, although not all at the recommended heights were the same as thoseEach baby change unit has room for 2 babies to be changed on either side. A screen separates each unit, and each side has its own sink unit attached. (Bichard 2006) VivaCity 2020 published in current design guidance. This may be a discrepancy between the age of the cubicles and more recent guidance. For example, the cubicle length measured 2160mm, 40mm short of current guidance. However, the width of cubicles exceeded the recommendation of 1500mm in the design guidance by 20mm. The WC pan measured 420mm in height as opposed to the recommended 480mm, but again this may be due to the age of the facilities. It is estimated that the fixtures and fittings at thecentre:mk have a ten year design life.


The accessible cubicles at thecentre:mk are heavily used. Provision in respect of bins includes those suitable for continence pads. Surprisingly, the bins were placed in the transfer space, yet on questioning the management of the facilities, it emerged that no-one had complained about the positioning of the bins in this space. The adult changing facility measured approximately 2770mm deep by 2470 mm wide, with a toileting area of 1500mm width by 2140mm depth. Currently no standards or guidelines exist for this form of toilet provision besides those issued by groups such as PAMIS.


MKBenchThe maintenance of the accessible toilets is a significant issue for thecentre:mk. Weekly checks are made to ensure the hoist in the adult changing room is in good working order. In addition, alarms in the accessible cubicles are also tested on a weekly basis. Over a period of five years thecentre:mk report that there have been no accidents within the toilet facilities. Due to the popularity and heavy footfall of thecentre:mk, toilets there are cleaned continuously. However certain aspects of the toilets are difficult to keep up to a high standard of cleaning, such as the slip resistant flooring which, due to its resistant nature, is difficult to keep clean. Walls are tiled and thecentre:mk have found this to be the best form of wipeable surface to keep clean. In addition, to ensure good cleaning practice all staff at thecentre:mk facilities hold grade 1 certification from the British Institute of Cleaning Science.


BackHouseBack to Case Studies

Document Actions