Portfolio of Richard Dawson, RIBA architect based in Bingley, West Yorkshire, providing architectural services and project management.

From detached house to accessible private dental practice

Location: Menston, West Yorkshire

TestimonialBrief: R Dawson Architect was commissioned to get planning “Change of use” and Building Control Approval for the conversion of a detached house to a new private dental practice.  The client also commissioned an Access Audit to ensure the new surgery complies with the Disability Discrimination Act 2007.

Solution:  Following a site visit, R Dawson Architect produced existing and proposed plans and elevation drawings for the building.  Externally, proposals for the site layout included an altered access to the main road, new car parking spaces, drainage, landscaping with planted borders, an access ramp approach suitable for wheelchair users, level turning areas and better lighting.  The entrance porch was also altered with a new reception window to improve viewing and increase security.  Change of Use and Advertising Consent, for signage, were approved by the planning authority.

Building Control approval was also granted.  This involved R Dawson Architect  producing a Fire Plan (for means of escape) and consulting with West Yorkshire Fire  Service.  Some existing walls, floors and ceilings were thermally improved to help  reduce utility bills.  R Dawson Architect also carried out an Access Audit.  This identified opportunities  where access could be improved so that disabled patients or staff can use and work in  the surgery.

Externally, good sightlines and gradients, position of dedicated accessible parking spaces and a new entrance approach ramp with contrasting features were included in the plans.  Internally, the Audit identified adjustments for better space and movement within the surgery, including the removal of some doors and frames, and installation of a ground floor accessible WC.

The Audit was seen as an on-going management tool to monitor, log and update access issues at the surgery.  Before opening to the public, a patient who uses a wheelchair was invited to test the facilities and minor adjustments were made to furniture positions in the waiting room.

The dental practice completed with new ramp for easy wheelchair accessibility

The dental practice completed with new ramp for easy wheelchair accessibility

The detached house in Menston before undergoing its transformation

The detached house in Menston before undergoing its transformation