The Expert Forum – Architecture on the topic of “The barrier-free bathroom” is a series of seminars aimed at architects as well as specialist planners and is held in cooperation between the manufacturers TECE, Jung Pumpen and Hewi. A well-attended event was held at the TECE company headquarters on 27 March that attracted roughly 50 participants.
The expert forum was opened by guest speaker Ulrike Rau, architect and co-author of the book “Barrierefrei – Bauen für die Zukunft” (Barrier-free – Building for the Future). Alongside the legal planning requirements of DIN 18040 and the NRW building regulations, which apply both to the public and private sphere, her talk placed the topic of “Universal Design” – also known as “Building for all” – at its heart: instead of developing special solutions for people with limitations, the principle followed here is the idea of creating comfort for young and old alike. The primary aim of universal design should be to allow people to live independently and free of outside help in their own home environment for as long as possible, regardless of their age or any restricted mobility.
Robert Schilling, a subject specialist from TECE Academy, presented technical routes to reach this goal to the interested expert audience and thereby demonstrated that barrier-free and good design are not mutually exclusive. The crux of a barrier-free bathroom is and remains a threshold-free accessible shower area. In order to design this reliably and in a visually appealing way, TECE offers solutions such as the tried and tested TECEdrainline shower channel or the TECEdrainprofile shower profile, which can be recessed.
The TECEprofil pre-wall system allows individual bathroom design. The high load capability means seating areas are also an option – in the shower area, for example. An additional element that can be integrated into the pre-wall system is the Geronto module, with which safety support arms can be fitted near the toilet even in retrospect.
In keeping with this, the portion of the seminar led by cooperative partner Hewi tackled the topics of gripping, holding and supporting and presented corresponding systems for the washstand, toilet, shower and bathtub. The seminar participants were thus provided with an insight into the movement patterns of wheelchair and rollator users as well as the planning of bathrooms with the corresponding space for movement. The company Jung Pumpen presented pump technology for home and property drainage in addition to how barrier-free shower areas can be implemented in old or existing buildings.
The Expert Forum – Architecture is recognised by the Architects’ Association of North Rhine Westphalia with four teaching hours and the Civil Engineering Chamber of North Rhine-Westphalia with seven time units of 45 minutes each. The next events will be held on 22 May in Wetterburg at Hewi’s premises and on 3 September in Steinhagen at Jung Pumpen’s premises.