Last edited 21 Jan 2021

Liftways in buildings

The building regulations set out legal requirements for specific aspects of building design and construction. A series of approved documents provide general guidance about how different aspects of building design and construction can comply with the building regulations.

Approved document M provides guidance for satisfying Part M of the building regulations: Access to and use of buildings, which requires the inclusive provision of ease of access to, and circulation within, buildings, together with requirements for facilities for people with disabilities.

Approved document M, Volume 1: Dwellings (2015 edition incorporating 2016 amendments) defines a liftway as a:

Vertical route linking all floors of a dwelling accommodating (or capable of accommodating) a lift or lifting platform.

In wheelchair accessible and wheelchair adaptable dwellings, the approved document may require the installation of a liftway 1100mm wide and 1650 mm long internally, linking circulation areas at every floor level of the dwelling. However, in wheelchair adaptable dwellings it may permit the liftway to be used for another purpose (such as storage) providing that it would be easy to convert the liftway to use without the need for structural modifications and without compromising other requirements of the regulations.

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