Reference designs: Universal School Bathroom

The Universal School Bathroom Reference Design Guide should be referred to when there is a requirement to provide safe and functional bathroom access for students who may have a wide range of physical or sensory needs.

About the guide

This design guide sets minimum requirements for universal bathrooms; adherence with the specified requirements is required.

It outlines design principles, specifications and example drawing layouts for architects, designers, school property manages or those providing Learning Support.

What is a universal bathroom?

Universal bathroom design replaces the "high dependency unit" bathrooms.

A universal bathroom incorporates features such as:

  • Change table
  • Accessible toilet
  • Accessible shower

It can accommodate a variety of mobility devices including portable hoists or ceiling track hoists.

Who is the guide for?

The requirements in this reference design are applicable to all schools, including special schools and satellite units.

It is important to consult with the Ministry’s local Learning Support (Special Education) team to understand whether a universal bathroom is required, and if so, what the individual universal bathroom requirements are.

Where there are factors that may influence the final bathroom dimensions or fixture configuration, these must be agreed by the local Learning Support team.

Download the guide

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