(7) Circulation Space

Principle: Enable convenient movement in rooms for as many people as possible.


Criterion (7) – Circulation Space

There should be space for turning a wheelchair in dining areas and living rooms and basic circulation space for wheelchair users elsewhere.


Required specification for Criterion 7

The minimum basic circulation spaces required, as detailed below, are not intended to match the equivalent space requirements within dwellings to wheelchair housing, or wheelchair adaptable standards. They recognise that a wheelchair user within a Lifetime Home will need to accept a degree of compromise on available manoeuvring & circulation space.

Basic circulation space for a wheelchair user is used as a guide for the minimum requirement as this will result in circulation space that will also assist a wide range of occupants and visitors, including those using sticks or other mobility aids, or households with young children.


WC compartments and bathrooms

Functional spaces requirements for WC compartments and bathrooms are detailed in Criteria 10 and 14.


Hallways and landings within dwellings

Circulation widths and spaces for hallways and landings within dwellings are detailed in Criterion 6.


Living rooms/areas and dining rooms/areas

Living rooms/areas and dining rooms/areas should be capable of having either a clear turning circle of 1500mm diameter, or a turning ellipse of 1700mm x 1400mm. Where dwelling layout plans include furniture layouts, occasional items of furniture (typically coffee tables & side tables) can be within or overlap these turning zones.

Where movement between furniture is necessary for essential circulation (e.g. to approach other rooms, or the window) a clear width of 750mm between items should be possible.



Kitchens should have a clear width of 1200mm between kitchen unit fronts / appliance fronts and any fixed obstruction opposite (such as other kitchen fittings or walls).

This clear 1200mm should be maintained for the entire run of the unit, worktop and/or appliance. An additional good practice recommendation in respect of kitchen planning and layout is given below.



The main bedroom in a dwelling should be capable of having a clear space, 750mm wide to both sides and the foot of a standard sized double bed. Other bedrooms should be capable of having a clear space, 750mm wide, to one side of the bed.

In addition, in these bedrooms, where it is necessary to pass the foot of the bed (e.g. to approach the window as required by Criterion 15), a clear width of 750mm should also be provided at the foot of the bed.

*Note: Bedside cabinets may be sited within the required clear spaces beside beds.


Good practice recommendation that exceed, or are in addition to, the above requirements


  • Kitchen layouts, whenever possible, should be planned so that they can include (following adaptation) a continuous run of units, unbroken by doorways, including: a built-in oven at an accessible height beside a minimum 600mm of work surface, a hob beside a further minimum 600mm of work surface, and a sink/drainer. This continuous run, uninterrupted by doorways, (c. 3600mm in length measured along the front face) could be straight, L shaped, or U shaped.


    In addition, window positions should not impede on the oven or hob positions. Space for other typical ‘white goods’ and fittings should be available elsewhere in the kitchen (so that only the oven and hob are contained within this particular length of run).


  • Provide a clear 1500mm diameter circular, or 1400mm x 1700mm elliptical, manoeuvring space from floor for a minimum height of 900mm.



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Centre for Accessible Environments
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