The facts: inclusive design

New building design and refurbishment projects in Europe are governed by regulations setting minimum legal standards for access and use of buildings. Healthcare designs should remain imaginative and enhance the well-being of all healthcare personnel and patients. As part of the design process, you will carefully consider the needs of all staff, patients and visitors including disabled people and those with limited mobility.

The Equality Act

The aim is to enhance quality of life by enabling patients and residents to move freely around a building during their normal daily activities.

This can be achieved through

  • appropriate light reflectance value (LRV) contrast between floors, walls, doors and staircases
  • clear signage

The amount of light reflected from surfaces is the main factor in determining a person’s ability to identify different surfaces and room proximity. Every surface has a light reflectance value marked out of 100 points and to comply with the Equality Act there should be at least a 30 point variance in LRV between adjacent surfaces.

You will find the LRV of all our products clearly shown on the product page. Our range of colours and finishes allows for a wide choice of design options, even for special requirements.


For reduced slip and trip risks on stairs, nosings must be a contrasting colour to the tread. Throughout the rest of the building contrasting handrails on stairs, in corridors and bathrooms will also improve navigation. Reflective finishes on stairs should be avoided.


Doors and frames should be clearly distinguishable from adjacent surfaces. Altro doorsets are available in a wide range of colours to assist in this.


For information about inclusive design for those with dementia, please see our dedicated section on dementia care.