Danish mobility company Ergolet has fitted its revolutionary overhead lifting system at Cornwall’s Eden Project, in a new toileting facility installed to meet the needs of people with profound or multiple disabilities.
The Ergolet system was installed in a state-of-the-art disability suite, according to a brief provided by Jane Stoneham from the Sensory Trust – which gives advice on inclusive design for public spaces. According to Jane, style is as important as functionality:
“We wanted bright colours, and a fun space, so we specified against the grey floors and white tiles that dominate so many environments used by disabled people”.
The major differences between an accessible toilet and a disability suite are sufficient floor space (12m2), and the right equipment- including an overhead lifting system to help move people from a wheelchair to the toilet or changing table.
The Ergolet lifting system provides complete ‘in-room’ mobility, allowing a single carer to transfer a person to and from a wheelchair and around the room. Although it covers all corners of the room, the Ergolet’s Luna lifting unit can be pushed back to the wall when the hoist is not in use, preserving the open space so the room is fully accessible for people in larger, motorised wheelchairs.
The Eden Project’s Andy Bruton, who project managed the installation, said: “The main learning point for me is that space is at a premium in the disabled environment, but going the extra mile and getting the best equipment, makes a real difference to people’s lives.”
Jane Stoneham added: “Most people assume that disability suites have to be purpose built. However the Eden Project suite shows that retro-fitting is possible if the right space is available, and the right equipment is used.”
The Ergolet system is based on wall-mounted, load-bearing Etrack, and a compact, portable Luna lifting unit, which can be used in any room where Etrack is fitted. The Etrack is fitted on opposite walls along the length of the room, a traverse bar is fitted to Etrack to span the width of the room, and the Luna lifting unit is suspended from the traverse bar. A hand-held ‘remote control’ device controls lifting and lowering.
Unlike conventional overhead tracking systems, Ergolet’s wall-mounted tracking can be fitted where there is no access to the room above, or in rooms with domed ceilings.
A pack for architects, designers, and builders involved in the specification process, is available from email@example.com. The package allows the user to create a 2D/3D representation an Ergolet lifting system in any environment, by simply uploading 6 digital photographs.
For more information visit www.ergolet.com