Friday, October 1st, 2021
Wednesday, September 1st, 2021
What doors are required to comply with ADA?
There seems to be a confusion about which doors are required to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Most people understand that doors that lead you to accessible public spaces and rooms have to comply. But many don’t realize that ALL doors that allows “user passage” must comply with the standards. There is just one exception: a door that allows user passage but it is leading into a room that is exempted from accessibiltiy (i.e. a machinery space).
Knowing that information, let’s delve into what doors are required to comply and what are the requirements.
Doors that allow user passage like the one shown above must comply.
Which Doors must comply?
In section 206.4 of the ADA it gives us the requirements for which type of doors must be accessible.
206.4 Entrances. Entrances shall be provided in accordance with 206.4. Entrance doors, doorways and gates shall comply with 404 and shall be on an accessible route complying with 402
206.5 Doors, Doorways, and Gates. Doors, doorways, and gates providing user passage shall be provided in accordance with 188.8.131.52.1
This paragraphs lets us know that only entrance doors are going to have requirements. Exit doors are not fully exempted. The door to “exit” a space is technically an “entrance” to the exit. Therefore the side of the door which allows user passage must also comply.
Even though this is a means of egress door and has limited requirements in the ADA Standards, it is considered a door that allows user passage and must comply.
206.5 continues to tell us which spaces must have doors that comply:
- Each entrance to a building or facility (there are some restrictions, so be sure to understand them)
- Within a building at least one door serving each room (even work areas)
- In transient lodging facilities all entrances providing user passage into and within guest rooms that ARE NOT required to provide mobility features (but only the clear width)
This floor plan shows a hotel room that is not required to have mobility features. All doors (except the shower door) which allows “user passage” into and within the room must comply. A 32″ clear width should be provided. All other requirements are not mandated.
A common misunderstanding is the term “user passage”. A user that they are describing is not only people who use wheelchairs, but also ambulatory and able bodied users. Therefore even if the room where the door is located is not large enought for a wheelchair, the door clear width into the room must still comply. Note the water closet room. That door must also comply with providing at least a 32″ clear width, even if the room is not large enough for a wheelchair to enter.
This storage closet appears to be the type that allows user passage, and therefore the door must comply with the techical requirements.
What are the technical requirements?
To find the technical requirements we look in section 404 which explains how to make the required doors accessible.
Doors, doorways and gates must meet the following standards:
- Must have a clear width of 32″
- Must have proper maneuvering clearances to allow for a person to open the door and go through
- The floor and ground surface at the maneuvering clearance must be stable, firm, slip resistant and must have a slope no steeper than 1:48
- A threshold that is not higher than 1/2″ must be provided
- The hardware must be the type that does not require tight grasping and twisting of the wrist, plus must be mounted between 34″-48″ a.f.f.
- The door should not close too fast (no faster than 5 seconds)
- The opening force should not be too heavy (no more than 5 lbs on an interior door)
- The bottom surface at the push side should be smooth
- If it has a vision light it should be mounted no higher than 43″ a.f.f. (a peep hole is not a vision light)
- And if there is an automatic door, there are some additional requirements (under 404.3)
This door had a clear width of 28 1/2″. The minimum requirement is 32″ clear
This picture shows the proper maneuvering clearance to reach the door handle and to go through the door
Even sliding doors are required to have maneuvering clearance. The only ones that will not is for shallow closets that do not provide user passage
This video shows you the requirements for door maneuvering clearances
The door shown above has a slope steeper than 1:48 at the maneuvering clearance, and a threshold higher than 1/2″
The door shown above has hardware that requires tight grasping and twisting of the wrist to operate
A dining counter has a forward approach knee clearance and it is 34″ a.f.f.
The door hardware in this door was mounted at 61″ a.f.f. (higher than the allowed 48″ a.f.f.)
Because the push side of the door must have a smooth surface, a foot opener cannot be used on the push side
In addition, the door hardware on the push side of the door must not be lower than 10″ a.f.f.
The vision light shown above was mounted higher than 43″ a.f.f. to the glazing.
Monday, August 2nd, 2021
Section 810.2 Bus Loading Zones
This newsletter will speak about Bus Loading Zones both in the Public Right of Way and inside a property (like a school or other facility).
The bus stop in the above picture does not show the proper requirements for loading and unloading. This newsletter will explain why
The bus stop in the above picture is at a school and appears to have the correct area for loading children with disabilities
Bus loading zones must have an area that 96″ long measured perpendicular to the curb or vehicle roadway edge, and a clear width of 60 inches (1525 mm) minimum, measured parallel to the vehicle roadway.
The video above shows why the 96″ long area parallel to the curb is required. The lift mechanism for a wheelchair user to enter and exit the bus requires that amount of space.
If there is a bus shelter there should be a path of travel from the bus shelter to the loading area. The path needs to be a minimum of 36″ wide. There should be an area inside the shelter that is 30″x48″ with a slope of no greater than 1:48
Parallel to the roadway, the slope of the bus stop boarding and aligning area shall be
the same as the roadway, to the maximum extent practicable. Perpendicular to the roadway, the slope of the bus stop boarding and alighting area shall not be steeper than1:48.
It is important to note the last requirement: The slope at a bus loading zone that is parallel with the road can be the same as the roadway and is not required to be 1:48
This bus loading zone does not have a 96″ long space parallel with the curb
Thursday, July 1st, 2021
Accessible Work Areas
Thank you to Marsha Godeaux from TDLR for taking the time to explain about employee work areas. Click here to watch the video.
This newsletter will cover Employee work areas. There is a misunderstanding that work areas are not required to comply with the ADA or TAS Standards. We will explain what is required to comply within work areas and what is exempted. Keep in mind that the requirements we are covering are only the 2010 ADA Standards and the 2012 Texas Accessibility Standards. The ABA which covers Federal Facilities do not have the same requirements.
What is a Work Area?
Employee Work Area. All or any portion of a space used only by employees and used only for work. Corridors, toilet rooms, kitchenettes and break rooms are not employee work areas.
Work Area Equipment. Any machine, instrument, engine, motor, pump, conveyor, or other apparatus used to perform work. As used in this document, this term shall apply only to equipment that is permanently installed or built-in in employee work areas. Work area equipment does not include passenger elevators and other accessible means of vertical transportation.
Work cubicles are part of a work area
a Point of Sale counter is considerd a work area as long as the public is not required to approach it.
What are the requirements?
203.9 Employee Work Areas. Spaces and elements within employee work areas shall be designed and constructed so that individuals with disabilities can approach, enter, and exit the employee work area.
The image above summarizes the approach, enter and exist requriement
An example of a work area that only requires an approach, enter and exit would be a janitor’s closet. Elements within the janitor’s closet such as the faucet for the mop sink will not be required to comply.
An exam room is partially a “work” area and partially a “patient” area. The area that is only used by the doctor (the sink) will be exempted from having to comply.
What are some exceptions?
Employee work areas, or portions of employee work areas, other than raised courtroom stations, that are less than 300 square feet and elevated 7 inches or more above the finish floor or ground where the elevation is essential to the function of the space shall not be required to comply with these requirements or to be on an accessible route.
This toll booth is less than 300 s.f. and elevated more than 7″ a.f.f. and therefore do not require an accessible route to it or the ability to approach it and enter it.
Common Circulation Path
In addition to approach, enter and exit, if the employee work area is larger than 1,000 s.f.. then a common path within the work area to common use spaces shall be provided
206.2.8 Employee Work Areas. Common use circulation paths within employee work areas shall comply with 402.
A “common” circulation path is one that is used by more than one person and not intendend for work
Section 402 states that a minimum 36″ width shall be provided along the circulation path.
1. Common use circulation paths located within employee work areas that are less than 1000 square feet (93 m2) and defined by permanently installed partitions, counters, casework, or furnishings shall not be required to comply with 402.2.
This raised work area is allowed since the work area is less than 1,000 s.f.
If the path is around work area equipment, then it will not have to comply with the 36″ clear width.
This commercial kitchen has equipment that is an integral part of the work area. The 36″ min. circulation path in this space is not required to comply due to the location of the work area equipment.
Even though the only requirement for a work area is “approach, enter and exit”, it also requires that circulation path be provided. Part of the circulation path has to make sure there are no protruding objects projecting onto the circulation path more than 4″. This requirement are for any employee or visitor to the employee area that might be visually impaired.
the filing system is located along the common circulation path inside the office space and projects more than 4″ onto the circulation path.
What about other employee areas that are not work related?
The requirements thus far have been for areas that are considered part of the “work” areas in a space. But there are other areas that are also part of an employee area, but are not related to the work they perform. Those areas that are NOT related to their job description will not be exempted and must comply. Below are a few examples of areas that might be for employees only, but must be fully compliant with the Standards:
even though a break room is not a public area, it is still required to comply with the ADA and TAS because it is not considered a “work” area, but rather a space where they take a break from work.
LEED employee shower and employee restrooms
an employee shower or even an employee restroom are also not considered “work” areas and must comply.
Employee Locker Room
The lockers as well as the bench in this locker/dressing room must comply with the Standards
What happens when an employee is disabled?
The Standards sometimes provide additional guidance through “advisories”. These are NOT requirements, but they are suggestions that might make your design a better one. Below are some of the advisories on work areas:
Advisory 203.9 Employee Work Areas. Although areas used exclusively by employees for work are not required to be fully accessible, consider designing such areas to include non-required turning spaces, and provide accessible elements whenever possible.
Under the Title I of the ADA, employees with disabilities are entitled to reasonable accommodations in the workplace; accommodations can include alterations to spaces within the facility. Designing employee work areas to be more accessible at the outset will avoid more costly retrofits when current employees become temporarily or permanently disabled, or when new employees with disabilities are hired.
Monday, August 3rd, 2020
Abadi Accessibility is proud to support the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) 31st Anniversary. On July 26th we celebrate this important civil rights law that works to ensure all people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else. Celebrate with us by visiting: www.adaanniversary.org/ #ADA31 #ThanksToTheADA
How are you planning to celebrate Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) 31st Anniversary? This July 26th the ADA National Network and individuals, communities, and organizations across the country will be participating. Learn how you can be involved by visiting www.adaanniversary.org/ #ADA31 #ThanksToTheADA
Introduction to our newsletter:
After I wrote my first newsletter about counters, my clients are still not clear on all the different requirements for the different types of counters and fixed or built-in surfaces that the ADA requires to be accessible. First of all let me review that there are five type of counters scoped in the ADA Standards: Work surfaces, dining counters, service counters, sales counters and check out counters. Then there are two type of counters that are not scoped: work area counters and non-work area common use counters that do not fall under the other listed. There are also Food service lines, as well as other portions public side service areas. For those please check out my newsletter I wrote I 2014.
This newsletter will explain the different requirements for dining surfaces, non-employee work surfaces and sales and service counters.
According to Scoping section 226, at least 5% of seating spaces and standing spaces at dining surfaces must comply with 902. Standing spaces are those counters where people might stand to eat or drink rather than sit. Those counters must also comply. Some examples of dining counters are bars where drinks are served, fast food establishments with fixed tables, and booths and banquettes at a restaurant.
These fixed dining counters in a cafeteria is an example of a dining surface.
a bar is an example of a dining surface
Section 902 gives us direction on how to make the dining surfaces accessible:
- There must be a knee clearance complying with section 306 so that a person in a wheelchair will approach and use the counter in a forward approach
- The height of the counter must be between 28″-34″ a.f.f. PLEASE NOTE….WE RECOMMEND TO NEVER USE THE MINIMUMS OR MAXIMUMS WHEN DESIGNING.
A dining counter should have a 30″ width and a 17″ min. depth at the knee clearance.
A dining counter has a forward approach knee clearance and it is 34″ a.f.f.
This is a dining counter but also a service window. It is acceptable to have the dining counter in front of the service counter
Non-Employee Work Surfaces
Section 226 tells you that 5% of non-employee work surfaces must comply and meet the requirements set forth in section 902. These are also required to be dispersed throughout the space they are in. Section 902 states that a work surface must have a forward approach with a knee space per section 306 and be 30″ wide minimum and 34″ high maximum
Study carrols in a library is an example of a non-employee work surface
Diaper changing counters are also considered a “work surface”
A patient registration desk is another example of a non-employee work surface
All the requirements in section 902 are for non-employee work surfaces (or for the public). Employee work surfaces that are part of a work area are exempted until such time when a person with disabilities is hired at which point, the surface must be provided to accommodate them and their abilities.
Sales and Service counters
Where provided, at least one of each type of sales counter and service counter shall comply with 904.4.
Where counters are dispersed throughout the building or facility, counters complying with 904.4 also shall be dispersed.
Keep in mind that the requirements are the either sales or service counters. The term “transaction” is no longer used. A transaction could occur but it is not the only pre-requisite for compliance.
The counter shown above has different functions (some are sales and some are service). Each one must have a portion at an accessible height
Section 904 gives us the following requirements for sales and service counters:
- 36” high maximum
- Same depth as the main counter
- 36” length min.
- Parallel approach OR Forward approach allowed
the accessible couter must be 36″ a.f.f. maximum and at least 36″ long
A sales or service counter can have either with a forward approach knee clearance or a parallel or side approach.
The accessible portion of the counter must be the same depth as the main (or public) side of the counter. Even though the reception counter is deeper than the public counter, the accessible portion will only have to be 36″ a.f.f. maximun and 36″ min. long the same depth as the public counter (which can be higher than 36″ a.f.f.)
The reception desk is considered a “service” counter because information is a service a business would provide to their guests. The one shown above did not have a 36″ long counter
A service or sales counter may not be the type that is flipped up, or pushed in once it is used. it must be a permanent counter that is always available.
Friday, January 3rd, 2020
The ADA Standards (and the Texas Accessibility Standards) states:
106.5.5 Alteration. A change to a building or facility that affects or could affect the usability of the building or facility or portion thereof. Alterations include, but are not limited to, remodeling, renovation, rehabilitation, reconstruction, historic restoration, resurfacing of circulation paths or vehicular ways, changes or rearrangement of the structural parts or elements, and changes or rearrangement in the plan configuration of walls and full-height partitions.
Normal maintenance, reroofing, painting or wallpapering, or changes to mechanical and electrical systems are not alterations unless they affect the usability of the building or facility.
When doing “alterations” in buildings you have two sets of requirements: Requirements for alterations (ADA Section 202.3
) and requirements for alterations that occur in an area that contains a primary function (ADA Section 202.4
If your alteration is in an area that is not a primary function, only the new things will have to comply. Some examples are doing renovation in bathrooms, break rooms, closets etc.
If your alterations are in an area that is considered primary function then all the new things must comply, but also the path of travel elements that serve the altered area including: accessible route, entrance, restrooms, drinking fountains and telephones that serve the altered area. In Texas they included parking that serves the altered area.
The yellow line in the figure above depicts the path of travel elements that must be compliant when an alteration occurs in an area that contains a primary function
With the above information, let’s take a look at a few examples and what it would trigger:
Case Study #1: What if we do an alteration in an existing school of an entire bathroom?
This is an existing school building where they were going to renovate the existing toilet room.
- Restrooms are not a primary function
- They are demo-ing the entire restroom
- They are installing new fixtures and new partitions.
Because the toilet rooms are not a “primary function” in the school, only the new elements installed would have to comply
Case Study #2: What if we only renovate one element in the restroom?
This is an existing restroom, but only the lavatory will be altered. Because the ADA allows element by element alteration, only the lavatory will have to comply. The rest of the restroom that was not altered will remain as is and will not be required to be brought up to compliance.
Case Study #3: What if only the toilet is altered?
This one is a little more complicated. Just like with the lavatory, only the toilet would have to comply. But does that mean that it would also require compliant grab bars? What about compliant toilet paper dispenser? The answer is yes. Those are also elements that are part of the water closet.
One gray area question is whether the clearance around the water closet part of the toilet? Would the clearance need to be 60″ wide? If the toilet room
was built prior to 2012, then it is allowed to remain at 36″ clearance.
The image on the left is the 1991 ADAAG clearance at the toilet. The image on the right is the 2010 ADA Standards clearance at the toilet. If the toilet was built prior to 2012 (the year that the new standard became mandatory) then it is compliant.
Case Study #4: What if new bleachers are installed in an existing gymnasium in the school?
- The gymnasium is a primary function
- The bleachers will have to comply
- The path of travel elements that serve the altered area must also comply
Case Study #5: What if we alter the floor at the gymnasium only?
- The gymnasium is a primary function
- The flooring must comply
- The path of travel elements that serve the altered area must also comply
Case Study #6
What if we paint the walls in the gymnasium only
- The gymnasium is a primary function
- Painting doesn’t affect the usability and therefore it is not an alteration
•Existing buildings are not “grandfathered”. They must comply
•Texas requires compliance at the time of construction
•ADA requires compliance when it is readily achievable
•Existing buildings that comply with 1991 ADAAG/1994 TAS are a safe harbor
•Altered elements must comply
•Altered elements in an area of primary function must comply, plus:
Here is a presentation I did about the subject
As most of us know, the minimum clear widths along an accessible route that the ADA requires are 36″ minimum clear. But there are times when are allowed to be narrower or required to be wider. This newsletter will explain those instances.
Clear Width Reduction
In the 2010 ADA guidelines, section 403 gives us a figure to follow which explains that the 36″ wide clear width can be reduced to 32″ clear as long as the distance that you travel through the narrower width is no more than 24″ deep.
403.5.1 Clear Width. Except as provided in 403.5.2 and 403.5.3, the clear width of walking surfaces shall be 36 inches (915 mm) minimum.
EXCEPTION: The clear width shall be permitted to be reduced to 32 inches (815 mm) minimum for a length of 24 inches (610 mm) maximum provided that reduced width segments are separated by segments that are 48 inches (1220 mm) long minimum and 36 inches (915 mm) wide minimum.
But do both sides of the path need to be 24″ long the way it is shown in the figure above? Could one side be a wall or even a longer cabinet or obstruction? I was inspecting a restroom and found that condition. There was a cased opening to enter the toilet compartment area. One side of the cased opening was 8″ deep and the other side was the restroom wall which was longer than 24″.
|This is the photo of the cased opening along the route to the sinks
|This is the plan of the cased opening (where it says “Align”) which part of it is 8″ on one side and longer than 24″ on the other side. The opening was less than 36″ wide.
The guidelines allow this. As long as one side of the path is no more than 24″ long and it goes back to 36″ wide, it will be an acceptable condition.
Clear width at the approach to a toilet compartment
A clear path to a toilet compartment (both wheelchair and ambulatory) should also have a 36″ minimum clear width. Except that at the approach to the door it must increase to 42″ in width
604.8.1.2 Doors. Toilet compartment doors, including door hardware, shall comply with 404 except that if the approach is to the latch side of the compartment door, clearance between the door side of the compartment and any obstruction shall be 42 inches (1065 mm) minimum
The standard is giving us requirements for the door clearance only. The path to the toilet compartment is still required to have a 36″ minimum clear width. But the space to open the toilet compartment door and the maneuvering clearance (if the approach is on the latch side) must have a 42″ minimum clear width between the door and the obstruction
This photo shows the plan view of a path to the ambulatory toilet compartment.
In the plan view above you can see a furred out column in front of the toilet compartments. That fur out is located within the door maneuvering clearance of the ambulatory toilet compartment and it reduces the 42″ required width to 36″
This figure above shows the door maneuvering clearance at the latch side approach. A toilet compartment door will only require 42″ of clear width not 48″ like a standard door.
Along an accessible route you are required to have 36″ clear width. This width is required to be widened to 60″ every 200 feet. This is to allow people in wheelchairs and pedestrians to pass each other.
403.5.3 Passing Spaces. An accessible route with a clear width less than 60 inches (1525 mm) shall provide passing spaces at intervals of 200 feet (61 m) maximum. Passing spaces shall be either: a space 60 inches (1525 mm) minimum by 60 inches (1525 mm) minimum; or, an intersection of two walking surfaces providing a T-shaped space complying with 304.3.2 where the base and arms of the T-shaped space extend 48 inches (1220 mm) minimum beyond the intersection
Here is a video
from the Access Board that explains it
Clear width at turns
When a wheelchair makes a ninety degree turn, a 36″ minimum clear width is allowed.
But when a wheelchair is required to make a 180 degree turn, like in a narrow corridor, or maybe in a queue line or library stacks, then the width will have to increase from 36″ to 42″ depending on what size the element they are turning around is.
403.5.2 Clear Width at Turn. Where the accessible route makes a 180 degree turn around an element which is less than 48 inches (1220 mm) wide, clear width shall be 42 inches (1065 mm) minimum approaching the turn, 48 inches (1220 mm) minimum at the turn and 42 inches (1065 mm) minimum leaving the turn.
EXCEPTION: Where the clear width at the turn is 60 inches (1525 mm) minimum compliance with 403.5.2 shall not be required.
For instance if the space that they are turning around is 60″ in depth, then the clear width can be 36″ min. If the space is 48″, then the clear width will have to increase to 42″
will give you some guidance on turning and wheelchair clearances
Wednesday, August 1st, 2018
Tuesday, August 8th, 2017
In order for a person with disabilities to enter a building on their own, there needs to be enough room for them to get through the door and into the spaces. This newsletter will explain what the requirements are for doors so that a person can easily open the door and go through it.
What types of doors need to comply?
In the 2010 ADA standards for accessible design the only doors that require compliance with doors that people will pass through:
ADA Section 404.2 Manual Doors, Doorways, and Manual Gates. Manual doors and doorways and manual gates intended for user passage shall comply with 404.2.
That means that if a door is located in a shallow closet, for example, that door is not technically intended for a person to pass through and therefore it does not have to comply
Why do we need so much room in front of the door?
The amount of maneuvering clearances at the door depends on the approach to the door. Section 404 shows you the different ways that a person could approach the door and gives you guidance for the amount of clearance a person will need to reach for the door handle, open the door and go through.
The most well-known requirements are the forward approach pull and push.
But why do we need so much room? The rectangle shown in the figure provides the proper amount of space for a person with disabilities to reach the door handle, open the door and go through. Below are four images depicting the amount of space required for a forward approach pull side maneuvering of the door.
Interestingly enough, a door might be located in a thicker wall, or an object might be located on the same wall as the maneuvering clearance. As long as the object is no more than 8” deep, or as long as the door is not located more than 8” from the face of the wall, it will be compliant for maneuvering for forward approach pull or push side. Below are some examples:
This door is located in a recess that is less than 8” deep. The 18” on the pull side maneuvering can include the wall that is in front of the door.
This door has a paper towel dispenser next to the 18” maneuvering clearance at the latch side of the door
Since the paper towel dispenser is less than 8” deep, it can be part of the maneuvering clearance
But there are other ways one can approach the door, and the requirements for the amount of maneuvering clearance will change. The table in section 404
shows the different approaches and the amount of space required for each.
The US Access Board created instructional videos to explain the standards. Here is the one about maneuvering clearances
Other types of doors
The requirements for doors also applies to toilet compartment doors. Except for the latch side approach which requires only 42″ of clearance, all other approaches will require the space per section 404
The requirements so far dealt with swinging doors and gates. But besides the swing doors, there are also maneuvering requirements for sliding doors. These also require maneuvering and these are found in section 404.
|this is a barn door that will require maneuvering clearance to open
Wednesday, May 24th, 2017
Section 404.2.10 Door and Gate Surfaces
The 2010 ADA Standards require that the push side of swinging doors have the bottom rail that is 10″ measured vertically from the finish floor or ground be “smooth”.
This door is a flush door and therefore considered to have a “smooth surface” within 10″ from the floor
Sometimes the doors are paneled by joints and may not be considered to have a “smooth surface”. If there are joints in the surface below 10″ from the finish floor, it is only allowed to be within 1/16 inch of the same plane as the other to be considered “smooth”.
This paneled door is not considered to have a smooth surface because there are joints deeper than 1/16 inches and below 10″ a.f.f. creating a paneled effect.
The locking mechanism on this door is more than 1/16 inches from the face of the bottom rail and therefore will not be considered to have a smooth surface
This door has glass panels that are located above 10 inches a.f.f. , therefore the bottom rail is considered smooth
According to the 2010 ADA , the smooth surface should extend full width of the door or gate. This may be an issue when door hardware is located within the 10 inch smooth surface.
The kick plate extends the entire width of the door and therefore considered to have a smooth surface
The door hardware at this door is located within the 10 inches and therefore it is not considered to have a smooth surface
The hinges have a chrome plate on either side of the door which makes the bottom rail not smooth since it is not extending all the way across the door
There are some exceptions:
1. Sliding doors shall not be required to comply with section 404.2.10
This door does not have a smooth surface within 10″ of the floor, but since it is a sliding door then it is allowed
2. Tempered glass doors without stiles and having a bottom rail or shoe with the top leading edge tapered at 60 degrees minimum from the horizontal shall not be required to meet the 10 inch bottom smooth surface height requirement.
This door has tempered glass and the bottom rail is tapered 60 degrees at the top, therefore the 4″ height of the bottom rail is compliant
This bottom rail is not tapered and it is less than 10″ high, therefore is it not compliant
3. Doors and gates that do not extend to within 10 inches (255 mm) of the finish floor or ground shall not be required to have smooth surface at the bottom of the gate or door
This door does not extend to 10 inches from the ground, therefore it will not require a smooth surface at the bottom
Monday, April 24th, 2017
2017 AIA Convention Expo in Orlando Florida
I just attended the 2017 AIA Convention Expo and met with some vendors about their new products for barrier free design. I am not endorsing or recommending these products. These are interesting products that might work well for barrier free applications. I hope you find these interesting as well.
LIFT-U Accessor Convertible Walkway
I visited with the folks at LIFT-U on their convertible walkways. If you are walking along a walkway (exterior or interior) and you encounter a change in level, this product will create a ramp for you with a push of a button. It is surface mounted and will require electricity. Below is a video of how it works.
One of the limitations with this product is that it will only go up to 6″ in height. The length of the ramp that it creates is only six feet long to achieve a 1:12 maximum slope at a 6″ maximum height curb. So if you encounter a taller change in level, this product will not work for ADA compliance. In addition, if you are approaching a door, it will only comply if there is a 60″ landing in front of the door. But in general, this product seems to have a lot of potential.
We visited with the folks at Cavity Sliders and they showed us their ADA Magnetic accessible hardware by Cavilock. This lock is used for pocket or sliding doors and can be used with one hand, does not require tight grasping, pinching or twisting of the wrist to operate and it requires less than 5 lbs to lock and unlock.
We ran across an interesting product that is installed onto any window to open and close it electronically. This can be used any place that requires operable windows to be accessible. Some examples are assisted living centers, schools, hotels etc. The ADA requires that operable windows meet also the reach range and operation requirements. The lock should be not only mounted within reach range (no higher than 48″ a.f.f.) but also not require more than 5 lbs to lock and unlock. This mechanism assists in the opening and makes the windows accessible.
Just Manufacturing has come up with a way to have an accessible sink that is also deeper than 6 1/2″. They taper than sink in the front 30 degrees which allows for proper knee clearance and makes the sink farther back which allows it to be deep for more practical uses.
ADA Enviro Series 30 degrees lavatory system.
Building Professionals Institute seminar, Arlington Texas
Understanding the Fair Housing Act- August 10th Metrocon17 Dallas Texas
Green CE On Demand webinar “How Accessible is Your work place?”
Green CE On Demand webinar “ADA and Residential Facilities”
AIA U online course: “Applying the ADA on Existing and Altered Buildings”
Green CE “Applying the ADA on Existing and Altered Buildings”
If you are interested in Building Code seminars check out my colleague Shahla Layendecker with SSTL Codes
If you want to learn more about these standards, be sure to check out my books:
“The ADA Companion Guide” “Applying the ADA” published by Wiley.
Section 306 Toe Clearance
In the 1991 ADAAG, there was a figure (Figure 31) which showed dimensions for knee and toe clearances. There was a lot of confusion as to why the “toe” clearance was shown as 6″ MAX? Why not minimum? why couldn’t we have more toe clearance under a sink, drinking fountain or desk?
What was throwing us off was the fact that the figure showed the toe clearance dimension to the rear wall where the sink/lavatory was mounted. That was misleading.
The 6″ dimension on the figure is not a construction dimension. It is not giving you a requirement for a distance to the rear wall. In fact we don’t care where the rear wall is, since we are given guidance about knees and toes which occur in the front of the element.
This section shows a protective skirt with a dimension at the bottom shown 6″ from the rear wall. The 6″ dimension is showing the toe clearance. The dimension that they should have shown is the 17″ min. depth from the front of the counter.
The 2010 ADA Standards revised the figure to remove the rear wall reference. But did it make it more clear?
The question remains: why is the 6″ a maximum and not a minimum?
In order to understand, you must read the words of the standard:
306.1 General. Where space beneath an element is included as part of clear floor or ground space or turning space, the space shall comply with 306. Additional space shall not be prohibited beneath an element but shall not be considered as part of the clear floor or ground space or turning space.
What the standards are trying to explain is that when designing your floor space that will be used by a person in a wheelchair, make sure you allocate the toe clearance so that most of the required 17″-25″ of depth occurs in front of the obstruction, and only 6″ should be counted beyond the obstruction.
The 30″x 48″ rectangle can go underneath a sink for a depth of 17″ where 11″ will be considered knee clearance and 6″ will be considered toe clearance (11″+6″=17″). If the depth is 19″, then the knee space will be allowed to be 13″ and the toe clearance will be 6″ (13″+6″=19″) etc. You can always increase the knee clearance at the front of the obstruction, but the maximum depth that can be designated for the toes will only be 6″.
The toe clearance should be 17″-25″ deep. The blocking shown on the section is not required to be provided to create the 6″ max of toe clearance.
My colleague drew this picture to show this concept. It’s not prohibited to have more than 6″ beyond the protective panel, it’s just not considered part of the “toe clearance”.
The requirement is used for measuring turning spaces or clear floor space that uses the floor under objects such as sinks, lavatories, drinking fountains or desks. So the 6″ under an element is the only amount allowed to be considered “toe clearance”. Any more than 6″ it’s just air space.
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