Thursday, August 9, 2012

Specific Accessibility References

There is often a temptation to go beyond the text when it comes to code compliance. Many times designers and contractors add a little extra. In most cases adding a bit of margin of error is justified. Wider corridors benefit everyone, not just the wheelchair users. Clearances in restrooms are beneficial to the portly and those with limited use of legs.

Some plan checkers and some inspectors will ask for clearances where they do not apply. Case in point toilet tissue dispensers in accessible stalls, can they project out more than 4"?

ANSI 604.3.2 Overlap. The required clearance around the water closet shall be permitted to overlap the water closet, associated grab bars, paper dispensers, sanitary napkin receptacles, coat hooks, shelves, accessible routes, clear floor space at other fixtures and the turning space. No other fixtures or obstructions shall be within the required water closet clearance.
2010 CBC 111SB.S.4 Toilet tissue dispensers. Toilet tissue dispensers shall be located on the wall within 12 inches (305 mm) of the front edge of the toilet seat, mounted below the grab bar, at a minimum height of 19 inches (485 mm), and 36 inches (914 mm) maximum to the far edge from the rear wall. Dispensers that control delivery or that do not permit continuous paper flow shall not be used. See Figure 11B-1A.

The code language and figures do not mention projection. You do not need a recessed toilet tissue dispenser and its associated costs in order to comply. Now you may want recessed accessories in order to fulfill your design objectives, but don't hide behind a non-existent code requirement.

I am an architect licensed in three states, however everything you read on the internet should be verified with a design professional in your jurisdiction.
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