Guide to Architectura Accessibility

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  • 7/31/2019 Guide to Architectura Accessibility



    1. Exterior Accessible RouteAn Exterior Accessible Route is a continuous pathway with stable, firm and slip-resistant surface

    at least 36 inches (915mm) wide, which has no curbs, steps, stairs or abrupt changes greater

    than 6.25 millimeters. It should be free from sand, gravel, gratings, debris or anything that could

    trip people or result in an unstable or uneven surface.

    An Exterior Accessible Route provides a safe path for people who walk with difficulty, use

    wheelchairs, crutches, braces, canes or walkers, or who have respiratory or heart problems or

    other conditions that limit stamina or mobility.

    An exterior accessible route leading to a school entrance. An exterior accessible route cutting through a parking lot.

    A curb ramp or curb cut.

    Walks, paths and floor surfaces should be

    free from small changes in level, steps and

    protruding objects, like branches, shrubs,

    signages and light fixtures. Holes and

    cracks should be filled in, bumps should be

    smoothed out, small changes in level

    should be ramped and thresholds should

    be levelled with the path or bevelled.

    Curbs encountered on the accessible route

    must have a curb ramp or curb cut. A curb

    cut is a ramp leading smoothly from a

    sidewalk to a street.

    If a flight of stairs is the only available

    route, a ramp or elevator should be


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    2. ParkingParking Spaces

    Accessible parking spaces should be at least 8 feet (2440 mm) wide with a 5-foot (1525 mm)

    wide access aisle next to them. Two accessible parking spaces may share a common access

    aisle. Parking spaces and access aisles shall be level with surface slopes not exceeding 1:50 (2%)

    in all directions

    A 5-foot wide access aisle is provided next to the accessible parking space. The access aisle gives a disabled driver

    Two accessible parking spaces may share an access aisle. space to get off and board his vehicle.

    One in every eight accessible parking space must be a van accessible space. A van accessible

    space accommodates vans with side lifts by having a 8-meter-wide access aisle. Each accessible

    space must be as close as possible to the building entrance and adjoin an accessible route.

    A van accessible space enables persons on wheelchairs to get A 8-meter-wide (96 inches) access aisle is provided for the van

    off vans with side lifts. accessible space.

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    Accessible parking spaces should be designated as reserved by a sign showing the Symbol of

    Accessibility. Such sign should be located so it cannot be obscured by a vehicle parked in the


    The International Symbol of Accessibility An access parking space designated by the International Symbol of


    To calculate for the number of required accessible parking spaces, use the table shown below:

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    Passenger Loading /Drop-Off Zone

    A passenger loading/drop-off zone should have at least 5 feet of clear space beside the vehicle

    for passenger loading. The passenger loading /drop-off zone must connect to an accessibleroute to the building entry. Curbs at passenger loading/drop-off zones must have curb cuts that

    are kept unobstructed.

    A passenger loading zone requires a minimum of 5 feet of clear space beside the vehicle for easy passenger loading.

    3. Entrances and DoorsEntrances to buildings should be approached by a flat or gradually sloping and smooth surface.

    An exterior accessible route must connect parking areas, passenger loading/drop-off zones,

    public transportation stops or other buildings with the building entrance.

    Entrance Ramps

    Entrance ramps should have a maximum slope of 8.3% or one foot of rise for every 12 feet of

    horizontal run. For every 30 feet of run a 5-foot long landing or rest platform is required. In

    addition, 5-foot level platforms must be at both the top and bottom of the ramp.

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    Ramps are required to have hand rails on both sides. The minimum width of a ramp is 36 inches

    (915mm). Top of hand rail should be 34-38 inches above the ramp surface. Hand rails should

    extend 12 inches (305mm) beyond the top and bottom of the ramp segment.

    It is important that hand rails be provided on both sides of the ramp.


    Doorways should have a minimum clear opening of 32 in (815 mm) with the door open 90

    degrees, measured between the face of the door and the opposite stop. The maximum depth of

    a doorway is 24 inches (610mm).

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    Two doors in series must have a minimum of 4 feet (1220mm) in addition to the width of the

    door(s) swinging into the space (so a 3-foot door swinging into a hall would require the hall to

    be a minimum of 7-0 long).


    The maximum height of thresholds at accessible doorways is 3/4 inch (19 mm) for exterior

    sliding doors and 1/2 inch (13 mm) for other types of doors. Thresholds and floor level changes

    at accessible doorways exceeding these heights should be beveled with a slope no greater than


    A beveled threshold allows wheelchairs to pass through doorways easily.

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    Maneuvering Clearances at Doors

    Doors that are not automatic or power-assisted require a minimum maneuvering clearance of

    60 inches (1525 mm) at the pull side and 48 inches (1220 mm) at the push side. The floor orground area within the required clearances should be level and clear.

    Door manuevering clearance at the pull side. Door manuevering clearance at the push side.

    Door Hardware

    Handles, pulls, latches, locks, and other operating devices on accessible doors should have a

    shape that is easy to grasp with one hand and does not require tight grasping, tight pinching, or

    twisting of the wrist to operate. Lever-operated mechanisms, push-type mechanisms, and U-

    shaped handles are acceptable designs. Hardware required for accessible door passage should

    be mounted no higher than 48 in (1220 mm) above finished floor.

    These are examples of non-accessible door handles. The left picture shows a door handle that is not accessible because one must

    grasp the handle and pinch down on the thumb latch at the same time. The r ight picture is a traditional ball-type round door knob

    that requires a tight grasp before twisting the knob to open the door.

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    Three pictures of different types of accessible door handle The first one is a loop type handle that can be used simply by pulling or

    pushing. The second one is a lever handle that can be operated without a tight grasp or twisting. The third picture is a push bar which

    enables one to open a door by just pushing on the bar.

    The maximum height of a door hardware from the finished floor is 48 inches (1220 mm).

    Door Opening Force

    Interior doors should take no more than 5 pounds of pull force to open. Door closers should be

    adjusted so that someone with limited upper body strength or limited mobility can easily open

    the door.

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    4. Interior Access RouteInside a building, people must be able to move about through the interior accessible route. Like

    the exterior accessible route, the interior accessible route is a continuous pathway that is well-lit, stable, firm, slip-resistant, unobstructed and at least 36 inches (915 mm) wide. The interior

    accessible route should be the shortest route and signage should clearly mark it if not all routes

    are accessible.

    The interior accessible route (#2) directly connects the accessible entrance (#1) to the accessible door (#3) of the destination room

    inside the building.

    If not all routes are accessible, the interior accessible route should be clearly marked.

    Clearance for Passage

    People who use mobility aids such as wheelchairs, walkers or crutches and braces require more

    space in which to manuever. The average adult-sized wheelchair uses about 30 inches (760

    mm) by 48 inches (1220 mm) of floor space. Because at least 4 feet (1220 mm) is required for a

    person in a wheelchair to pass a walking person and 5 feet (1525 mm) for two people using

    wheelchairs to pass, it is recommended that all aisles, corridors and hallways have a minimum

    width of 5 feet (1525 mm).

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    All aisles, corridors and hallways should have a minimum width of 60 inches (1525 mm).