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Making Stores Accessible

Accessibility in retail restrooms is as important as cleanliness. Accessories and faucets should be reachable and usable with one hand.

By Alan Gettelman and Richard Duncan

It’s a fact: Safety awareness and accessibility compliance translates into ease of use for all customers. The Americans with Disability Act Accessibility Standards (ADAS) and ASTM (American Society of Testing and Materials) requirements not only make store spaces accessible, but should also help owners/operators avoid complaints and possible penalties.

Here are some key points:

ENTRANCE: For convenience and safety, a 2% maximum slope in any direction is allowed in doorway areas. All doors must provide at least a 32-in. clear opening with a closing speed of no more than five seconds. Thresholds may be no more than a ½-in. high.

ROUTES: A 36-in.-wide route of travel should be available to all areas with nothing projecting more than 4 ins. between 27 ins. to 80 ins. above the floor.

Accessible routes to racks, displays and kiosks should also provide 36 ins. of clear width. The aisle at check-out must allow a clear route of travel to and through, and the counter surface at check-out must be no more than 38 ins. high.

Accessible dressing/fitting room should have the same access aisle of 36 ins. or more, entry doors of 32 ins. or more, and a wall-mounted bench 20 ins. to 24 ins. deep and 42 ins. long, located at 17 ins. by 19 ins. above the floor. If provided, the mirror should be 18 ins. wide with the bottom no more than 35 ins. high, and the top not less than 74 ins. high.

RESTROOMS: Being ADA-compliant in retail restrooms is as important as cleanliness. Operators risk fines and closures for men’s and women’s facilities that do not adhere to specified mounting heights, reach ranges and operable parts located not more than 48 ins. above the finish floor for accessories, such as dispensers, receptacles and baby-changing stations. Requirements also pertain to restroom layouts for the lavatory area and toilet compartments.

In planning an accessible retail restroom, it’s important that entrances and exits are laid out to minimize congestion and for universal access. Passageways and access aisles should be at least 42 in. to 48 in. wide. Protrusions should be limited to between 27 ins. and 80 ins. in all circulation routes — passageways and access aisles are no more than 4 ins.

It’s also important to provide wheelchair turning spaces wherever required. The increased use of large wheelchairs and scooters requires larger maneuvering spaces. All accessories, faucets and flush values should be reachable and usable with one hand and not require more than 5 lbs. of force. There should be centered, minimum clear floor space of 30 ins. by 48 ins. provided at each accessory.

If six or more toilet compartments or urinals are used, there must be at least one ambulatory accessible toilet compartment in addition to the standard accessible compartment. Lastly, make sure to locate baby-changing stations so that they do not block passageways to accessible compartments.

DIVERSE USERS: The needs of people who use wheelchairs are fundamental factors for determining floor space, turning diameters, mounting heights and reach ranges. Accommodating the characteristics, needs and equipment required by a wide range of users takes into consideration the following factors:

• Stability and balance issues;

• Very short and very tall stature;

• Large and heavy;

• Illness/surgery recovery; and

• Senior citizens.

 

Alan Gettelman is VP external affairs, Bobrick Washroom Equipment, North Hollywood, Calif.; Richard Duncan is executive director, Mace Universal Design Institute, Chapel Hill, N.C.

As a special courtesy to architects and planners/operators of all types of retail establishments, Bobrick has been publishing and routinely updating the Planning Guide for Accessible Restrooms since the early ’90s. The latest version is available at Bobrick.com.

 

It’s a fact: Safety awareness and accessibility compliance translates into ease of use for all customers. The Americans with Disability Act Accessibility Standards (ADAS) and ASTM (American Society of Testing and Materials) requirements not only make store spaces accessible, but should also help owners/operators avoid complaints and possible penalties.

Here are some key points:

ENTRANCE: For convenience and safety, a 2% maximum slope in any direction is allowed in doorway areas. All doors must provide at least a 32-in. clear opening with a closing speed of no more than five seconds. Thresholds may be no more than a ½-in. high.

ROUTES: A 36-in.-wide route of travel should be available to all areas with nothing projecting more than 4 ins. between 27 ins. to 80 ins. above the floor.

Accessible routes to racks, displays and kiosks should also provide 36 ins. of clear width. The aisle at check-out must allow a clear route of travel to and through, and the counter surface at check-out must be no more than 38 ins. high.

Accessible dressing/fitting room should have the same access aisle of 36 ins. or more, entry doors of 32 ins. or more, and a wall-mounted bench 20 ins. to 24 ins. deep and 42 ins. long, located at 17 ins. by 19 ins. above the floor. If provided, the mirror should be 18 ins. wide with the bottom no more than 35 ins. high, and the top not less than 74 ins. high.

RESTROOMS: Being ADA-compliant in retail restrooms is as important as cleanliness. Operators risk fines and closures for men’s and women’s facilities that do not adhere to specified mounting heights, reach ranges and operable parts located not more than 48 ins. above the finish floor for accessories, such as dispensers, receptacles and baby-changing stations. Requirements also pertain to restroom layouts for the lavatory area and toilet compartments.

In planning an accessible retail restroom, it’s important that entrances and exits are laid out to minimize congestion and for universal access. Passageways and access aisles should be at least 42 in. to 48 in. wide. Protrusions should be limited to between 27 ins. and 80 ins. in all circulation routes — passageways and access aisles are no more than 4 ins.

It’s also important to provide wheelchair turning spaces wherever required. The increased use of large wheelchairs and scooters requires larger maneuvering spaces. All accessories, faucets and flush values should be reachable and usable with one hand and not require more than 5 lbs. of force. There should be centered, minimum clear floor space of 30 ins. by 48 ins. provided at each accessory.

If six or more toilet compartments or urinals are used, there must be at least one ambulatory accessible toilet compartment in addition to the standard accessible compartment. Lastly, make sure to locate baby-changing stations so that they do not block passageways to accessible compartments.

DIVERSE USERS: The needs of people who use wheelchairs are fundamental factors for determining floor space, turning diameters, mounting heights and reach ranges. Accommodating the characteristics, needs and equipment required by a wide range of users takes into consideration the following factors:

• Stability and balance issues;

• Very short and very tall stature;

• Large and heavy;

• Illness/surgery recovery; and

• Senior citizens.

 

 Alan Gettelman is VP external affairs, Bobrick Washroom Equipment, North Hollywood, Calif.; Richard Duncan is executive director, Mace Universal Design Institute, Chapel Hill, N.C.

As a special courtesy to architects and planners/operators of all types of retail establishments, Bobrick has been publishing and routinely updating the Planning Guide for Accessible Restrooms since the early ’90s. The latest version is available at Bobrick.com.