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In Part 2 of our miniseries, we are going to look at “Doors, Doorways and Gates.” These accessible elements are called into question and reviewed almost every time there is a tenant improvement or alteration. By following the requirements below, and having a qualified CASp inspection report, you can keep your business and patrons safe and have peace of mind against future lawsuits. Be aware that this is just a portion of Doors, Doorways and Gates found within the 2013 California Building Code, (CBC). Please read thoroughly, and don’t miss the Exceptions that we have highlighted in red.

New and revised sections in the 2013 CBC:

  1. Section 11B-404.2.4: New maneuvering clearances at doorways without doors or gates, manual sliding doors and folding doors went into effect that call out perpendicular and parallel approach dimensions.
  2.  Section 11B-404.2.3: Clear opening width remains 32” minimum but new to this section; no projections into required width below 34” AFF, and 4” max projections into required width between 34”-80” AFF.
    • Exceptions:
      1. In alterations, a projection of 5/8 inch maximum into the required clear width shall be permitted for the latch side stop.
      2. Door closers and doorstops permitted at 78 inches min. AFF.
      3. No full user passage; clear width of 20 inches min.
  3. Section 11B-404.2.8: Doors with closers must have a min 5-second sweep from 90 degrees open to 12 degrees open. Doors or gates with spring hinges must have a min. 1.5-second sweep from 70 degrees open to closed.
  4. Section 11B-404.2.9: Door and gate opening force is 5 pounds max. on interior hinged doors and gates, sliding and folding doors, and exterior hinged doors. Required fire doors opening force is 15 pounds max. These forces do NOT apply to the force required to retract latch bolts or disengage other devices.
    • Exceptions:
      1. If the work is at a single location, one of every 8 exterior door leafs, or fraction of 8, is a powered door, other exterior doors at the same location, serving the same interior space, may have a maximum opening force of 8.5 lbs. The powered leaf(s) shall be located closest to the accessible route.
      2. In a building or facility where powered doors serve an occupant load of 150 or more you must provide a back-up battery or back-up generator.
      3. Powered doors shall be controlled on both the interior and exterior sides of the doors by sensing devices, push plates, vertical actuation bars or other similar operating devises.

Where push plates are provided, power doors must have two push plates, one at 7-8 inches to center line AFF, and one at 30-44 inches to center line AFF. Each push plate must have a 4-inch diameter min. or 4 by 4 inches square min. with the ISA symbol.

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As a reminder, doors and gates are one of those elements that do not trigger any additional upgrade requirements when being modified. When replacing a door, hardware or closer to improve accessibility, you are only required to make sure that the new door width and its hardware, opening force and maneuvering space are compliant.

In the commercial world, there has been a definite spike in the use of sliding and pocket doors. It is important to note that sliding and pocket doors in the fully open position must have operating hardware exposed and usable from both sides. Operating hardware shall not require tight grasping, pinching, or twisting of the wrist. Remember that these types of doors do require a 5 pounds max. opening force and new maneuvering clearances.

Bill Holl is the Bay Area’s premier ADA consultant with over 35 years of architectural experience. He specializes in providing Silicon Valley ADA compliance services South Bay cities including San Jose, Palo Alto, Santa Clara, Los Gatos, Campbell and more. He also provides ADA compliance consulting throughout most areas of California including Monterey, Carmel, Santa Cruz, Morgan Hill, Gilroy and the entire San Francisco Bay Area. Give us a call today to schedule your next consultation, and let us keep your business protected from fines and lawsuits.