Restrooms and ADA

ADA, communication   June 29, 2010

I'm Dan Hounsell, editor of Maintenance Solutions magazine. Today's topic is, restrooms and accessibility.

The first aspect managers must consider in planning for restroom renovation is compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA. To meet ADA requirements during renovation, managers must consider these factors:

•  occupant count and fixture requirements

•  space requirements

•  structural requirements.

Most ADA-compliance renovations result in the loss of a stall or a urinal because of changes to meet the 5-foot diameter requirement for stalls. If the number of existing fixtures is appropriate for the code governing the area population, then the loss of a stall might require additional construction costs.

Similarly, space requirements for an ADA-compliant stall might require realigning remaining stalls and stools. One possible cost-saving option is to make the ADA-compliant stall the size of two existing stalls, exceeding the size needed for a compliant stall but eliminating the need to move plumbing fixtures.

Structural requirements also come into play with grab bars required in the ADA stall. Often, walls must be reinforced to accommodate the potential weight-bearing capacities of these bars.


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