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Yale University Law School Seeks Gender-Neutral Restrooms


By Ryan Berlin Plumbing & Restrooms

Managers planning restroom upgrades at commercial and institutional facilities may want to consider more than just low flow toilets and faucets.

Yale Law School wants to make its single-user restrooms gender-neutral. But to meet Connecticut building code, it must have a certain number of restrooms designated and assigned by sex.

The state’s deputy building inspector refused the law school’s request for a code modification in December, and the finding was upheld by the codes and standards committee in March. The university filed an administrative appeal in the State of Connecticut Superior Court, the New Haven Register reports.

“Some of the student proponents of the shift had reported being made to feel uncomfortable when using gender-specific bathrooms. The proposed shift in designation to gender-neutral and associated code modifications would facilitate quick access to a bathroom within the building for persons of all gender identities, eliminate discomfort expressed by trans and gender nonconforming law school students in using gender specific restrooms and promote the equal treatment of trans and gender-nonconforming students,” states the complaint which was filed earlier.

A spokeswoman for Gov. Dannel Malloy said his administration would seek to grant Yale’s request, Reuters reports.

The structure in question is the Sterling Law Building, which was built in the 1920s. If the law school wants to meet building code and make the single-user restrooms gender-neutral, it would need to add more restrooms so that it meets the code-required number of facilities assigned by gender. That’s not feasible, according to the complaint, because of space considerations and the architectural significance of the building’s interior space. Also, the filing states, it’s anticipated that the International Plumbing Code for 2018 will require that single-occupancy restrooms be identified “for use by either sex.”

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This Quick Read was submitted by Ryan Berlin, managing editor of Facility Maintenance Decisions, ryan.berlin@tradepressmedia.com. Read more about plumbing and restroom solutions and finding plumbing and restroom products that perform.

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