Doors are often one of the most challenging elements to make ADA-compliant. Read on to learn more about ADA door requirements, including maneuvering clearances and standard 404 regulating changes in level.
ADA guidelines set forth requirements for accessibility, including minimum clear widths, maneuvering clearances, and opening force. The ADA also includes how long doors and gates must stay open to allow safe passage.
Door accessibility requirements include maneuvering clearances, which are the spaces around doors, doorways, and gates that need to be clear for people using wheelchairs or other mobility aids. ADA door maneuvering clearances are required on both sides of doors or gates, except for those that can only be used in one direction.
For swinging doors, there needs to be a minimum of 48 inches of maneuvering clearance on the side that an individual would push to open the door. In addition, doors to patient rooms in hospitals need more space since they often accommodate gurneys and beds.
In most cases, revolving doors are not well-suited to meet ADA maneuvering clearance requirements, but that can be overcome by adding a door on either side of the revolving one. This way, only one leaf of the revolving door has to meet ADA requirements for clear width and thresholds. The other can be a regular door that meets all different ADA standards.
Door openings, maneuvering clearances, and hardware are just a few items that must be addressed in revolving door code compliance. Several other ADA guidelines aren’t less well known but can be very useful for your business.
For example, the ADA requires that doors have at least 48 inches of clear width on the side where someone would open them. If your building has revolving doors (or any other type of door that opens and closes using a lever), you’ll need to add an automatic opener so that people who use wheelchairs can easily open them.
The ADA also regulates how much force is required to operate a manual door.
In addition to a precise width requirement, each revolving door must be flanked on both sides by side-hinged swing doors and have a separate door in the same wall that provides primary exit access. This prevents people from being trapped inside a revolving door if it gets backed up while exiting or entering.
A revolving door must also have lever-operated hardware that does not require tight grasping or pinching and cannot be operated by twisting the wrist. The 2010 ADA standards limit the operable force of lever-operated hardware to 22.2-N (5 lb).
Revolving doors create modern entrances that save energy and space, but they can pose a safety risk when they aren’t adequately sized for the traffic. Users may push others, try to squeeze through, or otherwise be injured if the door is too small for the demand. This is especially dangerous when the doors are part of a means of egress.
The 2010 ADA Standards require a transparent surface on the push side of all swinging doors and gates – including revolving doors — to prevent projections that can catch or trap canes, crutches, and walkers. Any cavities created by added kick plates must be capped to reduce the risk of entrapment.
Other revolving door safety issues include the direction of rotation, operating forces, and hardware. These requirements are essential because they can impact how easily a door is used and, ultimately, the user’s experience.