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2022 California Standards for Accessible Design Guide (effective January 1, 2023)

Including selected excerpts from the Americans with Disabilities Act and Safe Harbor criteria

Effective January 1, 2023

Version 1.0

COMPILED and © 2023 by EVAN TERRY ASSOCIATES, LLC

BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA

(205) 972-9100

www.EvanTerry.com

ETA@EvanTerry.com

INTRODUCTION

Acknowledgments and Contributions

Primary editing for previous California Guides was performed by Jerry A. Shadix, LEED AP, a licensed architect with extensive experience in accessibility, healthcare facilities, and sustainable architecture practicing in Sacramento, California.

ETA would like to thank Mark Wood and Paul Klein of California Certified Accessibility Specialists, Inc. (CalCasp) for their significant contributions to the initial development of previous versions of this Guide.

Intent

This Guide is intended as a resource for understanding accessibility requirements in California that are essentially architectural, including related communication elements. Its primary focus is the 2022 California Access Compliance Advisory Reference Manual published by the State of California Department of General Services, Division of the State Architect, but it includes and compares requirements of Americans with Disabilities Act Title II (Standards for State and Local Government Facilities), Title III (Standards for Public Accommodations and Commercial Facilities) and the 2004 Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines, collectively known as the "2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design" (2010 ADA Standards).

This Guide includes Advisories from the State of California Division of the State Architect - Access Compliance (DSA-AC), U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), and U.S. Access Board. Extensive use has been made by Evan Terry Associates (ETA) of "ETA Editor's Notes" for clarification, and of hyperlinks for internal cross-referencing and access to external materials and information. 

This Guide does not include requirements from ADA Title I (Employment), Title IV (Telecommunications), Title V (Miscellaneous Provisions), requirements that differ from 2010 ADA Standards incorporated into the Architectural Barriers Act (ABA), Rehabilitation Act of 1973, or the Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards (UFAS). It also does not address accessibility provisions that are non-architectural, such as policies and procedures, employee training, public transportation vehicles, auxiliary aids and services, publications or websites.

Background

A new edition of the California Building Code is issued every three years, based on the International Building Code (IBC) dated the previous year, liberally modified. When the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design (2010 ADA Standards) were adopted by DOJ on September 15, 2010, these became the initial basis for the accessibility requirements of CBC Chapter 11B, including the organization and numbering of the requirements. Generally speaking, the 2010 ADA Standards counterpart to a CBC requirement for public accommodations and commercial facilities can be found by deleting the "11B-" prefix to obtain the ADA Standards reference number, although there are numerous exceptions. Evan Terry Associates will continue to revise and update this Pocket Guide as new technical assistance is released and interpretations are provided by federal agencies and DSA-AC, including changes made during the intervening code cycle and any errata that may be published.

In converting the Federal Standards for application in California, DSA-AC was operating under a legislative mandate not to sacrifice any of the provisions of earlier editions of CBC that afford a higher level of accessibility for individuals with disabilities than those of the ADA Standards. Therefore, with very few exceptions, where the CBC accessibility requirements differ from 2010 ADA Standards, they are either more inclusive (i.e., scoping that applies more broadly), or more stringent.

While the accessibility scoping and technical requirements of CBC and 2010 ADA Standards appear very similar, the former is a Building Code, and the latter is a Civil Rights Law. Significant implications of this fundamental difference include:

  1. Enforcement. A Building Code is enforced by governmental authorities having jurisdiction (AHJs), who are empowered to interpret and/or modify its requirements. Their enforcement is exercised through a permitting and certification process that usually includes reviews of the documents needed for construction, and inspections of the work performed during construction and at completion. This process is imperfect. Building Officials, regardless of how conscientious, knowledgeable and hard-working, cannot be expected to find and correct every Building Code shortcoming any more than traffic enforcement can be expected to issue a citation to every driver who exceeds the speed limit. Making the job more difficult, Building Code requirements must be written to cover every conceivable situation, and often are not as definitive as a speed limit. Interpretation and judgment are inescapable, and these may differ from one AHJ to another. There is no comparable mechanism for enforcing ADA requirements. They are enforced solely through the legal system. Risk management is the responsibility of the architects, engineers, interior designers, landscape architects, contractors, subcontractors, vendors, product manufacturers, building owners and managers, service personnel, and others who are involved in the creation and maintenance of the built environment. There is no governmental review or enforcement unless and until a lawsuit is filed.

  2. Applicability. In theory, a Building Code remains applicable throughout the life and operation of a building or other element of the built environment -- see also subsequent discussions about changes and Safe Harbors. In practice, the Building Code requirements become applicable only when an addition or alteration is executed that requires a permit, because that is when the enforcement mechanisms described above are activated. There are exceptions, mostly health- and safety-related, such as Fire Marshal inspections, OSHA inspections for workplace safety, Department of Public Health inspections of food service operations, and Joint Commission inspections of healthcare facilities. As a rule, the Building Code requirements that are applicable are the ones that were in effect when the project was permitted. A building owner is expected to maintain compliance with that edition, but is not expected to perform alterations to become compliant with later editions when issued. S/he is also not compelled to discover and correct conditions that were noncompliant at the time of construction, but were undetected. These existing nonconforming conditions are entitled to remain until a permitted alteration or addition, or an occupancy change, causes the current Building Code to take effect. As a Civil Rights Law, the ADA is applicable perpetually. It imposes the ongoing responsibility for owners of public accommodations to remove existing barriers for individuals with disabilities to the extent that it is readily achievable to do so, and it imposes the constant responsibility for governmental entities to make their programs and services available to, and usable by, individuals with disabilities. The implied responsibility to discover and correct noncompliant conditions, whether or not an alteration, addition, or change of occupancy is planned, exceeds the responsibility imposed by the Building Code. See also discussion of Safe Harbors.

  3. Changes. As stated above, the Building Code is republished every three years. In the interim, errata and/or supplements are issued at least once per year. In other words, change is constant. Since many building projects require more than one year to complete, it is not unusual for the pertinent Building Code requirements to change during construction. In some cases, the permitting process can also require multiple years. The requirements applicable to a specific project are those that were in effect when the permit application was made (except for errata, which can be applied retroactively), but it can be extremely difficult to identify those after completion. If a Drawing Cover Sheet lists 2022 California Building Code as one of the Applicable Codes, one still must ask, "Which version?" This Guide is based on the initial publication of 2022 CBC. The ADA undergoes significant formal changes infrequently. The Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG) issued in 1991 were supplemented in 1994, but were not rewritten by the U.S. Access Board until 2004. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) adopted by reference the revised ADAAG as regulatory standards effective November 29, 2006, and added or modified four sections. These sections are included in this Guide within ETA Editor’s Notes. DOJ adopted the revised ADAAG on September 15, 2010 -- see also the discussion of Safe Harbors. Evan Terry Associates has developed a detailed (line-by-line) reverse sortable analysis to show how the 2010 ADA Standards compare to the 1991 ADA Standards. It is available in Microsoft Excel spreadsheet format at http://www.ADAStandardsComparison.com as a free download for all interested parties. The Access Board has less detailed comparisons of its 2004 Guidelines with the 2010 ADA Standards and with the IBC 2003 and 2006 Standards and the NFPA 5000 Standard at http://www.Access-Board.gov/Guidelines-and-Standards/Buildings-and-Sites/About-the-ADA-Standards/Background/IBC-Comparison. It bears mentioning that the application and interpretations of the ADA are also affected by technical assistance, advisories, and opinions issued by DOJ, DOT, and the Access Board, as well as precedent-setting legal cases. See also the list of upcoming revisions to the ADA Standards at the end of this Introduction.

These implications of the fundamental difference between a Building Code and a Civil Rights Law are enumerated to emphasize that an element of the built environment that is subject to accessibility requirements must comply with both. If a Building Official or other AHJ does not enforce a particular accessibility requirement of the Building Code, or enforces it to a lesser degree than required by the ADA, the ADA requirement remains in effect, and must be met, despite the fact that no one is reviewing or approving the condition for ADA compliance. ETA has incorporated Editor's Notes at certain locations in this Guide to reemphasize this point, including the Special Conditions Appeals, Equivalent Facilitation, and Path of Travel Requirements.

Conventions Used In This Guide

Font Convention

Meaning

Black Text

Used for text taken from CBC

Black Text, Italicized

Used by CBC to identify departures from IBC and/or 2010 ADA Standards

Green Text

Used for text taken from ADA, prefaced by [2010 ADA Standards], [ADA Title II], [ADA Title III], [ADA Titles II & III] or [1991 ADAAG] to narrow the source

Dark Red Text within double-outlined Box

Used for explanatory or cautionary ETA Editor's Notes. When text taken from CBC or ADA is included in these boxes, the aforementioned text color/style conventions are used

Black Text within single-outlined Box with light blue-green shading

Used for DSA Advisories

‡‡

Used at CBC Figures to signify those that illustrate requirements more stringent than 2010 ADA Standards

Green Text within single-outlined Box with light tan shading

Used for ADA Advisories, either from the U.S. Access Board or the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)

[Safe Harbor Section Number Hyperlink]

Used for Safe Harbor hyperlinks

Safe Harbors

When DOJ updated the ADA Regulations and adopted the 2004 ADAAG in 2010, it recognized that many business owners and government entities had already invested considerable time, effort and money to achieve compliance with 1991 ADAAG, and saw fit to include a Safe Harbor provision in the Appendix to §36.304(d) of the 2010 Title III ADA Regulations (28 CFR Part 36), noted in the following chart from that Appendix. The requirements for Title II, State and Local Government Facilities, are similar and may be found at 28 CFR Part 35 §35.150(b)(2)(i).

Appendix to §36.304(d) Compliance Dates and Applicable Standards for Barrier Removal and Safe Harbor

Date

Requirement

Applicable Standards

Before March 15, 2012

Elements that do not comply with the requirements for those elements in the 1991 Standards must be modified to the extent readily achievable.

Note: Noncomplying newly constructed and altered elements may also be subject to the requirements of § 36.406(a)(5).

1991 Standards or 2010 Standards

On or after March 15, 2012

Elements that do not comply with the requirements for those elements in the 1991 Standards or that do not comply with the supplemental requirements (i.e., elements for which there are neither technical nor scoping specifications in the 1991 Standards), must be modified to the extent readily achievable. There is an exception for existing pools, wading pools, and spas built before March 15, 2012. [See § 36.304(g)(5)]
Note: Noncomplying newly constructed and altered elements may also be subject to the requirements of § 36.406(a)(5).

2010 Standards

On or after January 31, 2013

For existing pools, wading pools, and spas built before March 15, 2012, elements that do not comply with the supplemental requirements for entry to pools, wading pools, and spas must be modified to the extent readily achievable. [See § 36.304(g)(5)]

Sections 242 and 1009 of the 2010 Standards

Elements not altered after March 15, 2012

Elements that comply with the requirements for those elements in the 1991 Standards do not need to be modified.

Safe Harbor

As indicated in the title of this table, the Safe Harbor provision applies only to barrier removal in existing facilities, not to new construction. New construction must comply with the 2010 ADA Standards, as of March 15, 2012.

The term "Safe Harbor" does not appear in CBC, but a similar provision is included in Exception 2 at Section 11B-202.4. The scope of this "Safe Harbor" provision is far more limited than that of 2010 ADA Standards, and it is important to note that, when the 2022 CBC became applicable, "the immediately preceding edition of the California Building Code" refers to the 2019 CBC.

As observed in the Background section of this Introduction, a Building Code changes constantly, so "the immediately preceding edition of the California Building Code" is subject to interpretation. ETA has consulted with DSA-AC on this matter, learning that their interpretation is that this refers to any version of the preceding edition. Guide users are cautioned that some Building Officials or other Authorities Having Jurisdiction may apply a different interpretation.

For consistency and clarity, ETA has chosen to use the term "Safe Harbor" in this Guide to refer to items that may qualify for CBC Section 11B-202.4, Exception 2. Using DSA-AC's interpretation of "the immediately preceding edition of the California Building Code," ETA has provided hyperlinks from the 2022 CBC requirement to the applicable "Safe Harbor" prescription from the preceding edition. These are identifiable in the text of this document as follows: [Safe Harbor Section or Subsection Number Hyperlink].

There are currently still some uncertainties about how to interpret and apply the Safe Harbor provisions. More information about Safe Harbor provisions may be found throughout Corada by performing a keyword search or by clicking here: Safe Harbor.

Upcoming Revisions to the ADA Standards

Although these topics are out of the scope of this Guide, the following additions and updates to the ADA standards are worth watching for. More information on each of these can be found on the Access Board’s website and on Corada.

1. Public Rights-of-Way

On August 8, 2023, the U.S. Access Board issued a final rule on accessibility guidelines for pedestrian facilities in the public right-of-way. From the Board’s website:

"“The Access Board is proud to issue these guidelines as a critical step toward equal access to the public right-of-way for people with disabilities in America,” remarked Executive Director Sachin Pavithran. “Equal access to pedestrian facilities is crucial because pedestrian travel is the principal means of independent transportation for many people with disabilities.” 

The guidelines cover the minimum scoping and technical requirements for various spaces and elements in the public right-of-way, such as pedestrian access routes, which ensure the accessibility of sidewalks, including alternate access routes when the main route is closed for maintenance or construction. Other highlights in the requirements include accessible pedestrian signals, curb ramps and blended transitions, detectable warning surfaces, crosswalks at roundabouts, on-street parking, transit stops, and street furniture. In addition, the guidelines address shared use paths, which are designed primarily for use by bicyclists, pedestrians and other authorized motorized and non-motorized users for transportation purposes and recreation purposes. 

The public right-of-way accessibility guidelines apply to alterations and additions to existing pedestrian facilities in the public right-of-way as well as newly constructed pedestrian facilities covered under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Architectural Barriers Act (ABA), and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. Title II of the ADA applies to state and local government facilities, and the ABA requires that buildings or facilities that were designed, built, or altered with federal dollars or leased by federal agencies after August 12, 1968 be accessible. Section 504 covers any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance, including those that require compliance with federal regulations established by Department of Housing and Urban Development, the United States Postal Service, and other agencies. 

The guidelines will be mandatory after they are adopted for enforcement by the Department of Justice and the Department of Transportation under Title II of the ADA. They will be mandatory for federal right-of-way once adopted by the General Services Administration, the Department of Defense, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the U.S. Postal Service under the ABA, which requires that facilities built or leased by the federal government be accessible to people with disabilities."

2. Passenger Vessels

In June of 2013, the Board released for public comment proposed guidelines for access to ferries, cruise ships, excursion boats, and other passenger vessels under the ADA. That comment period was extended to January 24, 2014. Once finalized, these guidelines will supplement the Board’s ADA Accessibility Guidelines for Transportation Vehicles. The Department of Justice and the Department of Transportation will use the guidelines to set mandatory standards. More information can be found on the Access Board’s website at https://www.access-board.gov/pvag.

3. Medical Diagnostic Equipment

From the Board’s website:

The Access Board has issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to remove the sunset provisions in the our existing accessibility standards for medical diagnostic equipment (MDE) related to the low-height specifications for transfer surfaces, and replace them with a final specification for the low-transfer-height of medical diagnostic equipment used in the supine, prone, side-lying position and the seated position. The NPRM is open for public comment on Regulations.gov until August 31, 2023. More information is available in the Federal Register notice).

The accessibility standards for MDE under the Rehabilitation Act provide design criteria for examination tables and chairs, weight scales, radiological and mammography equipment, and other diagnostic equipment that are accessible to people with disabilities. They include requirements for equipment that necessitates transfer from mobility aids and address transfer surfaces, support rails, armrests, and other features. The Board developed the standards in consultation with the Food and Drug Administration.

As issued by the Board, the standards are not mandatory on health care providers and equipment manufacturers. The Department of Justice may adopt them as mandatory requirements under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Other federal agencies may implement them as well under the Rehabilitation Act which requires access to federally funded programs and services.

4. Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Standards and Guidelines

From the Board’s website:

“On January 18, 2017, the Access Board published a final rule that jointly updates requirements for information and communication technology covered by Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act and Section 255 of the Communication Act. The Section 508 Standards apply to electronic and information technology procured by the federal government, including computer hardware and software, websites, multimedia such as video, phone systems, and copiers. The Section 255 Guidelines address access to telecommunications products and services, and apply to manufacturers of telecommunication equipment.

The final rule jointly updates and reorganizes the Section 508 standards and Section 255 guidelines in response to market trends and innovations, such as the convergence of technologies. The refresh also harmonizes these requirements with other guidelines and standards both in the U.S. and abroad, including standards issued by the European Commission and with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), a globally recognized voluntary consensus standard for web content and ICT.

On January 22, 2018, the Board corrected the final rule to restore provisions for TTY access that were inadvertently omitted.”

For more information on communications topics and up-to-date information on the effective dates, visit the Board’s web site at https://www.access-board.gov/guidelines-and-standards/communications-and-it/about-the-ict-refresh/final-rule

Although these standards and guidelines do not apply directly under the ADA, when followed, they provide strong evidence that private and public entities are meeting applicable portions of their effective communication requirements under the ADA.

5. Transportation Vehicles

On December 14, 2016, the ADA Accessibility Guidelines for Buses and Vans was published in the Federal Register. The final rule became effective on January 13, 2017. The Access Board issued an advance notice for public commend on an update of guidelines for rail cars on February 14, 2020. From the Board’s website:

“Under the ADA, the Department of Transportation (DOT) issues and enforces accessibility standards for transportation vehicles that are based on the Board’s ADA Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG) for Transportation Vehicles. These requirements apply to new or remanufactured vehicles covered by the ADA, including:

  • buses and vans

  • rail cars (rapid, light, commuter, intercity, high-speed, and monorail)

  • automated guideway vehicles

  • trams and similar vehicles

DOT’s current vehicle standards are consistent with the Board’s ADAAG as first published in 1991 and supplemented in 1998 for over-the-road buses. The Board is in the process of updating the vehicle guidelines and has finalized updates to sections of guidelines covering buses and vans.

Regulations issued by DOT under the ADA apply these requirements and indicate which vehicles are required to comply. DOT’s ADA regulations also address transportation service and facilities.”

More information can be found on the Access Board’s website at https://www.access-board.gov/guidelines-and-standards/transportation/vehicles/about-adaag-for-transportation-vehicles

6. Prescription Drug Container Labels

From the Board’s website:

“The Board has led the development of advisory guidance on making prescription drug container labels accessible to people who are blind or visually impaired or who are elderly. This initiative was authorized by the “Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act" which President Obama signed into law in July 2012. A provision of the act (section 904) directs the Board to convene a working group to develop best practices for making information on prescription drug container labels accessible to people who are blind or visually impaired.

Shortly after the law was enacted, the Board formed the Working Group on Accessible Prescription Drug Container Labels, an 18-member stakeholder panel comprised of representatives from advocacy organizations and industry. The working group explored various access alternatives, including braille, large print labels, and auditory technologies such as “talking bottles” and radio frequency identification tags. In July 2013, it submitted to the Board its best practice recommendations for pharmacies on providing independent access to prescription drug container labels. These recommendations are advisory only, not mandatory, and will not have the force of guidelines or standards.

The law directed the National Council on Disability (NCD) to conduct an informational and educational campaign in cooperation with the stakeholder working group to inform the public, including people with disabilities and pharmacists, of the best practices. In June 2016, NCD issued a brochure on the best practices recommended by the Board's working group. The law also called upon the Comptroller General to conduct a review to assess the extent to which pharmacies are implementing the best practices and to determine whether barriers to prescription drug labels remain; the report was completed in December 2016.

Several national pharmacy chains now offer talking prescription information for blind customers: CVS (including its mail service company Caremark), Walmart, Walgreens, Rite Aid, and Express Scripts Pharmacy.

On March 18, 2014, CVS announced that it is providing ScripTalk talking prescription labels to customers with visual impairments ordering through cvs.com. The CVS initiative will ensure that cvs.com customers who are blind can access the critical health and safety information provided in a standard print prescription label. The Access Board Working Group’s Final Report Regarding Best Practices for Making Prescription Drug Container Label Information Accessible to Persons who are Blind or Visually-Impaired is referenced in section 3.2 and 3.5 of the agreement that led to the announcement. The agreement and announcement is the result of Structured Negotiations between CVS and the American Council of the Blind, the California Council of the Blind and the American Foundation for the Blind.

More information can be found on the Access Board’s website at https://www.access-board.gov/guidelines-and-standards/health-care/about-prescription-drug-container-labels

Research Projects

The Board sponsors and coordinates research for use in developing accessibility guidelines and providing technical assistance to the public. The Board’s research program is focused on the study of accessibility relating to architecture and design, communication, and transportation. A number of research projects have been completed by the Access Board and others are underway or planned. More information about these projects can be found on the Access Board’s website at http://www.Access-Board.gov/Research.

The results of those projects will be incorporated into future editions of the Guide only when they are integrated into the guidelines and then published as enforceable Final Rules by the Department of Justice and other adopting agencies.

CHAPTER 1 SCOPE AND ADMINISTRATION

ETA Editor's Note

This Guide contains only the excerpts from California Building Code Chapter 1 that are adopted by Division of the State Architect - Access Compliance (DSA-AC). To see the entire Chapter, consult the California Code of Regulations, Title 24, Part 2 - 2022 California Building Code (2022 CBC), available for purchase from International Code Council (http://www.iccsafe.org).

1.1.1 Title.

These regulations shall be known as the California Building Code, may be cited as such and will be referred to herein as "this code." The California Building Code is Part 2 of thirteen parts of the official compilation and publication of the adoption, amendment and repeal of building regulations to the California Code of Regulations, Title 24, also referred to as the California Building Standards Code. This part incorporates by adoption the 2018 International Building Code of the International Code Council with necessary California amendments.

DSA icon
Advisory 1.1.1 Title. The 2022 triennial edition of California Code of Regulations, Title 24 consists of 12 parts:

  • Part 1 – California Building Standards Administrative Code
  • Part 2 – California Building Code
  • Part 2.5 – California Residential Code
  • Part 3 – California Electrical Code
  • Part 4 – California Mechanical Code
  • Part 5 – California Plumbing Code
  • Part 6 – California Energy Code
  • Part 8 – California Historical Building Code
  • Part 9 – California Fire Code
  • Part 10 – California Existing Building Code
  • Part 11 – California Green Building Standards Code
  • Part 12 – California Referenced Standards Code ◼
1.1.2 Purpose.

The purpose of this code is to establish the minimum requirements to safeguard the public health, safety and general welfare through structural strength, means of egress facilities, stability, access to persons with disabilities, sanitation, adequate lighting and ventilation and energy conservation; safety to life and property from fire and other hazards attributed to the built environment; and to provide safety to fire fighters and emergency responders during emergency operations.

DSA icon
Advisory 1.1.2 PurposeCA H&S Code §19955 et al. requires public accommodations and facilities constructed in this state with private funds to adhere to the accessibility provisions of Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 4450) of Division 5 of Title 1 of the Government Code. Under CA H&S Code §19958, city and county building departments have the responsibility to enforce the statutory requirements of CA H&S Code §19955 et al. and CA Gov. Code §4450 et al.

CA Gov. Code §4450(a) requires buildings and facilities constructed in this state by the use of state, county, or municipal funds, or the funds of any political subdivision of the state shall conform to the building standards published in the California Building Standards Code relating to access for persons with disabilities and the other regulations adopted pursuant to Section 4450. CA Gov. Code §4453 vests enforcement authority to the Director of the Department of General Services (generally delegated to the Division of the State Architect) where state funds are utilized for any project or where funds of counties, municipalities, or other political subdivisions are utilized for the construction of elementary, secondary, or community college projects. Additionally, CA Gov. Code §4453 vests enforcement authority to the governing bodies thereof where funds of counties, municipalities, or other political subdivisions are utilized except as otherwise provided above. ◼

1.1.3 Scope.

The provisions of this code shall apply to the construction, alteration, movement, enlargement, replacement, repair, equipment, use and occupancy, location, maintenance, removal and demolition of every building or structure or any appurtenances connected or attached to such buildings or structures throughout the State of California.

DSA icon
Advisory 1.1.3 Scope. The California Building Code (CBC) accessibility provisions are applicable to new construction projects as well as alterations (as defined) of existing buildings and facilities. In alteration projects, these provisions apply to the area of new work, and include the path of travel requirements found in Section 11B-202.4. ◼

1.1.3.1 Nonstate-regulated buildings, structures, and applications.

Except as modified by local ordinance pursuant to Section 1.1.8, the following standards in the California Code of Regulations, Title 24, Parts 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10 and 11 shall apply to all occupancies and applications not regulated by a state agency.

1.1.3.2 State-regulated buildings, structures, and applications.

The model code, state amendments to the model code, and/or state amendments where there are no relevant model code provisions shall apply to the following buildings, structures, and applications regulated by state agencies as specified in Sections 1.2 through 1.14, except where modified by local ordinance pursuant to Section 1.1.8. When adopted by a state agency, the provisions of this code shall be enforced by the appropriate enforcing agency, but only to the extent of authority granted to such agency by the state legislature.

Note: See "How to Distinguish Between Model Code Language and California Amendments" in the front of the code.

  1. State-owned buildings, including buildings constructed by the Trustees of the California State University, and to the extent permitted by California laws, buildings designed and constructed by the Regents of the University of California, and regulated by the Building Standards Commission. See Section 1.2 for additional scope provisions. 
  2. Local detention facilities regulated by the Board of State and Community Corrections. See Section 1.3 for additional scope provisions. 
  3. Barbering, cosmetology or electrolysis establishments, acupuncture offices, pharmacies, veterinary facilities, and structural pest control locations regulated by the Department of Consumer Affairs. See Section 1.4 for additional scope provisions.
  4. Section 1.5 reserved for the California Energy Commission. 
  5. Dairies and places of meat inspection regulated by the Department of Food and Agriculture. See Section 1.6 for additional scope provisions. 
  6. Organized camps, laboratory animal quarters, public swimming pools, radiation protection, commissaries serving mobile food preparation vehicles and wild animal quarantine facilities regulated by the Department of Public Health. See Section 1.7 for additional scope provisions.
  7. Hotels, motels, lodging houses, apartments, dwellings, dormitories, condominiums, shelters for homeless persons, congregate residences, employee housing, factory-built housing and other types of dwellings containing sleeping accommodations with or without common toilets or cooking facilities. See Section 1.8.2.1.1 for additional scope provisions. 
  8. Accommodations for persons with disabilities in buildings containing newly constructed covered multifamily dwellings, new common use areas serving existing covered multifamily dwellings, additions to existing buildings where the addition alone meets the definition of covered multifamily dwellings, and new common-use areas serving new covered multifamily dwellings, which are regulated by the Department of Housing and Community Development. See Section 1.8.2.1.2 for additional scope provisions. 
  9. Permanent buildings and permanent accessory buildings or structures constructed within mobile-home parks and special occupancy parks regulated by the Department of Housing and Community Development. See Section 1.8.2.1.3 for additional scope provisions.
  10. Accommodations for persons with disabilities regulated by the Division of the State Architect. See Section 1.9.1 for additional scope provisions.
  11. Public elementary and secondary schools, community college buildings and state-owned or state-leased essential service buildings regulated by the Division of the State Architect. See Section 1.9.2 for additional scope provisions.
  12. Qualified historical buildings and structures and their associated sites regulated by the State Historical Building Safety Board with the Division of the State Architect. See Section 1.9.3 for additional scope provisions. 
  13. General acute care hospitals, acute psychiatric hospitals, skilled nursing and/or intermediate care facilities, clinics licensed by the Department of Public Health and correctional treatment centers regulated by the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development. See Section 1.10 for additional scope provisions.
  14. Applications regulated by the Office of the State Fire Marshal include, but are not limited to, the following in accordance with Section 1.11.

        14.1. Buildings or structures used or intended for use as an: 

               1. Asylum, jail, prison

               2. Mental hospital, hospital, home for the elderly, children’s nursery, children’s home or institution, school or any similar occupancy of any capacity

               3. Theater, dancehall, skating rink, auditorium, assembly hall, meeting hall, nightclub, fair building or similar place of assemblage where 50 or more persons may gather together in a building, room or structure for the purpose of amusement, entertainment, instruction, deliberation, worship, drinking or dining, awaiting transportation, or education

               4. Small family day-care homes, large family day-care homes, residential facilities and residential facilities for the elderly, residential care facilities

               5. State institutions or other state-owned or state-occupied buildings

               6. High rise structures

               7. Motion picture production studios

               8. Organized camps

               9. Residential structures

        14.2. Tents, awnings or other fabric enclosures used in connection with any occupancy

        14.3. Fire alarm devices, equipment and systems in connection with any occupancy

        14.4. Hazardous materials, flammable and combustible liquids

        14.5. Public school automatic fire detection, alarm, and sprinkler systems

        14.6. Wildland-urban interface fire areas

  1. Public libraries constructed and renovated using funds from the California Library Construction and Renovation Bond Act of 1988 and regulated by the State Librarian. See Section 1.12 for additional scope provisions. 

  2. Section 1.13 reserved for the Department of Water Resources. 

  3. For applications listed in Section 1.9.1 regulated by the Division of the State Architect – Access Compliance, outdoor environments and uses shall be classified according to accessibility uses described in Chapter 11B

  4. Marine Oil Terminals regulated by the California State Lands Commission. See Section 1.14 for additional scope provisions.

1.1.4 Appendices.

Provisions contained in the appendices of this code shall not apply unless specifically adopted by a state agency or adopted by a local enforcing agency in compliance with Health and Safety Code Section 18901 et. seq. for Building Standards Law, Health and Safety Code Section 17950 for State Housing Law and Health and Safety Code Section 13869.7 for Fire Protection Districts. See Section 1.1.8 of this code.

1.1.5 Referenced codes.

The codes, standards and publications adopted and set forth in this code, including other codes, standards and publications referred to therein are, by title and date of publication, hereby adopted as standard reference documents of this code. When this code does not specifically cover any subject related to building design and construction, recognized architectural or engineering practices shall be employed. The National Fire Codes, standards, and the Fire Protection Handbook of the National Fire Protection Association are permitted to be used as authoritative guides in determining recognized fire prevention engineering practices.

1.1.6 Nonbuilding standards, orders and regulations.

Requirements contained in the California Building Code, or in any other referenced standard, code or document, which are not building standards as defined in Health and Safety Code Section 18909, shall not be construed as part of the provisions of this code. For nonbuilding standards, orders, and regulations, see other titles of the California Code of Regulations.

1.1.7.1 Differences.

In the event of any differences between these building standards and the standard reference documents, the text of these building standards shall govern.

1.1.7.2 Specific provisions.

Where a specific provision varies from a general provision, the specific provision shall apply.

1.1.7.3 Conflicts.

When the requirements of this code conflict with the requirements of any other part of the California Building Standards Code, Title 24, the most restrictive requirements shall prevail.

1.1.7.3.1 Detached one- and two-family dwellings.

Detached one- and two-family dwellings, lodging houses, live/work units, townhouses not more than three stories above grade plane in height with a separate means of egress, and their accessory structures, may be designed and constructed in accordance with this code or the California Residential Code, but not both, unless the proposed structure(s) or element(s) exceed the design limitations established in the California Residential Code, and the code user is specifically directed by the California Residential Code to use this code.

1.1.8 City, county, or city and county amendments, additions or deletions.

The provisions of this code do not limit the authority of city, county, or city and county governments to establish more restrictive and reasonably necessary differences to the provisions contained in this code pursuant to complying with Section 1.1.8.1. The effective date of amendments, additions or deletions to this code by a city, county, or city and county filed pursuant to Section 1.1.8.1 shall be the date filed. However, in no case shall the amendments, additions or deletions to this code be effective any sooner than the effective date of this code.

Local modifications shall comply with Health and Safety Code Section 18941.5 for Building Standards Law, Health and Safety Code Section 17958 for State Housing Law or Health and Safety Code Section 13869.7 for Fire Protection Districts.

1.1.8.1 Findings and filings.

1. The city, county, or city and county shall make express findings for each amendment, addition or deletion based upon climatic, topographical or geological conditions.

Exception: Hazardous building ordinances and programs mitigating unreinforced masonry buildings.

2. The city, county, or city and county shall file the amendments, additions or deletions expressly marked and identified as to the applicable findings. Cities, counties, cities and counties, and fire departments shall file the amendments, additions or deletions, and the findings with the California Building Standards Commission at 2525 Natomas Park Drive, Suite 130, Sacramento, CA 95833.

3. Findings prepared by fire protection districts shall be ratified by the local city, county or city and county and filed with the California Department of Housing and Community Development, Division of Codes and Standards, P.O. Box 278180, Sacramento, CA 95827 or 9342 Tech Center Drive, Suite 500, Sacramento, CA 95826.

1.1.8.2 Locally adopted energy standards - California Energy Code, Part 6.

In addition to the provisions of Section 1.1.8.1 of this part, the provisions of this section shall apply to a city, county, and cities and counties adopting local energy standards applicable to buildings and structures subject to the California Energy Code, Part 6.

Applicable provisions of Public Resources Code Section 25402.1(h)(2) and applicable provisions of Section 10-106, Chapter 10 of California Administrative Code, Part 1 apply to locally adopted energy standards amending the California Energy Code, Part 6.

1.1.9 Effective date of this code.

Only those standards approved by the California Building Standards Commission that are effective at the time an application for building permit is submitted shall apply to the plans and specifications for, and to the construction performed under, that permit. For the effective dates of the provisions contained in this code, see the History Note page of this code.

1.1.10 Availability of codes.

At least one complete copy each of Titles 8, 19, 20, 24, and 25 with all revisions shall be maintained in the office of the building official responsible for the administration and enforcement of this code. Each state department concerned and each city, county or city and county shall have an up-to-date copy of the code available for public inspection, See Health and Safety Code Section 18942(e)(1) and (2).

1.1.11 Format.

This part fundamentally adopts the International Building Code by reference on a chapter-by-chapter basis. When a specific chapter of the International Building Code is not printed in the code and is marked “Reserved”, such chapter of the International Building Code is not adopted as a portion of this code. When a specific chapter of the International Building Code is marked “Not adopted by the State of California” but appears in the code, it may be available for adoption by local ordinance.

Note: Matrix Adoption Tables at the front of each chapter may aid the code user in determining which chapter or sections within a chapter are applicable to buildings under the authority of a specific state agency, but they are not to be considered regulatory.

1.1.12 Validity.

If any chapter, section, subsection, sentence, clause or phrase of this code is for any reason held to be unconstitutional, contrary to statute, exceeding the authority of the state as stipulated by statutes or otherwise inoperative, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining portion of this code.

ETA Editor's Note

Sections from the California Building Code Chapter 1 that are not adopted by the Division of the State Architect - Access Compliance (DSA-AC) have been omitted. To see the entire Chapter, consult California Code of Regulations, Title 24, Part 2 - 2022 California Building Code (2022 CBC), available for purchase from International Code Council (http://www.iccsafe.org).

1.2.3 Alternative materials, design and methods of construction and equipment.

The provisions of this code are not intended to prevent the installation of any material or to prohibit any design or method of construction not specifically prescribed by this code, provided that any such alternative has been approved. An alternative material, design or method of construction shall be approved where the building official finds that the proposed design is satisfactory and complies with the intent of the provisions of this code, and that the material, method or work offered is, for the purpose intended, at least the equivalent of that prescribed in this code in quality, strength, effectiveness, fire resistance, durability and safety.

1.9.1 Division of the State Architect - Access Compliance.

General. The purpose of this code is to ensure that barrier-free design is incorporated in all buildings, facilities, site work and other improvements to which this code applies in compliance with state law to ensure that these improvements are accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities. Additions, alterations and structural repairs in all buildings and facilities shall comply with these provisions for new buildings, except as otherwise provided and specified herein.

The provisions of these regulations shall apply to any portable buildings leased or owned by a school district, and shall also apply to temporary and emergency buildings and facilities. Temporary buildings and facilities are not of permanent construction but are extensively used or are essential for public use for a period of time. Examples of temporary buildings or facilities covered include, but are not limited to: reviewing stands, temporary classrooms, bleacher areas, exhibit areas, temporary banking facilities, temporary health screening services, or temporary safe pedestrian passageways around a construction site.

DSA icon
Advisory 1.9.1 General.  Temporary facilities and emergency construction are both required to comply with the CBC regulations for accessibility. See CA Gov. Code §4451(e). ◼

In addition, to incorporate standards at least as restrictive as those required by the federal government for barrier-free design under (1) Title III (Public Accommodations and Commercial Facilities), Subpart D (New Construction and Alteration)  (see 28 C.F.R., Part 36), and (2) Title II (Public Entities), Section 35.151 (New Construction and Alterations) (see 28 C.F.R., Part 35) both from the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, 2004 Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines, as adopted by the U.S. Department of Justice (see 36 C.F.R. Part 1191, Appendices B and D), and (3) under the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988. Some of these regulations may be more stringent than state law in order to meet the federal requirement.

1.9.1.1 Application

See Government Code commencing with Section 4450.

Publicly funded buildings, structures, sidewalks, curbs and related facilities shall be accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities as follows:

DSA icon
Advisory 1.9.1.1 Application. Not only does publicly funded mean state funds, but it also means county funds, municipal funds or the funds of any political subdivision of the state. When public funds are provided by other sources and transferred to a state, county, municipality or other political subdivision of the state, the entity that collects and controls the distribution of the public funds becomes the funding source, and subject to the requirements of this section

1.9.1.1.1 All buildings, structures, sidewalks, curbs and related facilities constructed in the state by the use of state, county or municipal funds, or the funds of any political subdivision of the state. For public housing see Section 1.9.1.3.

1.9.1.1.2 All buildings, structures and facilities that are leased, rented, contracted, sublet or hired by any municipal, county or state division of government, or by a special district. For public housing see Section 1.9.1.3.

DSA icon
Advisory 1.9.1.1.2.  Leases per se, unless alterations occur, do not directly “trigger” construction code requirements. The lessee of public accommodations should be aware that readily achievable barrier removal is an ongoing obligation under the ADA and may require physical alterations to the building or facility in compliance with the accessibility provisions in the building code. For public entities, leasing should be focused on selecting accessible sites, buildings and facilities. The Department of General Services requires newly leased facilities, and lease renewals, to be accessible by first surveying the facility for code compliance and then making necessary corrections where public programs are provided and in employee common-use areas, restrooms, break rooms, parking, etc. 

1.9.1.1.3 All existing publicly funded buildings and facilities when alterations, structural repairs or additions are made to such buildings or facilities. For detailed requirements on existing buildings, see Chapter 11B, Division 2, Section 11B-202. For public housing see Section 1.9.1.3.

1.9.1.1.4 With respect to buildings, structures, sidewalks, curbs and related facilities not requiring a building permit, building standards published in the California Building Standards Code relating to access for persons with disabilities and other regulations adopted pursuant to Government Code Section 4450, and in effect at the time construction is commenced, shall be applicable.

DSA icon
Advisory 1.9.1.1.4. Some construction such as parking lot resurfacing, re-striping parking stalls, sidewalk repair and cabinet installations do not always require building permits. In such cases, the code in place on the date of any construction would be the effective code for such work. 

1.9.1.2 Application.

See Health and Safety Code commencing with Section 19952.

All privately funded public accommodations, as defined, and commercial facilities, as defined, shall be accessible to persons with disabilities as follows:

Exception: Certain types of privately funded multistory buildings do not require installation of an elevator to provide access above and below the first floor. See Chapter 11B.

1.9.1.2.1 Any building, structure, facility, complex or improved area, or portions thereof, which are used by the general public.

DSA icon
Advisory 1.9.1.2.1. The term "used by the general public" is frequently misinterpreted to mean only facilities which are publicly owned. However, the term actually means facilities made available to the public, and often includes privately owned buildings and facilities. ◼

1.9.1.2.2 Any sanitary facilities which are made available for the public, clients or employees in such accommodations or facilities.

1.9.1.2.3 Any curb or sidewalk intended for public use that is constructed in this state with private funds.

1.9.1.2.4 All existing privately funded public accommodations when alterations, structural repairs or additions are made to such public accommodations as set forth under Chapter 11B.

1.9.1.3 Application - public housing.

See Government Code Section 12955.1(c) and the definition for public housing in Chapter 2.

1.9.1.4 Enforcing agency.

DSA icon
Advisory 1.9.1.4 Enforcing agency. State and local enforcement levels of government could have overlapping jurisdiction under Title 24. For accessibility, in State-funded tenant improvements to State-leased facilities, the local jurisdiction must be aware of DGS’ jurisdictional authority and DSA’s jurisdictional approvals necessary for State-funded construction. See commentary, Section 1.9.1.4.1. ◼

1.9.1.4.1 The director of the Department of General Services where state funds are utilized for any project or where funds of counties, municipalities or other political subdivisions are utilized for the construction of elementary, secondary or community college projects.

DSA icon
Advisory 1.9.1.4.1. CA Gov. Code §4453(a) vests enforcement authority to the Director of the Department of General Services (generally delegated to the Division of the State Architect) where state funds are utilized for any project or where funds of counties, municipalities, or other political subdivisions are utilized for the construction of elementary, secondary, or community college projects. ◼

1.9.1.4.2 The governing bodies where funds of counties, municipalities or other political subdivisions are utilized except as otherwise provided above.

DSA icon
Advisory 1.9.1.4.2. CA Gov. Code §4453(b) vests enforcement authority to the governing bodies thereof when funds of counties, municipalities or other political subdivisions are utilized. ◼

1.9.1.4.3 The building department of every city, county, or city and county within the territorial area of its city, county or city and county, where private funds are utilized.

“Building department” means the department, bureau or officer charged with the enforcement of laws or ordinances regulating the erection or construction, or both the erection and construction, of buildings.

1.9.1.5 Special conditions for persons with disabilities requiring appeals action ratification.

Whenever reference is made in these regulations to this section, the findings and determinations required to be rendered by the local enforcing agency shall be subject to ratification through an appeals process.

DSA icon
Advisory 1.9.1.5 Special conditions for persons with disabilities requiring appeals action ratification.  California statutes and the California Building Standards Commission regulations allow Equivalent Facilitation for public accommodations or facilities built with private funds whenever a determination of Unreasonable Hardship is granted by the local enforcing agency or building department. (Reference CA H&S C. §19957)

When buildings and facilities are constructed with state, county or municipal funds, or the funds of any political subdivision of the state, administrative authorities may grant exceptions from the literal requirements of the building standards only when it is clearly evident that equivalent facilitation and protection that meets or exceeds the requirements under federal law are secured. (Reference CA Gov. C. §4451(f))

California Health and Safety Code §19957.5 provides that every city, county, or city and county may appoint a local appeals board to hear written appeals regarding the action taken by the building department. ◼

ETA Editor's Note

A successful appeal does not warrant ADA compliance. Appeals Boards, Local Building Officials, or other Authorities Having Jurisdiction have no authority to certify ADA compliance, and consistently state that they do not review for it. Due diligence is advised whenever an appeal is made in lieu of strict compliance with stated scoping and/or technical requirements.

1.9.1.6 Authority cited.

Government Code Section 4450.

1.9.1.7 Reference cited.

Government Code Sections 4450 through 4461 and 12955.1(c) and Health and Safety Code Sections 18949.1, 19952 through 19959.

1.9.1.8 Adopting agency identification.

The provisions of this code applicable to buildings identified in this Subsection 1.9.1 will be identified in the Matrix Adoption Tables under the acronym DSA-AC.

ETA Editor's Note

The remainder of California Building Code Chapter 1 is not adopted by Division of the State Architect - Access Compliance (DSA-AC), has been omitted. To see the entire Chapter, consult California Code of Regulations, Title 24, Part 2 - 2022 California Building Code (2022 CBC), available for purchase from International Code Council (http://www.iccsafe.org).

101.1 Title.

These regulations shall be known as the Building Code of [NAME OF JURISDICTION], hereinafter referred to as “this code.”

101.2 Scope.

The provisions of this code shall apply to the construction, alteration, relocation, enlargement, replacement, repair, equipment, use and occupancy, location, maintenance, removal and demolition of every building or structure or any appurtenances connected or attached to such buildings or structures.

Exception:  Detached one- and two-family dwellings and townhouses not more than three stories above grade plane in height with a separate means of egress, and their accessory structures not more than three stories above grade plane in height, shall comply with this code or the California Residential Code.

101.2.1 Appendices.

Provisions in the appendices shall not apply unless specifically adopted.

101.3 Intent.

The purpose of this code is to establish the minimum requirements to safeguard the public health, safety and general welfare through structural strength, means of egress facilities, stability, sanitation, adequate light and ventilation, energy conservation, and safety to life and property from fire, explosion and other hazards, and to provide safety to fire fighters and emergency responders during emergency operations.

101.4 Referenced codes.

The other codes listed in Sections 101.4.1 through 101.4.7 and referenced elsewhere in this code shall be considered part of the requirements of this code to the prescribed extent of each such reference.

101.4.1 Gas.

The provisions of the California Mechanical Code shall apply to the installation of gas piping from the point of delivery, gas appliances and related accessories as covered in this code. These requirements apply to gas piping systems extending from the point of delivery to the inlet connections of appliances and the installation and operation of residential and commercial gas appliances and related accessories.

101.4.2 Mechanical.

The provisions of the California Mechanical Code shall apply to the installation, alterations, repairs and replacement of mechanical systems, including equipment, appliances, fixtures, fittings and appurtenances, including ventilating, heating, cooling, air-conditioning and refrigeration systems, incinerators and other energy-related systems.

101.4.3 Plumbing.

The provisions of the California Plumbing Code shall apply to the installation, alteration, repair and replacement of plumbing systems, including equipment, appliances, fixtures, fittings and appurtenances, and where connected to a water or sewage system and all aspects of a medical gas system. The provisions of the California Plumbing Code shall apply to private sewage disposal systems.

101.4.4 Property maintenance.

The provisions of the California Existing Building Code shall apply to existing structures and premises; equipment and facilities; light, ventilation, space heating, sanitation, life and fire safety hazards; responsibilities of owners, operators and occupants; and occupancy of existing premises and structures.

101.4.5 Fire prevention.

The provisions of the California Fire Code shall apply to matters affecting or relating to structures, processes and premises from the hazard of fire and explosion arising from the storage, handling or use of structures, materials or devices; from conditions hazardous to life, property or public welfare in the occupancy of structures or premises; and from the construction, extension, repair, alteration or removal of fire suppression, automatic sprinkler systems and alarm systems or fire hazards in the structure or on the premises from occupancy or operation.

ETA Editor's Note

Sections from the California Building Code Chapter 1 that are not adopted by the Division of the State Architect - Access Compliance (DSA-AC) have been omitted. To see the entire Chapter, consult California Code of Regulations, Title 24, Part 2 - 2022 California Building Code (2022 CBC), available for purchase from International Code Council (http://www.iccsafe.org). 

101.4.6 Energy.

The provisions of the California Energy Code shall apply to all matters governing the design and construction of buildings for energy efficiency.

101.4.7 Existing buildings.

The provisions of the California Existing Building Code shall apply to matters governing the repair, alteration, change of occupancy, addition to and relocation of existing buildings.

104.11 Alternative materials, design and methods of construction and equipment.

The provisions of this code are not intended to prevent the installation of any material or to prohibit any design or method of construction not specifically prescribed by this code, provided that any such alternative has been approved. An alternative material, design or method of construction shall be approved where the building official finds that the proposed design is satisfactory and complies with the intent of the provisions of this code, and that the material, method or work offered is, for the purpose intended, not less than the equivalent of that prescribed in this code in quality, strength, effectiveness, fire resistance, durability and safety. Where the alternative material, design or method of construction is not approved, the building official shall respond in writing, stating the reasons why the alternate was not approved.

ETA Editor's Note

Sections from the California Building Code Chapter 1 that are not adopted by the Division of the State Architect - Access Compliance (DSA-AC) have been omitted. To see the entire Chapter, consult California Code of Regulations, Title 24, Part 2 - 2022 California Building Code (2022 CBC), available for purchase from International Code Council (http://www.iccsafe.org).

111.2 Certificate issued.

After the building official inspects the building or structure and does not find violations of the provisions of this code or other laws that are enforced by the department of building safety, the building official shall issue a certificate of occupancy that contains the following:

  1. The building permit number.
  2. The address of the structure.
  3. The name and address of the owner or the owner's authorized agent.
  4. A description of that portion of the structure for which the certificate is issued.
  5. A statement that the described portion of the structure has been inspected for compliance with the requirements of this code for the occupancy and division of occupancy and the use for which the proposed occupancy is classified.
  6. The name of the building official.
  7. The edition of the code under which the permit was issued.
  8. The use and occupancy, in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 3.
  9. The type of construction as defined in Chapter 6.
  10. The design occupant load.
  11. If an automatic sprinkler system is provided, whether the sprinkler system is required.
  12. Any special stipulations and conditions of the building permit.

ETA Editor's Note

The remainder of California Building Code Chapter 1 is not adopted by Division of the State Architect - Access Compliance (DSA-AC), has been omitted. To see the entire Chapter, consult California Code of Regulations, Title 24, Part 2 - 2022 California Building Code (2022 CBC), available for purchase from International Code Council (http://www.iccsafe.org). 

CHAPTER 2 DEFINITIONS

ETA Editor's Note

Sections from California Building Code Chapter 2 that are not adopted by Division of the State Architect - Access Compliance (DSA-AC) have been omitted. To see the entire Chapter, consult California Code of Regulations, Title 24, Part 2 - 2022 California Building Code (2022 CBC), available for purchase from International Code Council (http://www.iccsafe.org).

SECTION 202 DEFINITIONS

ETA Editor's Note

Where ADA definitions for specific terms differ notably from CBC, the ADA definition is inserted below the CBC definition and identified by green text and headed by [2010 ADA Standards], [ADA Title II…], or [ADA Title III…]. Where ADA defines terms that are either not used or not defined by CBC, those terms and definitions are inserted alphabetically in this Section. Where no ADA definition is provided, either the ADA definition coincides with the CBC definition, or ADA does not define the term.

Both CBC and ADA recognize terms defined in referenced standards as having the meaning specified in those standards unless otherwise stated. No hyperlinks are provided in this Guide for those terms. See 11B-106.2.

Both CBC and ADA rely upon definitions in collegiate dictionaries (unspecified) for the meaning of undefined terms, in the sense that the context implies. See 11B-106.3.

[ADA Title II §35.104] 1991 Standards means the requirements set forth in the ADA Standards for Accessible Design, originally published on July 26, 1991, and republished as Appendix D to 28 CFR part 36.

[ADA Title III §36.104] 1991 Standards means requirements set forth in the ADA Standards for Accessible Design, originally published on July 26, 1991, and republished as Appendix D to this part.

[ADA Title II §35.104] 2004 ADAAG means the requirements set forth in appendices B and D to 36 CFR part 1191 (2009).

[ADA Title III §36.104] 2004 ADAAG means the requirements set forth in appendices B and D to 36 CFR part 1191 (2009).

[ADA Title II §35.104] 2010 Standards means the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design, which consist of the 2004 ADAAG and the requirements contained in §35.151.

[ADA Title III §36.104] 2010 Standards means the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design, which consist of the 2004 ADAAG and the requirements contained in subpart D of this part.

ACCESS AISLE.

[DSA-AC] An accessible space adjacent to or between vehicle spaces that provides clearances in compliance with this code.

ACCESSIBILITY.

[DSA-AC] Accessibility is the combination of various elements in a building, facility, site, or area, or portion thereof which allows access, circulation and the full use of the building and facilities by persons with disabilities in compliance with this code.

ACCESSIBILITY FUNCTION BUTTON.

[DSA-AC] A button on an elevator hall call console in a destination-oriented elevator system that when pressed will activate a series of visual and verbal prompts and announcements providing instruction regarding hall call console operation and direction to an assigned elevator.

ACCESSIBLE.

[DSA-AC] A site, building, facility, or portion thereof that is approachable and usable by persons with disabilities in compliance with this code.

ACCESSIBLE ELEMENT.

[DSA-AC] An element specified by the regulations adopted by the Division of the State Architect-Access Compliance.

DSA icon
Advisory Definition of ACCESSIBLE ELEMENT.  An ACCESSIBLE ELEMENT can include a room, area, route, feature or device which provides accessibility for persons with disabilities. ◼

ACCESSIBLE MEANS OF EGRESS.

A continuous and unobstructed way of egress travel from any accessible point in a building or facility to a public way.

[2010 ADA Standards 106.5] Accessible Means of Egress. A continuous and unobstructed way of egress travel from any point in a building or facility that provides an accessible route to an area of refuge, a horizontal exit, or a public way.

ACCESSIBLE ROUTE.

[DSA-AC & HCD 1-AC] A continuous unobstructed path connecting accessible elements and spaces of an accessible site, building or facility that can be negotiated by a person with a disability using a wheelchair, and that is also safe for and usable by persons with other disabilities. Interior accessible routes may include corridors, hallways, floors, ramps, elevators and lifts. Exterior accessible routes may include parking access aisles, curb ramps, crosswalks at vehicular ways, walks, ramps and lifts.

ACCESSIBLE SPACE.

[DSA-AC] A space that complies with the accessibility provisions of this code.

ADAPTABLE.

[DSA-AC] Capable of being readily modified and made accessible.

DSA icon
Advisory Definition of ADAPTABLE. This term means that elements can be modified or adjusted to accommodate the needs of a specific user. As part of the initial design and construction, for example, structural backing would be provided for the later installation of grab bars, base cabinets under kitchen sinks would be removable without the use of specialized tools or specialized knowledge, or countertops would be repositionable. ◼

ADDITION.

[DSA-AC] An expansion, extension or increase in the gross floor area or height of a building or facility.

ADJUSTED CONSTRUCTION COST.

[DSA-AC] All costs directly related to the construction of a project, including labor, material, equipment, services, utilities, contractor financing, contractor overhead and profit, and construction management costs. The costs shall not be reduced by the value of components, assemblies, building equipment or construction not directly associated with accessibility or usability. The adjusted construction cost shall not include: project management fees and expenses, architectural and engineering fees, testing and inspection fees, and utility connection or service district fees.

ADMINISTRATIVE AUTHORITY.

[DSA-AC] A governmental agency that adopts or enforces regulations and guidelines for the design, construction or alteration of buildings and facilities.

ADULT CHANGING FACILITY.

A facility that is for use by persons with disabilities who need assistance with personal hygiene.

AISLE.

[DSA-AC] A circulation path between objects such as seats, tables, merchandise, equipment, displays, shelves, desks, etc., that provides clearances in compliance with this code.

ALTERATION.

[DSA-AC] A change, addition or modification in construction, change in occupancy or use, or structural repair to an existing building or facility. Alterations include, but are not limited to, remodeling, renovation, rehabilitation, reconstruction, historic restoration, resurfacing of circulation paths or vehicular ways, changes or rearrangement of the structural parts or elements, and changes or rearrangement in the plan configuration of walls and full-height partitions. Normal maintenance, reroofing, painting or wallpapering, or changes to mechanical and electrical systems are not alterations unless they affect the usability of the building or facility.

ETA Editor's Note

ADA Title III §36.402(b)(1) also excludes asbestos removal from the definition of Alteration, unless it affects the usability of the building or facility:

§36.402(b)(1) Alterations include, but are not limited to, remodeling, renovation, rehabilitation, reconstruction, historic restoration, changes or rearrangement in structural parts or elements, and changes or rearrangement in the plan configuration of walls and full-height partitions. Normal maintenance, reroofing, painting or wallpapering, asbestos removal, or changes to mechanical and electrical systems are not alterations unless they affect the usability of the building or facility.

ETA Editor's Note

[ADA Title III §36.403(c)] Alterations to an Area Containing a Primary Function. (See “Primary Function.”)

AMUSEMENT ATTRACTION.

[DSA-AC] Any facility, or portion of a facility, located within an amusement park or theme park which provides amusement without the use of an amusement device. Amusement attractions include, but are not limited to, fun houses, barrels and other attractions without seats.

AMUSEMENT RIDE.

[DSA-AC] A system that moves persons through a fixed course within a defined area for the purpose of amusement.

AMUSEMENT RIDE SEAT.

[DSA-AC] A seat that is built-in or mechanically fastened to an amusement ride intended to be occupied by one or more passengers.

ANSI.

[DSA-AC] The American National Standards Institute.

APPROVED.

[DSA-AC] “Approved” means meeting the approval of the enforcing agency, except as otherwise provided by law, when used in connection with any system, material, type of construction, fixture or appliance as the result of investigations and tests conducted by the agency, or by reason of accepted principles or tests by national authorities or technical, health, or scientific organizations or agencies.

APPROVED TESTING AGENCY.

[DSA-AC]  Any agency, which is determined by the enforcing agency, except as otherwise provided by law, to have adequate personnel and expertise to carry out the testing of systems, materials, types of construction, fixtures or appliances.

AREA OF REFUGE.

An area where persons unable to use stairways can remain temporarily to await instructions or assistance during emergency evacuation.

AREA OF SPORT ACTIVITY.

That portion of an indoor or outdoor space where the play or practice of a sport occurs.

ASSEMBLY AREA.

[DSA-AC] A building or facility, or portion thereof, used for the purpose of entertainment, educational or civic gatherings, or similar purposes. For the purposes of these requirements, assembly areas include, but are not limited to, classrooms, lecture halls, courtrooms, public meeting rooms, public hearing rooms, legislative chambers, motion picture houses, auditoria, theaters, playhouses, dinner theaters, concert halls, centers for the performing arts, amphitheaters, arenas, stadiums, grandstands, or convention centers.

DSA Icon
Advisory Definition of ASSEMBLY AREA. The application of the accessibility provisions of this code is based upon the use of the space rather than the occupancy classification. For example, an assembly area may or may not be a Group A Occupancy. A large conference room in a Group B Occupancy or a multi-purpose area in a Group E Occupancy may be an assembly area. ◼

ASSISTIVE LISTENING SYSTEM (ALS).

[DSA-AC] An amplification system utilizing transmitters, receivers, and coupling devices to bypass the acoustical space between a sound source and a listener by means of induction loop, radio frequency, infrared, or direct-wired equipment.

AUTOMATIC DOOR.

[DSA-AC] A door equipped with a power operated mechanism and controls that open and close the door automatically upon receipt of a momentary actuating signal. The switch that begins the automatic cycle may be a photoelectric device, floor mat or manual switch.

AUTOMATIC TELLER MACHINE (ATM).

[DSA-AC] Any electronic information processing device that accepts or dispenses cash in connection with a credit, deposit or convenience account. The term does not include devices used solely to facilitate check guarantees or check authorizations, or which are used in connection with the acceptance or dispensing of cash on a person-to-person basis, such as by a store cashier.

BATHROOM.

[DSA-AC] For the purposes of Chapters 11A and 11B, a room which includes a water closet (toilet), a lavatory, and a bathtub and/or a shower. It does not include single-fixture facilities or those with only a water closet and lavatory. It does include a compartmented bathroom. A compartmented bathroom is one in which the fixtures are distributed among interconnected rooms. A compartmented bathroom is considered a single unit and is subject to the requirements of Chapters 11A and 11B.

BLENDED TRANSITION.

[DSA-AC] A  raised pedestrian crossing, depressed corner or similar connection that has a grade of 5 percent or less a circulation path at the level of the sidewalk or walk and the level of a vehicular way. 

BOARDING PIER.

[DSA-AC] A portion of a pier where a boat is temporarily secured for the purpose of embarking or disembarking.

BOAT LAUNCH RAMP.

[DSA-AC] A sloped surface designed for launching and retrieving trailered boats and other water craft to and from a body of water.

BOAT SLIP.

[DSA-AC] That portion of a pier, main pier, finger pier or float where a boat is moored for the purpose of berthing, embarking or disembarking.

BOTTLE FILLING STATION.

A fixture that is designed and intended for filling personal use drinking water bottles or containers. Such fixtures can be separate from or integral to a drinking fountain.

BUILDING.

Any structure utilized or intended for supporting or sheltering any occupancy.

DSA icon
Advisory Definition of BUILDING. The accessibility standards generally apply to buildings and facilities. Parking lots, play areas, patios, constructed trails, man-made outdoor areas are often not considered to be buildings. Rather, these elements are generally considered to be facilities. See the definition of FACILITY. ◼

BUILDING OFFICIAL.

The officer or other designated authority charged with the administration and enforcement of this code, or a duly authorized representative.

CATCH POOL.

[DSA-AC] A pool or designated section of a pool used as a terminus for water slide flumes.

CCR.

[DSA-AC] The California Code of Regulations.

CHARACTERS.

[DSA-AC] Letters, numbers, punctuation marks and typographic symbols.

CHILDREN’S USE.

[DSA-AC] Describes spaces and elements specifically designed for use primarily by people 12 years old and younger.

CIRCULATION PATH.

[DSA-AC] An exterior or interior way of passage provided for pedestrian travel, including but not limited to, walks, sidewalks, hallways, courtyards, elevators, platform lifts, ramps, stairways and landings.

DSA icon
Advisory Definition of CIRCULATION PATH. A CIRCULATION PATH is a pedestrian route provided within a building, facility or site and may or may not (in the case of stairs) include an accessible route of travel. Whenever the accessible route diverges from the regular circulation path signage may be required to identify the departure from the regular route if not obvious. ◼

CLEAR.

[DSA-AC] Unobstructed.

CLEAR FLOOR SPACE.

[DSA-AC] The minimum unobstructed floor or ground space required to accommodate a single, stationary wheelchair and occupant.

CLOSED-CIRCUIT TELEPHONE.

[DSA-AC] A telephone with a dedicated line such as a house phone, courtesy phone or phone that must be used to gain entry to a facility.

[ADA Title III §36.104] Commerce means travel, trade, traffic, commerce, transportation, or communication

(1) Among the several States;

(2) Between any foreign country or any territory or possession and any State; or

(3) Between points in the same State but through another State or foreign country.

COMMERCIAL FACILITIES.

[DSA-AC] Facilities whose operations will affect commerce and are intended for non-residential use by a private entity. Commercial facilities shall not include (1) facilities that are covered or expressly exempted from coverage under the Fair Housing Act of 1968, as amended (42 U.S.C. 3601 - 3631); (2) aircraft; or (3) railroad locomotives, railroad freight cars, railroad cabooses, commuter or intercity passenger rail cars (including coaches, dining cars, sleeping cars, lounge cars and food service cars), any other railroad cars described in Section 242 of the Americans With Disabilities Act or covered under Title II of the Americans With Disabilities Act, or railroad rights-of-way. For purposes of this definition, "rail" and "railroad" have the meaning given the term "railroad" in Section 202(e) of the Federal Railroad Safety Act of 1970 (45 U.S.C. 431(e)).

[ADA Title III §36.104] Commercial facilities means facilities –

(1) Whose operations will affect commerce;

(2) That are intended for nonresidential use by a private entity; and

(3) That are not –

(i) Facilities that are covered or expressly exempted from coverage under the Fair Housing Act of 1968, as amended (42 U.S.C. 3601 - 3631);

(ii) Aircraft; or

(iii) Railroad locomotives, railroad freight cars, railroad cabooses, commuter or intercity passenger rail cars (including coaches, dining cars, sleeping cars, lounge cars, and food service cars), any other railroad cars described in section 242 of the Act or covered under title II of the Act, or railroad rights-of-way. For purposes of this definition, "rail" and "railroad" have the meaning given the term "railroad" in section 202(e) of the Federal Railroad Safety Act of 1970 (45 U.S.C. 431(e)).

COMMERCIAL PLACE OF PUBLIC AMUSEMENT.

An auditorium, convention center, cultural complex, exhibition hall, permanent amusement park, sports arena, theater or movie house for which the maximum occupancy is 2,500 or more for the facility. Cultural complexes include but are not limited to art galleries, symphony, concert halls, and museums. A commercial place of public amusement does not include any public or private higher education facility or district agricultural associations.

COMMON USE.

Interior or exterior circulation paths, rooms, spaces or elements that are not for public use and are made available for the shared use of two or more people.

DSA icon
Advisory Definition of COMMON USE. Employees, tenants or staff and their guests may jointly utilize common use areas where the public is not permitted general access. An example of a common use area would be a laundry room or community room within a homeless shelter. Examples of common use areas within an office building may include a break room, employee lounge, employee exercise facility or employee locker room. ◼

COMPLY WITH.

[DSA-AC] Comply with means to meet one or more provisions of this code.

CROSS SLOPE.

[DSA-AC] The slope that is perpendicular to the direction of travel.

CURB CUT.

[DSA-AC] An interruption of a curb at a pedestrian way, which separates surfaces that are substantially at the same elevation.

CURB RAMP.

[DSA-AC] A sloping prepared surface, intended for pedestrian traffic, which provides access between a walk or sidewalk and a surface located above or below an adjacent curb face.

[2010 ADA Standards 106.5] Curb Ramp. A short ramp cutting through a curb or built up to it.

DESIGNATED PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION.

[DSA-AC] Transportation provided by a public entity (other than public school transportation) by bus, rail, or other conveyance (other than transportation by aircraft or intercity or commuter rail transportation) that provides the general public with general or special service, including charter service, on a regular and continuing basis.

DESTINATION-ORIENTED ELEVATOR.

[DSA-AC] Destination-oriented elevators are operated by the user selecting a destination floor at a hall call console located at or near an elevator landing. The destination-oriented elevator system then assigns an elevator car which transports the user to the selected destination floor. Destination-oriented elevators do not provide floor selection within elevator cars.

DETECTABLE WARNING.

[DSA-AC] A standardized surface feature built in or applied to walking surfaces or other elements to warn persons with visual impairments of hazards on a circulation path.

DSA icon
Advisory Definition of DETECTABLE WARNING. Curbs can be used by pedestrians with vision impairments to detect the boundary between a sidewalk and a vehicular way. Curb ramps remove the needed cues for persons with visual impairments; detectable warnings have been developed as a replacement cue and warning to indicate the presence of a vehicular way. ◼

DIRECTIONAL SIGN.

[DSA-AC] A publicly displayed notice which indicates by use of words or symbols a recommended direction or route of travel.

DISABILITY.

[DSA-AC] Disability is (1) a physical or mental impairment that limits one or more of the major life activities of an individual, (2) a record of such an impairment, or (3) being regarded as having such an impairment.

DSA icon
Advisory Definition of DISABILITY. This is the definition of disability used and defined in the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. ◼

ETA Editor's Note

28 CFR Parts 35 and 36 Amendment of ADA Title II and Title III Regulations to Implement ADA Amendments Act of 2008 - Final Rule, published August 11, 2016, updated the definition of disability for both Title II and Title III, which is included below.

[ADA Title II §35.108] Definition of "disability.

(a)

(1) Disability means, with respect to an individual:

i. A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of such individual;

ii. A record of such an impairment; or

iii. Being regarded as having such an impairment as described in paragraph (f) of this section.

(2) Rules of construction.

i. The definition of “disability” shall be construed broadly in favor of expansive coverage, to the maximum extent permitted by the terms of the ADA.

ii. An individual may establish coverage under any one or more of the three prongs of the definition of “disability” in paragraph (a)(1) of this section, the “actual disability” prong in paragraph (a)(1)(i) of this section, the “record of” prong in paragraph (a)(1)(ii) of this section, or the “regarded as” prong in paragraph (a)(1)(iii) of this section.

iii. Where an individual is not challenging a public entity's failure to provide reasonable modifications under §35.130(b)(7), it is generally unnecessary to proceed under the “actual disability” or “record of” prongs, which require a showing of an impairment that substantially limits a major life activity or a record of such an impairment. In these cases, the evaluation of coverage can be made solely under the “regarded as” prong of the definition of “disability,” which does not require a showing of an impairment that substantially limits a major life activity or a record of such an impairment. An individual may choose, however, to proceed under the “actual disability” or “record of” prong regardless of whether the individual is challenging a public entity's failure to provide reasonable modifications.

(b)

(1) Physical or mental impairment means:

i. Any physiological disorder or condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss affecting one or more body systems, such as: neurological, musculoskeletal, special sense organs, respiratory (including speech organs), cardiovascular, reproductive, digestive, genitourinary, immune, circulatory, hemic, lymphatic, skin, and endocrine; or

ii. Any mental or psychological disorder such as intellectual disability, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, and specific learning disability.

(2) Physical or mental impairment includes, but is not limited to, contagious and noncontagious diseases and conditions such as the following: orthopedic, visual, speech, and hearing impairments, and cerebral palsy, epilepsy, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, intellectual disability, emotional illness, dyslexia and other specific learning disabilities, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Human Immunodeficiency Virus infection (whether symptomatic or asymptomatic), tuberculosis, drug addiction, and alcoholism.

(3) Physical or mental impairment does not include homosexuality or bisexuality.

(c)

(1) Major life activities include, but are not limited to:

i. Caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, sitting, reaching, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, writing, communicating, interacting with others, and working; and

ii. The operation of a major bodily function, such as the functions of the immune system, special sense organs and skin, normal cell growth, and digestive, genitourinary, bowel, bladder, neurological, brain, respiratory, circulatory, cardiovascular, endocrine, hemic, lymphatic, musculoskeletal, and reproductive systems. The operation of a major bodily function includes the operation of an individual organ within a body system.

(2) Rules of construction.

i. In determining whether an impairment substantially limits a major life activity, the term major shall not be interpreted strictly to create a demanding standard.

ii. Whether an activity is a major life activity is not determined by reference to whether it is of central importance to daily life.

(d) Substantially limits—

(1) Rules of construction. The following rules of construction apply when determining whether an impairment substantially limits an individual in a major life activity.

i. The term “substantially limits” shall be construed broadly in favor of expansive coverage, to the maximum extent permitted by the terms of the ADA. “Substantially limits” is not meant to be a demanding standard.

ii. The primary object of attention in cases brought under title II of the ADA should be whether public entities have complied with their obligations and whether discrimination has occurred, not the extent to which an individual's impairment substantially limits a major life activity. Accordingly, the threshold issue of whether an impairment substantially limits a major life activity should not demand extensive analysis.

iii. An impairment that substantially limits one major life activity does not need to limit other major life activities in order to be considered a substantially limiting impairment.

iv. An impairment that is episodic or in remission is a disability if it would substantially limit a major life activity when active.

v. An impairment is a disability within the meaning of this part if it substantially limits the ability of an individual to perform a major life activity as compared to most people in the general population. An impairment does not need to prevent, or significantly or severely restrict, the individual from performing a major life activity in order to be considered substantially limiting. Nonetheless, not every impairment will constitute a disability within the meaning of this section.

vi. The determination of whether an impairment substantially limits a major life activity requires an individualized assessment. However, in making this assessment, the term “substantially limits” shall be interpreted and applied to require a degree of functional limitation that is lower than the standard for substantially limits applied prior to the ADA Amendments Act.

vii. The comparison of an individual's performance of a major life activity to the performance of the same major life activity by most people in the general population usually will not require scientific, medical, or statistical evidence. Nothing in this paragraph (d)(1) is intended, however, to prohibit or limit the presentation of scientific, medical, or statistical evidence in making such a comparison where appropriate.

viii. The determination of whether an impairment substantially limits a major life activity shall be made without regard to the ameliorative effects of mitigating measures. However, the ameliorative effects of ordinary eyeglasses or contact lenses shall be considered in determining whether an impairment substantially limits a major life activity. Ordinary eyeglasses or contact lenses are lenses that are intended to fully correct visual acuity or to eliminate refractive error.

ix. The six-month “transitory” part of the “transitory and minor” exception in paragraph (f)(2) of this section does not apply to the “actual disability” or “record of” prongs of the definition of “disability.” The effects of an impairment lasting or expected to last less than six months can be substantially limiting within the meaning of this section for establishing an actual disability or a record of a disability.

(2) Predictable assessments.

i. The principles set forth in the rules of construction in this section are intended to provide for more generous coverage and application of the ADA's prohibition on discrimination through a framework that is predictable, consistent, and workable for all individuals and entities with rights and responsibilities under the ADA.

ii. Applying these principles, the individualized assessment of some types of impairments will, in virtually all cases, result in a determination of coverage under paragraph (a)(1)(i) of this section (the “actual disability” prong) or paragraph (a)(1)(ii) of this section (the “record of” prong). Given their inherent nature, these types of impairments will, as a factual matter, virtually always be found to impose a substantial limitation on a major life activity. Therefore, with respect to these types of impairments, the necessary individualized assessment should be particularly simple and straightforward.

iii. For example, applying these principles it should easily be concluded that the types of impairments set forth in paragraphs (d)(2)(iii)(A) through (K) of this section will, at a minimum, substantially limit the major life activities indicated. The types of impairments described in this paragraph may substantially limit additional major life activities (including major bodily functions) not explicitly listed in paragraphs (d)(2)(iii)(A) through (K).

(A) Deafness substantially limits hearing;

(B) Blindness substantially limits seeing;

(C) Intellectual disability substantially limits brain function;

(D) Partially or completely missing limbs or mobility impairments requiring the use of a wheelchair substantially limit musculoskeletal function;

(E) Autism substantially limits brain function;

(F) Cancer substantially limits normal cell growth;

(G) Cerebral palsy substantially limits brain function;

(H) Diabetes substantially limits endocrine function;

(I) Epilepsy, muscular dystrophy, and multiple sclerosis each substantially limits neurological function;

(J) Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection substantially limits immune function; and

(K) Major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, obsessive compulsive disorder, and schizophrenia each substantially limits brain function.

(3) Condition, manner, or duration.

i. At all times taking into account the principles set forth in the rules of construction, in determining whether an individual is substantially limited in a major life activity, it may be useful in appropriate cases to consider, as compared to most people in the general population, the conditions under which the individual performs the major life activity; the manner in which the individual performs the major life activity; or the duration of time it takes the individual to perform the major life activity, or for which the individual can perform the major life activity.

ii. Consideration of facts such as condition, manner, or duration may include, among other things, consideration of the difficulty, effort or time required to perform a major life activity; pain experienced when performing a major life activity; the length of time a major life activity can be performed; or the way an impairment affects the operation of a major bodily function. In addition, the non-ameliorative effects of mitigating measures, such as negative side effects of medication or burdens associated with following a particular treatment regimen, may be considered when determining whether an individual's impairment substantially limits a major life activity.

iii. In determining whether an individual has a disability under the “actual disability” or “record of” prongs of the definition of “disability,” the focus is on how a major life activity is substantially limited, and not on what outcomes an individual can achieve. For example, someone with a learning disability may achieve a high level of academic success, but may nevertheless be substantially limited in one or more major life activities, including, but not limited to, reading, writing, speaking, or learning because of the additional time or effort he or she must spend to read, write, speak, or learn compared to most people in the general population.

iv. Given the rules of construction set forth in this section, it may often be unnecessary to conduct an analysis involving most or all of the facts related to condition, manner, or duration. This is particularly true with respect to impairments such as those described in paragraph (d)(2)(iii) of this section, which by their inherent nature should be easily found to impose a substantial limitation on a major life activity, and for which the individualized assessment should be particularly simple and straightforward.

(4) Mitigating measures include, but are not limited to:

i. Medication, medical supplies, equipment, appliances, low-vision devices (defined as devices that magnify, enhance, or otherwise augment a visual image, but not including ordinary eyeglasses or contact lenses), prosthetics including limbs and devices, hearing aid(s) and cochlear implant(s) or other implantable hearing devices, mobility devices, and oxygen therapy equipment and supplies;

ii. Use of assistive technology;

iii. Reasonable modifications or auxiliary aids or services as defined in this regulation;

iv. Learned behavioral or adaptive neurological modifications; or

v. Psychotherapy, behavioral therapy, or physical therapy.

(e) Has a record of such an impairment.

(1) An individual has a record of such an impairment if the individual has a history of, or has been misclassified as having, a mental or physical impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.

(2) Broad construction. Whether an individual has a record of an impairment that substantially limited a major life activity shall be construed broadly to the maximum extent permitted by the ADA and should not demand extensive analysis. An individual will be considered to fall within this prong of the definition of “disability” if the individual has a history of an impairment that substantially limited one or more major life activities when compared to most people in the general population, or was misclassified as having had such an impairment. In determining whether an impairment substantially limited a major life activity, the principles articulated in paragraph (d)(1) of this section apply.

(3) Reasonable modification. An individual with a record of a substantially limiting impairment may be entitled to a reasonable modification if needed and related to the past disability.

(f) Is regarded as having such an impairment. The following principles apply under the “regarded” as prong of the definition of “disability” (paragraph (a)(1)(iii) of this section):

(1) Except as set forth in paragraph (f)(2) of this section, an individual is “regarded as having such an impairment” if the individual is subjected to a prohibited action because of an actual or perceived physical or mental impairment, whether or not that impairment substantially limits, or is perceived to substantially limit, a major life activity, even if the public entity asserts, or may or does ultimately establish, a defense to the action prohibited by the ADA.

(2) An individual is not “regarded as having such an impairment” if the public entity demonstrates that the impairment is, objectively, both “transitory” and “minor.” A public entity may not defeat “regarded as” coverage of an individual simply by demonstrating that it subjectively believed the impairment was transitory and minor; rather, the public entity must demonstrate that the impairment is (in the case of an actual impairment) or would be (in the case of a perceived impairment), objectively, both “transitory” and “minor.” For purposes of this section, “transitory” is defined as lasting or expected to last six months or less.

(3) Establishing that an individual is “regarded as having such an impairment” does not, by itself, establish liability. Liability is established under title II of the ADA only when an individual proves that a public entity discriminated on the basis of disability within the meaning of title II of the ADA, 42 U.S.C. 12131-12134.

(g) Exclusions. The term “disability” does not include—

(1) Transvestism, transsexualism, pedophilia, exhibitionism, voyeurism, gender identity disorders not resulting from physical impairments, or other sexual behavior disorders;

(2) Compulsive gambling, kleptomania, or pyromania; or

(3) Psychoactive substance use disorders resulting from current illegal use of drugs.

[ADA Title III §36.105] § 36.105 Definition of “disability.”

(a)

(1) Disability means, with respect to an individual:

i. A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of such individual;

ii. A record of such an impairment; or

ii. Being regarded as having such an impairment as described in paragraph (f) of this section.

(2) Rules of construction.

i. The definition of “disability” shall be construed broadly in favor of expansive coverage, to the maximum extent permitted by the terms of the ADA.

ii. An individual may establish coverage under any one or more of the three prongs of the definition of “disability” in paragraph (a)(1) of this section, the “actual disability” prong in paragraph (a)(1)(i) of this section, the “record of” prong in paragraph (a)(1)(ii) of this section, or the “regarded as” prong in paragraph (a)(1)(iii) of this section.

iii. Where an individual is not challenging a public accommodation's failure to provide reasonable modifications under §36.302, it is generally unnecessary to proceed under the “actual disability” or “record of” prongs, which require a showing of an impairment that substantially limits a major life activity or a record of such an impairment. In these cases, the evaluation of coverage can be made solely under the “regarded as” prong of the definition of “disability,” which does not require a showing of an impairment that substantially limits a major life activity or a record of such an impairment. An individual may choose, however, to proceed under the “actual disability” or “record of” prong regardless of whether the individual is challenging a public accommodation's failure to provide reasonable modifications.

(b)

(1) Physical or mental impairment means:

i. Any physiological disorder or condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss affecting one or more body systems, such as: Neurological, musculoskeletal, special sense organs, respiratory (including speech organs), cardiovascular, reproductive, digestive, genitourinary, immune, circulatory, hemic, lymphatic, skin, and endocrine; or

ii. Any mental or psychological disorder such as intellectual disability, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, and specific learning disability.

(2) Physical or mental impairment includes, but is not limited to, contagious and noncontagious diseases and conditions such as the following: Orthopedic, visual, speech and hearing impairments, and cerebral palsy, epilepsy, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, intellectual disability, emotional illness, dyslexia and other specific learning disabilities, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Human Immunodeficiency Virus infection (whether symptomatic or asymptomatic), tuberculosis, drug addiction, and alcoholism.

(3) Physical or mental impairment does not include homosexuality or bisexuality.

(c)

(1) Major life activities include, but are not limited to:

i. Caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, sitting, reaching, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, writing, communicating, interacting with others, and working; and

ii. The operation of a major bodily function, such as the functions of the immune system, special sense organs and skin, normal cell growth, and digestive, genitourinary, bowel, bladder, neurological, brain, respiratory, circulatory, cardiovascular, endocrine, hemic, lymphatic, musculoskeletal, and reproductive systems. The operation of a major bodily function includes the operation of an individual organ within a body system.

(2) Rules of construction.

i. In determining whether an impairment substantially limits a major life activity, the term major shall not be interpreted strictly to create a demanding standard.

ii. Whether an activity is a major life activity is not determined by reference to whether it is of central importance to daily life.

(d) Substantially limits—

(1) Rules of construction. The following rules of construction apply when determining whether an impairment substantially limits an individual in a major life activity.

i. The term “substantially limits” shall be construed broadly in favor of expansive coverage, to the maximum extent permitted by the terms of the ADA. “Substantially limits” is not meant to be a demanding standard.

ii. The primary object of attention in cases brought under title III of the ADA should be whether public accommodations have complied with their obligations and whether discrimination has occurred, not the extent to which an individual's impairment substantially limits a major life activity. Accordingly, the threshold issue of whether an impairment substantially limits a major life activity should not demand extensive analysis.

iii. An impairment that substantially limits one major life activity does not need to limit other major life activities in order to be considered a substantially limiting impairment.

iv. An impairment that is episodic or in remission is a disability if it would substantially limit a major life activity when active.

v. An impairment is a disability within the meaning of this part if it substantially limits the ability of an individual to perform a major life activity as compared to most people in the general population. An impairment does not need to prevent, or significantly or severely restrict, the individual from performing a major life activity in order to be considered substantially limiting. Nonetheless, not every impairment will constitute a disability within the meaning of this section.

vi. The determination of whether an impairment substantially limits a major life activity requires an individualized assessment. However, in making this assessment, the term “substantially limits” shall be interpreted and applied to require a degree of functional limitation that is lower than the standard for substantially limits applied prior to the ADA Amendments Act.

vii. The comparison of an individual's performance of a major life activity to the performance of the same major life activity by most people in the general population usually will not require scientific, medical, or statistical evidence. Nothing in this paragraph (d)(1) is intended, however, to prohibit or limit the presentation of scientific, medical, or statistical evidence in making such a comparison where appropriate.

viii. The determination of whether an impairment substantially limits a major life activity shall be made without regard to the ameliorative effects of mitigating measures. However, the ameliorative effects of ordinary eyeglasses or contact lenses shall be considered in determining whether an impairment substantially limits a major life activity. Ordinary eyeglasses or contact lenses are lenses that are intended to fully correct visual acuity or to eliminate refractive error.

ix. The six-month “transitory” part of the “transitory and minor” exception in paragraph (f)(2) of this section does not apply to the “actual disability” or “record of” prongs of the definition of “disability.” The effects of an impairment lasting or expected to last less than six months can be substantially limiting within the meaning of this section for establishing an actual disability or a record of a disability.

(2) Predictable assessments.

i. The principles set forth in the rules of construction in this section are intended to provide for more generous coverage and application of the ADA's prohibition on discrimination through a framework that is predictable, consistent, and workable for all individuals and entities with rights and responsibilities under the ADA.

ii. Applying these principles, the individualized assessment of some types of impairments will, in virtually all cases, result in a determination of coverage under paragraph (a)(1)(i) of this section (the “actual disability” prong) or paragraph (a)(1)(ii) of this section (the “record of” prong). Given their inherent nature, these types of impairments will, as a factual matter, virtually always be found to impose a substantial limitation on a major life activity. Therefore, with respect to these types of impairments, the necessary individualized assessment should be particularly simple and straightforward.

iii. For example, applying these principles it should easily be concluded that the types of impairments set forth in paragraphs (d)(2)(iii)(A) through (K) of this section will, at a minimum, substantially limit the major life activities indicated. The types of impairments described in this paragraph may substantially limit additional major life activities (including major bodily functions) not explicitly listed in paragraphs (d)(2)(iii)(A) through (K).

(A) Deafness substantially limits hearing;

(B) Blindness substantially limits seeing;

(C) Intellectual disability substantially limits brain function;

(D) Partially or completely missing limbs or mobility impairments requiring the use of a wheelchair substantially limit musculoskeletal function;

(E) Autism substantially limits brain function;

(F) Cancer substantially limits normal cell growth;

(G) Cerebral palsy substantially limits brain function;

(H) Diabetes substantially limits endocrine function;

(I) Epilepsy, muscular dystrophy, and multiple sclerosis each substantially limits neurological function;

(J) Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection substantially limits immune function; and

(K) Major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, obsessive compulsive disorder, and schizophrenia each substantially limits brain function.

(3) Condition, manner, or duration.

i. At all times taking into account the principles set forth in the rules of construction, in determining whether an individual is substantially limited in a major life activity, it may be useful in appropriate cases to consider, as compared to most people in the general population, the conditions under which the individual performs the major life activity; the manner in which the individual performs the major life activity; or the duration of time it takes the individual to perform the major life activity, or for which the individual can perform the major life activity.

ii. Consideration of facts such as condition, manner, or duration may include, among other things, consideration of the difficulty, effort or time required to perform a major life activity; pain experienced when performing a major life activity; the length of time a major life activity can be performed; or the way an impairment affects the operation of a major bodily function. In addition, the non-ameliorative effects of mitigating measures, such as negative side effects of medication or burdens associated with following a particular treatment regimen, may be considered when determining whether an individual's impairment substantially limits a major life activity.

iii. In determining whether an individual has a disability under the “actual disability” or “record of” prongs of the definition of “disability,” the focus is on how a major life activity is substantially limited, and not on what outcomes an individual can achieve. For example, someone with a learning disability may achieve a high level of academic success, but may nevertheless be substantially limited in one or more major life activities, including, but not limited to, reading, writing, speaking, or learning because of the additional time or effort he or she must spend to read, write, speak, or learn compared to most people in the general population.

iv. Given the rules of construction set forth in this section, it may often be unnecessary to conduct an analysis involving most or all of the facts related to condition, manner, or duration. This is particularly true with respect to impairments such as those described in paragraph (d)(2)(iii) of this section, which by their inherent nature should be easily found to impose a substantial limitation on a major life activity, and for which the individualized assessment should be particularly simple and straightforward.

(4) Mitigating measures include, but are not limited to:

i. Medication, medical supplies, equipment, appliances, low-vision devices (defined as devices that magnify, enhance, or otherwise augment a visual image, but not including ordinary eyeglasses or contact lenses), prosthetics including limbs and devices, hearing aid(s) and cochlear implant(s) or other implantable hearing devices, mobility devices, and oxygen therapy equipment and supplies;

ii. Use of assistive technology;

iii. Reasonable modifications or auxiliary aids or services as defined in this regulation;

iv. Learned behavioral or adaptive neurological modifications; or

v. Psychotherapy, behavioral therapy, or physical therapy.

(e) Has a record of such an impairment.

(1) An individual has a record of such an impairment if the individual has a history of, or has been misclassified as having, a mental or physical impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.

(2) Broad construction. Whether an individual has a record of an impairment that substantially limited a major life activity shall be construed broadly to the maximum extent permitted by the ADA and should not demand extensive analysis. An individual will be considered to fall within this prong of the definition of “disability” if the individual has a history of an impairment that substantially limited one or more major life activities when compared to most people in the general population, or was misclassified as having had such an impairment. In determining whether an impairment substantially limited a major life activity, the principles articulated in paragraph (d)(1) of this section apply.

(3) Reasonable modification. An individual with a record of a substantially limiting impairment may be entitled to a reasonable modification if needed and related to the past disability.

(f) Is regarded as having such an impairment. The following principles apply under the “regarded as” prong of the definition of “disability” (paragraph (a)(1)(iii) of this section):

(1) Except as set forth in paragraph (f)(2) of this section, an individual is “regarded as having such an impairment” if the individual is subjected to a prohibited action because of an actual or perceived physical or mental impairment, whether or not that impairment substantially limits, or is perceived to substantially limit, a major life activity, even if the public accommodation asserts, or may or does ultimately establish, a defense to the action prohibited by the ADA.

(2) An individual is not “regarded as having such an impairment” if the public accommodation demonstrates that the impairment is, objectively, both “transitory” and “minor.” A public accommodation may not defeat “regarded as” coverage of an individual simply by demonstrating that it subjectively believed the impairment was transitory and minor; rather, the public accommodation must demonstrate that the impairment is (in the case of an actual impairment) or would be (in the case of a perceived impairment), objectively, both “transitory” and “minor.” For purposes of this section, “transitory” is defined as lasting or expected to last six months or less.

(3) Establishing that an individual is “regarded as having such an impairment” does not, by itself, establish liability. Liability is established under title III of the ADA only when an individual proves that a public accommodation discriminated on the basis of disability within the meaning of title III of the ADA, 42 U.S.C. 12181-12189.

(g) Exclusions. The term “disability” does not include—

(1) Transvestism, transsexualism, pedophilia, exhibitionism, voyeurism, gender identity disorders not resulting from physical impairments, or other sexual behavior disorders;

(2) Compulsive gambling, kleptomania, or pyromania; or

(3) Psychoactive substance use disorders resulting from current illegal use of drugs.

DISTRICT AGRICULTURAL ASSOCIATIONS.

Those associations regulated by the California Food and Agricultural Code, Division 3, Part 3.

DORMITORY.

A space in a building where group sleeping accommodations are provided in one room, or in a series of closely associated rooms, for persons not members of the same family group, under joint occupancy and single management, as in college dormitories or fraternity houses.

DRIVE AISLE.

A vehicular way provided within a parking facility that connects vehicular entrances, parking stalls, electric vehicle charging stations, passenger loading zones, and vehicular exits.

DRIVE-UP ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGING STATION.

An electric vehicle charging station in which use is limited to 30 minutes maximum and is provided at a location where the electric vehicle approaches in the forward direction, stops in the vehicle space, charges the vehicle, and proceeds forward to depart the vehicle space. The arrangement of a drive-up electric vehicle charger and its associated vehicle space is similar to a gasoline filling station island.

DRIVEWAY.

A vehicular way providing access between a public way and a building, parking facility, or other off-street area. A driveway may provide access to drive aisles in a parking facility.

ELECTRIC VEHICLE (EV).

An automotive-type vehicle for on-road use, such as passenger automobiles, buses. trucks vans, neighborhood electric vehicles, electric motorcycles, and the like, primarily powered by an electric motor that draws current from a rechargeable storage battery, fuel cell, photovoltaic array, or other source of electric current. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) are considered electric vehicles. For the purpose of this code, off-road, self-propelled electric vehicles, such as industrial trucks, hoists, lifts, transports, golf carts, airline ground support equipment, tractors, boats, and the like, are not included.

ELECTRIC VEHICLE (EV) CHARGER.

Off-board charging equipment used to charge an electric vehicle.

ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGING STATION (EVCS).

One or more electric vehicle charging spaces served by an electric vehicle charger or other charging equipment. Where a multiport electric vehicle charger can simultaneously charge more than one vehicle, the number of electric vehicle charging stations shall be considered equivalent to the number of electric vehicles that can be simultaneously charged.

ELECTRIC VEHICLE (EV) CONNECTOR.

A device that, when electrically coupled (conductive or inductive) to an electric vehicle inlet, establishes an electrical connection to the electric vehicle for the purpose of power transfer and information exchange. This device is part of the electric vehicle coupler.

ELEMENT.

[DSA-AC] An architectural or mechanical component of a building, facility, space or site.

ELEVATED PLAY COMPONENT.

[DSA-AC] A play component that is approached above or below grade and that is part of a composite play structure consisting of two or more play components attached or functionally linked to create an integrated unit providing more than one play activity.

ELEVATOR, PASSENGER.

[DSA-AC] An elevator used primarily to carry passengers.

EMPLOYEE WORK AREA.

All or any portion of a space used only by employees and only for work. Corridors, toilet rooms, kitchenettes and break rooms are not employee work areas.

ENFORCING AGENCY.

[DSA-AC] The designated department or agency as specified by statute or regulation.

ENTRANCE.

[DSA-AC] Any access point to a building or portion of a building or facility used for the purpose of entering. An entrance includes the approach walk, the vertical access leading to the entrance platform, the entrance platform itself, vestibule if provided, the entry door or gate, and the hardware of the entry door or gate.

EQUIVALENT FACILITATION.

[DSA-AC] The use of designs, products, or technologies as alternatives to those prescribed, resulting in substantially equivalent or greater accessibility and usability.

Note: In determining equivalent facilitation, consideration shall be given to means that provide for the maximum independence of persons with disabilities while presenting the least risk of harm, injury or other hazard to such persons or others.

[2010 ADA Standards] 103 Equivalent Facilitation. Nothing in these requirements prevents the use of designs, products, or technologies as alternatives to those prescribed, provided they result in substantially equivalent or greater accessibility and usability.

[2010 ADA Standards] Advisory 103 Equivalent Facilitation. The responsibility for demonstrating equivalent facilitation in the event of a challenge rests with the covered entity. With the exception of transit facilities, which are covered by regulations issued by the Department of Transportation, there is no process for certifying that an alternative design provides equivalent facilitation.

ETA Editor's Note

The acceptance of an Equivalent Facilitation argument by a Local Building Official or other Authority Having Jurisdiction does not warrant that the standards for Equivalent Facilitation expected for ADA compliance are met, since those entities have no authority to certify ADA compliance, and consistently state that they do not review for it. Due diligence is advised whenever Equivalent Facilitation is proposed in lieu of strict compliance with stated scoping and/or technical requirements.

When designs rely on Equivalent Facilitation for compliance, the designer, and any other responsible parties, must verify that the designs, products or technologies actually result in substantially equivalent or greater accessibility and usability for people with all disability types who would have been accommodated by a design meeting the stated requirements.

EXISTING BUILDING OR FACILITY.

[DSA-AC] A facility in existence on any given date, without regard to whether the facility may also be considered newly constructed or altered under this code.

EXIT.

That portion of a means of egress system between the exit access and the exit discharge or public way. Exit components include exterior exit doors at the level of exit discharge, interior exit stairways and ramps, exit passageways, exterior exit stairways and ramps and horizontal exits.

FACILITY.

[DSA-AC] All or any portion of buildings, structures, site improvements, elements, and pedestrian routes or vehicular ways located on a site.

FUNCTIONAL AREA.

[DSA-AC] A room, space or area intended or designated for a group of related activities or processes.

GANGWAY.

[DSA-AC] A variable-sloped pedestrian walkway that links a fixed structure or land with a floating structure. Gangways that connect to vessels are not addressed by this code.

GOLF CAR PASSAGE.

[DSA-AC] A continuous passage on which a motorized golf car can operate.

GRAB BAR.

[DSA-AC] A bar for the purpose of being grasped by the hand for support.

DSA icon
Advisory Definition of GRAB BAR. A grab bar may also provide support for a user transferring from a wheelchair onto a bench, seat or plumbing fixture. ◼

GRADE (Adjacent Ground Elevation).

[DSA-AC] The lowest point of elevation of the finished surface of the ground, paving or sidewalk within the area between the building and the property line or, when the property line is more than 5 feet (1524 mm) from the building, between the building and a line 5 feet (1524 mm) from the building. See Health and Safety Code Section 19955.3(d).

GRADE BREAK.

[DSA-AC] The line where two surface planes with different slopes meet.

GROUND FLOOR.

[DSA-AC] The floor of a building with a building entrance on an accessible route. A building may have one or more ground floors.

GROUND LEVEL PLAY COMPONENT.

[DSA-AC] A play component that is approached and exited at the ground level.

GUARD [DSA-AC] OR GUARDRAIL.

A building component or a system of building components located at or near the open sides of elevated walking surfaces that minimizes the possibility of a fall from the walking surface to a lower level.

HALL CALL CONSOLE.

[DSA-AC] An elevator call user interface exclusive to a destination-oriented elevator system that requires the user to select a destination floor prior to entering the elevator car.

HANDRAIL.

A horizontal or sloping rail intended for grasping by the hand for guidance or support.

HISTORIC BUILDINGS.

[DSA-AC] See “Qualified historical building or property,” C.C.R., Title 24, Part 8.

HOUSING AT A PLACE OF EDUCATION.

[DSA-AC] Housing operated by or on behalf of an elementary, secondary, undergraduate, or postgraduate school, or other place of education, including dormitories, suites, apartments, or other places of residence.

DSA icon
Housing at a place of public education is public housing (see definition for PUBLIC HOUSING). The applicability of CBC Chapter 11B for housing at a private school, college, or university is addressed in Section 11B-224.7 and 11B-224.7.1. The requirements in CBC Chapter 11A for privately owned covered multifamily dwellings shall be applied in lieu of 11B-224.7.2 for accessible dwelling units with adaptable features. ◼

IF, IF . . . THEN.

[DSA-AC] The terms “if” and “if … then denote a specification that applies only when the conditions described are present.

INTERNATIONAL SYMBOL OF ACCESSIBILITY.

[DSA-AC] The symbol adopted by Rehabilitation International’s 11th World Congress for the purpose of indicating that buildings and facilities are accessible to persons with disabilities.

DSA icon
Advisory Definition of INTERNATIONAL SYMBOL OF ACCESSIBILITY. This is also known as the “ISA.” It is a graphic representation of the profile view of a wheelchair with occupant. See Chapter 11B, Figure 11B-703.7.2.1. ◼

KEY STATION.

[DSA-AC] Certain rapid and light rail stations, and commuter rail stations, as defined under criteria established by the Department of Transportation in 49 CFR 37.47 and 49 CFR 37.51, respectively.

KICK PLATE.

An abrasion-resistant plate affixed to the bottom portion of a door to prevent a trap condition and protect its surface.

DSA icon
Advisory Definition of KICK PLATE. Although kick plates are not necessarily required by the code, they are often applied to areas of doors required to have a smooth surface and be free of abrupt surface changes. This provides a person in a wheelchair the option of opening a door by pushing with their feet or allows the front foot plates of a wheelchair to glide smoothly along the lower face of the door as a wheelchair user proceeds through a door. ◼

KITCHEN OR KITCHENETTE.

[DSA-AC] A room, space or area with equipment for the preparation and cooking of food.

LAVATORY.

[DSA-AC] A fixed bowl or basin with running water and drainpipe, as in a toilet or bathing facility, for washing or bathing purposes. (As differentiated from the definition of “Sink”.)

MAIL BOXES.

[DSA-AC] Receptacles for the receipt of documents, packages or other deliverable matter. Mail boxes include, but are not limited to, post office boxes and receptacles provided by commercial mail-receiving agencies, apartment facilities or schools.

MARKED CROSSING.

[DSA-AC] A crosswalk or other identified path intended for pedestrian use in crossing a vehicular way.

MAY.

[DSA-AC] May denotes an option or alternative.

[ADA Title III §36.402(c)] To the maximum extent feasible. The phrase "to the maximum extent feasible," as used in this section, applies to the occasional case where the nature of an existing facility makes it virtually impossible to comply fully with applicable accessibility standards through a planned alteration. In these circumstances, the alteration shall provide the maximum physical accessibility feasible. Any altered features of the facility that can be made accessible shall be made accessible. If providing accessibility in conformance with this section to individuals with certain disabilities (e.g., those who use wheelchairs) would not be feasible, the facility shall be made accessible to persons with other types of disabilities (e.g., those who use crutches, those who have impaired vision or hearing, or those who have other impairments).

MEZZANINE.

[DSA-AC] An intermediate level or levels between the floor and ceiling of any story with an aggregate floor area of not more than one-third of the area of the room or space in which the level or levels are located. Mezzanines have sufficient elevation that space for human occupancy can be provided on the floor below.

MULTI-BEDROOM HOUSING UNIT.

[DSA-AC] A housing unit, intended for use by students at a place of education, with a kitchen and/or toilet and bathing rooms within the unit, such as an apartment, or dormitory. Multi-bedroom housing units are separate from one another and from common use spaces within a building.

NFPA.

[DSA-AC] The National Fire Protection Association.

NOSING.

The leading edge of treads of stairs and of landings at the top of stairway flights.

OCCUPANT LOAD.

The number of persons for which the means of egress of a building or portion thereof is designed.

OCCUPIABLE SPACE.

A room or enclosed space designed for human occupancy in which individuals congregate for amusement, educational or similar purposes or in which occupants are engaged at labor, and which is equipped with means of egress and light and ventilation facilities meeting the requirements of this code.

OPEN RISER.

[DSA-AC] The space between two adjacent stair treads not closed by a riser.

OPERABLE PART.

[DSA-AC] A component of an element used to insert or withdraw objects, or to activate, deactivate, or adjust the element.

PATH OF TRAVEL.

[DSA-AC] An identifiable accessible route within an existing site, building or facility by means of which a particular area may be approached, entered and exited, and which connects a particular area with an exterior approach (including sidewalks, streets, and parking areas), an entrance to the facility, and other parts of the facility. When alterations, structural repairs or additions are made to existing buildings or facilities, the term “path of travel” also includes the toilet and bathing facilities, telephones, drinking fountains and signs serving the area of work.

DSA icon
Advisory Definition of PATH OF TRAVEL. The term PATH OF TRAVEL applies only to alterations, structural repairs or additions to existing buildings or facilities. Path of travel elements may be subject to upgrade as part of the alteration to an existing building if they do not conform to current accessibility requirements. ◼

[ADA Title II §35.151(b)(4)(ii)] A “path of travel” includes a continuous, unobstructed way of pedestrian passage by means of which the altered area may be approached, entered, and exited, and which connects the altered area with an exterior approach (including sidewalks, streets, and parking areas), an entrance to the facility, and other parts of the facility.

(A) An accessible path of travel may consist of walks and sidewalks, curb ramps and other interior or exterior pedestrian ramps; clear floor paths through lobbies, corridors, rooms, and other improved areas; parking access aisles; elevators and lifts; or a combination of these elements.

(B) For the purposes of this section, the term “path of travel” also includes the restrooms, telephones, and drinking fountains serving the altered area.

[ADA Title III §36.403(e)] Path of travel.

1) A "path of travel" includes a continuous, unobstructed way of pedestrian passage by means of which the altered area may be approached, entered, and exited, and which connects the altered area with an exterior approach (including sidewalks, streets, and parking areas), an entrance to the facility, and other parts of the facility.

2) An accessible path of travel may consist of walks and sidewalks, curb ramps and other interior or exterior pedestrian ramps; clear floor paths through lobbies, corridors, rooms, and other improved areas; parking access aisles; elevators and lifts; or a combination of these elements.

3) For the purposes of this part, the term "path of travel" also includes the restrooms, telephones, and drinking fountains serving the altered area.

ETA Editor's Note

CBC Chapter 11B does not apply the same qualification as ADA for imposing the responsibility to make the path of travel to an addition or alteration accessible, implying that existing barriers to accessibility must be mitigated, subject to codified hardship and/or safe harbor limitations. ADA imposes the responsibility when an alteration or addition to a public accommodation or commercial facility includes or affects an area containing a primary function. Lacking this qualification, the CBC Chapter 11B scoping is more inclusive. However, the CBC scoping is interpreted and enforced by Local Building Officials and other Authorities Having Jurisdiction, whereas the ADA scoping is not. Therefore, in cases where the CBC scoping for mitigation of existing path of travel barriers as part of a building alteration or addition is not enforced, or is enforced to a lesser degree than the ADA obligation would require, the ADA obligation remains in effect, if the alteration or addition meets the ADA primary function qualification.

It is also important to note that ADA Title III imposes a perpetual obligation for public accommodations to mitigate existing barriers to the extent readily achievable, not merely limited to those on an accessible path of travel, and not tied to other alterations or additions.

In order to mitigate existing barriers, it is first necessary to identify them. The subject of who is responsible for doing this is not addressed directly by CBC or ADA, and it is perhaps the most common failing for public accommodations. Design professionals frequently note "Existing Accessible Parking," "Existing Accessible Toilets," and similar, which Authorities Having Jurisdiction take to imply that they are compliant.  The failure to mitigate existing barriers that are overlooked by this practice can be, and frequently is, an ADA violation. It is also inconsistent with the intent of CBC Chapter 11B.

The ADA path of travel requirements are included in this Guide following those of CBC Section 11B-202.4.

PEDESTRIAN.

[DSA-AC] An individual who moves in walking areas with or without the use of walking assistive devices such as crutches, leg braces, wheelchairs, white cane, service animal, etc.

PERMANENT.

[DSA-AC] Facilities which, are intended to be used for periods longer than those designated in this code under the definition of “Temporary.”

PERMIT.

An official document or certificate issued by the building official that authorizes performance of a specified activity.

DSA icon
Advisory Definition of PERMIT. In State-funded construction, a letter following plan review which approves the plans and allows the release of funds is equivalent to a "permit.” ◼

PICTOGRAM.

[DSA-AC] A pictorial symbol that represents activities, facilities, or concepts.

PLACE OF PUBLIC ACCOMMODATION.

[DSA-AC] A facility operated by a private entity whose operations affect commerce and fall within at least one of the following categories:

(1) Place of lodging, except for an establishment located within a facility that contains not more than five rooms for rent or hire and that actually is occupied by the proprietor of the establishment as the residence of the proprietor. For purposes of this code, a facility is a "place of lodging" if it is

(i) An inn, hotel, or motel; or

(ii) A facility that

(A) Provides guest rooms for sleeping for stays that primarily are short-term in nature (generally 30 days or less) where the occupant does not have the right to return to a specific room or unit after the conclusion of his or her stay; and

(B) Provides guest rooms under conditions and with amenities similar to a hotel, motel, or inn, including the following:

     (1) On- or off-site management and reservations service;

     (2) Rooms available on a walk-up or call-in basis;

     (3) Availability of housekeeping or linen service; and

     (4) Acceptance of reservations for a guest room type without guaranteeing a particular unit or room until check-in, and without a prior lease or security deposit.

(2) A restaurant, bar, or other establishment serving food or drink;

(3) A motion picture house, theater, concert hall, stadium, or other place of exhibition or entertainment;

(4) An auditorium, convention center, lecture hall, or other place of public gathering;

(5) A bakery, grocery store, clothing store, hardware store, shopping center, or other sales or rental establishment;

(6) A laundromat, dry-cleaner, bank, barber shop, beauty shop, travel service, shoe repair service, funeral parlor, gas station, office of an accountant or lawyer, pharmacy, insurance office, professional office of a health care provider, hospital, or other service establishment;

(7) A terminal, depot, or other station used for specified public transportation;

(8) A museum, library, gallery, or other place of public display or collection;

(9) A park, zoo, amusement park, or other place of recreation;

(10) A nursery, elementary, secondary, undergraduate, or postgraduate private school, or other place of education;

(11) A day-care center, senior citizen center, homeless shelter, food bank, adoption agency, or other social service center establishment;

(12) A gymnasium, health spa, bowling alley, golf course, or other place of exercise or recreation;

(13) A religious facility;

(14) An office building; and

(15) A public curb or sidewalk.

[ADA Title III §36.104] Place of public accommodation means a facility operated by a private entity whose operations affect commerce and fall within at least one of the following categories—

(1) Place of lodging, except for an establishment located within a facility that contains not more than five rooms for rent or hire and that actually is occupied by the proprietor of the establishment as the residence of the proprietor. For purposes of this part, a facility is a “place of lodging” if it is—

(i) An inn, hotel, or motel; or

(ii) A facility that—

(A) Provides guest rooms for sleeping for stays that primarily are short-term in nature (generally 30 days or less) where the occupant does not have the right to return to a specific room or unit after the conclusion of his or her stay; and

(B) Provides guest rooms under conditions and with amenities similar to a hotel, motel, or inn, including the following—

     (1) On- or off-site management and reservations service;

     (2) Rooms available on a walk-up or call-in basis;

     (3) Availability of housekeeping or linen service; and

     (4) Acceptance of reservations for a guest room type without guaranteeing a particular unit or room until check-in, and without a prior lease or security deposit.

(2) A restaurant, bar, or other establishment serving food or drink;

(3) A motion picture house, theater, concert hall, stadium, or other place of exhibition or entertainment;

(4) An auditorium, convention center, lecture hall, or other place of public gathering;

(5) A bakery, grocery store, clothing store, hardware store, shopping center, or other sales or rental establishment;

(6) A laundromat, dry-cleaner, bank, barber shop, beauty shop, travel service, shoe repair service, funeral parlor, gas station, office of an accountant or lawyer, pharmacy, insurance office, professional office of a health care provider, hospital, or other service establishment;

(7) A terminal, depot, or other station used for specified public transportation;

(8) A museum, library, gallery, or other place of public display or collection;

(9) A park, zoo, amusement park, or other place of recreation;

(10) A nursery, elementary, secondary, undergraduate, or postgraduate private school, or other place of education;

(11) A day care center, senior citizen center, homeless shelter, food bank, adoption agency, or other social service center establishment; and

(12) A gymnasium, health spa, bowling alley, golf course, or other place of exercise or recreation.

PLATFORM.

A raised area within a building used for worship, the presentation of music, plays or other entertainment; the head table for special guests; the raised area for lecturers and speakers; boxing and wrestling rings; theater-in-the-round stages; and similar purposes wherein, other than horizontal sliding curtains, there are no overhead hanging curtains, drops, scenery or stage effects other than lighting and sound. A temporary platform is one installed for not more than 30 days.

PLATFORM (WHEELCHAIR) LIFT.

[DSA-AC] A hoisting and lowering mechanism equipped with a car or platform or support that serves two landings of a building or structure and is designed to carry a passenger or passengers and/or luggage or other material a vertical distance as may be allowed.

PLAY AREA.

[DSA-AC] A portion of a site containing play components designed and constructed for children.

PLAY COMPONENT.

[DSA-AC] An element intended to generate specific opportunities for play, socialization, or learning. Play components are manufactured or natural, and are stand-alone or part of a composite play structure.

POINT-OF-SALE DEVICE.

[DSA-AC] A device used for the purchase of a good or service where a personal identification number (PIN), zip code or signature is required.

POWDER ROOM.

[DSA-AC] A room containing a water closet (toilet) and a lavatory, and which is not defined as a bathroom.

POWER-ASSISTED DOOR.

[DSA-AC] A door used for human passage with a mechanism that helps to open the door, or relieves the opening resistance of a door, upon the activation of a switch or a continued force applied to the door itself.

[ADA Title II §35.151(b)(4)(i)] Primary function. A “primary function” is a major activity for which the facility is intended. Areas that contain a primary function include, but are not limited to, the dining area of a cafeteria, the meeting rooms in a conference center, as well as offices and other work areas in which the activities of the public entity using the facility are carried out.

(A) Mechanical rooms, boiler rooms, supply storage rooms, employee lounges or locker rooms, janitorial closets, entrances, and corridors are not areas containing a primary function. Restrooms are not areas containing a primary function unless the provision of restrooms is a primary purpose of the area, e.g., in highway rest stops.

(B) For the purposes of this section, alterations to windows, hardware, controls, electrical outlets, and signage shall not be deemed to be alterations that affect the usability of or access to an area containing a primary function.

[ADA Title III §36.403(b)] Primary function. A "primary function" is a major activity for which the facility is intended. Areas that contain a primary function include, but are not limited to, the customer services lobby of a bank, the dining area of a cafeteria, the meeting rooms in a conference center, as well as offices and other work areas in which the activities of the public accommodation or other private entity using the facility are carried out. Mechanical rooms, boiler rooms, supply storage rooms, employee lounges or locker rooms, janitorial closets, entrances, corridors, and restrooms are not areas containing a primary function.

PRIVATE BUILDING OR FACILITY.

[DSA-AC] A place of public accommodation or a commercial building or facility subject to Chapter 1, Section 1.9.1.2.

[2010 ADA Standards 106.5] Private Building or Facility. A place of public accommodation or a commercial building or facility subject to title III of the ADA and 28 CFR part 36 or a transportation building or facility subject to title III of the ADA and 49 CFR 37.45.

[ADA Title III §36.104] Private entity means a person or entity other than a public entity.

PROFESSIONAL OFFICE OF A HEALTH CARE PROVIDER.

[DSA-AC] A location where a person or entity, regulated by the State to provide professional services related to the physical or mental health of an individual, makes such services available to the public. The facility housing the professional office of a health care provider only includes floor levels housing at least one health care provider, or any floor level designed or intended for use by at least one health care provider.

DSA icon
Advisory Definition of PROFESSIONAL OFFICE OF A HEALTH CARE PROVIDER. The term PROFESSIONAL OFFICE OF A HEALTH CARE PROVIDER applies to the offices of doctors, psychologists, dentists, radiologists, and others certified or licensed by the State to provide physical or mental health care. ◼

PUBLIC BUILDING OR FACILITY.

[DSA-AC] A building or facility or portion of a building or facility designed, constructed, or altered by, on behalf of, or for the use of a public entity subject to Chapter 1, Section 1.9.1.1.

[2010 ADA Standards 106.5] Public Building or Facility. A building or facility or portion of a building or facility designed, constructed, or altered by, on behalf of, or for the use of a public entity subject to title II of the ADA and 28 CFR part 35 or to title II of the ADA and 49 CFR 37.41 or 37.43.

PUBLIC ENTITY.

[DSA-AC] Any state or local government; any department, agency, special-purpose district, or other instrumentality of a state or local government.

[ADA Title III §36.104] Public entity means—

(1) Any State or local government;

(2) Any department, agency, special purpose district, or other instrumentality of a State or States or local government; and

(3) The National Railroad Passenger Corporation, and any commuter authority (as defined in section 103(8) of the Rail Passenger Service Act). (45 U.S.C. 541)

PUBLIC HOUSING.

Housing facilities constructed or altered by, for, or on behalf of a public entity, or constructed or altered as part of a public entity’s program to provide housing pursuant to United States Code of Federal Regulations, 28 CFR Part 35, Section 35.102(a), including but not limited to the following:

  1. One-or two-family dwelling units, or congregate residences;

  2. Buildings or complexes with three or more residential dwellings units;

  3. Homeless shelters, group homes, halfway houses and similar social service establishments;

  4. Transient lodging, such as hotels, motels, hostels and other facilities providing accommodations of a short term nature of not more than 30 days duration;

  5. Housing at a place of education, such as housing on or serving a public school, public college or public university.

Note: A public entity’s program to provide housing may include but is not limited to: the allocation of local, state, or federal financial assistance, Community Development Block Grants, Low Income Housing Tax Credits, the California Multifamily Housing Program, loan agreements and housing bonds. Examples that are not considered a public entity’s program to provide housing may include but are not limited to: density bonuses, the receipt of public funds for the installation of energy efficiency features, seismic strengthening, water conservation and fire safety features. For additional information see “Guide to Public Housing Regulated in Chapter 11B of the California Building Code” and the “California Access Compliance Advisory Reference Manual” available on the Division of the State Architect’s website.

PUBLIC USE.

[DSA-AC] Interior or exterior rooms, spaces or elements that are made available to the public. Public use may be provided at a building or facility that is privately or publicly owned. Private interior or exterior rooms, spaces or elements associated with a residential dwelling unit provided by a public housing program or in a public housing facility are not public use areas and shall not be required to be made available to the public.

DSA icon
Advisory Definition of PUBLIC USE. Examples of public use areas may include a hotel lobby, movie theater, concert hall, public restroom, sales floor of a retail store, or dining room within a restaurant. ◼

PUBLIC WAY.

A street, alley or other parcel of land open to the outside air leading to a street, that has been deeded, dedicated or otherwise permanently appropriated to the public for public use and which has a clear width and height of not less than 10 feet (3048 mm).

QUALIFIED HISTORIC BUILDING OR FACILITY.

[DSA-AC] A building or facility that is listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places, or designated as historic under an appropriate State or local law. See C.C.R. Title 24, Part 8.

RAMP.

A walking surface that has a running slope steeper than one unit vertical in 20 units horizontal (5-percent slope).

[ADA Title III §36.104] Readily achievable means easily accomplishable and able to be carried out without much difficulty or expense. In determining whether an action is readily achievable factors to be considered include --

1) The nature and cost of the action needed under this part;

2) The overall financial resources of the site or sites involved in the action; the number of persons employed at the site; the effect on expenses and resources; legitimate safety requirements that are necessary for safe operation, including crime prevention measures; or the impact otherwise of the action upon the operation of the site;

3) The geographic separateness, and the administrative or fiscal relationship of the site or sites in question to any parent corporation or entity;

4) If applicable, the overall financial resources of any parent corporation or entity; the overall size of the parent corporation or entity with respect to the number of its employees; the number, type, and location of its facilities; and

5) If applicable, the type of operation or operations of any parent corporation or entity, including the composition, structure, and functions of the workforce of the parent corporation or entity.

REASONABLE PORTION.

[DSA-AC] That segment of a building, facility, area, space or condition, which would normally be necessary if the activity therein is to be accessible by persons with disabilities.

DSA icon
Advisory Definition of REASONABLE PORTION. The term is intended to mean that the building or facility provides equitable opportunities, advantages, and ease of use for people with disabilities as is otherwise being made available to the general public. It is not intended to mean reasonable from a cost point of view. ◼

RECOMMEND.

[DSA-AC] Does not require mandatory acceptance, but identifies a suggested action that shall be considered for the purpose of providing a greater degree of accessibility to persons with disabilities.

REMODELING.

[DSA-AC] See “Alteration.”

REPAIR.

The reconstruction or renewal of any part of an existing building for the purpose of its maintenance or to correct damage.

DSA icon
Advisory Definition of REPAIR. There is an important distinction between REPAIR and ALTERATION and they are treated differently under the CBC. As noted in this definition, a repair is the reconstruction or renewal of any part to maintain or correct damage. The definition is clear that repair is limited to work on an item or part and does not apply to a renovation, rehabilitation or renovation to an existing building in the event of fire or flood repair. ◼ 

RESIDENTIAL DWELLING UNIT.

[DSA-AC] A unit intended to be used as a residence that is primarily long-term in nature. Residential dwelling units do not include transient lodging, inpatient medical care, licensed long-term care, and detention or correctional facilities.

RESTRICTED ENTRANCE.

An entrance that is made available for common use on a controlled basis, but not public use, and that is not a service entrance.

RISER.

[DSA-AC] The upright part between two adjacent stair treads, between either an upper or lower landing and an adjacent stair tread, or between two adjacent landings.

RUNNING SLOPE.

[DSA-AC] The slope that is parallel to the direction of travel. (As differentiated from the definition of “Cross Slope”.)

SELF-SERVICE STORAGE.

[DSA-AC] Building or facility designed and used for the purpose of renting or leasing individual storage spaces to customers for the purpose of storing and removing personal property on a self-service basis.

SERVICE ENTRANCE.

An entrance intended primarily for delivery of goods or services.

SHALL.

[DSA-AC] Denotes a mandatory specification or requirement.

SHOPPING CENTER (OR SHOPPING MALL).

[DSA-AC] One or more sales or rental establishments or stores. A shopping center may include a series of buildings on a common site, connected by a common pedestrian access route on, above or below the ground floor, that is either under common ownership or common control or developed either as one project or as a series of related projects. For the purposes of this section, “shopping center” or “shopping mall” includes a covered mall building.

DSA icon
Advisory Definition of SHOPPING CENTER (or SHOPPING MALL)The California definition for SHOPPING CENTER is quite different from the federal definition. Federal ADA Regulations defines a shopping center or shopping mall as a building housing five or more sales or rental establishments. However, California accessibility provisions define a shopping center as only one or more sales or rental establishments or stores. ◼

ETA Editor's Note

CBC defines a single, stand alone retail store as a shopping center and, therefore, requires storage mezzanines to be served by an accessible route.

[ADA Title III §36.401(d)(1)(ii)] Shopping center or shopping mall means –

(A) A building housing five or more sales or rental establishments; or

(B) A series of buildings on a common site, either under common ownership or common control or developed either as one project or as a series of related projects, housing five or more sales or rental establishments. For purposes of this section, places of public accommodation of the types listed in paragraph (5) of the definition of "place of public accommodation" in section 36.104 are considered sales or rental establishments. The facility housing a "shopping center or shopping mall" only includes floor levels housing at least one sales or rental establishment, or any floor level designed or intended for use by at least one sales or rental establishment.

SHOULD.

[DSA-AC] Denotes an advisory specification or recommendation.

SIDEWALK.

[DSA-AC] A surfaced pedestrian way contiguous to a street used by the public. (As differentiated from the definition of “Walk”.)

DSA icon
Advisory Definition of SIDEWALK. There is an important distinction between SIDEWALK and WALK and they are treated differently under the CBC. As noted in this definition, a sidewalk is contiguous to a street while a walk is not. ◼

SIGN.

[DSA-AC] An element composed of displayed textual, verbal, symbolic, tactile, and/or pictorial information.

SINK.

[DSA-AC] A fixed bowl or basin with running water and drainpipe, as in a kitchen or laundry, for washing dishes, clothing, etc. (As differentiated from the definition of “Lavatory”.)

SITE.

A parcel of land bounded by a lot line or a designated portion of a public right-of-way.

SLEEPING ACCOMMODATIONS.

[DSA-AC] Rooms intended and designed for sleeping.

SOFT CONTAINED PLAY STRUCTURE.

[DSA-AC] A play structure made up of one or more play components where the user enters a fully enclosed play environment that utilizes pliable materials, such as plastic, netting, or fabric.

SPACE.

[DSA-AC] A definable area, such as a room, toilet room, hall, assembly area, entrance, storage room, alcove, courtyard, or lobby.

SPECIFIED PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION.

[DSA-AC] Transportation by bus, rail, or any other conveyance (other than by aircraft) provided by a private entity to the general public, with general or special service (including charter service) on a regular and continuing basis.

STAGE.

A space within a building utilized for entertainment or presentations, which includes overhead hanging curtains, drops, scenery or stage effects other than lighting and sound.

STAIR.

A change in elevation, consisting of one or more risers.

STAIRWAY.

One or more flights of stairs, either exterior or interior, with the necessary landings and platforms connecting them, to form a continuous and uninterrupted passage from one level to another.

[ADA Title II §35.104] State means each of the several States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the Virgin Islands, the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

[ADA Title III §36.104] State means each of the several States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the Virgin Islands, the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

STORY.

[DSA-AC] That portion of a building or facility designed for human occupancy included between the upper surface of a floor and upper surface of the floor or roof next above. A story containing one or more mezzanines has more than one floor level. If the finished floor level directly above a basement or unused under-floor space is more than six feet (1829 mm) above grade for more than 50 percent of the total perimeter or is more than 12 feet (3658 mm) above grade at any point, the basement or unused under-floor space shall be considered as a story.

[2010 ADA Standards 106.5] Story. That portion of a building or facility designed for human occupancy included between the upper surface of a floor and upper surface of the floor or roof next above. A story containing one or more mezzanines has more than one floor level.

STRUCTURAL FRAME.

[DSA-AC] The columns and the girders, beams and trusses having direct connections to the columns and all other members that are essential to the stability of the building or facility as a whole.

STRUCTURE.

That which is built or constructed.

TACTILE.

[DSA-AC] An object that can be perceived using the sense of touch.

TACTILE SIGN.

[DSA-AC] A sign containing raised characters and/or symbols and accompanying Braille.

TECHNICALLY INFEASIBLE.

[DSA-AC] An alteration of a building or a facility, that has little likelihood of being accomplished because the existing structural conditions require the removal or alteration of a load-bearing member that is an essential part of the structural frame, or because other existing physical or site constraints prohibit modification or addition of elements, spaces or features that are in full and strict compliance with the minimum requirements for new construction and which are necessary to provide accessibility.

TEEING GROUND.

[DSA-AC] In golf, the starting place for the hole to be played.

TEMPORARY.

[DSA-AC] Buildings and facilities intended for use at one location for not more than one year and seats intended for use at one location for not more than 90 days.

DSA icon
Advisory Definition of TEMPORARY.  Temporary buildings and facilities must be accessible to the same degree as permanent facilities per CA Gov. Code §4451(e). ◼

TEXT TELEPHONE.

[DSA-AC] Machinery or equipment that employs interactive text-based communications through the transmission of coded signals across the standard telephone network. Text telephones can include, for example, devices known as TTYs (teletypewriters) or computers.

TRANSFER DEVICE.

[DSA-AC] Equipment designed to facilitate the transfer of a person from a wheelchair or other mobility aid to and from an amusement ride seat.

TRANSIENT LODGING.

[DSA-AC] A building or facility containing one or more guest room(s) for sleeping that provides accommodations that are primarily short-term in nature (generally 30 days or less). Transient lodging does not include residential dwelling units intended to be used as a residence, inpatient medical care facilities, licensed long-term care facilities, detention or correctional facilities, or private buildings or facilities that contain no more than five rooms for rent or hire and that are actually occupied by the proprietor as the residence of such proprietor. [DSA-AC] See also the definition of Place of Public Accommodation.

TRANSIT BOARDING PLATFORM.

[DSA-AC] A horizontal, generally level surface, whether raised above, recessed below or level with a transit rail, from which persons embark/disembark a fixed rail vehicle.

TRANSITION PLATE.

[DSA-AC] A sloping pedestrian walking surface located at the end(s) of a gangway.

TTY.

[DSA-AC] An abbreviation for teletypewriter. Machinery that employs interactive text-based communication through the transmission of coded signals across the telephone network. TTYs may include, for example, devices known as TDDs (telecommunication display devices or telecommunication devices for deaf persons) or computers with special modems. TTYs are also called text telephones.

UNREASONABLE HARDSHIP.

[DSA-AC] When the enforcing agency finds that compliance with the building standard would make the specific work of the project affected by the building standard infeasible, based on an overall evaluation of the following factors:

  1. The cost of providing access.
  2. The cost of all construction contemplated.
  3. The impact of proposed improvements on financial feasibility of the project.
  4. The nature of the accessibility which would be gained or lost.
  5. The nature of the use of the facility under construction and its availability to persons with disabilities.

The details of any finding of unreasonable hardship shall be recorded and entered in the files of the enforcing agency.

USE ZONE.

[DSA-AC] The ground level area beneath and immediately adjacent to a play structure or play equipment that is designated by ASTM F 1487 for unrestricted circulation around the play equipment and where it is predicted that a user would land when falling from or exiting the play equipment.

VALUATION THRESHOLD.

[DSA-AC] An annually adjusted, dollar-amount figure used in part to determine the extent of required path of travel upgrades. The baseline valuation threshold of $50,000 is based on the January 1981, “ENR US20 Cities” Average Construction Cost Index (CCI) of 3372.02 as published in Engineering News Record, McGraw Hill Publishing Company. The current valuation threshold is determined by multiplying the baseline valuation threshold by a ratio of the current year’s January CCI to the baseline January 1981 CCI.

DSA icon
Advisory Definition of VALUATION THRESHOLD. The valuation threshold is adjusted each year in January using the Engineering News Record 20 Cities Construction Cost Index. Valuation thresholds for the current year and recent years dating back to 2000 are available on the Division of the State Architect web site at: Access Compliance Reference Materials (ca.gov) ◼

ETA Editor's Note

From DSA:

The valuation threshold is the annually-updated figure used when determining path of travel accessibility requirements in alterations, additions and structural repair construction projects regulated by California Building Code Chapter 11B.

In accordance with the 2022 California Building Code Chapter 2 definition of VALUATION THRESHOLD, the 2022 valuation threshold is $200,399.00 and will be updated again in January, 2025.

The annual valuation threshold is based on the January 1981 threshold of $50,000 as adjusted using the ENR 20 Cities Construction Cost Index, as published by Engineering News-Record, McGraw-Hill Publishing Company, for January of each year.

Year ENR Construction Cost Index (Jan.) Valuation Threshold
2024 13515.02

$200,399.00

2023 13175.03

$195,358.00 

2022 12555.55

$186,172.00

2021

 11627.94  $172,418.00

2020

11496.31

$170,466.00

2019

11205.74

$166,157.00

2018

10878.01

$161,298.00

2017

10531.68

$156,162.00

2016

10132.55

$150,244.00

2015

9971.96

$147,863.00

2014

9664.45

$143,303.00

2013

9437.27

$139,934.00

2012

9175.94

$136,060.00

2011

8938.30

$132,536.28

2010

8660.08

$128,410.86

2009

8549.06

$126,764.66

2008

8090.06

$119,958.65

2007

7879.58

$116,837.68

2006

7660.29

$113,586.07

2005

7297.24

$108,202.79

2004

6824.90

$101,198.98

2003

6580.54

$97,575.63

2002

6461.81

$95,815.11

2001

6280.85

$93,131.86

2000

6130.36

$90,900.40

VARIABLE MESSAGE SIGNS (VMS).

[DSA-AC] Electronic signs that have a message with the capacity to change by means of scrolling, streaming, or paging across a background.

VARIABLE MESSAGE SIGN (VMS) CHARACTERS.

[DSA-AC] Characters of an electronic sign are composed of pixels in an array. High resolution VMS characters have vertical pixel counts of 16 rows or greater. Low resolution VMS characters have vertical pixel counts of 7 to 15 rows.

VEHICULAR WAY.

[DSA-AC] A route provided for vehicular traffic, such as in a street, driveway, or parking facility.

WALK.

[DSA-AC] An exterior prepared surface for pedestrian use, including pedestrian areas such as plazas and courts. (As differentiated from the definition of “Sidewalk”.)

DSA icon
Advisory Definition of WALK. There is an important distinction between SIDEWALK and WALK and they are treated differently under the CBC. A sidewalk is contiguous to a street while a walk is not. ◼

WET BAR.

[DSA-AC] An area or space with a counter equipped with a sink and running water but without cooking facilities.

WHEELCHAIR.

[DSA-AC] A chair mounted on wheels to be propelled by its occupant manually or with the aid of electric power, of a size and configuration conforming to the recognized standard models of the trade.

[ADA Title II §35.104] Wheelchair means a manually-operated or power-driven device designed primarily for use by an individual with a mobility disability for the main purpose of indoor or of both indoor and outdoor locomotion. This definition does not apply to Federal wilderness areas; wheelchairs in such areas are defined in section 508(c)(2) of the ADA, 42 U.S.C. 12207(c)(2).

[ADA Title III §36.104] Wheelchair means a manually-operated or power-driven device designed primarily for use by an individual with a mobility disability for the main purpose of indoor or of both indoor and outdoor locomotion. This definition does not apply to Federal wilderness areas; wheelchairs in such areas are defined in section 508(c)(2) of the ADA, 42 U.S.C. 12207(c)(2).

WHEELCHAIR SPACE.

A space for a single wheelchair and its occupant.

WORK AREA EQUIPMENT.

[DSA-AC] Any machine, instrument, engine, motor, pump, conveyor, or other apparatus used to perform work. As used in this document, this term shall apply only to equipment that is permanently installed or built-in in employee work areas. Work area equipment does not include passenger elevators and other accessible means of vertical transportation.

WORKSTATION.

[DSA-AC] An area defined by equipment and/or work surfaces intended for use by employees only, and generally for one or a small number of employees at a time. Examples include ticket booths; the employee side of grocery store check stands; the bartender area behind a bar; the employee side of snack bars, sales counters and public counters; guardhouses; toll booths; kiosk vending stands; lifeguard stations; maintenance equipment closets; counter and equipment areas in restaurant kitchens; file rooms; storage areas; etc.

CHAPTER 3 USE AND OCCUPANCY CLASSIFICATION

ETA Editor's Note

California Building Code Chapter 3, Use and Occupancy Classification, is not adopted by the Division of the State Architect - Access Compliance (DSA-AC), and has been omitted. To see Chapter 3, consult California Code of Regulations, Title 24, Part 2 - 2022 California Building Code (2022 CBC), available for purchase from International Code Council (http://www.iccsafe.org).

CHAPTER 4 SPECIAL DETAILED REQUIREMENTS BASED ON USE AND OCCUPANCY

ETA Editor's Note

Sections from California Building Code Chapter 4 that are not adopted by Division of the State Architect - Access Compliance (DSA-AC) have been omitted. To see the entire Chapter, consult California Code of Regulations, Title 24, Part 2 - 2022 California Building Code (2022 CBC), available for purchase from International Code Council (http://www.iccsafe.org).

406.2.2 Clear height.

The clear height of each floor level in vehicle and pedestrian traffic areas shall be not less than 7 feet (2134 mm). Canopies under which fuels are dispensed shall have a clear height in Section 406.7.2. [DSA-AC] The clear height of vehicle and pedestrian areas required to be accessible shall comply with Chapter 11A or 11B, as applicable.
Exception: A lower clear height is permitted for a parking tier in mechanical-access open parking where approved by the building official.

DSA icon
Advisory 406.2.2 Clear height. While the minimum height is required to be 7'-0" by this section, greater vertical clearance is required at van-accessible parking spaces, standard accessible parking spaces, the vehicular routes to these spaces, and passenger drop-off and loading zones. Refer to Chapters 11A and 11B for requirements in these areas. ◼

SECTION 412 AIRCRAFT-RELATED OCCUPANCIES

412.2 Airport traffic control towers.  …

412.2.6 Accessibility.

[DSA-AC] In air traffic control towers, an accessible route shall not be required to serve the cab and the equipment areas on the floor immediately below the cab.

CHAPTER 9 FIRE PROTECTION SYSTEMS

ETA Editor's Note

Sections from California Building Code Chapter 9 that are not adopted by Division of the State Architect - Access Compliance (DSA-AC) have been omitted. To see the entire Chapter, consult California Code of Regulations, Title 24, Part 2 - 2022 California Building Code (2022 CBC), available for purchase from International Code Council (http://www.iccsafe.org).

907.4.2 Manual fire alarm boxes.  ...

907.4.2.2 Height.

The height of the manual fire alarm boxes shall be not less than 42 inches (1067 mm) and not more than 48 inches (1219 mm) measured vertically, from the floor level to the highest point of the activating handle or lever of the box. Manual fire alarm boxes shall also comply with Section 11B-309.4.

DSA icon
Advisory 907.4.2.2 Height. CBC Section 11B-309.4 requires controls and operating mechanisms to be operable with one hand without tight grasping, pinching or twisting of the wrist (must be operable by persons with limited manual dexterity). The maximum effort to activate controls shall be no greater than 5 pounds-force. ◼

907.5.2.3 Visible alarms.

Visible alarm notification appliances shall be provided in accordance with Sections 907.5.2.3.1 through 907.5.2.3.4.

Exceptions:

  1. In other than Group I-2 and I-2.1, visible alarm notification appliances are not required in alterations, except where an existing fire alarm system is upgraded or replaced, or a new fire alarm system is installed.
  2. Visible alarm notification appliances shall not be required in enclosed exit stairways, enclosed exit ramps, exterior exit stairs and exterior exit ramps.
  3. Visible alarm notification appliances shall not be required in elevator cars.

907.5.2.3.1 Public use areas and common use areas.

Visible alarm notification appliances shall be provided in public use areas and common use area, including but not limited to:

  1. Band rooms
  2. Classrooms
  3. Corridors
  4. Gymnasiums
  5. Lobbies
  6. Meeting rooms
  7. Multipurpose rooms
  8. Music practice rooms
  9. Occupational shops
  10. Occupied rooms where ambient noise impairs hearing of the fire alarm
  11. Sanitary facilities including restrooms, bathrooms and shower rooms.

Exception: Where employee work areas have audible alarm coverage, the notification appliance circuits serving the employee work areas shall be initially designed with not less than 20-percent spare capacity to account for the potential of adding visible notification appliances in the future to accommodate hearing-impaired employee(s).

DSA icon
Advisory 907.5.2.3.1 Public and common use areas. This list is not exhaustive. In new construction, all public- and common-use areas shall have visible alarms if audible alarms are provided. ◼

907.5.2.3.2 Groups R-1 and R-2.1.

Habitable spaces in dwelling units and sleeping units in Group R-1 and R-2.1 occupancies in accordance with Table 907.5.2.3.2 shall be provided with visible alarm notification. Visible alarms shall be activated by the in-room smoke alarm and the building fire alarm system.

[F] TABLE 907.5.2.3.2 VISIBLE ALARMS

NUMBER OF SLEEP UNITS

SLEEPING ACCOMMODATIONS WITH VISIBLE ALARMS

6 to 25

2

26 to 50

4

51 to 75

7

76 to 100

9

101 to 150

12

151 to 200

14

201 to 300

17

301 to 400

20

401 to 500

22

501 to 1,000

5% of total

1,001 and over

50 plus 3 for each 100 over 1,000

[SFM] [DSA-AC] Also see Chapter 11B, Section 11B-224.4 and Table 11B-224.4.

907.5.2.3.3 Group R-2.

In Group R-2 occupancies required by Section 907 to have a fire alarm system, each story that contains dwelling units and sleeping units shall be provided with the capability to support visible alarm notification appliances in accordance with NFPA 72. Such capability shall accommodate wired or wireless equipment. The future capability shall include one of the following:

  1. The interconnection of the building fire alarm system with the unit smoke alarms.
  2. The replacement of audible appliances with combination audible/visible appliances.
  3. The future extension of the existing wiring from the unit smoke alarm locations to required locations for visible appliances.
907.5.2.3.4 Groups R-2.1, R-3.1 and R-4.

Protective social care facilities which house persons who are hearing impaired, shall be provided with notification appliances for the hearing impaired installed in accordance with NFPA 72 and which shall [sic] activated upon initiation of the fire alarm system or the smoke alarms.

ETA Editor's Note

The remainder of California Building Code Chapter 9, is not adopted by the Division of the State Architect - Access Compliance (DSA-AC), and has been omitted. To see the entire Chapter, consult California Code of Regulations, Title 24, Part 2 - 2022 California Building Code (2022 CBC), available for purchase from International Code Council (http://www.iccsafe.org). 

CHAPTER 10 MEANS OF EGRESS

ETA Editor's Note

Sections from California Building Code Chapter 10 that are not adopted by Division of the State Architect - Access Compliance (DSA-AC) have been omitted. To see the entire Chapter, consult California Code of Regulations, Title 24, Part 2 - 2022 California Building Code (2022 CBC), available for purchase from International Code Council (http://www.iccsafe.org).

1003.1 Applicability.

The general requirements specified in Sections 1003 through 1015 shall apply to all three elements of the means of egress system, in addition to those specific requirements for the exit access, the exit and the exit discharge detailed elsewhere in this chapter.

(DSA-AC & HCD 1-AC) In addition to the requirement of this chapter, means of egress, which provide access to, or egress from, buildings or facilities where accessibility is required for applications listed in Section 1.8.2.1.2 regulated by the Department of Housing and Community Development, or Section 1.9.1 regulated by the Division of the State Architect-Access Compliance, shall also comply with Chapter 11A or Chapter 11B, as applicable. 

1009.1 Accessible means of egress required.

Accessible means of egress shall comply with this section. Accessible spaces shall be provided with not less than one accessible means of egress. Where more than one means of egress are required by Section 1006.2 or 1006.3 from any accessible space, each accessible portion of the space shall be served by accessible means of egress in at least the same number as required by Sections 1006.2 or 1006.3. In addition to the requirements of this chapter, means of egress, which provide access to, or egress from, buildings for persons with disabilities, shall also comply with the requirements of Chapter 11A or 11B as applicable.

Exceptions:

  1. One accessible means of egress is required from an accessible mezzanine level in accordance with Section 1009.3, 1009.4 or 1009.5, and Chapter 11A or 11B, as applicable.
  2. In assembly areas with ramped aisles or stepped aisles, one accessible means of egress is permitted where the common path of egress travel is accessible and meets the requirements in Section 1029.8, and Chapter 11A or 11B, as applicable.
1009.2 Continuity and components.

Each required accessible means of egress shall be continuous to a public way and shall consist of one or more of the following components:

  1. Accessible routes complying with Chapter 11A, Section 1110A.1 and 1120A, or Chapter 11B, Sections 11B-206 and 11B-402, as applicable.

  2. Interior exit stairways complying with Sections 1009.3 and 1023, and Chapter 11A, Section 1123A, or Chapter 11B, Sections 11B-210 and 11B-504, as applicable.

  3. Exit access stairways complying with Sections 1009.3 and 1019.3 or 1019.4, Chapter 11A, Section 1123A, or Chapter 11B, Sections 11B-210 and 11B-504, as applicable.

  4. Exterior exit stairways complying with Sections 1009.3 and 1027 and Chapter 11A, Section 1115A, or Chapter 11B, Sections 11B-210 and 11B-504, as applicable and serving levels other than the level of exit discharge.

  5. Elevators complying with Section 1009.4, and Chapter 11A, Section 1124A, or Chapter 11B, Sections 11B-206.6 and 11B-407, as applicable.

  6. Platform lifts complying with Section 1009.5, and Chapter 11A, Section 1124A, or Chapter 11B, Sections 11B-207, 11B-207.2 and 11B-410 as applicable.

  7. Horizontal exits complying with Section 1026.

  8. Ramps complying with Section 1012, and Chapter 11A, Sections 1114A and 1122A, or Chapter 11B, 11B-405, as applicable.

  9. Areas of refuge complying with Section 1006.

  10. Exterior areas for assisted rescue complying with Section 1009.7 serving exits at the level of exit discharge.

1009.2.1 Elevators required.

In buildings where a required accessible floor is four or more stories above or below a level of exit discharge, not less than one required accessible means of egress shall be an elevator complying with Section 1009.4.

Exceptions:

  1. In buildings equipped throughout with an automatic sprinkler system installed in accordance with Section 903.3.1 or 903.3.1.2, the elevator shall not be required on floors provided with a horizontal exit and located at or above the levels of exit discharge.
  2. In buildings equipped throughout with an automatic sprinkler system installed in accordance with Section 903.3.1.1 or 903.3.1.2, the elevator shall not be required on floors provided with a ramp conforming to the provisions of Section 1012.
1009.3 Stairways.

In order to be considered part of an accessible means of egress, a stairway between stories shall comply with Sections 1009.3.1 through 1009.3.3. [DSA·AC & HCD 1-AC] In addition, exit stairways shall comply with Chapter 11A, Sections 1115A and 1123A, or Chapter 11BSections 11B-210 and 11B-504, as applicable.

1009.3.1 Exit access stairways.

Exit access stairways that connect levels in the same story are not permitted as part of an accessible means of egress.
Exception: Exit access stairways providing means of egress from mezzanines are permitted as part of an accessible means of egress.

1009.3.2 Stairway width.

Stairways shall have a clear width of 48 inches (1219 mm) minimum between handrails.

Exceptions:

  1. The clear width of 48 inches (1219 mm) between handrails is not required in buildings equipped throughout with an automatic sprinkler system installed in accordance with Section 903.3.1 or 903.3.1.2.
  2. The clear width of 48 inches (1219 mm) between handrails is not required for stairways accessed from a refuge area in conjunction with a horizontal exit.
1009.3.3 Area of Refuge.

Stairways shall either incorporate an area of refuge within an enlarged floor-level landing or shall be accessed from an area of refuge complying with Section 1009.6.

Exceptions:

  1. Areas of refuge are not required at exit access stairways where two-way communication is provided at the elevator landing in accordance with Section 1009.8.
  2. Areas of refuge are not required at stairways in buildings equipped throughout with an automatic sprinkler system installed in accordance with Section 903.3.1.1 or 903.3.1.
  3. Areas of refuge are not required at stairways serving open parking garages.
  4. Areas of refuge are not required for smoke-protected or open-air assembly seating areas complying with Sections 1029.6.2 and 1029.6.3.
  5. Areas of refuge are not required at stairways in Group R-2 occupancies.
  6. Areas of refuge are not required for stairways accessed from a refuge area in conjunction with a horizontal exit.
1009.4 Elevators.

In order to be considered part of an accessible means of egress, an elevator shall comply with Sections 1009.4.1 and 1009.4.2.

1009.4.1 Standby power.

The elevator shall meet the emergency operation and signaling device requirements of California Code of Regulations, Title 8, Division 1, Chapter 4, Subchapter 6, Elevator Safety Orders.  Standby power shall be provided in accordance with Chapter 27 and Section 3003.

1009.4.2 Area of refuge.

The elevator shall be accessed from an area of refuge complying with Section 1009.6.

Exceptions:

  1. Areas of refuge are not required at the elevator in open parking garages.
  2. Areas of refuge are not required in buildings and facilities equipped throughout with an automatic sprinkler system installed in accordance with Section 903.3.1.1 or 903.3.1.
  3. Areas of refuge are not required at elevators not required to be located in a shaft in accordance with Section 712.
  4. Areas of refuge are not required at elevators serving smoke-protected or open-air assembly seating areas complying with Sections 1029.6.2 and 1029.6.3.
  5. Areas of refuge are not required for elevators accessed from a refuge area in conjunction with a horizontal exit.
1009.5 Platform lifts.

Platform lifts shall be permitted to serve as part of an accessible means of egress where allowed as part of a required accessible route in Chapter 11A, Sections 1121A and 1124A.11, or Chapter 11B, Sections 11B-206.7.1 through 11B-206.7.10, as applicable. Standby power for the platform lift shall be provided in accordance with Chapter 27.

[DSA-AC] See Chapter 11B, Section 11B-207.2 for additional accessible means of egress requirements at platform lifts.

1009.6 Areas of refuge.

Every required area of refuge shall be accessible from the space it serves by an accessible means of egress.

[DSA-AC] Areas of refuge shall comply with the requirements of this code and shall adjoin an accessible route complying with Sections 11B-206 and 11B-402.

1009.6.1 Travel distance.

The maximum travel distance from any accessible space to an area of refuge shall not exceed the exit access travel distance permitted for the occupancy in accordance with Section 1017.1.

1009.6.2 Stairway or elevator access.

Every required area of refuge shall have direct access to a stairway complying with Sections 1009.3 and 1023 or an elevator complying with Section 1009.4.

Exception: An interior area of refuge at the level of exit discharge that provides direct access to an exterior exit door.

1009.6.3 Size.

Each area of refuge shall be sized to accommodate two wheelchair spaces that are not less than 30 inches by 48 inches (762 mm by 1219 mm). The total number of such 30-inch by 48-inch (762 mm by 1219 mm) spaces per story shall be not less than one for every 200 persons of calculated occupant load served by the area of refuge. Such wheelchair spaces shall not reduce the means of egress minimum width or required capacity. Access to any of the required wheelchair spaces in an area of refuge shall not be obstructed by more than one adjoining wheelchair space.

Exception: The enforcing agency may reduce the size of each required area of refuge to accommodate one wheelchair space that is not less than 30 inches by 48 inches (762 mm by 1219 mm) on floors where the occupant load is less than 200.

1009.6.4 Separation.

Each area of refuge shall be separated from the remainder of the story by a smoke barrier complying with Section 709 or a horizontal exit complying with Section 1026. Each area of refuge shall be designed to minimize the intrusion of smoke.

Exceptions:

1. Areas of refuge located within an enclosure for interior exit stairways complying with Section 1023.

2. Areas of refuge in outdoor facilities where exit access is essentially open to the outside.

1009.6.5 Two-way communication.

Areas of refuge shall be provided with a two-way communication system complying with Sections 1009.8.1 and 1009.8.2.

1009.7 Exterior areas for assisted rescue.

Exterior areas for assisted rescue shall be accessed by an accessible route from the area served.

Where the exit discharge does not include an accessible route from an exit located on the level of exit discharge to a public way, an exterior area of assisted rescue shall be provided on the exterior landing in accordance with Sections 1009.7.1 through 1009.7.4.

1009.7.1 Size.

Each exterior area for assisted rescue shall be sized to accommodate wheelchair spaces in accordance with Section 1009.6.3.

1009.7.2 Separation.

Exterior walls separating the exterior area of assisted rescue from the interior of the building shall have a minimum fire-resistance rating of 1 hour, rated for exposure to fire from the inside. The fire-resistance-rated exterior wall construction shall extend horizontally 10 feet (3048 mm) beyond the landing on either side of the landing or equivalent fire-resistance-rated construction is permitted to extend out perpendicular to the exterior wall 4 feet (1220 mm) on the side of the landing. The fire-resistance-rated construction shall extend vertically from the ground to a point 10 feet (3048 mm) above the floor level of the area for assisted rescue or to the roof line, whichever is lower. Openings within such fire-resistance-rated exterior walls shall be protected in accordance with Section 716.

Exception: The fire-resistance rating and opening protectives are not required in the exterior wall where the building is equipped throughout with an automatic sprinkler system installed in accordance with Section 903.3.1.1 or 903.3.1.2.

1009.7.3 Openness.

The exterior area for assisted rescue shall be open to the outside air. The sides other than the separation walls shall be not less than 50 percent open, and the open area shall be distributed so as to minimize the accumulation of smoke or toxic gases.

1009.7.4 Stairways.

Stairways that are part of the means of egress for the exterior area for assisted rescue shall provide a minimum clear width of 48 inches (1220 mm) between handrails.

Exception: The minimum clear width of 48 inches (1220 mm) between handrails is not required at stairways serving buildings equipped throughout with an automatic sprinkler system installed in accordance with Section 903.3.1.1 or 903.3.1.2.

1009.8 Two-way communication.

A two-way communication system complying with Sections 1009.8.1 and 1009.8.2 shall be provided at the landing serving each elevator or bank of elevators on each accessible floor that is one or more stories above or below the level of exit discharge.

Exceptions:

  1. Two-way communication systems are not required at the landing serving each elevator or bank of elevators where the two-way communication system is provided within areas of refuge in accordance with Section 1009.6.5.
  2. Two-way communication systems are not required on floors provided with ramps conforming to the provisions of Section 1012.
  3. Two-way communication systems are not required at the landings serving only service elevators that are not designated as part of the accessible means of egress or serve as part of the required accessible route into a facility.
  4. Two-way communication systems are not required at the landings serving only freight elevators.
  5. Two-way communication systems are not required at the landing serving a private residence elevator.
  6. Two-way communication systems are not required in Group I-2 or I-3 facilities.
1009.8.1 System requirements.

Two-way communication systems shall provide communication between each required location and the fire command center or a central control point location and a central control point is not a constantly attended location, a two-way communication system shall have a timed automatic telephone dial-out capability to a monitoring location or 9-1-1. The two-way communication system shall include both audible and visible signals.

1009.8.1.1 Visible communication method.

[DSA-AC and HCD 1-AC] A button complying with Section 1138A.4 or Sections 11B-205 and 11B-309 in the area of refuge shall activate both a light in the area of refuge indicating that rescue has been requested and a light at the central control point indicating that rescue is being requested. A button at the central control point shall activate both a light at the central control point and a light in the area of refuge indicating that the request has been received.

1009.8.2 Directions.

Directions for the use of the two-way communication system, instructions for summoning assistance via the two-way communication system and written identification of the location shall be posted adjacent to the two-way communication system. Signage shall comply with Chapter 11A, Section 1143A or Section 11B-703.5 requirements for visual characters.

1009.9 Signage.

Signage indicating special accessibility provisions shall be provided as shown:

  1. Each door providing access to an area of refuge from an adjacent floor area shall be identified by a sign stating: AREA OF REFUGE.
  2. Each door providing access to an exterior area for assisted rescue shall be identified by a sign stating: EXTERIOR AREA FOR ASSISTED RESCUE.

Signage shall comply with Chapter 11A, Section 1143A and Chapter 11B, Section 11B-703.5 as applicable, requirements for visual characters and include the International Symbol of Accessibility. Where exit sign illumination is required by Section 1013.3, the signs shall be illuminated. Additionally, visual characters, raised character and braille signage complying with Chapter 11A, Section 1143A and Chapter 11B, Sections 11B-703.1, 11B-703.2, 11B-703.3 and 11B-703.5 shall be located at each door to an area of refuge and exterior area for assisted rescue in accordance with Section 1013.4.  The International Symbol of Accessibility shall comply with Chapter 11A, Section 1143A and Chapter 11B, Section 11B-703.7.2.1.

1009.10 Directional signage.

Directional signage complying with Chapter 11B, Section 11B-703.5 indicating the location of the other means of egress and which of those are accessible means of egress shall be provided at the following:

  1. At exits serving a required accessible space but not providing an approved accessible means of egress.
  2. At elevator landings.
  3. Within areas of refuge.
1009.11 Instructions.

In areas of refuge and exterior areas for assisted rescue, instructions on the use of the area under emergency conditions shall be posted. Signage shall comply with Chapter 11A, Section 1143A or Chapter 11B, Section 11B-703.5 requirements for visual characters. The instructions shall include all of the following:

  1. Persons able to use the exit stairway do so as soon as possible, unless they are assisting others.
  2. Information on planned availability of assistance in the use of stairs or supervised operation of elevators and how to summon such assistance.
  3. Directions for use of the two-way communications system where provided.

ETA Editor's Note

CBC 1009.11 does not include “Directions to find other means of egress”. Therefore, the IBC requirement is more inclusive.

1009.12 Alarms/emergency warning systems/accessibility.

Required emergency warning systems shall activate a means of warning the hearing impaired. Emergency warning systems provided as part of the fire-alarm system and two-way communication systems required by Chapter 10 shall be designed and installed in accordance with NFPA 72 as amended in Chapter 35.

 

ETA Editor's Note

Sections from California Building Code Chapter 10 that are not adopted by the Division of the State Architect - Access Compliance (DSA-AC) have been omitted. To see the entire Chapter, consult California Code of Regulations, Title 24, Part 2 - 2022 California Building Code (2022 CBC), available for purchase from International Code Council (http://www.iccsafe.org).

SECTION 1010 DOORS, GATES AND TURNSTILES

[DSA-AC] In addition to the requirements of this section, means of egress, which provide access to, or egress from, buildings or facilities where accessibility is required for applications listed in Section 1.9.1 regulated by the Division of the State Architect—Access Compliance, shall also comply with Chapter 11A or Chapter 11B, Sections 11B-206.5 and 11B-404, as applicable.

1010.1.4 Floor elevation.

There shall be a floor or landing on each side of a door. Such floor or landing shall be at the same elevation on each side of the door. Landings shall be level except for exterior landings, which are permitted to have a slope not to exceed 0.25 unit vertical in 12 units horizontal (2-percent slope).

Exceptions:

1. At doors serving individual dwelling units or sleeping units in Groups R-2 and R-3: a door is permitted to open at the top step of an interior flight of stairs, provided that the door does not swing over the top step.

2. At exterior doors serving Groups F, H, R-2 and S and where such doors are not part of an adaptable or accessible route or, not required to be accessible by Chapter 11A or 11B of the California Building Code, the landing at an exterior door shall not be more than 7 inches (178 mm) below the landing on the egress side of the door, provided that the door, other than an exterior storm or screen door, does not swing over the landing.
3. At exterior doors serving Group U and individual dwelling units and sleeping units in Groups R-2 and R-3, and where such units are not required to be adaptable or accessible, the landing at an exterior doorway shall be not less than 7 ¾ inches (197 mm) below the landing on the egress side of the door. Such doors, including storm or screen doors, shall be permitted to swing over either landing.
4. Variations in elevation due to differences in finish materials, but not more than ½ in (12.7 mm).
5. Exterior decks, patios or balconies that are part of adaptable or accessible dwelling units, have impervious surfaces and that are not more than 4 inches (102 mm) below the finished floor level of the adjacent interior space of the dwelling unit. See also Chapter 11A, Section 1132A.4.
6. Doors serving equipment spaces not required to be adaptable or accessible and serving an occupant load of five or less shall be permitted to have a landing on one side to be not more than 7 inches (178 mm) above or below the landing on the egress side of the door.

1010.1.6 Thresholds.

Thresholds at doorways shall not exceed ¾ inch (19.1 mm) in height above the finished floor or landing for sliding doors serving dwelling units or ½ inch (12.7 mm) above the finished floor or landing for other doors. Raised thresholds and floor level changes greater than ¼ inch (6.4 mm) at doorways shall be beveled with a slope not greater than one unit vertical in two units horizontal (50-percent slope).

Exceptions:

1. In occupancy Group R-2 or R-3, threshold heights for sliding and side-hinged exterior doors shall be permitted to be up to 7¾ inches (197 mm) in height if all of the following apply:

     1.1. The door is not part of the required means of egress.

     1.2. The door is not part of an accessible route as required by Chapter 11A or 11B.

     1.3. The door is not part of an adaptable or accessible dwelling unit.

2. In adaptable or accessible dwelling units, where Exception 5 to Section 1010.1.5 permits a 4-inch (102 mm) elevation change at the door, the threshold height on the exterior side of the door shall not exceed 4¾ inches (120 mm) in height above the exterior deck, patio or balcony for sliding doors or 4½ inches (114 mm) above the exterior deck, patio or balcony for other doors.

1010.1.7 Door arrangement.

Space between two doors in a series shall be 48 inches (1219 mm) minimum plus the width of a door swinging into the space. Doors in a series shall swing either in the same direction or away from the space between the doors.

Exceptions:

  1. The minimum distance between horizontal sliding power-operated doors in a series shall be 48 inches (1219 mm).
  2. Storm and screen doors serving individual dwelling units in Groups R-2 and R-3 need not be spaced 48 inches (1219 mm) from the other door.
  3. Doors within individual dwelling units in Groups R-2 and R-3 other than adaptable or accessible dwelling units.

1010.2.2 Hardware.

Door handles, pulls, latches, locks and other operating devices on doors required to be accessible by Chapter 11A or 11B shall not require tight grasping, tight pinching or twisting of the wrist to operate.

These design requirements for door handles, pulls, latches, locks and other operating devices, intended for use on required means of egress doors in other than Group R and M occupancies with an occupant load of 10 or less, shall comply with SFM Standard 12-10-2, Section 12-10-202 contained in the CCR, Title 24, Part 12, California Referenced Standards Code.

1010.2.13.1 Delayed egress locking system.

The delayed egress locking system shall be installed and operated in accordance with all of the following:  …

4. An attempt to egress shall initiate an irreversible process that shall allow such egress in not more than 15 seconds when a physical effort to exit is applied to the egress side door hardware for not more than 3 seconds. Initiation of the irreversible process shall activate an audible signal in the vicinity of the door. Once the delay electronics have been deactivated, rearming the delay electronics shall be by manual means only. The time delay established for each egress-control device shall not be field adjustable. For applications listed in Section 1.9.1 regulated by the Division of the State Architect-Access Compliance, see Chapter 11B, 11B-404.2.9.

Exception: In facilities housing Alzheimer's or dementia clients, a delay of not more than 30 seconds is permitted on a delayed egress door. …

6. A sign shall be provided on the door and shall be located above and within 12 inches (305 mm) of the door exit hardware:

6.3. The sign shall comply with the visual character requirements in Section 11B-703.5. Sign lettering shall be at least 1 inch (25 mm) in height and shall have a stroke of not less than 1/8 inch (3.2 mm).

6.4. A tactile sign shall also be provided in Braille and raised characters, which complies with Chapter 11B, Sections 11B-703.1, 11B-703.2, 11B-703.3 and 11B-703.5.

SECTION 1011 STAIRWAYS

[DSA-AC] In addition to the requirements of this section, means of egress, which provide access to, or egress from, buildings or facilities where accessibility is required for applications listed in Section 1.9.1 regulated by the Division of the State Architect-Access Compliance, shall also comply with Chapter 11A or Chapter 11B, Sections 11B-210 and 11B-504, as applicable.

1011.5.2 Riser height and tread depth.

...

Exceptions:

4. See California Fire Code Chapter 11 and California Existing Building Code for the replacement of existing stairways. [DSA-AC] For applications listed in Section 1.9.1 regulated by the Division of the State Architect-Access Compliance, see Chapter 11B, Section 11B-202.

...

1011.11 Handrails.

...

[DSA-AC] For applications listed in Section 1.9.1 regulated by the Division of the State Architect-Access Compliance, see Chapter 11B, Sections 11B-504.6 and 11B-505.

SECTION 1012 RAMPS.

[DSA-AC] In addition to the requirements of this section, means of egress, which provide access to, or egress from, buildings or facilities where accessibility is required for applications listed in Section 1.9.1 regulated by the Division of the State Architect-Access Compliance, shall also comply with Chapter 11A or Chapter 11B, Section 11B-405, as applicable.

1013.4 Raised character and braille exit signs. Tactile exit signs shall be required at the following locations:

1. Each grade-level exterior exit door that is required to comply with Section 1013.1 shall be identified by a tactile exit sign with the word, “EXIT.”

2. Each exit door that is required to comply with Section 1013.1, and that leads directly to a grade-level exterior exit by means of a stairway or ramp shall be identified by a tactile exit sign with the following words as appropriate:

     2.1 “EXIT STAIR DOWN” 

     2.2 “EXIT RAMP DOWN” 

     2.3 “EXIT STAIR UP”

     2.4 “EXIT RAMP UP” 

3. Each exit door that is required to comply with Section 1013.1, and that leads directly to a grade-level exterior exit by means of an exit enclosure or an exit passageway shall be identified by a tactile exit sign with the words, “EXIT ROUTE.”

4. Each exit access door from an interior room or area to a corridor or hallway that is required to comply with Section 1013.1, shall be identified by a tactile exit sign with the words “EXIT ROUTE.”

5. Each exit door through a horizontal exit that is required to comply with Section 1013.1, shall be identified by a sign with the words, “TO EXIT.”

Raised character and Braille exit signs shall comply with Chapter 11A, Section 1143A or Chapter 11B, Sections 11B-703.1, 11B-703.2, 11B-703.3 and 11B-703.5. 

SECTION 1014 HANDRAILS

[DSA-AC] In addition to the requirements of this section, means of egress, which provide access to, or egress from, buildings or facilities where accessibility is required for applications listed in Section 1.9.1 regulated by the Division of the State Architect-Access Compliance, shall also comply with Chapter 11A or Chapter 11B, Section 11B-505, as applicable.

1015.2 Where required.

Guards shall be located along open-sided walking surfaces, including mezzanines, equipment platforms, aisles, stairs, ramps and landings that are located more than 30 inches (762 mm) measured vertically to the floor or grade below at any point within 36 inches (914 mm) horizontally to the edge of the open side. Guards shall be adequate in strength and attachment in accordance with Section 1607.8.

Exception: Guards are not required for the following locations:

  1. On the loading side of loading docks or piers.
  2. On the audience side of stages and raised platforms, including stairs leading up to the stage and raised platforms.
  3. On raised stage and platform floor areas, such as runways, ramps and side stages used for entertainment or presentations.
  4. At vertical openings in the performance area of stages and platforms.
  5. At elevated walking surfaces appurtenant to stages and platforms for access to and utilization of special lighting or equipment.
  6. Along vehicle service pits not accessible to the public.
  7. In assembly seating areas at cross aisles in accordance with Section 1029.12.
  8. On the loading side of station platforms on fixed guideway transit or passenger rail systems.
  9. Elevated facility observation station access hatches at detention facilities.
1015.3 Height.

Required guards shall not be less than 42 inches (1067 mm) high, measured vertically as follows:

  1. From the adjacent walking surfaces.
  2. On stairways and stepped aisles, from the line connecting the leading edges of the tread nosings.
  3. On ramps and ramped aisles, from the ramp surface at the guard.

Exceptions:

  1. For occupancies in Group R-3, and within individual dwelling units in occupancies in Group R-2, guards on the open sides of stairs shall have a height not less than 34 inches (864 mm) measured vertically from a line connecting the leading edges of the treads.
  2. For occupancies in Group R-3, and within individual dwelling units in occupancies in Group R-2, where the top of the guard serves as a handrail on the open sides of stairs, the top of the guard shall be not less than 34 inches (864 mm) and not more than 38 inches (965 mm) measured vertically from a line connecting the leading edges of the treads.
  3. The guard height in assembly seating areas shall comply with Section 1029.17 as applicable.
  4. Along alternating tread devices and ship’s ladders, guards where the top rail serves as a handrail shall have height not less than 30 inches (762 mm) and not more than 34 inches (864 mm), measured vertically from the leading edge of the device tread nosing.
  5. In Group F occupancies where exit access stairways serve fewer than three stories and such stairways are not open to the public, and where the top of the guard also serves as a handrail, the top of the guard shall be not less than 34 inches (864 mm) and not more than 38 inches (965 mm) measured vertically from a line connecting the leading edges of the treads.

ETA Editor's Note

Sections from California Building Code Chapter 10 that are not adopted by the Division of the State Architect - Access Compliance (DSA-AC) have been omitted. To see the entire Chapter, consult California Code of Regulations, Title 24, Part 2 - 2022 California Building Code (2022 CBC), available for purchase from the International Code Council (http://www.iccsafe.org).

SECTION 1018 AISLES.

[DSA-AC] In addition to the requirements of this section, means of egress, which provide access to, or egress from, buildings or facilities where accessibility is required for applications listed in Section 1.9.1 regulated by the Division of the State Architect-Access Compliance, shall also comply with Chapter 11A or Chapter 11B, Section 11B-403, as applicable.

1018.3 Aisles in Groups B and M.

In Group B and M occupancies, the minimum clear aisle width shall be determined by Section 1005.1 for the occupant load served, but shall be not less than that required for corridors by Section 1020.2.

Exception: Nonpublic aisles serving less than 50 people and not required to be accessible by Chapter 11B, (see Section 11B-403) need not exceed 28 inches (711 mm) in width.

1018.5 Aisles in other than assembly spaces and Groups B and M.

In other than rooms or spaces used for assembly purposes and Group B and M occupancies, the minimum clear aisle capacity shall be determined by Section 1005.1 for the occupant load served, but the width shall be not less than that required for corridors by Section 1020.2.

Exception: Nonpublic aisles serving less than 50 people and not required to be accessible by Chapter 11B (see Section 11B-403) need not exceed 28 inches (711 mm) in width.

1023.9 Stairway identification signs.

A sign shall be provided at each floor landing in an interior exit stairway and ramp connecting more than three stories designating the floor level, the terminus of the top and bottom of the interior exit stairway and ramp and the identification of the stairway or ramp. The signage shall state the story of, and the direction to the exit discharge, and the availability of roof access from the interior exit stairway and ramp for the fire department. The bottom of the sign shall be located not less than 5 feet (1524 mm) above the floor landing in a position that is readily visible when the doors are in the open and closed positions.

In addition to the stairway identification sign, raised characters and braille floor identification signs that comply with Chapter 11A, Section 1143A or Chapter 11B shall be located at the landing of each floor level, placed adjacent to the door on the latch side, in all enclosed stairways in buildings two or more stories in height to identify the floor level. At the exit discharge level, the sign shall include a raised five pointed star located to the left of the identifying floor level. The outside diameter of the star shall be the same as the height of the raised characters.

ETA Editor's Note

Stairway signage is among the most frequently-observed barriers in California, because of the prevalent misunderstanding of the requirements. The "Floor Identification Signs" referenced in CBC 11B-504.8 and in the second paragraph only of 1023.9 should not be confused with the "Stairway Identification Signs" (hereinafter termed "Fire Department Signs," to assist in clarifying) which are referenced in the first paragraph of 1023.9, and in 1023.9.1 (these two sections are not included above, as they are not adopted by DSA-AC in this version of CBC). To see the entire Section, consult California Code of Regulations, Title 24, Part 2 - 2022 California Building Code (2022 CBC), available for purchase from International Code Council (http://www.iccsafe.org)].

"Floor Identification Signs" are for routine wayfinding use by vision-impaired persons and others who use the stairs, and these are required at all enclosed stairways of multi-story buildings. They must be tactile and located at the latch side of the door as prescribed by CBC Section 11B-703.4.

"Fire Department Signs" are for use by emergency responders to enable efficient navigation through tall buildings in emergency situations without having to backtrack, losing valuable time. They are required at enclosed stairs in buildings with more than 3 stories above or below the level of exit discharge. They are not required to be, and should not be, tactile. They are not required to be, and should not be, located adjacent to the latch side of the door. Making them tactile and placing them at the latch side of the door does not benefit emergency responders and distracts routine vision-impaired stair users by providing information that is of little wayfinding use (e.g., whether the stair connects to the roof level).

It is not possible to meet the requirements for both the "Floor Identification Signs" and the "Fire Department Signs" with a single sign at each stair level, although this is frequently observed. Architects, Signage Consultants and Manufacturers having standard details showing one sign for both purposes are encouraged to change them permanently, indicating two separate and distinct signs. The requirements of 11B-504.8 do not apply to the "Fire Department Signs."

Neither the "Floor Identification Signs" nor the "Fire Department Signs" are required by 2010 ADA Standards. Note also that neither of these signs is required at open stairways.

11B-101.1 General.

This chapter contains scoping and technical requirements for accessibility to sites, facilities, buildings, and elements by individuals with disabilities. The requirements are to be applied during the design, construction, additions to, and alteration of sites, facilities, buildings, and elements to the extent required by Chapter 1, Section 1.9.

DOJ icon
Advisory 11B-101.1 General. In addition to these requirements, covered entities must comply with the regulations issued by the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Transportation under the Americans with Disabilities Act. There are issues affecting individuals with disabilities which are not addressed by these requirements, but which are covered by the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Transportation regulations

DSA icon
Advisory 11B-101.1 General (1). Chapter 11B accessibility regulations are applicable to: 1) publicly funded buildings, structures, sidewalks, curbs and related facilities; 2) privately funded public accommodations and commercial facilities; and 3) public housing and private housing available for public use. Refer to Chapter 1, Section 1.9 for additional information. ◼

Advisory 11B-101.1 General (2). Accessible features, accommodations and elements must comply with the requirements of Chapter 11B. In some cases Chapter 11B requires compliance with requirements in other parts of the building code. When additional scoping or technical requirements are located in other parts of the building code, the features, accommodations and elements must comply with those regulations and Chapter 11B. ◼

[2010 ADA Standards] 101.1 General. This document contains scoping and technical requirements for accessibility to sites, facilities, buildings, and elements by individuals with disabilities. The requirements are to be applied during the design, construction, additions to, and alteration of sites, facilities, buildings, and elements to the extent required by regulations issued by Federal agencies under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA).

[ADA Title II] §35.151(a) New construction and alterations; Design and construction.

(1) Each facility or part of a facility constructed by, on behalf of, or for the use of a public entity shall be designed and constructed in such manner that the facility or part of the facility is readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, if the construction was commenced after January 26, 1992.

[ADA Title III] §36.401(a) New construction; General.

(1) Except as provided in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section, discrimination for purposes of this part includes a failure to design and construct facilities for first occupancy after January 26, 1993, that are readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities.

(2) For purposes of this section, a facility is designed and constructed for first occupancy after January 26, 1993, only –

(i) If the last application for a building permit or permit extension for the facility is certified to be complete, by a State, County, or local government after January 26, 1992 (or, in those jurisdictions where the government does not certify completion of applications, if the last application for a building permit or permit extension for the facility is received by the State, County, or local government after January 26, 1992); and

(ii) If the first certificate of occupancy for the facility is issued after January 26, 1993.

11B-101.2 Reserved.

[2010 ADA Standards] 101.2 Effect on Removal of Barriers in Existing Facilities. This document does not address existing facilities unless altered at the discretion of a covered entity. The Department of Justice has authority over existing facilities that are subject to the requirement for removal of barriers under title III of the ADA. Any determination that this document applies to existing facilities subject to the barrier removal requirement is solely within the discretion of the Department of Justice and is effective only to the extent required by regulations issued by the Department of Justice.

ETA Editor's Note

While the 2010 ADA Standards and CBC address new construction and alterations of existing facilities, the ADA Title II and ADA Title III regulations include a Safe Harbor provision for existing facilities. These ADA provisions are inserted immediately below. Chapter 11B of CBC does not use the term "Safe Harbor," but contains a limited version of the same principle at Section 11B-202.4, Exception 2. In addition, ADA Title III requires removal of barriers for existing facilities not undergoing alterations as defined in the 2010 ADA Standards, which goes above and beyond responsibilities assigned by CBC. For more information regarding ADA Safe Harbor, go to https://www.ADASafeHarbor.com.

[ADA Title II] §35.150(b) Existing Facilities; Methods.

(2)

i) Safe harbor. Elements that have not been altered in existing facilities on or after March 15, 2012, and that comply with the corresponding technical and scoping specifications for those elements in either the 1991 Standards or in the Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards (UFAS), Appendix A to 41 CFR part 101–19.6 (July 1, 2002 ed.), 49 FR 31528, app. A (Aug. 7, 1984) are not required to be modified in order to comply with the requirements set forth in the 2010 Standards.

ii) The safe harbor provided in §35.150(b)(2)(i) does not apply to those elements in existing facilities that are subject to supplemental requirements (i.e., elements for which there are neither technical nor scoping specifications in the 1991 Standards). Elements in the 2010 Standards not eligible for the element-by-element safe harbor are identified as follows –

     A. Residential facilities dwelling units, sections 233 and 809.

     B. Amusement rides, sections 234 and 1002; 206.2.9; 216.12.

     C. Recreational boating facilities, sections 235 and 1003; 206.2.10.

     D. Exercise machines and equipment, sections 236 and 1004; 206.2.13.

     E. Fishing piers and platforms, sections 237 and 1005; 206.2.14.

     F. Golf facilities, sections 238 and 1006; 206.2.15.

     G. Miniature golf facilities, sections 239 and 1007; 206.2.16.

     H. Play areas, sections 240 and 1008; 206.2.17.

     I. Saunas and steam rooms, sections 241 and 612.

     J. Swimming pools, wading pools, and spas, sections 242 and 1009.

     K. Shooting facilities with firing positions, sections 243 and 1010.

     L. Miscellaneous.

          (1) Team or player seating, section 221.2.1.4.

          (2) Accessible route to bowling lanes, section. 206.2.11.

          (3) Accessible route in court sports facilities, section 206.2.12.

[ADA Title III] §36.304 Removal of Barriers

a. General. A public accommodation shall remove architectural barriers in existing facilities, including communication barriers that are structural in nature, where such removal is readily achievable, i.e., easily accomplishable and able to be carried out without much difficulty or expense

b. Examples. Examples of steps to remove barriers include, but are not limited to, the following actions –

     1) Installing ramps;

     2) Making curb cuts in sidewalks and entrances;

     3) Repositioning shelves;

     4) Rearranging tables, chairs, vending machines, display racks, and other furniture;

     5) Repositioning telephones;

     6) Adding raised markings on elevator control buttons;

     7) Installing flashing alarm lights;

     8) Widening doors;

     9) Installing offset hinges to widen doorways;

     10) Eliminating a turnstile or providing an alternative accessible path;

     11) Installing accessible door hardware;

     12) Installing grab bars in toilet stalls;

     13) Rearranging toilet partitions to increase maneuvering space;

     14) Insulating lavatory pipes under sinks to prevent burns;

     15) Installing a raised toilet seat;

     16) Installing a full-length bathroom mirror;

     17) Repositioning the paper towel dispenser in a bathroom;

     18) Creating designated accessible parking spaces;

     19) Installing an accessible paper cup dispenser at an existing inaccessible water fountain;

     20) Removing high pile, low density carpeting; or

     21) Installing vehicle hand controls.

c) Priorities. A public accommodation is urged to take measures to comply with the barrier removal requirements of this section in accordance with the following order of priorities.

     1) First, a public accommodation should take measures to provide access to a place of public accommodation from public sidewalks, parking, or public transportation. These measures include, for example, installing an entrance ramp, widening entrances, and providing accessible parking spaces.

     2) Second, a public accommodation should take measures to provide access to those areas of a place of public accommodation where goods and services are made available to the public. These measures include, for example, adjusting the layout of display racks, rearranging tables, providing Brailled and raised character signage, widening doors, providing visual alarms, and installing ramps.

     3) Third, a public accommodation should take measures to provide access to restroom facilities. These measures include, for example, removal of obstructing furniture or vending machines, widening of doors, installation of ramps, providing accessible signage, widening of toilet stalls, and installation of grab bars.

    4) Fourth, a public accommodation should take any other measures necessary to provide access to the goods,      services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations of a place of public accommodation.

d) Relationship to Alterations Requirements of Subpart D of this Part.

     1) Except as provided in paragraph (d)(3) of this section, measures taken to comply with the barrier removal requirements of this section shall comply with the applicable requirements for alterations in §36.402 and §§36.404 through 36.406 of this part for the element being altered. The path of travel requirements of §36.403 shall not apply to measures taken solely to comply with the barrier removal requirements of this section.

     2)

          i) Safe harbor. Elements that have not been altered in existing facilities on or after March 15, 2012, and that comply with the corresponding technical and scoping specifications for those elements in the 1991 Standards are not required to be modified in order to comply with the requirements set forth in the 2010 Standards.

          ii)

               (A) Before March 15, 2012, elements in existing facilities that do not comply with the corresponding technical and scoping specifications for those elements in the 1991 Standards must be modified to the extent readily achievable to comply with either the 1991 Standards or the 2010 Standards. Noncomplying newly constructed and altered elements may also be subject to the requirements of §36.406(a)(5).

               (B) On or after March 15, 2012, elements in existing facilities that do not comply with the corresponding technical and scoping specifications for those elements in the 1991 Standards must be modified to the extent readily achievable to comply with the requirements set forth in the 2010 Standards. Noncomplying newly constructed and altered elements may also be subject to the requirements of § 36.406(a)(5).

          iii) The safe harbor provided in § 36.304(d)(2)(i) does not apply to those elements in existing facilities that are subject to supplemental requirements (i.e., elements for which there are neither technical nor scoping specifications in the 1991 Standards), and therefore those elements must be modified to the extent readily achievable to comply with the 2010 Standards. Noncomplying newly constructed and altered elements may also be subject to the requirements of § 36.406(a)(5). Elements in the 2010 Standards not eligible for the element-by-element safe harbor are identified as follows –

               (A) Residential facilities and dwelling units, sections 233 and 809.

               (B) Amusement rides, sections 234 and 1002; 206.2.9; 216.12.

               (C) Recreational boating facilities, sections 235 and 1003; 206.2.10.

               (D) Exercise machines and equipment, sections 236 and 1004; 206.2.13.

               (E) Fishing piers and platforms, sections 237 and 1005; 206.2.14.

               (F) Golf facilities, sections 238 and 1006; 206.2.15.

               (G) Miniature golf facilities, sections 239 and 1007; 206.2.16.

               (H) Play areas, sections 240 and 1008; 206.2.17.

               (I) Saunas and steam rooms, sections 241 and 612.

               (J) Swimming pools, wading pools, and spas, sections 242 and 1009.

               (K) Shooting facilities with firing positions, sections 243 and 1010.

               (L) Miscellaneous.

                    1) Team or player seating, section 221.2.1.4.

                    2) Accessible route to bowling lanes, section 206.2.11.

                    3) Accessible route in court sports facilities, section 206.2.12.

3) If, as a result of compliance with the alterations requirements specified in paragraph (d)(1) and (d)(2) of this section, the measures required to remove a barrier would not be readily achievable, a public accommodation may take other readily achievable measures to remove the barrier that do not fully comply with the specified requirements. Such measures include, for example, providing a ramp with a steeper slope or widening a doorway to a narrower width than that mandated by the alterations requirements. No measure shall be taken, however, that poses a significant risk to the health or safety of individuals with disabilities or others.

Appendix to §36.304(d) Compliance Dates and Applicable Standards for Barrier Removal and Safe Harbor

Date

Requirement

Applicable Standards

Before March 15, 2012

Elements that do not comply with the requirements for those elements in the 1991 Standards must be modified to the extent readily achievable.

Note: Noncomplying newly constructed and altered elements may also be subject to the requirements of § 36.406(a)(5).

1991 Standards or 2010 Standards

On or after March 15, 2012

Elements that do not comply with the requirements for those elements in the 1991 Standards or that do not comply with the supplemental requirements (i.e., elements for which there are neither technical nor scoping specifications in the 1991 Standards), must be modified to the extent readily achievable. There is an exception for existing pools, wading pools, and spas built before March 15, 2012 [See § 36.304(g)(5)].

Note: Noncomplying newly constructed and altered elements may also be subject to the requirements of § 36.406(a)(5).

2010 Standards

On or after January 31, 2013

For existing pools, wading pools, and spas built before March 15, 2012, elements that do not comply with the supplemental requirements for entry to pools, wading pools, and spas must be modified to the extent readily achievable [See § 36.304(g)(5)]

Sections 242 and 1009 of the 2010 Standards

Elements not altered after March 15, 2012

Elements that comply with the requirements for those elements in the 1991 Standards do not need to be modified

Safe Harbor

e) Portable Ramps. Portable ramps should be used to comply with this section only when installation of a permanent ramp is not readily achievable. In order to avoid any significant risk to the health or safety of individuals with disabilities or others in using portable ramps, due consideration shall be given to safety features such as nonslip surfaces, railings, anchoring, and strength of materials.

f) Selling or Serving Space. The rearrangement of temporary or movable structures, such as furniture, equipment, and display racks is not readily achievable to the extent that it results in a significant loss of selling or serving space

g) Limitation on Barrier Removal Obligations.

     1) The requirements for barrier removal under §36.304 shall not be interpreted to exceed the standards for alterations in subpart D of this part.

      2) To the extent that relevant standards for alterations are not provided in subpart D of this part, then the requirements of §36.304 shall not be interpreted to exceed the standards for new construction in subpart D of this part.

     3) This section does not apply to rolling stock and other conveyances to the extent that §36.310 applies to rolling stock and other conveyances.

     4) This requirement does not apply to guest rooms in existing facilities that are places of lodging where the guest rooms are not owned by the entity that owns, leases, or operates the overall facility and the physical features of the guest room interiors are controlled by their individual owners.

     5) With respect to facilities built before March 15, 2012, the requirements in this section for accessible means of entry for swimming pools, wading pools, and spas, as set forth in sections 242 and 1009 of the 2010 Standards, shall not apply until January 31, 2013.

[ADA Title III] §36.305 Alternatives to Barrier Removal.

a) General. Where a public accommodation can demonstrate that barrier removal is not readily achievable, the public accommodation shall not fail to make its goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations available through alternative methods, if those methods are readily achievable.

b) Examples. Examples of alternatives to barrier removal include, but are not limited to, the following actions –

     1) Providing curb service or home delivery;

     2) Retrieving merchandise from inaccessible shelves or racks;

     3) Relocating activities to accessible locations;

c) Multiscreen Cinemas. If it is not readily achievable to remove barriers to provide access by persons with mobility impairments to all of the theaters of a multiscreen cinema, the cinema shall establish a film rotation schedule that provides reasonable access for individuals who use wheelchairs to all films. Reasonable notice shall be provided to the public as to the location and time of accessible showings.

11B-102 Dimensions for adults and children.

The technical requirements are based on adult dimensions and anthropometrics. In addition, this chapter includes technical requirements based on children’s dimensions and anthropometrics for drinking fountains, water closets, toilet compartments, lavatories and sinks, dining surfaces, and work surfaces.

11B-103 Equivalent facilitation.

Nothing in these requirements prevents the use of designs, products, or technologies as alternatives to those prescribed, provided they result in substantially equivalent or greater accessibility and usability.

DOJ icon
Advisory 11B-103 Equivalent facilitation. The responsibility for demonstrating equivalent facilitation in the event of a challenge rests with the covered entity. With the exception of transit facilities, which are covered by regulations issued by the Department of Transportation, there is no process for certifying that an alternative design provides equivalent facilitation. 

ETA Editor's Note

The acceptance of an Equivalent Facilitation argument by a Local Building Official or other Authority Having Jurisdiction does not warrant that the standards for Equivalent Facilitation expected for ADA compliance are met, since those entities have no authority to certify ADA compliance, and consistently state that they do not review for it. Due diligence is advised whenever Equivalent Facilitation is proposed in lieu of strict compliance with stated scoping and/or technical requirements.

When designs rely on Equivalent Facilitation for compliance, the designer, and any other responsible parties, must verify that the designs, products or technologies actually result in substantially equivalent or greater accessibility and usability for people with all disability types who would have been accommodated by a design meeting the stated requirements. 

11B-104.1 Dimensions.

Dimensions that are not stated as “maximum” or “minimum” are absolute.

DSA icon
Advisory 11B-104.1 Dimensions. This section clarifies the dimensioning conventions used in this chapter. Dimensions stated as a "maximum" or "minimum" provide a dimensional range for design purposes. Dimensions not stated as ‘maximum’ or ‘minimum’ are absolute values for design purposes. ◼

11B-104.1.1 Construction and manufacturing tolerances.

All dimensions are subject to conventional industry tolerances except where the requirement is stated as a range with specific minimum and maximum end points.

DOJ icon
Advisory 11B-104.1.1 Construction and manufacturing tolerancesConventional industry tolerances recognized by this provision include those for field conditions and those that may be a necessary consequence of a particular manufacturing process. Recognized tolerances are not intended to apply to design work.

It is good practice when specifying dimensions to avoid specifying a tolerance where dimensions are absolute. For example, if this document requires "1½ inches," avoid specifying "1½ inches plus or minus X inches."

Where the requirement states a specified range, such as in Section 11B-609.4 where grab bars must be installed between 33 inches and 36 inches above the floor, the range provides an adequate tolerance and therefore no tolerance outside of the range at either end point is permitted.

Where a requirement is a minimum or a maximum dimension that does not have two specific minimum and maximum end points, tolerances may apply. Where an element is to be installed at the minimum or maximum permitted dimension, such as "15 inches minimum" or "5 pounds maximum", it would not be good practice to specify "5 pounds (plus X pounds) or 15 inches (minus X inches)." Rather, it would be good practice to specify a dimension less than the required maximum (or more than the required minimum) by the amount of the expected field or manufacturing tolerance and not to state any tolerance in conjunction with the specified dimension.

Specifying dimensions in design in the manner described above will better ensure that facilities and elements accomplish the level of accessibility intended by these requirements. It will also more often produce an end result of strict and literal compliance with the stated requirements and eliminate enforcement difficulties and issues that might otherwise arise.

Information on specific tolerances may be available from industry or trade organizations, code groups and building officials, and published references. 

DSA icon
Advisory 11B-104.1.1 Construction and manufacturing tolerancesApplication of conventional industry tolerances must be on a case-by-case, project-by-project basis. Predetermined guidelines for construction tolerances could unnecessarily encourage contractors and others to deviate from the access regulations found in the CBC and may wrongfully be viewed by some to have the effect of law.

Conventional building industry tolerances include those for field conditions and those that may be a necessary consequence of a particular manufacturing process. Recognized tolerances are not intended to apply to design work.

Where accessibility provisions state a dimensional range, such as Section 11B-505.4 which requires the top of stair handrails to be installed between 34 inches and 38 inches above the nosing, the range already provides an adequate tolerance, therefore, no tolerance outside the range at either end point is permitted.

An element designed to be constructed at either the maximum or minimum permitted dimensions puts the construction at risk if construction errors result in a violation of the standards. It is good practice to specify a dimension less than the required maximum (or more than the required minimum) by the amount of the expected field or manufacturing tolerance and not to state any tolerance in conjunction with the specified dimension.

In other words, dimensions noted in accessibility provisions as “maximum” or “minimum” should not be considered dimensions for design, as they represent the limits of a requirement. To be sure that field tolerances result in usable construction, notes and dimensions in construction documents should anticipate expected tolerances so that a required dimensional range is not exceeded by the addition of a finish or a variation in construction practice.

Specifying dimensions in design in the manner described above will better ensure that facilities and elements accomplish the level of accessibility intended by the provision. It will also more often produce an end result of strict and literal compliance with the stated requirements and eliminate enforcement difficulties and issues that might otherwise arise. ◼

ETA Editor's Note

For additional information regarding construction and manufacturing tolerances, please go to http://www.ADATolerances.com or keyword search Corada for “tolerance”.

11B-104.2 Calculation of percentages.

Where the required number of elements or facilities to be provided is determined by calculations of ratios or percentages and remainders or fractions result, the next greater whole number of such elements or facilities shall be provided. Where the determination of the required size or dimension of an element or facility involves ratios or percentages, rounding down for values less than one half shall be permitted.

11B-104.3 Figures.

Unless specifically stated otherwise, figures are provided for informational purposes only.

chart showing conventions for the pocket guide text

FIGURE 11B-104 GRAPHIC CONVENTION FOR FIGURES

11B-106.1 General.

For the purpose of this chapter, the terms listed in Section 11B-106.5 and defined in Chapter 2 have the indicated meaning.

11B-106.2 Terms defined in referenced standards.

Terms not listed in Section 11B-106.5 and not defined in Chapter 2, Section 202, but specifically defined in a referenced standard, shall have the specified meaning from the referenced standard unless otherwise stated.

11B-106.3 Undefined terms.

The meaning of terms not specifically listed in Section 11B-106.5, and not defined in Chapter 2, Section 202, or in referenced standards shall be as defined by collegiate dictionaries in the sense that the context implies.

11B-106.5 Defined terms.

The following terms are defined in Chapter 2, Section 202.

DSA icon
Advisory 11B-106.5 Defined terms. Terms defined in Chapter 2, Section 202 and adopted by DSA-AC for access are listed below. Non-italicized terms indicate 2010 Americans with Disabilities Act Standards model code definitions. Italicized terms indicate definitions carried forward from the 2010 California Building Code. ◼

ACCESS AISLE

ACCESSIBILITY

ACCESSIBLE

ACCESSIBLE ELEMENT

ACCESSIBLE MEANS OF EGRESS

ACCESSIBLE ROUTE

ACCESSIBLE SPACE

ADAPTABLE

ADDITION

ADJUSTED CONSTRUCTION COST

ADMINISTRATIVE AUTHORITY

AISLE

ALTERATION

AMUSEMENT ATTRACTION

AMUSEMENT RIDE

AMUSEMENT RIDE SEAT

ANSI

APPROVED

APPROVED TESTING AGENCY

AREA OF REFUGE

AREA OF SPORT ACTIVITY

ASSEMBLY AREA

ASSISTIVE LISTENING SYSTEM (ALS)

AUTOMATIC DOOR

AUTOMATIC TELLER MACHINE (ATM)

BATHROOM

BLENDED TRANSITION

BOARDING PIER

BOAT LAUNCH RAMP

BOAT SLIP

BUILDING

BUILDING OFFICIAL

CATCH POOL

CCR

CHARACTERS

CHILDREN’S USE

CIRCULATION PATH

CLEAR

CLEAR FLOOR SPACE

CLOSED-CIRCUIT TELEPHONE

COMMERCIAL FACILITIES

COMMON USE

COMPLY WITH

CROSS SLOPE

CURB CUT

CURB RAMP

DETECTABLE WARNING

DIRECTIONAL SIGN

DISABILITY

DORMITORY

DRIVE-UP ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGING STATION

ELECTRIC VEHICLE (EV)

ELECTRIC VEHICLE (EV) CHARGER

ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGING SPACE (EV SPACE)

ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGING STATION (EVCS)

ELECTRIC VEHICLE (EV) CONNECTOR

ELEMENT

ELEVATED PLAY COMPONENT

ELEVATOR, PASSENGER

EMPLOYEE WORK AREA

ENFORCING AGENCY

ENTRANCE

EQUIVALENT FACILITATION

EXISTING BUILDING OR FACILITY

EXIT

FACILITY

FUNCTIONAL AREA

GANGWAY

GOLF CAR PASSAGE

GRAB BAR

GRADE (ADJACENT GROUND ELEVATION)

GRADE BREAK

GROUND FLOOR

GROUND LEVEL PLAY COMPONENT

GUARD

HANDRAIL

HEALTH CARE PROVIDER

HISTORICAL BUILDINGS

HOUSING AT A PLACE OF EDUCATION

IF, IF…THEN

INTERNATIONAL SYMBOL OF ACCESSIBILITY

KEY STATION

KICK PLATE

KITCHEN OR KITCHENETTE

LAVATORY

MAIL BOXES

MARKED CROSSING

MAY

MEZZANINE

MULTIBEDROOM HOUSING UNIT

NFPA

NOSING

OCCUPANT LOAD

OCCUPIABLE SPACE

OPEN RISER

OPERABLE PART

PASSENGER ELEVATOR

PATH OF TRAVEL

PEDESTRIAN

PEDESTRIAN WAY

PERMANENT

PERMIT

PICTOGRAM

PLACE OF PUBLIC ACCOMMODATION

PLATFORM

PLATFORM (WHEELCHAIR) LIFT

PLAY AREA

PLAY COMPONENT

POINT-OF-SALE DEVICE

POWDER ROOM

POWER-ASSISTED DOOR

PRIVATE BUILDING OR FACILITY

PROFESSIONAL OFFICE OF A HEALTH CARE PROVIDER

PUBLIC BUILDING OR FACILITY

PUBLIC ENTITY

PUBLIC ENTRANCE

PUBLIC HOUSING

PUBLIC USE

PUBLIC-USE AREAS

PUBLIC WAY

QUALIFIED HISTORIC BUILDING OR FACILITY

RAMP

REASONABLE PORTION

RECOMMEND

REMODELING

REPAIR

RESIDENTIAL DWELLING UNIT

RESTRICTED ENTRANCE

RISER

RUNNING SLOPE

SELF-SERVICE STORAGE

SERVICE ENTRANCE

SHALL

SHOPPING CENTER (OR SHOPPING MALL)

SHOULD

SIDEWALK

SIGN

SINK

SITE

SLEEPING ACCOMMODATIONS

SOFT CONTAINED PLAY STRUCTURE

SPACE

SPECIFIED PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

STAGE

STAIR

STAIRWAY

STORY

STRUCTURAL FRAME

STRUCTURE

TACTILE

TACTILE SIGN

TECHNICALLY INFEASIBLE

TEEING GROUND

TEMPORARY

TEXT TELEPHONE

TRANSFER DEVICE

TRANSIENT LODGING

TRANSIT BOARDING PLATFORM

TRANSITION PLATE

TTY

UNREASONABLE HARDSHIP

USE ZONE

VALUATION THRESHOLD

VEHICULAR WAY

WALK

WET BAR

WHEELCHAIR

WHEELCHAIR SPACE

WORKSTATION

WORK AREA EQUIPMENT

11B-107 Special conditions appeals action.

See Chapter 1, Section 1.9.1.5.

ETA Editor's Note

A successful appeal does not warrant ADA compliance. Appeals Boards, Local Building Officials or other Authorities Having Jurisdiction have no authority to certify ADA compliance, and consistently state that they do not review for it. Due diligence is advised whenever an appeal is made in lieu of strict compliance with stated scoping and/or technical requirements.

11B-108 Maintenance of accessible features.

Features, facilities and equipment required by Chapter 11B to be accessible to and useable by persons with disabilities shall be maintained in operable working condition. Isolated or temporary interruptions in service or accessibility due to maintenance or repairs shall be permitted.

DSA icon
11B-108 Maintenance of accessible features. Features for accessibility must be permanently functional, unobstructed and may not be removed. It is not sufficient to provide features such as accessible routes, parking, elevators, ramps or signage if those features are not maintained in a manner that enables individuals with disabilities to use them. Inoperable elevators, locked accessible doors, or "accessible" routes that are obstructed by furniture, filing cabinets or potted plants are not accessible to nor usable by persons with disabilities. ◼
11B-201.1 Scope.

All areas of newly designed and newly constructed buildings and facilities and altered portions of existing buildings and facilities shall comply with these requirements.

DOJ icon
Advisory 11B-201.1 Scope. These requirements are to be applied to all areas of a facility unless exempted, or where scoping limits the number of multiple elements required to be accessible. For example, not all medical care patient rooms are required to be accessible; those that are not required to be accessible are not required to comply with these requirements. However, common use and public use spaces such as recovery rooms, examination rooms, and cafeterias are not exempt from these requirements and must be accessible. 

[ADA Title II] §35.151(d) New Construction and Alterations; Scope of Coverage.

(d) Scope of coverage. The 1991 Standards and the 2010 Standards apply to fixed or built-in elements of buildings, structures, site improvements, and pedestrian routes or vehicular ways located on a site. Unless specifically stated otherwise, the advisory notes, appendix notes, and figures contained in the 1991 Standards and the Standards explain or illustrate the requirements of the rule; they do not establish enforceable requirements.

[ADA Title III] §36.406(b) Standards for New Construction and Alterations; Scope of Coverage.

(b) Scope of coverage. The 1991 Standards and the 2010 Standards apply to fixed or built-in elements of buildings, structures, site improvements, and pedestrian routes or vehicular ways located on a site. Unless specifically stated otherwise, the advisory notes, appendix notes, and figures contained in the 1991 Standards and 2010 Standards explain or illustrate the requirements of the rule; they do not establish enforceable requirements.

11B-201.2 Application based on building or facility use.

Where a site, building, facility, room, or space contains more than one use, each portion shall comply with the applicable requirements for that use.

11B-201.3 Temporary and permanent structures.

These requirements shall apply to temporary and permanent buildings and facilities.

DOJ icon
Advisory 11B-201.3 Temporary and permanent structures. Temporary buildings or facilities covered by these requirements include, but are not limited to, reviewing stands, temporary classrooms, bleacher areas, stages, platforms and daises, fixed furniture systems, wall systems, and exhibit areas, temporary banking facilities, and temporary health screening facilities. Structures and equipment directly associated with the actual processes of construction are not required to be accessible as permitted in Section 11B-203.2

11B-201.4 Construction Support Facilities.

These requirements shall apply to temporary or permanent construction support facilities for uses and activities not directly associated with the actual processes of construction, including but not limited to offices, meeting rooms, plan rooms, other administrative or support functions. When provided, toilet and bathing facilities serving construction support facilities shall comply with 11B-213. When toilet and bathing facilities serving construction support facilities are provided by portable units, at least one of each type shall be accessible and connected to the construction support facilities it serves by an accessible route.

EXCEPTION: During construction an accessible route shall not be required between site arrival points or the boundary of the area of construction and the entrance to the construction support facilities if the only means of access between them is a vehicular way not providing pedestrian access.

DSA icon
Advisory 11B-201.4 Construction support facilities. This section clarifies that construction support facilities located on or adjacent to a construction site, but not directly associated with the actual processes of construction must comply with the accessibility provisions of Chapter 11B. Construction support facilities may include but are not limited to, offices, meeting rooms, plan rooms and other administrative and support spaces. Toilet facilities serving these construction support facilities, including portable units, must also comply with the accessibility provisions of this chapter. While an accessible route is required between construction support facilities and the toilet and parking facilities serving them, an accessible route is not required between site arrival points and construction support facilities when the only means of reaching the construction support facilities is a vehicular way. ◼
11B-202.2 Additions.

Each addition to an existing building or facility shall comply with the requirements for new construction and shall comply with 11B-202.4.

DSA icon
Advisory 11B-202.2 Additions. An addition to site improvements, such as a new patio or playground, may require an accessible path of travel from the site arrival point to restrooms, drinking fountains, signs, public telephones (if available) serving the addition. ◼

[2010 ADA Standards] 202.2 Additions. Each addition to an existing building or facility shall comply with the requirements for new construction. Each addition that affects or could affect the usability of or access to an area containing a primary function shall comply with 202.4. 

11B-202.3 Alterations.

Where existing elements or spaces are altered, each altered element or space shall comply with the applicable requirements of Division 2, including Section 11B-202.4.

[2010 ADA Standards] 202.3 Alterations. Where existing elements or spaces are altered, each altered element or space shall comply with the applicable requirements of Chapter 2.

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Advisory 11B-202.3 Alterations. Although covered entities are permitted to limit the scope of an alteration to individual elements, the alteration of multiple elements within a room or space may provide a cost-effective opportunity to make the entire room or space accessible. Any elements or spaces of the building or facility that are required to comply with these requirements must be made accessible within the scope of the alteration, to the maximum extent feasible. If providing accessibility in compliance with these requirements for people with one type of disability (e.g., people who use wheelchairs) is not feasible, accessibility must still be provided in compliance with the requirements for people with other types of disabilities (e.g., people who have hearing impairments or who have vision impairments) to the extent that such accessibility is feasible. 

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Advisory 11B-202.3 Alterations (seismic strengthening)In Legal Opinion No. 94-1109, dated May 10, 1995, the Attorney General for the State of California concluded that seismic strengthening work in an existing building constitutes a “building alteration, structural repair or addition” for purposes of providing access to the building for persons with disabilities.

In existing buildings or facilities, if seismic strengthening or upgrade work does not alter the primary use or function of the building or facility and/or does not alter the design of specific rooms or spaces, then the requirement for an accessible path of travel to the area of specific alteration does not apply. However, an accessible primary entrance, toilet and bathing facilities, drinking fountains, signs and public telephones, as well as an accessible route connecting these elements must be provided.

In existing buildings or facilities, when the primary use or function of the building or facility and/or design of specific rooms or spaces are altered, the seismic strengthening or upgrade work must comply with all applicable accessibility regulations for new construction. In addition, an accessible primary entrance to the building or facility and path of travel to the specific area of alteration, including toilet and bathing facilities, drinking fountains, signs, and public telephones serving the area must be provided. ◼

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Advisory 11B-202.3 Alterations (fire damage repair)

US Department of Justice technical assistance letter #772, dated August 26, 1998, indicates reconstruction after a fire is considered an alteration. Chapter 2, Section 202 defines alteration as “…a change, addition or modification in construction, change in occupancy or use, or structural repair to an existing building or facility. …” Reroofing, painting or wallpapering, or changes to mechanical and electrical systems are generally not considered to be alterations.

When the damage caused by a fire is minor and can be corrected by cleaning, re-painting or re-wallpapering, accessibility provisions based on alterations are not triggered. The accessibility requirements of Section 11B-202.3 would apply where alterations are made in the fire damaged area, for example, if wall or roof structures are being reconstructed or repaired. These requirements include: (1) reconstruction work in the specific area of fire damage that complies with all applicable accessibility provisions for new construction and (2) the obligation to provide an accessible primary entrance to the building or facility and primary path of travel to the specific area of alteration, including toilet and bathing facilities, drinking fountains, signs, and public telephones that serve the area. ◼

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Advisory 11B-202.3 Alterations (pre-existing conditions)Code changes to the California Building Code do not generally “trigger” the requirement to comply with the current code in existing buildings unless the building or facility is undergoing alteration. ◼

Exceptions:

1. Reserved.

[2010 ADA Standards] 1. Unless required by 202.4, where elements or spaces are altered and the circulation path to the altered element or space is not altered, an accessible route shall not be required.

2. Technically infeasible. In alterations, where the enforcing authority determines compliance with applicable requirements is technically infeasible, the alteration shall provide equivalent facilitation or comply with the requirements to the maximum extent feasible. The details of the finding that full compliance with the requirements is technically infeasible shall be recorded and entered into the files of the enforcing agency.

[2010 ADA Standards] 2. In alterations, where compliance with applicable requirements is technically infeasible, the alteration shall comply with the requirements to the maximum extent feasible.

ETA Editor's Note

A key difference between CBC and ADA is that matters of judgment, such as technical infeasibility, equivalent facilitation, and compliance to the maximum extent feasible are subject to the opinions of the Authority Having Jurisdiction with regard to CBC, while there is no such governing authority for ADA. Instead, these matters are subject to being tested through the legal system. Risk is minimized when there is clear evidence that proactive measures have been taken to enable individuals with varying types of disabilities to acquire goods and services independently, or to receive the same benefits of participation or employment as anyone else.

3. Residential dwelling units not required to be accessible in compliance with this code shall not be required to comply with 11B-202.3.

[2010 ADA Standards] 3. Residential dwelling units not required to be accessible in compliance with a standard issued pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, shall not be required to comply with 202.3.

[ADA Title II] §35.151(b) New Construction and Alterations; Alterations.

1. Each facility or part of a facility altered by, on behalf of, or for the use of a public entity in a manner that affects or could affect the usability of the facility or part of the facility shall, to the maximum extent feasible, be altered in such manner that the altered portion of the facility is readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, if the alteration was commenced after January 26, 1992.

[ADA Title III] §36.402(a) Alterations; General.

1. Any alteration to a place of public accommodation or a commercial facility, after January 26, 1992, shall be made so as to ensure that, to the maximum extent feasible, the altered portions of the facility are readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, including individuals who use wheelchairs.

2. An alteration is deemed to be undertaken after January 26, 1992, if the physical alteration of the property begins after that date.

11B-202.3.1 Prohibited reduction in access.

An alteration that decreases or has the effect of decreasing the accessibility of a building or facility below the requirements for new construction at the time of the alteration is prohibited.

[ADA Title II] §35.133 Maintenance of accessible features.

c. If the 2010 Standards reduce the technical requirements or the number of required accessible elements below the number required by the 1991 Standards, the technical requirements or the number of accessible elements in a facility subject to this part may be reduced in accordance with the requirements of the 2010 Standards.

[ADA Title III] §36.211 Maintenance of accessible features.

c. If the 2010 Standards reduce the technical requirements or the number of required accessible elements below the number required by the 1991 Standards, the technical requirements or the number of accessible elements in a facility subject to this part may be reduced in accordance with the requirements of the 2010 Standards.

11B-202.3.2 Extent of application.

An alteration of an existing element, space, or area of a building or facility shall not impose a requirement for accessibility greater than required for new construction.

11B-202.3.3 Alteration of single elements.

If alterations of single elements, when considered together, amount to an alteration of a room or space in a building or facility, the entire room or space shall be made accessible.

11B-202.4 Path of travel requirements in alterations, additions and structural repairs.

When alterations or additions are made to existing buildings or facilities, an accessible path of travel to the specific area of alteration or addition shall be provided. The primary accessible path of travel shall include:

  1. A primary entrance to the building or facility,

  2. Toilet and bathing facilities serving the area,

  3. Drinking fountains serving the area,

  4. Public telephones serving the area, and

  5. Signs.

Exceptions:

1. Residential dwelling units shall comply with Section 11B-233.3.4.2.

2. If the following elements of a path of travel have been constructed or altered in compliance with the accessibility requirements of the immediately preceding edition of the California Building Code, it shall not be required to retrofit such elements to reflect the incremental changes in this code solely because of an alteration to an area served by those elements of the path of travel:

  1. A primary entrance to the building or facility,
  2. Toilet and bathing facilities serving the area,
  3. Drinking fountains serving the area,
  4. Public telephones serving the area, and
  5. Signs.

    Note: The language in this exception, which refers to the “immediately preceding edition of the California Building Code,” shall permit a reference back to one CBC edition only and is not accumulative to prior editions.

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Advisory 11B-202.4 Path of travel requirements in alterations, additions and structural repairs, Exception 2. This exception is applicable only to the technical provisions of required path of travel elements triggered by an alteration, addition or structural repair, and then, only when there are differences between the current technical provisions and those of the immediately preceding edition of the CBC. To qualify for this exception, the elements are not required to have been constructed under a permit issued under the immediately preceding edition of the CBC – it is only required that the existing elements are in compliance with the immediately preceding edition.

The language in this exception which refers to the “immediately preceding edition of the California Building Code,” permits a reference back to one CBC edition only and is not accumulative to prior editions. It is not appropriate to misconstrue the language of the immediately preceding edition to allow additional reference back to earlier editions. ◼

ETA Editor's Note

CBC Chapter 11B does not apply the same qualification as ADA for imposing the responsibility to make the path of travel to an addition or alteration accessible, implying that existing barriers to accessibility must be mitigated, subject to codified hardship and/or safe harbor limitations. ADA imposes the responsibility when an alteration or addition to a public accommodation or commercial facility includes or affects an area containing a primary function. Lacking this qualification, the CBC Chapter 11B scoping is more inclusive. However, the CBC scoping is interpreted and enforced by Local Building Officials and other Authorities Having Jurisdiction, whereas the ADA scoping is not. Therefore, in cases where the CBC scoping for mitigation of existing path of travel barriers as part of a building alteration or addition is not enforced, or is enforced to a lesser degree than the ADA obligation would require, the ADA obligation remains in effect, if the alteration or addition meets the ADA primary function qualification.

It is also important to note that ADA Title III imposes a perpetual obligation for public accommodations to mitigate existing barriers to the extent readily achievable, not merely limited to those on an accessible path of travel, and not tied to other alterations or additions.

In order to mitigate existing barriers, it is first necessary to identify them. The subject of who is responsible for doing this is not addressed directly by CBC or ADA, and it is perhaps the most common failing for public accommodations. Design professionals frequently note "Existing Accessible Parking," "Existing Accessible Toilets," and similar, which Authorities Having Jurisdiction take to imply that they are compliant. The failure to mitigate existing barriers that are overlooked by this practice can be, and frequently is, an ADA violation. It is also inconsistent with the intent of CBC Chapter 11B.

The ADA path of travel requirements are included in this Guide following those of CBC Section 11B-202.4.

3. Additions or alterations to meet accessibility requirements consisting of one or more of the following items shall be limited to the actual scope of work of the project and shall not be required to comply with Section 11B-202.4:

  1. Altering one building entrance.
  2. Altering one existing toilet facility.
  3. Altering existing elevators.
  4. Altering existing steps.
  5. Altering existing handrails.

4. Alterations solely for the purpose of barrier removal undertaken pursuant to the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (Public Law 101-336, 28 C.F.R., Section 36.304) or the accessibility requirements of this code as those requirements or regulations now exist or are hereafter amended including, but not limited to, one or more of the following items shall be limited to the actual scope of work of the project and shall not be required to comply with Section 11B-202.4:

  1. Installing ramps.
  2. Making curb cuts in sidewalks and entrance.
  3. Repositioning shelves.
  4. Rearranging tables, chairs, vending machines, display racks, and other furniture.
  5. Repositioning telephones.
  6. Adding raised markings on elevator control buttons.
  7. Installing flashing alarm lights.
  8. Widening doors.
  9. Installing offset hinges to widen doorways.
  10. Eliminating a turnstile or providing an alternative accessible route.
  11. Installing accessible door hardware.
  12. Installing grab bars in toilet stalls.
  13. Rearranging toilet partitions to increase maneuvering space.
  14. Insulating lavatory pipes under sinks to prevent burns.
  15. Installing a raised toilet seat.
  16. Installing a full-length bathroom mirror.
  17. Repositioning the paper towel dispenser in a bathroom.
  18. Creating designated accessible parking spaces.
  19. Removing high-pile, low-density carpeting.

5. Alterations of existing parking lots by resurfacing and/or restriping shall be limited to the actual scope of work of the project and shall not be required to comply with Section 11B-202.4.

6. The addition or replacement of signs and/or identification devices shall be limited to the actual scope of work of the project and shall not be required to comply with Section 11B-202.4.

7. Projects consisting only of heating, ventilation, air conditioning, reroofing, electrical work not involving placement of switches and receptacles, cosmetic work that does not affect items regulated by this code, such as painting, equipment not considered to be a part of the architecture of the building or area, such as computer terminals and office equipment shall not be required to comply with Section 11B-202.4 unless they affect the usability of the building or facility.

8. When the adjusted construction cost, as defined, is less than or equal to the current valuation threshold, as defined, the cost of compliance with Section 11B-202.4 shall be limited to 20 percent of the adjusted construction cost of alterations, structural repairs or additions. When the cost of full compliance with Section 11B-202.4 would exceed 20 percent, compliance shall be provided to the greatest extent possible without exceeding 20 percent.

When the adjusted construction cost, as defined, exceeds the current valuation threshold, as defined, and the enforcing agency determines the cost of compliance with Section 11B-202.4 is an unreasonable hardship, as defined, full compliance with Section 11B-202.4 shall not be required. Compliance shall be provided by equivalent facilitation or to the greatest extent possible without creating an unreasonable hardship; but in no case shall the cost of compliance be less than 20 percent of the adjusted construction cost of alterations, structural repairs or additions. The details of the finding of unreasonable hardship shall be recorded and entered into the files of the enforcing agency and shall be subject to Chapter 1, Section 1.9.1.5, Special Conditions for Persons with Disabilities Requiring Appeals Action Ratification.

For the purposes of this exception, the adjusted construction cost of alterations, structural repairs or additions shall not include the cost of alterations to path of travel elements required to comply with Section 11B-202.4.

In choosing which accessible elements to provide, priority should be given to those elements that will provide the greatest access in the following order:

  1. An accessible entrance;
  2. An accessible route to the altered area;
  3. At least one accessible restroom for each sex or one accessible unisex (single-user or family) restroom;
  4. Accessible telephones;
  5. Accessible drinking fountains; and
  6. When possible, additional accessible elements such as parking, signs, storage and alarms.

If an area has been altered without providing an accessible path of travel to that area, and subsequent alterations of that area or a different area on the same path of travel are undertaken within three years of the original alteration, the total cost of alterations to the areas on that path of travel during the preceding three-year period shall be considered in determining whether the cost of making that path of travel accessible is disproportionate.

9. Certain types of privately funded, multistory buildings and facilities were formerly exempt from accessibility requirements above and below the first floor under this code, but as of, April 1, 1994, are no longer exempt due to more restrictive provisions in the federal Americans with Disabilities Act. In alteration projects involving buildings and facilities previously approved and built without elevators, areas above and below the ground floor are subject to the 20-percent disproportionality provisions described in Exception 8, above, even if the value of the project exceeds the valuation threshold in Exception 8. The types of buildings and facilities are:

  1. Office buildings and passenger vehicle service stations of three stories or more and 3,000 or more square feet (279 m2) per floor.
  2. Offices of physicians and surgeons.
  3. Shopping centers.
  4. Other buildings and facilities three stories or more and 3,000 or more square feet (279 m2) per floor if a reasonable portion of services sought and used by the public is available on the accessible level.

For the general privately funded multistory building exception applicable to new construction and alterations, see Section 11B-206.2.3, Exception 1.

The elevator exception set forth in this section does not obviate or limit in any way the obligation to comply with the other accessibility requirements in this code. For example, floors above or below the accessible ground floor must meet the requirements of this section except for elevator service. If toilet or bathing facilities are provided on a level not served by an elevator, then toilet or bathing facilities must be provided on the accessible ground floor.

10. Alterations solely for the purpose of installing electric vehicle charging stations (EVCS) at facilities where vehicle fueling, recharging, parking or storage is a primary function shall comply with Section 11B-202.4 to the maximum extent feasible without exceeding 20 percent of the cost of the work directly associated with the installation of EVCS. A “primary function” is a major activity for which the facility is intended.

Alterations solely for the purpose of installing EVCS at facilities where vehicle fueling, recharging, parking or storage is not a primary function shall not be required to comply with Section 11B-202.4.

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Advisory 11B-202.4 Path of travel requirements in alterations, additions and structural repairs. New access regulations made effective after the date of last construction may require owners to upgrade their facility to comply with the current regulations during alterations, additions or structural repair. ◼

[2010 ADA Standards] 202.4 Alterations Affecting Primary Function Areas. In addition to the requirements of 202.3, an alteration that affects or could affect the usability of or access to an area containing a primary function shall be made so as to ensure that, to the maximum extent feasible, the path of travel to the altered area, including the rest rooms, telephones, and drinking fountains serving the altered area, are readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, unless such alterations are disproportionate to the overall alterations in terms of cost and scope as determined under criteria established by the Attorney General. In existing transportation facilities, an area of primary function shall be as defined under regulations published by the Secretary of the Department of Transportation or the Attorney General.

EXCEPTION: Residential dwelling units shall not be required to comply with 202.4.

[2010 ADA StandardsAdvisory 202.4 Alterations Affecting Primary Function Areas. An area of a building or facility containing a major activity for which the building or facility is intended is a primary function area. Department of Justice ADA regulations state, "Alterations made to provide an accessible path of travel to the altered area will be deemed disproportionate to the overall alteration when the cost exceeds 20% of the cost of the alteration to the primary function area." (28 CFR 36.403 (f)(1)). See also Department of Transportation ADA regulations, which use similar concepts in the context of public sector transportation facilities (49 CFR 37.43 (e)(1)).

There can be multiple areas containing a primary function in a single building. Primary function areas are not limited to public use areas. For example, both a bank lobby and the bank's employee areas such as the teller areas and walk-in safe are primary function areas. Also, mixed use facilities may include numerous primary function areas for each use. Areas containing a primary function do not include: mechanical rooms, boiler rooms, supply storage rooms, employee lounges or locker rooms, janitorial closets, entrances, corridors, or restrooms.

ETA Editor's Note

Per ADA Title II, §35.151(b)(4)(i)(B), and ADA Title III, §36.403(c)(2), alterations to windows, hardware, controls, electrical outlets and signage shall not be deemed to be alterations that affect the usability of or access to an area containing a primary function.

[ADA Title II] §35.151(b)(4) New Construction and Alterations; Alterations; Path of Travel.

(ii)(C) Safe harbor.  If a public entity has constructed or altered required elements of a path of travel in accordance with the specifications in either the 1991 Standards or the Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards before March 15, 2012, the public entity is not required to retrofit such elements to reflect incremental changes in the 2010 Standards solely because of an alteration to a primary function area served by that path of travel.

[ADA Title III] §36.403 Alterations: Path of travel.

(a) General.

(2) If a private entity has constructed or altered required elements of a path of travel at a place of public accommodation or commercial facility in accordance with the specifications in the 1991 Standards, the private entity is not required to retrofit such elements to reflect the incremental changes in the 2010 Standards solely because of an alteration to a primary function area served by that path of travel.  …

(c) Alterations to an area containing a primary function.

(1) Alterations that affect the usability of or access to an area containing a primary function include but are not limited to:

(i) Remodeling merchandise display areas or employee work areas in a department store;

(ii) Replacing an inaccessible floor surface in the customer service or employee work areas of a bank;

(iii) Redesigning the assembly line area of a factory; or

(iv) Installing a computer center in an accounting firm.

(d) Landlord/tenant:  If a tenant is making alterations as defined in §36.402 that would trigger the requirements of this section, those alterations by the tenant in areas that only the tenant occupies do not trigger a path of travel obligation upon the landlord with respect to areas of the facility under the landlord´s authority, if those areas are not otherwise being altered.

[ADA Title II] §35.151(b) New Construction and Alterations; Alterations.

(2) The path of travel requirements of §35.151(b)(4) shall apply only to alterations undertaken solely for purposes other than to meet the program accessibility requirements of §35.150.

[ADA Title III] §36.304(d) Removal of Barriers; Relationship to alterations requirements of subpart D of this part.

(1) . . . The path of travel requirements of §36.403 shall not apply to measures taken solely to comply with the barrier removal requirements of this section.

[ADA Title II] §35.151(b)(4)(iii) New Construction and Alterations; Alterations;  ...  Disproportionality.

(A) Alterations made to provide an accessible path of travel to the altered area will be deemed disproportionate to the overall alteration when the cost exceeds 20% of the cost of the alteration to the primary function area.

(B) Costs that may be counted as expenditures required to provide an accessible path of travel may include:

1) Costs associated with providing an accessible entrance and an accessible route to the altered area, for example, the cost of widening doorways or installing ramps;

2) Costs associated with making restrooms accessible, such as installing grab bars, enlarging toilet stalls, insulating pipes, or installing accessible faucet controls;

3) Costs associated with providing accessible telephones, such as relocating the telephone to an accessible height, installing amplification devices, or installing a text telephone (TTY); and

4) Costs associated with relocating an inaccessible drinking fountain.

[ADA Title III] §36.403(f) Alterations: Path of Travel; Disproportionality.

(1) Alterations made to provide an accessible path of travel to the altered area will be deemed disproportionate to the overall alteration when the cost exceeds 20% of the cost of the alteration to the primary function area.

(2) Costs that may be counted as expenditures required to provide an accessible path of travel may include:

(i) Costs associated with providing an accessible entrance and an accessible route to the altered area, for example, the cost of widening doorways or installing ramps;

(ii) Costs associated with making restrooms accessible, such as installing grab bars, enlarging toilet stalls, insulating pipes, or installing accessible faucet controls;

(iii) Costs associated with providing accessible telephones, such as relocating the telephone to an accessible height, installing amplification devices, or installing a text telephone (TTY);

(iv) Costs associated with relocating an inaccessible drinking fountain.

[ADA Title II] §35.151(b)(4)(iv) New Construction and Alterations; Alterations;  ...  Duty to provide accessible features in the event of disproportionality.

(A) When the cost of alterations necessary to make the path of travel to the altered area fully accessible is disproportionate to the cost of the overall alteration, the path of travel shall be made accessible to the extent that it can be made accessible without incurring disproportionate costs.

(B) In choosing which accessible elements to provide, priority should be given to those elements that will provide the greatest access, in the following order—

1) An accessible entrance;

2) An accessible route to the altered area;

3) At least one accessible restroom for each sex or a single unisex restroom;

4) Accessible telephones;

5) Accessible drinking fountains; and

6) When possible, additional accessible elements such as parking, storage, and alarms.

[ADA Title III] §36.403(g) Alterations: Path of Travel; Duty to provide accessible features in the event of disproportionality

(1) When the cost of alterations necessary to make the path of travel to the altered area fully accessible is disproportionate to the cost of the overall alteration, the path of travel shall be made accessible to the extent that it can be made accessible without incurring disproportionate costs.

(2) In choosing which accessible elements to provide, priority should be given to those elements that will provide the greatest access, in the following order:

(i) An accessible entrance;

(ii) An accessible route to the altered area;

(iii) At least one accessible restroom for each sex or a single unisex restroom;

(iv) Accessible telephones;

(v) Accessible drinking fountains; and

(vi) When possible, additional accessible elements such as parking, storage, and alarms.

[ADA Title II] §35.151(b)(4)(v) New Construction and Alterations; Alterations;  ...  Series of smaller alterations.

(A) The obligation to provide an accessible path of travel may not be evaded by performing a series of small alterations to the area served by a single path of travel if those alterations could have been performed as a single undertaking.

(B)

(1) If an area containing a primary function has been altered without providing an accessible path of travel to that area, and subsequent alterations of that area, or a different area on the same path of travel, are undertaken within three years of the original alteration, the total cost of alterations to the primary function areas on that path of travel during the preceding three year period shall be considered in determining whether the cost of making that path of travel accessible is disproportionate.

(2) Only alterations undertaken on or after March 15, 2011 shall be considered in determining if the cost of providing an accessible path of travel is disproportionate to the overall cost of the alterations.

[ADA Title III] §36.403(h) Alterations: Path of Travel; Series of smaller alterations.

(1) The obligation to provide an accessible path of travel may not be evaded by performing a series of small alterations to the area served by a single path of travel if those alterations could have been performed as a single undertaking.

(2)

(i) If an area containing a primary function has been altered without providing an accessible path of travel to that area, and subsequent alterations of that area, or a different area on the same path of travel, are undertaken within three years of the original alteration, the total cost of alterations to the primary function areas on that path of travel during the preceding three year period shall be considered in determining whether the cost of making that path of travel accessible is disproportionate.

(ii) Only alterations undertaken after January 26, 1992, shall be considered in determining if the cost of providing an accessible path of travel is disproportionate to the overall cost of the alterations.

11B-202.5 Alterations to qualified historic buildings and facilities.

Alterations to a qualified historic building or facility shall comply with the State Historical Building Code, Part 8, Title 24, of the California Code of Regulations.

Exception: Reserved.

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Advisory 11B-202.5 Alterations to qualified historic buildings and facilitiesThe basic criteria for designating a building or property as a qualified historic building or facility are administered by the National Register program of the National Park Service. In California, those responsibilities are delegated to the Office of Historic Preservation. The Office of Historic Preservation administers the National Register and has created and administers the California Register, a similar listing. The Office of Historic Preservation delegates authority to cities and counties as "certified local governments" to apply National Register criteria for creating local lists of historic buildings and properties. There are also local governments and agencies that designate buildings and properties as historic outside of the Office of Historic Preservation program.

The State Historical Building Code provides a definition of qualified historic building or property, and can be used to determine if a building or facility is qualified. The State Historical Building Code is used in conjunction with the accessibility requirements of Chapter 11B. In general, alteration projects in qualified historic buildings and facilities must comply with the new construction requirements of Chapter 11B, however, the State Historical Building Code provides alternative accessibility provisions when an entity believes that compliance with the Chapter 11B requirements for specific elements would threaten or destroy the historical significance of the building or facility. Alternative provisions are provided for entrances, doors, power-assisted doors, toilet rooms, and exterior and interior ramps and lifts. Equivalent facilitation is permitted in specific cases when the alternative provisions themselves would threaten or destroy the historical significance or character defining features of the historic building or facility. Alternative provisions and equivalent facilitation are applied on a case-by-case basis only. ◼

[2010 ADA Standards] 202.5 Alterations to Qualified Historic Buildings and Facilities. Alterations to a qualified historic building or facility shall comply with 202.3 and 202.4.

EXCEPTION: Where the State Historic Preservation Officer or Advisory Council on Historic Preservation determines that compliance with the requirements for accessible routes, entrances, or toilet facilities would threaten or destroy the historic significance of the building or facility, the exceptions for alterations to qualified historic buildings or facilities for that elements shall be permitted to apply.

[ADA Title II] §35.151(b) New Construction and Alterations; Alterations.

(3)(i) Alterations to historic properties shall comply, to the maximum extent feasible, with the provisions applicable to historic properties in the design standards specified in §35.151(c).

(ii) If it is not feasible to provide physical access to an historic property in a manner that will not threaten or destroy the historic significance of the building or facility, alternative methods of access shall be provided pursuant to the requirements of §35.150.

[ADA Title III] §36.405 Alterations: Historic Preservation.

(a) Alterations to buildings or facilities that are eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places under the National Historic Preservation Act (16 U.S.C. 470 et seq), or are designated as historic under State or local law, shall comply to the maximum extent feasible with this part.

(b) If it is determined that it is not feasible to provide physical access to an historic property that is a place of public accommodation in a manner that will not threaten or destroy the historic significance of the building or the facility, alternative methods of access shall be provided pursuant to the requirements of subpart C of this part.

[2010 ADA Standards] Advisory 202.5 Alterations to Qualified Historic Buildings and Facilities Exception. State Historic Preservation Officers are State appointed officials who carry out certain responsibilities under the National Historic Preservation Act. State Historic Preservation Officers consult with Federal and State agencies, local governments, and private entities on providing access and protecting significant elements of qualified historic buildings and facilities. There are exceptions for alterations to qualified historic buildings and facilities for accessible routes (206.2.1 Exception 1 and 206.2.3 Exception 7); entrances (206.4 Exception 2); and toilet facilities (213.2 Exception 2). When an entity believes that compliance with the requirements for any of these elements would threaten or destroy the historic significance of the building or facility, the entity should consult with the State Historic Preservation Officer. If the State Historic Preservation Officer agrees that compliance with the requirements for a specific element would threaten or destroy the historic significance of the building or facility, use of the exception is permitted. Public entities have an additional obligation to achieve program accessibility under the Department of Justice ADA regulations. See 28 CFR 35.150. These regulations require public entities that operate historic preservation programs to give priority to methods that provide physical access to individuals with disabilities. If alterations to a qualified historic building or facility to achieve program accessibility would threaten or destroy the historic significance of the building or facility, fundamentally alter the program, or result in undue financial or administrative burdens, the Department of Justice ADA regulations allow alternative methods to be used to achieve program accessibility. In the case of historic preservation programs, such as an historic house museum, alternative methods include using audio-visual materials to depict portions of the house that cannot otherwise be made accessible. In the case of other qualified historic properties, such as an historic government office building, alternative methods include relocating programs and services to accessible locations. The Department of Justice ADA regulations also allow public entities to use alternative methods when altering qualified historic buildings or facilities in the rare situations where the State Historic Preservation Officer determines that it is not feasible to provide physical access using the exceptions permitted in Section 202.5 without threatening or destroying the historic significance of the building or facility. See 28 CFR 35.151(d).

The AccessAbility Office at the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) provides a variety of resources for museum operators and historic properties including: the Design for Accessibility Guide and the Disability Symbols. Contact NEA about these and other resources at (202) 682-5532 or http://www.arts.gov/.

11B-203.1 General.

Sites, buildings, facilities, and elements are exempt from these requirements to the extent specified by 11B-203.

11B-203.2 Construction sites.

Structures and sites directly associated with the actual processes of construction, including but not limited to, scaffolding, bridging, materials hoists, materials storage, and construction trailers shall not be required to comply with these requirements or to be on an accessible route. Portable toilet units provided for use exclusively by construction personnel on a construction site shall not be required to comply with Section 11B-213 or to be on an accessible route.

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Advisory 11B-203.2 Construction sites. This section provides a general exception for structures and sites directly associated with the actual processes of construction from the accessibility provisions of Chapter 11B. Construction associated structures and sites may include, but are not limited to, scaffolding, bridging, materials hoists, materials storage and construction trailers. Portable toilet units provided exclusively for use by construction personnel on a construction site are also exempted from the accessibility provisions of this chapter. ◼
11B-203.3 Raised areas.

Areas raised primarily for purposes of security, life safety, or fire safety, including but not limited to, observation or lookout galleries, prison guard towers, fire towers, or life guard stands shall not be required to comply with these requirements or to be on an accessible route.

11B-203.4 Limited access spaces.

Spaces not customarily occupied and accessed only by ladders, catwalks, crawl spaces, or very narrow passageways shall not be required to comply with these requirements or to be on an accessible route.

11B-203.5 Machinery spaces.

Spaces frequented only by service personnel for maintenance, repair, or occasional monitoring of equipment shall not be required to comply with these requirements or to be on an accessible route. Machinery spaces include, but are not limited to, elevator pits or elevator penthouses; mechanical, electrical or communications equipment rooms; piping or equipment catwalks; water or sewage treatment pump rooms and stations; electric substations and transformer vaults; and highway and tunnel utility facilities.

11B-203.6 Single occupant structures.

Single occupant structures accessed only by passageways below grade or elevated above standard curb height, including but not limited to, toll booths that are accessed only by underground tunnels, shall not be required to comply with these requirements or to be on an accessible route.

11B-203.7 Detention and correctional facilities.

In detention and correctional facilities, common use areas that are used only by inmates or detainees and security personnel and that do not serve holding cells or housing cells required to comply with Section 11B-232, shall not be required to comply with these requirements or to be on an accessible route.

11B-203.8 Residential facilities.

In residential facilities, common use areas that do not serve residential dwelling units required to provide mobility features complying with Sections 11B-809.2 through 11B-809.4 or adaptable features complying with Sections 11B-809.6 through 11B-809.12 shall not be required to comply with these requirements or to be on an accessible route.

[2010 ADA Standards] 203.8 Residential Facilities. In residential facilities, common use areas that do not serve residential dwelling units required to provide mobility features complying with 809.2 through 809.4 shall not be required to comply with these requirements or to be on an accessible route.

11B-203.9 Employee workstations.

Employee workstations shall be on an accessible route complying with Division 4. Spaces and elements within employee workstations shall only be required to comply with Sections 11B-207.1, 11B-215.3, 11B-302, 11B-303, 11B-308.1.1, 11B-308.1.2, and 11B-404.2.3, unless exempted by other parts of this code. Common use circulation paths within employee workstations shall comply with Section 11B-206.2.8.

Exception: Receptacles, controls, and switches that are an integral part of workstation furnishings, fixtures, and equipment shall not be required to comply with Sections 11B-308.1.1 and 11B-308.1.2.

[2010 ADA Standards] 203.9 Employee Work Areas. Spaces and elements within employee work areas shall only be required to comply with 206.2.8, 207.1, and 215.3 and shall be designed and constructed so that individuals with disabilities can approach, enter, and exit the employee work area. Employee work areas, or portions of employee work areas, other than raised courtroom stations, that are less than 300 square feet (28 m2) and elevated 7 inches (180 mm) or more above the finish floor or ground where the elevation is essential to the function of the space shall not be required to comply with these requirements or to be on an accessible route.

[2010 ADA Standards] Advisory 203.9 Employee Work Areas. Although areas used exclusively by employees for work are not required to be fully accessible, consider designing such areas to include non-required turning spaces, and provide accessible elements whenever possible. Under the ADA, employees with disabilities are entitled to reasonable accommodations in the workplace; accommodations can include alterations to spaces within the facility. Designing employee work areas to be more accessible at the outset will avoid more costly retrofits when current employees become temporarily or permanently disabled, or when new employees with disabilities are hired. Contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) at http://www.eeoc.gov/ for information about title I of the ADA prohibiting discrimination against people with disabilities in the workplace.

ETA Editor's Note

2016 CBC did not include the requirement to comply with Sections 11B-308.1.1 and 11B-308.1.2.

The ADA requirements included at Section 11B-203.9 are provided for information only. The CBC scoping requirements do not exempt raised employee work areas, except as specifically mentioned in Section 11B-203, General Exceptions, or elsewhere.

11B-203.10 Raised refereeing, judging, and scoring areas.

Raised structures used solely for refereeing, judging, or scoring a sport shall not be required to comply with these requirements or to be on an accessible route. An accessible route complying with Division 4 shall be provided to the ground- or floor-level entry points, where provided, of stairs, ladders, or other means of reaching the raised elements or areas.

11B-203.11 Water slides.

Water slides shall not be required to comply with these requirements or to be on an accessible route. An accessible route complying with Division 4 shall be provided to the ground- or floor-level entry points, where provided, of stairs, ladders, or other means of reaching the raised elements or areas.

11B-203.12 Animal containment areas.

Animal containment areas that are not for public use shall not be required to comply with these requirements or to be on an accessible route. Animal containment areas for public use shall be on an accessible route.

DOJ icon
Advisory 11B-203.12 Animal containment areas. Public circulation routes where animals may also travel, such as in petting zoos and passageways alongside animal pens in State fairs, are not eligible for the exception. 

11B-203.13 Raised boxing or wrestling rings.

Raised boxing or wrestling rings shall not be required to comply with these requirements or to be on an accessible route. An accessible route complying with Division 4 shall be provided to the ground- or floor-level entry points, where provided, of stairs, ladders, or other means of reaching the raised elements or areas.

11B-203.14 Raised diving boards and diving platforms.

Raised diving boards and diving platforms shall not be required to comply with these requirements or to be on an accessible route. An accessible route complying with Division 4 shall be provided to the ground- or floor-level entry points, where provided, of stairs, ladders, or other means of reaching the raised elements or areas.

11B-204.1 General.

Protruding objects on circulation paths shall comply with Section 11B-307.

Exceptions:

  1. Within areas of sport activity, protruding objects on circulation paths shall not be required to comply with Section 11B-307.
  2. Within play areas, protruding objects on circulation paths shall not be required to comply with Section 11B-307 provided that ground level accessible routes provide vertical clearance in compliance with Section 11B-1008.2.
11B-205.1 General.

Operable parts on accessible elements, accessible routes, and in accessible rooms and spaces shall comply with Section 11B-309.

Exceptions:

1. Operable parts that are intended for use only by service or maintenance personnel shall not be required to comply with Section 11B-309.

2. Electrical or communication receptacles serving a dedicated use shall not be required to comply with Section 11B-309.

3. Reserved.

[2010 ADA Standards] 3. Where two or more outlets are provided in a kitchen above a length of counter top that is uninterrupted by a sink or appliance, one outlet shall not be required to comply with 309.

ETA Editor's Note

The ADA requirement included at Section 11B-205.1 Exception 3 is provided for information only. The CBC scoping requirement is more inclusive. 

4. Floor electrical receptacles shall not be required to comply with Section 11B-309.

5. HVAC diffusers shall not be required to comply with Section 11B-309.

6. Except for light switches, where redundant controls are provided for a single element, one control in each space shall not be required to comply with Section 11B-309.

7. Cleats and other boat securement devices shall not be required to comply with Section 11B-309.3.

8. Exercise machines and exercise equipment shall not be required to comply with Section 11B-309.

9. In residential dwelling units with mobility features where receptacles are provided in a kitchen at a corner work surface, one receptacle shall be located 36 inches (915 mm) from either wall at the inside corner.

Drawing showing two options for electrical receptacles in a residential kitchen workspace.

FIGURE 11B-205.1 Ex. 9

ELECTRICAL RECEPTACLES AT CORNER WORKSURFACES.

DOJ icon
Advisory 11B-205.1 General. Controls covered by Section 11B-205.1 include, but are not limited to, light switches, circuit breakers, duplexes and other convenience receptacles, environmental and appliance controls, plumbing fixture controls, and security and intercom systems. 

11B-206.2.1 Site arrival points.

At least one accessible route shall be provided within the site from accessible parking spaces and accessible drop-off and passenger loading zones; public streets and sidewalks; and public transportation stops to the accessible building or facility entrance they serve. Where more than one route is provided, all routes must be accessible.

[2010 ADA Standards] 206.2.1 Site Arrival Points. At least one accessible route shall be provided within the site from accessible parking spaces and accessible passenger loading zones; public streets and sidewalks; and public transportation stops to the accessible building or facility entrance they serve.

Exceptions:

1. Reserved.

[2010 ADA Standards] 1. Where exceptions for alterations to qualified historic buildings or facilities are permitted by 202.5, no more than one accessible route from a site arrival point to an accessible entrance shall be required.

2. An accessible route shall not be required between site arrival points and the building or facility entrance if the only means of access between them is a vehicular way not providing pedestrian access.

3. General circulation paths shall be permitted when located in close proximity to an accessible route.

DOJ icon
Advisory 11B-206.2.1 Site arrival points. Each site arrival point must be connected by an accessible route to the accessible building entrance or entrances served. Where two or more similar site arrival points, such as bus stops, serve the same accessible entrance or entrances, both bus stops must be on accessible routes. In addition, the accessible routes must serve all of the accessible entrances on the site. 
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Advisory 11B-206.2.1 Site arrival points. Exception 2. If it can be reasonably anticipated that the route between the site arrival point and the accessible facilities will be used by pedestrians, regardless of whether a pedestrian routes is provided, then this exception will not apply. It will apply only in the relatively rare situations where the route between the site arrival point and the accessible facility dictates vehicular access – for example, an office complex on an isolated site that has a private access road, or a self-services storage facility where all users are expected to drive to their storage units.(Excerpt from the Guidance on the 2010 Standards: Titles II and III.) ◼

[ADA Title II] §35.151(i) New Construction and Alterations; Curb Ramps.

(1) Newly constructed or altered streets, roads, and highways must contain curb ramps or other sloped areas at any intersection having curbs or other barriers to entry from a street level pedestrian walkway.

(2) Newly constructed or altered street level pedestrian walkways must contain curb ramps or other sloped areas at intersections to streets, roads, or highways.

ETA Editor's Note

Requirements for curb ramps, sidewalks and other elements in the public right of way may be covered by other Federal, State or local standards and regulations. The U.S. Department of Transportation and most State departments of transportation are revising their design standards and regulations for the public right of way based on recent research and guidelines being developed by the U.S. Access Board and the Federal Highway Administration. It is the responsibility of the design professional to comply with these public right of way requirements.

11B-206.2.2 Within a site.

At least one accessible route shall connect accessible buildings, accessible facilities, accessible elements, and accessible spaces that are on the same site.

Exception: An accessible route shall not be required between accessible buildings, accessible facilities, accessible elements, and accessible spaces if the only means of access between them is a vehicular way not providing pedestrian access.

DOJ icon
Advisory 11B-206.2.2 Within a site. An accessible route is required to connect to the boundary of each area of sport activity. Examples of areas of sport activity include: soccer fields, basketball courts, baseball fields, running tracks, skating rinks, and the area surrounding a piece of gymnastic equipment. While the size of an area of sport activity may vary from sport to sport, each includes only the space needed to play. Where multiple sports fields or courts are provided, an accessible route is required to each field or area of sport activity. 

11B-206.2.3 Multi-story buildings and facilities.

At least one accessible route shall connect each story and mezzanine in multi-story buildings and facilities.

Exceptions:

1. The following types of privately funded multistory buildings do not require a ramp or elevator above and below the first floor:

     1.1 Multi-storied office buildings (other than the professional office of a health care provider) and passenger vehicle service stations less than three stories high or less than 3,000 square feet (279 m2) per story.

     1.2. Any other privately funded multi-storied building that is not a shopping center, shopping mall or the professional office of a health care provider, or a terminal, depot or other station used for specified public transportation, or an airport passenger terminal and that is less than three stories high or less than 3,000 square feet (279 m2) per story if a reasonable portion of all facilities and accommodations normally sought and used by the public in such a building are accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities.

[2010 ADA Standards] 1. In private buildings or facilities that are less than three stories or that have less than 3000 square feet (279 m2) per story, an accessible route shall not be required to connect stories provided that the building or facility is not a shopping center, a shopping mall, the professional office of a health care provider, a terminal, depot or other station used for specified public transportation, an airport passenger terminal, or another type of facility as determined by the Attorney General.

2. Reserved.

[2010 ADA Standards] 2. Where a two story public building or facility has one story with an occupant load of five or fewer persons that does not contain public use space, that story shall not be required to be connected to the story above or below.

3. In detention and correctional facilities, an accessible route shall not be required to connect stories where cells with mobility features required to comply with Section 11B-807.2, all common use areas serving cells with mobility features required to comply with Section 11B-807.2, and all public use areas are on an accessible route.

4. In residential facilities, an accessible route shall not be required to connect stories where residential dwelling units with mobility features required to comply with Sections 11B-809.2 through 11B-809.4, residential dwelling units with adaptable features complying with Sections 11B-809.6 through 11B-809.12, all common use areas serving residential dwelling units with mobility features required to comply with Sections 11B-809.2 through 11B-809.4, all common use areas serving residential dwelling units with adaptable features complying with Sections 11B-809.6 through 11B-809.12, and public use areas serving residential dwelling units are on an accessible route.

5. Within multi-story transient lodging guest rooms with mobility features required to comply with Section 11B-806.2, an accessible route shall not be required to connect stories provided that spaces complying with Section 11B-806.2 are on an accessible route and sleeping accommodations for two persons minimum are provided on a story served by an accessible route.

6. In air traffic control towers, an accessible route shall not be required to serve the cab and the equipment areas on the floor immediately below the cab.

7. Reserved.

[2010 ADA Standards] 7. Where exceptions for alterations to qualified historic buildings or facilities are permitted by 202.5, an accessible route shall not be required to stories located above or below the accessible story.

DOJ icon
Advisory 11B-206.2.3 Multi-story buildings and facilities. Spaces and elements located on a level not required to be served by an accessible route must fully comply with this chapter. While a mezzanine may be a change in level, it is not a story. If an accessible route is required to connect stories within a building or facility, the accessible route must serve all mezzanines. 
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Advisory 11B-206.2.3 Multi-story buildings and facilities Exception 1.1. Elevators are the most common way to provide access in multistory office buildings. An exception is provided to the access requirement when office buildings are less than three stories in height or have fewer than 3000 square feet (sf) on every floor. For example, a 3-story office building with 4500 sf on the first floor, 2500 sf on the second floor and 1500 sf on the third floor would not qualify for the exception because one of the three floors is not less than 3000 sf. ◼
DSA icon
Advisory 11B-206.2.3 Multi-story buildings and facilities Exceptions 1.1 and 1.2. Exceptions 1.1 and 1.2 are only available to privately-funded buildings and do not include a waiver of all other access features required on upper or lower floors. In other words the exception is only for the elevator; everything else must comply. Many people with non-mobility (for example sight or hearing impairments) or semi-ambulatory conditions are served by the remaining access features required by this code. Many wheelchair users can get to upper floors through the use of crutches and other assistance, and can use their wheelchair brought to that floor where access to accessible restrooms, hallways, and accommodations are important. ◼
DSA icon
Advisory 11B-206.2.3 Multi-story buildings and facilities Exception 1.2. What is a reasonable portion? Typically, one of each type of accommodation and functional space that is normally sought or used by the general public which is provided on inaccessible floors must be provided on the ground floor or an accessible floor; for example, equivalent meeting rooms, classrooms, etc. ◼
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Advisory 11B-206.2.3 Multi-story buildings and facilities Exception 1.2. In facilities that house a shopping center or shopping mall, or a professional office of a health care provider on an accessible ground floor, the floors that are above or below the ground floor and that do not house sales or rental establishments or a professional office of a health care provider, must still meet the accessibility requirements of this code, except for elevator service. ◼
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Advisory 11B-206.2.3 Multi-story buildings and facilities Exception 4. Where common use areas are provided for the use of residents, it is presumed that all such common use areas "serve" accessible dwelling units unless use is restricted to residents occupying certain dwelling units. For example, if all residents are permitted to use all laundry rooms, then all laundry rooms "serve" accessible dwelling units. However, if the laundry room on the first floor is restricted to use by residents on the first floor, and the second floor laundry room is for use by occupants of the second floor, then first floor accessible units are "served" only by laundry rooms on the first floor. In this example, an accessible route is not required to the second floor provided that all accessible units and all common use areas serving them are on the first floor. 

ETA Editor's Note

The ADA requirements included at the Subsection 11B-206.2.3 Exceptions are provided for information only. The CBC scoping requirements are more inclusive.

11B-206.2.3.1 Stairs and escalators in existing buildings.

In alterations and additions, where an escalator or stair is provided where none existed previously and major structural modifications are necessary for the installation, an accessible route shall be provided between the levels served by the escalator or stair unless exempted by Section 11B-206.2.3 Exceptions 1 through 7.

11B-206.2.3.2 Distance to Elevators.

In new construction of buildings where elevators are required by Section 11B-206.2.3, and which exceed 10,000 square feet (929 m2) on any floor, an accessible means of vertical access via ramp, elevator or lift shall be provided within 200 feet (60,960 mm) of travel of each stair and each escalator. In existing buildings that exceed 10,000 square feet (929 m2) on any floor and in which elevators are required by Section 11B-206.2.3, whenever a newly constructed means of vertical access is provided via stairs or an escalator, an accessible means of vertical access via ramp, elevator or lift shall be provided within 200 feet (60,960 mm) of travel of each new stair or escalator.

Exception: Stairs used solely for emergency egress.

11B-206.2.4 Spaces and elements.

At least one accessible route shall connect accessible building or facility entrances with all accessible spaces and elements within the building or facility, including mezzanines, which are otherwise connected by a circulation path unless exempted by Section 11B-206.2.3 Exceptions 1 through 7.

DOJ icon
Advisory 11B-206.2.4 Spaces and elements. Accessible routes must connect all spaces and elements required to be accessible including, but not limited to, raised areas and speaker platforms. 

 Exceptions:

1. Reserved.

[2010 ADA Standards] 1. Raised courtroom stations, including judges' benches, clerks' stations, bailiffs' stations, deputy clerks' stations, and court reporters' stations shall not be required to provide vertical access provided that the required clear floor space, maneuvering space, and, if appropriate, electrical service are installed at the time of initial construction to allow future installation of a means of vertical access complying with 405, 407, 408, or 410 without requiring substantial reconstruction of the space.

[2010 ADA Standards] Advisory 206.2.4 Spaces and Elements Exception 1. The exception does not apply to areas that are likely to be used by members of the public who are not employees of the court such as jury areas, attorney areas, or witness stands.

2. In assembly areas with fixed seating required to comply with Section 11B-221, an accessible route shall not be required to serve fixed seating where wheelchair spaces required to be on an accessible route are not provided.​​​​​​

3. Reserved.

[2010 ADA Standards] 3. Accessible routes shall not be required to connect mezzanines where buildings or facilities have no more than one story. In additions, accessible routes shall not be required to connect stories or mezzanines where multi-story buildings or facilities are exempted by 206.2.3 Exceptions 1 through 7.

ETA Editor's Note

The ADA requirements included at the Subsection 11B-206.2.4 Exceptions are provided for information only. The CBC scoping requirements are more inclusive.

11B-206.2.5 Restaurants, cafeterias, banquet facilities and bars.

In restaurants, cafeterias, banquet facilities, bars, and similar facilities, an accessible route shall be provided to all functional areas, including raised or sunken areas, and outdoor areas.

Exceptions:

1. In alterations of buildings or facilities not required to provide an accessible route between stories, an accessible route shall not be required to a mezzanine dining area where the mezzanine contains less than 25 percent of the total combined area for seating and dining and where the same decor and services are provided in the accessible area.

2. Reserved.

[2010 ADA Standards] 2. In alterations, an accessible route shall not be required to existing raised or sunken dining areas, or to all parts of existing outdoor dining areas where the same services and decor are provided in an accessible space usable by the public and not restricted to use by people with disabilities.

[2010 ADA Standards] Advisory 206.2.5 Restaurants and Cafeterias Exception 2. Examples of "same services" include, but are not limited to, bar service, rooms having smoking and non-smoking sections, lotto and other table games, carry-out, and buffet service. Examples of "same decor" include, but are not limited to, seating at or near windows and railings with views, areas designed with a certain theme, party and banquet rooms, and rooms where entertainment is provided.

ETA Editor's Note

The ADA requirements included at the Subsection 11B-206.2.5 Exception 2 are provided for information only. The CBC scoping requirements are more inclusive.

3. In sports facilities, tiered dining areas providing seating required to comply with Section 11B-221 shall be required to have accessible routes serving at least 25 percent of the dining area provided that accessible routes serve seating complying with Section 11B-221 and each tier is provided with the same services.

11B-206.2.6 Performance areas.

Where a circulation path directly connects a performance area to an assembly seating area, an accessible route shall directly connect the assembly seating area with the performance area. An accessible route shall be provided from performance areas to ancillary areas or facilities used by performers unless exempted by Section 11B-206.2.3, Exceptions 1 through 7.

DSA icon
Advisory 11B-206.2.6 Performance areas. Performance areas, including but not limited to, stages, platforms and orchestra pits, are treated as raised or lowered areas within a given story and all are required to be accessible by ramp, elevator or, when allowed, by platform lift. In compliance with Section 11B-206.7.1, wheelchair lifts may be used to access stages, platforms and orchestra pits used as performing areas. These areas are required to be accessible whether temporary or not.

Generally, the accessible route to the stage shall coincide with the route for the general public per Section 11B-206.3, to the maximum extent feasible. For example, requiring persons with disabilities to go outside the building and reenter the building to gain access the stage when others have a direct route would not be considered coinciding. ◼

11B-206.2.7 Press boxes.

Press boxes in assembly areas shall be on an accessible route.

Exceptions:

  1. An accessible route shall not be required to press boxes in bleachers that have points of entry at only one level provided that the aggregate area of all press boxes is 500 square feet (46 m2) maximum.
  2. An accessible route shall not be required to free-standing press boxes that are elevated above grade 12 feet (3660 mm) minimum provided that the aggregate area of all press boxes is 500 square feet (46 m2) maximum.

DOJ icon
Advisory 11B-206.2.7 Press boxes Exception 2. Where a facility contains multiple assembly areas, the aggregate area of the press boxes in each assembly area is to be calculated separately. For example, if a university has a soccer stadium with three press boxes elevated 12 feet (3660 mm) or more above grade and each press box is 150 square feet (14 m2), then the aggregate area of the soccer stadium press boxes is less than 500 square feet (46 m2) and Exception 2 applies to the soccer stadium. If that same university also has a football stadium with two press boxes elevated 12 feet (3660 mm) or more above grade and one press box is 250 square feet (23 m2), and the second is 275 square feet (26 m2), then the aggregate area of the football stadium press boxes is more than 500 square feet (46 m2) and Exception 2 does not apply to the football stadium. 

11B-206.2.8 Employee work areas.

Common use circulation paths within employee work areas shall comply with Section 11B-402.

Exceptions:

1. Reserved.

[2010 ADA Standards] 1. Common use circulation paths located within employee work areas that are less than 1000 square feet (93 m2) and defined by permanently installed partitions, counters, casework, or furnishings shall not be required to comply with 402.

[2010 ADA Standards] Advisory 206.2.8 Employee Work Areas Exception 1. Modular furniture that is not permanently installed is not directly subject to these requirements. The Department of Justice ADA regulations provide additional guidance regarding the relationship between these requirements and elements that are not part of the built environment. Additionally, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) implements Title I of the ADA which requires non-discrimination in the workplace. EEOC can provide guidance regarding employers' obligations to provide reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities.

2. Common use circulation paths located within employee work areas that are an integral component of work area equipment shall not be required to comply with Section 11B-402.

3. Common use circulation paths located within exterior employee work areas that are fully exposed to the weather shall not be required to comply with Section 11B-402.

DOJ icon
Advisory 11B-206.2.8 Employee work areas. Modular furniture that is not permanently installed is not directly subject to these requirements. The Department of Justice ADA regulations provide additional guidance regarding the relationship between these requirements and elements that are not part of the built environment. Additionally, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) implements title I of the ADA which requires non-discrimination in the workplace. EEOC can provide guidance regarding employers' obligations to provide reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities.   
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Advisory 11B-206.2.8 Employee work areas Exception 2. Large pieces of equipment, such as electric turbines or water pumping apparatus, may have stairs and elevated walkways used for overseeing or monitoring purposes which are physically part of the turbine or pump. However, passenger elevators used for vertical transportation between stories are not considered "work area equipment" as defined in Chapter 2, Section 202. 

11B-206.2.9 Amusement rides.

Amusement rides required to comply with Section 11B-234 shall provide accessible routes in accordance with Section 11B-206.2.9. Accessible routes serving amusement rides shall comply with Division 4 except as modified by Section 11B-1002.2.

11B-206.2.9.1 Load and unload areas.

Load and unload areas shall be on an accessible route. Where load and unload areas have more than one loading or unloading position, at least one loading and unloading position shall be on an accessible route.

11B-206.2.11 Bowling lanes.

Where bowling lanes are provided, at least 5 percent, but no fewer than one of each type of bowling lane, shall be on an accessible route.

11B-206.2.12 Court sports.

In court sports, at least one accessible route shall directly connect both sides of the court.

11B-206.2.13 Exercise machines and equipment.

Exercise machines and equipment required to comply with 11B-236 shall be on an accessible route.

11B-206.2.14 Fishing piers and platforms.

Fishing piers and platforms shall be on an accessible route. Accessible routes serving fishing piers and platforms shall comply with Division 4 except as modified by Section 11B-1005.1.

11B-206.2.15 Golf facilities.

At least one accessible route shall connect accessible elements and spaces within the boundary of the golf course. In addition, accessible routes serving golf car rental areas; bag drop areas; course weather shelters complying with Section 11B-238.2.3; course toilet rooms; and practice putting greens, practice teeing grounds, and teeing stations at driving ranges complying with Section 11B-238.3 shall comply with Division 4 except as modified by Section 11B-1006.2.

Exception: Golf car passages complying with Section 11B-1006.3 shall be permitted to be used for all or part of accessible routes required by Section 11B-206.2.15.

11B-206.2.16 Miniature golf facilities.

Holes required to comply with Section 11B-239.2, including the start of play, shall be on an accessible route. Accessible routes serving miniature golf facilities shall comply with Division 4 except as modified by Section 11B-1007.2.

11B-206.2.17.2 Soft contained play structures.

Where three or fewer entry points are provided for soft contained play structures, at least one entry point shall be on an accessible route. Where four or more entry points are provided for soft contained play structures, at least two entry points shall be on an accessible route.

11B-206.2.19 Pedestrian street crossings.

Where walks or sidewalks are provided, a curb ramp, blended transition, or a combination of curb ramps and blended transitions complying with Section 11B-406 shall connect the walks or sidewalks at each pedestrian street crossing. The curb ramp (excluding any flared sides) or blended transition shall be contained wholly within the width of the pedestrian street crossing served.

EXCEPTION: Compliance with Section 11B-206.2.19 shall not be required where pedestrian crossing is prohibited by the appropriate administrative authority.

11B-206.3 Location.

Accessible routes shall coincide with or be located in the same area as general circulation paths. Where circulation paths are interior, required accessible routes shall also be interior. An accessible route shall not pass through kitchens, storage rooms, restrooms, closets or other spaces used for similar purposes, except as permitted by Chapter 10.

U.S. Access Board's Note to Reader:

The Department of Transportation's ADA Standards include additional requirements for the location of accessible routes: [ADA Title II - Public Transportation] 206.3 Location. Accessible routes shall coincide with, or be located in the same area as general circulation paths. Where circulation paths are interior, required accessible routes shall also be interior. Elements such as ramps, elevators, or other circulation devices, fare vending or other ticketing areas, and fare collection areas shall be placed to minimize the distance which wheelchair users and other persons who cannot negotiate steps may have to travel compared to the general public.

DOJ icon
Advisory 11B-206.3 Location. The accessible route must be in the same area as the general circulation path. This means that circulation paths, such as vehicular ways designed for pedestrian traffic, walks, and unpaved paths that are designed to be routinely used by pedestrians must be accessible or have an accessible route nearby. Additionally, accessible vertical interior circulation must be in the same area as stairs and escalators, not isolated in the back of the facility. 
11B-206.4 Entrances.

Entrances shall be provided in accordance with Section 11B-206.4. Entrance doors, doorways, and gates shall comply with Section 11B-404 and shall be on an accessible route complying with Section 11B-402.

Exceptions:

1. Reserved.

[2010 ADA Standards] 1. Where an alteration includes alterations to an entrance, and the building or facility has another entrance complying with 404 that is on an accessible route, the altered entrance shall not be required to comply with 206.4 unless required by 202.4.

2. Reserved.

[2010 ADA Standards] 2. Where exceptions for alterations to qualified historic buildings or facilities are permitted by 202.5, no more than one public entrance shall be required to comply with 206.4. Where no public entrance can comply with 206.4 under criteria established in 202.5 Exception, then either an unlocked entrance not used by the public shall comply with 206.4; or a locked entrance complying with 206.4 with a notification system or remote monitoring shall be provided.

ETA Editor's Note

The ADA requirements included in Section 11B-206.4 Exceptions are provided for information only. Lacking these Exceptions, the CBC scoping requirements are more inclusive.

11B-206.4.1 Entrances.

All entrances shall comply with Section 11B-404.

[2010 ADA Standards] 206.4.1 Public Entrances. In addition to entrances required by 206.4.2 through 206.4.9, at least 60 percent of all public entrances shall comply with 404.

ETA Editor's Note

The ADA requirements included in Subsection 11B-206.4.1 are provided for information. While the CBC scoping requirements are more inclusive in most cases, there are rare scenarios under which the ADA scoping requirements become more inclusive (e.g., if more than 40 percent of Public Entrances are more than 24 inches above grade).

11B-206.4.2 Parking structure entrances.

Where direct access is provided for pedestrians from a parking structure to a building or facility entrance, each direct access to the building or facility entrance shall comply with Section 11B-404.

11B-206.4.3 Entrances from tunnels or elevated walkways.

Where direct access is provided for pedestrians from a pedestrian tunnel or elevated walkway to a building or facility, all entrances to the building or facility from each tunnel or walkway shall comply with Section 11B-404.

[2010 ADA Standards] 206.4.3 Entrances from Tunnels or Elevated Walkways. Where direct access is provided for pedestrians from a pedestrian tunnel or elevated walkway to a building or facility, at least one direct entrance to the building or facility from each tunnel or walkway shall comply with 404.

ETA Editor's Note

The ADA requirements included in Subsection 11B-206.4.3 are provided for information only. The CBC scoping requirements are more inclusive.

11B-206.4.4 Transportation facilities.

In addition to the requirements of Sections 11B-206.4.2, 11B-206.4.3, and 11B-206.4.5 through 11B-206.4.9, transportation facilities shall provide entrances in accordance with Section 11B-206.4.4.

11B-206.4.4.1 Location.

In transportation facilities, where different entrances serve different transportation fixed routes or groups of fixed routes, entrances serving each fixed route or group of fixed routes shall comply with Section 11B-404.

[2010 ADA Standards] 206.4.4.1 Location. In transportation facilities, where different entrances serve different transportation fixed routes or groups of fixed routes, at least one public entrance serving each fixed route or group of fixed routes shall comply with 404.

Exception: Entrances to key stations and existing intercity rail stations retrofitted in accordance with 49 CFR 37.49 or 49 CFR 37.51 shall not be required to comply with Section 11B-206.4.4.1.

11B-206.4.4.2 Direct connections.

Direct connections to other facilities shall provide an accessible route complying with Section 11B-404 from the point of connection to boarding platforms and all transportation system elements required to be accessible. Any elements provided to facilitate future direct connections shall be on an accessible route connecting boarding platforms and all transportation system elements required to be accessible.

Exception: In key stations and existing intercity rail stations, existing direct connections shall not be required to comply with Section 11B-404.

11B-206.4.4.3 Key stations and intercity rail stations.

Key stations and existing intercity rail stations required by Subpart C of 49 CFR part 37 to be altered, shall have entrances complying with Section 11B-404.

[2010 ADA Standards] 206.4.4.3 Key Stations and Intercity Rail Stations. Key stations and existing intercity rail stations required by Subpart C of 49 CFR part 37 to be altered, shall have at least one entrance complying with 404.

ETA Editor's Note

The ADA requirements included in Subsection 11B-206.4.4 are provided for information only. The CBC scoping requirements are more inclusive.

11B-206.4.5 Tenant spaces.

All entrances to each tenancy in a facility shall comply with Section 11B-404.

[2010 ADA Standards] 206.4.5 Tenant Spaces. At least one accessible entrance to each tenancy in a facility shall comply with 404.

Exception: Self-service storage facilities not required to comply with Section 11B-225.3 shall not be required to be on an accessible route.

ETA Editor's Note

The ADA requirements included in Subsection 11B-206.4.5 are provided for information only. The CBC scoping requirements are more inclusive.

11B-206.4.7 Restricted entrances.

Where restricted entrances are provided to a building or facility, all restricted entrances to the building or facility shall comply with Section 11B-404.

[2010 ADA Standards] 206.4.7 Restricted Entrances. Where restricted entrances are provided to a building or facility, at least one restricted entrance to the building or facility shall comply with 404.

ETA Editor's Note

The ADA requirements included in Subsection 11B-206.4.7 are provided for information only. The CBC scoping requirements are more inclusive.

11B-206.4.8 Service entrances.

If a service entrance is the only entrance to a building or to a tenancy in a facility, that entrance shall comply with Section 11B-404. In existing buildings and facilities, a service entrance shall not be the sole accessible entrance unless it is the only entrance to a building or facility.

[2010 ADA Standards] 206.4.8 Service Entrances. If a service entrance is the only entrance to a building or to a tenancy in a facility, that entrance shall comply with 404.

ETA Editor's Note

The ADA requirements included in Subsection 11B-206.4.8 are provided for information only. The CBC scoping requirements are more inclusive for alterations.

11B-206.4.9 Entrances for inmates or detainees.

Where entrances used only by inmates or detainees and security personnel are provided at judicial facilities, detention facilities, or correctional facilities, at least one such entrance shall comply with Section 11B-404.

11B-206.4.10 Medical care and long-term care facilities.

Weather protection by a canopy or roof overhang shall be provided at a minimum of one accessible entrance to licensed medical care and licensed long-term care facilities where the period of stay may exceed twenty-four hours. The area of weather protection shall include the passenger loading zone complying with Section 11B-209.3 and the accessible route from the passenger loading zone to the accessible entrance it serves.

DSA icon
Advisory 11B-206.4.10 Medical care and long-term care facilities. The purpose of this requirement is to permit a person to exit a vehicle and enter the building under cover. This section requires a covered entrance incorporating an accessible passenger drop-off and loading zone which must also be covered. ◼ 

ETA Editor's Note

The Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD), which has jurisdiction over hospitals and long-term care facilities in California, issued Code Application Notice CAN 2-11B, dated 9/9/14, which includes the following interpretation of Subsection 11B-206.4.10:  

Section 11B-206.4.10 requires a minimum of one accessible entrance to be provided with weather protection, passenger loading zone, and vehicle pull-up space. The code does not require more than one entrance with these features.

  1. The protected accessible entrance is not required to be the primary entrance to the facility.
  2. Only the passenger loading zone is required to be protected from the weather. The vehicle pull-up space is not required to be protected from the weather.
  3. For existing buildings that do not have a protected accessible entrance, projects subject to Section 11B-202 are not required to provide one. A protected accessible entrance is required when an addition is proposed for a facility that does not have an existing accessible entrance. The protected accessible entrance may be provided at the addition or at an appropriate location in the existing building.

At hospitals and long-term care facilities, 1991 ADAAG required an accessible entrance protected from the weather, incorporating a passenger loading zone. This requirement is no longer present in 2010 ADA Standards. Neither ADA nor CBC provide a definition for passenger loading zone. It seems evident that, where OSHPD uses the term "passenger loading zone" at Item 2 of its interpretation, it is referring to the access aisle, as described at Section 11B-503.3.

As of the initial publication of this Guide, OSHPD has not updated CAN 2-11B for applicability to 2022 CBC. Since there is no change to the wording of Subsection 11B-206.4.10, there is no reason to expect that OSHPD will change its interpretation. 

11B-206.5 Doors, doorways, and gates.

Doors, doorways, and gates providing user passage shall be provided in accordance with Section 11B-206.5.

11B-206.5.1 Entrances.

Each entrance to a building or facility required to comply with Section 11B-206.4 shall comply with Section 11B-404.

[2010 ADA Standards] 206.5.1 Entrances. Each entrance to a building or facility required to comply with 206.4 shall have at least one door, doorway, or gate complying with 404.

11B-206.5.2 Rooms and spaces.

Within a building or facility, every door, doorway or gate serving rooms and spaces complying with this chapter shall comply with Section 11B-404.

[2010 ADA Standards] 206.5.2 Rooms and Spaces. Within a building or facility, at least one door, doorway, or gate serving each room or space complying with these requirements shall comply with 404.

ETA Editor's Note

The ADA requirements included at Subsections 11B-206.5.1 and 11B-206.5.2 are provided for information only. The CBC scoping requirements are more inclusive.

11B-206.5.3 Transient lodging facilities.

In transient lodging facilities, entrances, doors, and doorways providing user passage into and within guest rooms that are not required to provide mobility features complying with Section 11B-806.2 shall comply with Section 11B-404.2.3.

Exception:  Shower and sauna doors in guest rooms that are not required to provide mobility features complying with Section 11B-806.2 shall not be required to comply with Section 11B-404.2.3.

11B-206.5.4 Residential dwelling units.

In residential dwelling units required to provide mobility features complying with Sections 11B-809.2 through 11B-809.4, all doors and doorways providing user passage shall comply with Section 11B-404.

11B-206.6 Elevators.

Elevators provided for passengers shall comply with Section 11B-407. Where multiple elevators are provided, each elevator shall comply with Section 11B-407.

Exceptions:

  1. In a building or facility permitted to use the exceptions to Section 11B-206.2.3 or permitted by Section 11B-206.7 to use a platform lift, elevators complying with Section 11B-408 shall be permitted.
  2. Elevators complying with Section 11B-408 or 11B-409 shall be permitted in multi-story residential dwelling units. Elevators provided as a means of access within a private residence shall be installed so that they are not accessible to the general public or to other occupants of the building.
  3. Destination-oriented elevators complying with Section 11B-411 shall be permitted.

Where elements of existing elevators are altered, the same element shall also be altered in all elevators that are programmed to respond to the same hall call control as the altered elevator and shall comply with the requirements of Section 11B-407 for the altered element.

Exception: Where a group of existing elevators are altered into a destination-oriented elevator system, or where elements of existing destination-oriented elevators are altered, the same elements shall also be altered in all elevators that are programmed to respond to the same call console or group of call consoles and shall comply with the requirements of Section 11B-411 for the altered elements.

11B-206.7 Platform lifts.

Platform lifts shall comply with Section 11B-410. Platform lifts shall be permitted as a component of an accessible route in new construction in accordance with Section 11B-206.7. Platform lifts shall be permitted as a component of an accessible route in an existing building or facility.

11B-206.7.1 Performance areas and speakers’ platforms.

Platform lifts shall be permitted to provide accessible routes to performance areas and speakers’ platforms.

11B-206.7.2 Wheelchair spaces.

Platform lifts shall be permitted to provide an accessible route to comply with the wheelchair space dispersion and line-of-sight requirements of Sections 11B-221 and 11B-802.

11B-206.7.3 Incidental spaces.

Platform lifts shall be permitted to provide an accessible route to incidental spaces which are not public use spaces and which are occupied by five persons maximum.

11B-206.7.4 Judicial spaces.

Platform lifts shall be permitted to provide an accessible route to: jury boxes and witness stands; raised courtroom stations including, judges’ benches, clerks’ stations, bailiffs’ stations, deputy clerks’ stations, and court reporters’ stations; and to depressed areas such as the well of a court.

11B-206.7.5 Existing site constraints.

Platform lifts shall be permitted where existing exterior site constraints make use of a ramp or elevator infeasible.

DOJ icon
Advisory 11B-206.7.5 Existing site constraints. This exception applies where topography or other similar existing site constraints necessitate the use of a platform lift as the only feasible alternative. While the site constraint must reflect exterior conditions, the lift can be installed in the interior of a building. For example, a new building constructed between and connected to two existing buildings may have insufficient space to coordinate floor levels and also to provide ramped entry from the public way. In this example, an exterior or interior platform lift could be used to provide an accessible entrance or to coordinate one or more interior floor levels. 

11B-206.7.6 Guest rooms and residential dwelling units.

Platform lifts shall be permitted to connect levels within transient lodging guest rooms required to provide mobility features complying with Section 11B-806.2 or residential dwelling units required to provide mobility features complying with Sections 11B-809.2 through 11B-809.4 or adaptable features complying with Sections 11B-809.6 through 11B-809.12.

[2010 ADA Standards] 206.7.6 Guest Rooms and Residential Dwelling Units. Platform lifts shall be permitted to connect levels within transient lodging guest rooms required to provide mobility features complying with 806.2 or residential dwelling units required to provide mobility features complying with 809.2 through 809.4.

11B-206.7.7 Amusement rides.

Platform lifts shall be permitted to provide accessible routes to load and unload areas serving amusement rides.

11B-206.7.9 Team or player seating.

Platform lifts shall be permitted to provide accessible routes to team or player seating areas serving areas of sport activity.

DOJ icon
Advisory 11B-206.7.9 Team or player seating. While the use of platform lifts is allowed, ramps are recommended to provide access to player seating areas serving an area of sport activity. 

11B-206.7.10 Recreational boating facilities and fishing piers and platforms.

Platform lifts shall be permitted to be used instead of gangways that are part of accessible routes serving recreational boating facilities and fishing piers and platforms.

11B-206.8 Security barriers.

Security barriers, including but not limited to, security bollards and security check points, shall not obstruct a required accessible route or accessible means of egress.

Exception: Where security barriers incorporate elements that cannot comply with these requirements such as certain metal detectors, fluoroscopes, or other similar devices, the accessible route shall be permitted to be located adjacent to security screening devices. The accessible route shall permit persons with disabilities passing around security barriers to maintain visual contact with their personal items to the same extent provided others passing through the security barrier.

11B-207.1 General.

Means of egress shall comply with Chapter 10, Section 1009 and Section 11B-207.

[2010 ADA Standards] 207.1 General. Means of egress shall comply with section 1003.2.13 of the International Building Code (2000 edition and 2001 Supplement) or section 1007 of the International Building Code (2003 edition) (incorporated by reference, see "Referenced Standards" in Chapter 1).

Exceptions:

  1. Where means of egress are permitted by local building or life safety codes to share a common path of egress travel, accessible means of egress shall be permitted to share a common path of egress travel.
  2. Areas of refuge shall not be required in detention and correctional facilities.
  3. Accessible means of egress are not required to be provided in existing buildings.
  4. Doors that provide access only to interior or exterior stairways shall not be required to comply with Section 11B-404.
  5. Exits in excess of those required by Chapter 10, and which are more than 24 inches (610 mm) above grade shall not be required to comply with Section 11B-404 or be on an accessible route. Directional signs shall be provided in compliance with Chapter 10, Section 1009.10.
DSA icon
Advisory 11B-207 Accessible means of egress. The 2022 CBC Section 1013.4 requires such a door to be identified by a tactile exit sign with the following words “EXIT STAIR DOWN” or EXIT STAIR UP”. In an emergency situation much time can be wasted if persons with disabilities must travel the full distance to the inaccessible exit door before there is a sign posted indicating that the exit door is inaccessible. Placing a directional sign or signs along the main accessible route or routes leading to the inaccessible exit door indicating the location of the nearest accessible exit door can save valuable travel time for persons with disabilities attempting to exit a building. The directional signs must comply with the requirements of Section 11B-703.5 for visual characters. ◼
11B-207.2 Platform lifts.

Standby power shall be provided for platform lifts permitted by Chapter 10, Section 1009.5 to serve as a part of an accessible means of egress. To ensure continued operation in case of primary power loss, platform lifts shall be provided with standby power or with self-rechargeable battery power that provides sufficient power to operate all platform lift functions for a minimum of five upward and downward trips.

[2010 ADA Standards] 207.2 Platform Lifts. Standby power shall be provided for platform lifts permitted by section 1003.2.13.4 of the International Building Code (2000 edition and 2001 Supplement) or section 1007.5 of the International Building Code (2003 edition) (incorporated by reference, see "Referenced Standards" in Chapter 1) to serve as a part of an accessible means of egress.

11B-208.1 General.

Where parking spaces are provided, parking spaces shall be provided in accordance with Section 11B-208. For the purposes of this section, electric vehicle charging stations are not parking spaces; see Section 11B-228.

Exceptions:

1. Parking spaces used exclusively for buses, trucks, other delivery vehicles, or vehicular impound shall not be required to comply with Section 11B-208 provided that lots accessed by the public are provided with a passenger drop-off and loading zone complying with Section 11B-503.

2. In public housing facilities, electric vehicle chargers are permitted to be installed at an accessible parking space assigned to the resident.

[2010 ADA Standards] EXCEPTION: Parking spaces used exclusively for buses, trucks, other delivery vehicles, law enforcement vehicles, or vehicular impound shall not be required to comply with 208 provided that lots accessed by the public are provided with a passenger loading zone complying with 503.

ETA Editor's Note

The ADA Exception included at Section 11B-208.1 is provided for information only. Since the CBC Exception omits parking for law enforcement vehicles, the CBC scoping requirements are more inclusive.

11B-208.2 Minimum number.

Parking spaces complying with Section 11B-502 shall be provided in accordance with Table 11B-208.2 except as required by Sections 11B-208.2.1, 11B-208.2.2, and 11B-208.2.3. Where more than one parking facility is provided on a site, the number of accessible spaces provided on the site shall be calculated according to the number of spaces required for each parking facility.

TABLE 11B-208.2 PARKING SPACES

TOTAL NUMBER OF PARKING SPACES PROVIDED IN PARKING FACILITY

MINIMUM NUMBER OF REQUIRED ACCESSIBLE PARKING SPACES

1 to 25

1

26 to 50

2

51 to 75

3

76 to 100

4

101 to 150

5

151 to 200

6

201 to 300

7

301 to 400

8

401 to 500

9

501 to 1000

2 percent of total

1001 and over

20, plus 1 for each 100, or fraction thereof, over 1000

DOJ icon
Advisory 11B-208.2 Minimum number. The term "parking facility" is used in Section 11B-208.2 instead of the term "parking lot" so that it is clear that both parking lots and parking structures are required to comply with this section. The number of parking spaces required to be accessible is to be calculated separately for each parking facility; the required number is not to be based on the total number of parking spaces provided in all of the parking facilities provided on the site. 

11B-208.2.1 Hospital outpatient facilities.

Ten percent of patient and visitor parking spaces provided to serve hospital outpatient facilities, and free-standing buildings providing outpatient clinical services of a hospital, shall comply with Section 11B-502.

[2010 ADA Standards] 208.2.1 Hospital Outpatient Facilities. Ten percent of patient and visitor parking spaces provided to serve hospital outpatient facilities shall comply with 502.

DOJ icon
Advisory 11B-208.2.1 Hospital outpatient facilities. The term "outpatient facility" is not defined in this code but is intended to cover facilities or units that are located in hospitals and that provide regular and continuing medical treatment without an overnight stay. Doctors' offices, independent clinics, or other facilities not located in hospitals are not considered hospital outpatient facilities for purposes of this chapter. 

DSA Icon
Advisory 11B-208.2.1 Hospital outpatient facilities. The higher percentages required for hospital outpatient facilities or rehabilitation facilities specializing in treating conditions that affect mobility and outpatient physical therapy facilities (indicated in Section 11B-208.2.2 below) are intended primarily for visitor and patient parking. If there are separate lots for visitors or patients and employees, the 10% or 20% requirement shall be applied to the visitor/patient lot while accessible parking could be provided in the employee lot according to the general scoping requirement in Table 11B-208.2. If a lot serves both visitors or patients and employees, 10% or 20% of the spaces intended for use by visitors or patients must be accessible.

At hospitals or other facilities where parking does not specifically serve an outpatient unit, only a portion of the lot would need to comply with the 10% scoping requirement. A local zoning code that requires a minimum number of parking spaces according to occupancy type and square footage may be an appropriate guide in assessing the number of spaces in the lot that "belong" to the outpatient unit. These spaces would be held to the 10% requirement while the rest of the lot would be subject to the general scoping requirement in the table. Those accessible spaces required for the outpatient unit should be located at the accessible entrance serving the unit. This method may also be used in applying the 20% requirement to hospitals or other facilities where only a portion or unit provides specialized rehabilitation or physical therapy treatment or services for persons with mobility impairments. ◼

ETA Editor's Note

The ADA requirements and Advisory included at Subsection 11B-208.2.1 are provided for information only. Since the CBC requirements include free-standing buildings providing outpatient clinical services of a hospital, the CBC scoping requirements are more inclusive. However, the meaning of this inclusion appears likely to be debated, prompting DSA-AC and/or OSHPD to provide further guidance. 

11B-208.2.2 Rehabilitation facilities and outpatient physical therapy facilities.

Twenty percent of patient and visitor parking spaces provided to serve rehabilitation facilities specializing in treating conditions that affect mobility and outpatient physical therapy facilities shall comply with Section 11B-502.

DOJ icon
Advisory 11B-208.2.2 Rehabilitation facilities and outpatient physical therapy facilities. Conditions that affect mobility include conditions requiring the use or assistance of a brace, cane, crutch, prosthetic device, wheelchair, or powered mobility aid; arthritic, neurological, or orthopedic conditions that severely limit one's ability to walk; respiratory diseases and other conditions which may require the use of portable oxygen; and cardiac conditions that impose significant functional limitations. 

11B-208.2.3 Residential facilities.

Parking spaces provided to serve residential facilities shall comply with Section 11B-208.2.3.

11B-208.2.3.1 Parking for residents.

Where at least one parking space is provided for each residential dwelling unit, at least one parking space complying with Section 11B-502 shall be provided for each residential dwelling unit required to provide mobility features complying with Sections 11B-809.2 through 11B-809.4. Where fewer than one parking space is provided for each residential dwelling unit, parking spaces complying with Section 11B-502 shall be provided in accordance with Table 11B-208.2.

11B-208.2.3.2 Additional parking spaces for residents.

Where the total number of parking spaces provided for each residential dwelling unit exceeds one parking space per residential dwelling unit, 2 percent, but no fewer than one space, of all the parking spaces not covered by Section 11B-208.2.3.1 shall comply with Section 11B-502.

11B-208.2.3.3 Parking for guests, employees, and other non-residents.

Where parking spaces are provided for persons other than residents, parking shall be provided in accordance with Table 11B-208.2.

Note: When assigned parking is provided, Chapter 11A indicates designated accessible parking for the adaptable residential dwelling units shall be provided on requests of residents with disabilities on the same terms and with the full range of choices (e.g., off-street parking, carport or garage) that are available to other residents.

11B-208.2.4 Van parking spaces.

For every six or fraction of six parking spaces required by Section 11B-208.2 to comply with Section 11B-502, at least one shall be a van parking space complying with Section 11B-502.

11B-208.3.1 General.

Parking spaces complying with Section 11B-502 that serve a particular building or facility shall be located on the shortest accessible route from parking to an entrance complying with Section 11B-206.4. Where parking serves more than one accessible entrance, parking spaces complying with Section 11B-502 shall be dispersed and located on the shortest accessible route to the accessible entrances. In parking facilities that do not serve a particular building or facility, parking spaces complying with Section 11B-502 shall be located on the shortest accessible route to an accessible pedestrian entrance of the parking facility.

Exceptions:

  1. All van parking spaces shall be permitted to be grouped on one level within a multi-story parking facility.
  2. Parking spaces shall be permitted to be located in different parking facilities if substantially equivalent or greater accessibility is provided in terms of distance from an accessible entrance or entrances, parking fee, and user convenience.
DOJ icon
Advisory 11B-208.3.1 General Exception 2. Factors that could affect "user convenience" include, but are not limited to, protection from the weather, security, lighting, and comparative maintenance of the alternative parking site. 
DSA icon
Advisory 11B-208.3.1 Location. Accessible spaces can be provided in other facilities or locations, or, in the case of parking structures, on one level only when equal or greater access is provided in terms of proximity to an accessible entrance, cost, and convenience. For example, accessible spaces required for outlying parking facilities may be located in a parking facility closer to an accessible entrance. The minimum number of spaces must still be determined separately for each facility even if the spaces are to be provided in other facilities or locations. Accessible spaces may be grouped on one level of a parking structure in order to achieve greater access. However, where parking levels serve different building entrances, accessible spaces should be dispersed so that access is provided to each entrance. ◼

11B-208.3.2 Residential facilities.

In residential facilities containing residential dwelling units required to provide mobility features complying with Sections 11B-809.2 through 11B-809.4, and adaptable features complying with Sections 11B-809.6 through 11B-809.12 parking spaces provided in accordance with Section 11B-208.2.3.1 shall be located on the shortest accessible route to the residential dwelling unit entrance they serve. Spaces provided in accordance with Section 11B-208.2.3.2 shall be dispersed throughout all types of parking provided for the residential dwelling units.

[2010 ADA Standards] 208.3.2 Residential Facilities. In residential facilities containing residential dwelling units required to provide mobility features complying with 809.2 through 809.4, parking spaces provided in accordance with 208.2.3.1 shall be located on the shortest accessible route to the residential dwelling unit entrance they serve. Spaces provided in accordance with 208.2.3.2 shall be dispersed throughout all types of parking provided for the residential dwelling units.

Exception: Parking spaces provided in accordance with Section 11B-208.2.3.2 shall not be required to be dispersed throughout all types of parking if substantially equivalent or greater accessibility is provided in terms of distance from an accessible entrance, parking fee, and user convenience.

DOJ icon
Advisory 11B-208.3.2 Residential facilities Exception. Factors that could affect "user convenience" include, but are not limited to, protection from the weather, security, lighting, and comparative maintenance of the alternative parking site. 

11B-208.3.3 Private garages accessory to residential dwelling units.

Private garages accessory to residential dwelling units shall comply with Section 11B-208.3. Private garages include individual garages and multiple individual garages grouped together.

11B-208.3.3.1.

Detached private garages accessory to residential dwelling units, shall be accessible as required by Section 11B-208.3.

11B-208.3.3.2.

Attached private garages directly serving a single residential dwelling unit shall provide at least one of the following options:

  1. A door leading directly from the residential dwelling unit which immediately enters the garage.
  2. An accessible route from the residential dwelling unit to an exterior door entering the garage.
  3. An accessible route from the residential dwelling unit's primary entry door to the vehicular entrance at the garage.
11B-209 Passenger drop-off and loading zones and bus stops

209 Passenger Loading Zones and Bus Stops

ETA Editor’s Note

The CBC includes passenger drop-off. Therefore, the CBC is more inclusive.

Passenger drop-off and loading zones shall be provided in accordance with Section 11B-209.

[2010 ADA Standards] 209.1 General. Passenger loading zones shall be provided in accordance with 209.

ETA Editor’s Note

The CBC includes passenger drop-off. Therefore, the CBC is more inclusive.

11B-209.2 Type.

Where provided, passenger drop-off and loading zones shall comply with Section 11B-209.2.

[2010 ADA Standards] 209.2 Type. Where provided, passenger loading zones shall comply with 209.2.

11B-209.2.1 Passenger drop-off and loading zones.

Passenger drop-off and loading zones, except those required to comply with Sections 11B-209.2.2 and 11B-209.2.3, shall provide at least one passenger drop-off and loading zone complying with Section 11B-503 in every continuous 100 linear feet (30480 mm) of drop-off and loading zone space, or fraction thereof.

[2010 ADA Standards] 209.2.1 Passenger Loading Zones. Passenger loading zones, except those required to comply with 209.2.2 and 209.2.3, shall provide at least one passenger loading zone complying with 503 in every continuous 100 linear feet (30 m) of loading zone space, or fraction thereof.

ETA Editor’s Note

The CBC includes passenger drop-off. Therefore, the CBC is more inclusive.

11B-209.2.2 Bus loading zones.

In bus loading zones restricted to use by designated or specified public transportation vehicles, each bus bay, bus stop, or other area designated for lift or ramp deployment shall comply with Section 11B-810.2.

DOJ icon
Advisory 11B-209.2.2 Bus loading zones. The terms "designated public transportation" and "specified public transportation" are defined by the Department of Transportation at 49 CFR 37.3 in regulations implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act. These terms refer to public transportation services provided by public or private entities, respectively. For example, designated public transportation vehicles include buses and vans operated by public transit agencies, while specified public transportation vehicles include tour and charter buses, taxis and limousines, and hotel shuttles operated by private entities. 

11B-209.2.3 On-street bus stops.

On-street bus stops shall comply with Section 11B-810.2 to the maximum extent practicable.

11B-209.3 Medical care and long-term care facilities.

At least one passenger drop-off and loading zone complying with Section 11B-503 shall be provided at an accessible entrance to licensed medical care and licensed long-term care facilities where the period of stay may exceed twenty-four hours.

[2010 ADA Standards] 209.3 Medical Care and Long-Term Care Facilities. At least one passenger loading zone complying with 503 shall be provided at an accessible entrance to licensed medical care and licensed long-term care facilities where the period of stay exceeds twenty-four hours.

ETA Editor’s Note

The CBC includes passenger drop-off. Therefore, the CBC is more inclusive.

11B-209.4 Valet parking.

Parking facilities that provide valet parking services shall provide at least one passenger drop-off and loading zone complying with Section 11B-503. The parking requirements of 11B-208.1 apply to facilities with valet parking.

DSA icon
Advisory 11B-209.4 Valet parking. Valet parking does not eliminate the requirement to provide accessible parking spaces. Some vehicles may be adapted with hand controls or lack a driver’s seat, and may not be operable by a valet parking attendant. The parking space requirements of Sections 11B-208 and 11B-502 apply to facilities with valet parking, including the requirement for an accessible route of travel to the entrance of the facility. In addition, when valet parking is provided, a passenger drop-off and loading zone complying with Section 11B-503 shall be located on an accessible route of travel to the entrance of the facility. ◼
11B-209.5 Mechanical access parking garages.

Mechanical access parking garages shall provide at least one passenger drop-off and loading zone complying with Section 11B-503 at vehicle drop-off and vehicle pick-up areas.

[2010 ADA Standards209.5 Mechanical Access Parking GaragesMechanical access parking garages shall provide at least one passenger loading zone complying with 503 at vehicle drop-off and vehicle pick-up areas.

ETA Editor’s Note

The CBC includes passenger drop-off. Therefore, the CBC is more inclusive.

11B-210.1 General.

Interior and exterior stairs shall comply with Section 11B-504.

[2010 ADA Standards] 210.1 General. Interior and exterior stairs that are part of a means of egress shall comply with 504.

Exceptions:

1. In detention and correctional facilities, stairs that are not located in public use areas shall not be required to comply with Section 11B-504.

2. In alterations, stairs between levels that are connected by an accessible route shall not be required to comply with Section 11B-504, except that striping complying with Section 11B-504.4.1 and handrails complying with Section 11B-505 shall be provided when the stairs are altered.

[2010 ADA Standards] 2. In alterations, stairs between levels that are connected by an accessible route shall not be required to comply with 504, except that handrails complying with 505 shall be provided when the stairs are altered.

3. In assembly areas, aisle stairs shall not be required to comply with Section 11B-504 except that striping complying with Section 11B-504.4.1 shall be provided.

[2010 ADA Standards] 3. In assembly areas, aisle stairs shall not be required to comply with 504.

4. Stairs that connect play components shall not be required to comply with Section 11B-504 except that striping complying with Section 11B-504.1 shall be provided.

[2010 ADA Standards] 4. Stairs that connect play components shall not be required to comply with 504.

ETA Editor's Note

The ADA requirements included at Section 11B-210.1, including Exceptions, are provided for information only. The CBC scoping requirements are more inclusive.

11B-211 Drinking fountains and bottle filling stations

11B-211.1 General.

Where drinking fountains are provided on an exterior site, on a floor, or within a secured area they shall be provided in accordance with Section 11B-211.

Exception: In detention or correctional facilities, drinking fountains only serving holding or housing cells not required to comply with Section 11B-232 shall not be required to comply with Section 11B-211.

11B-211.2 Minimum number.

No fewer than two drinking fountains shall be provided. When provided, one drinking fountain shall comply with Sections 11B-602.1 through 11B-602.6, 11B-602.8 and 11B-602.9 and one drinking fountain shall comply with Sections 11B-602.7 and 11B-602.9.

Exception: Where a single drinking fountain complies with Sections 11B-602.1 through 11B-602.9, it shall be permitted to be substituted for two separate drinking fountains.

DSA icon
Advisory 11B-211.2 Minimum number. The 2022 California Plumbing Code (CPC), Table 4-1 provides minimum plumbing fixture requirements for new buildings, and changes of occupancy or use in an existing building resulting in increased occupant load. CPC Table 4-1 should be consulted in conjunction with the requirements of this section. ◼
11B-211.3 More than minimum number.

Where more than the minimum number of drinking fountains specified in Section 11B-211.2 are provided, 50 percent of the total number of drinking fountains provided shall comply with Sections 11B-602.1 through 11B-602.6, 11B-602.8 and 11B-602.9, and 50 percent of the total number of drinking fountains provided shall comply with Section 11B-602.7 and 11B-602.9.

Exception: Where 50 percent of the drinking fountains yields a fraction, 50 percent shall be permitted to be rounded up or down provided that the total number of drinking fountains complying with Section 11B-211 equals 100 percent of drinking fountains.

11B-211.4 Bottle filling stations.

Where bottle filling stations are provided they shall comply with Section 11B-602.10.

Exception: In detention or correctional facilities, bottle filling stations only serving holding or housing cells not required to comply with Section 11B-232 shall not be required to comply with Section 11B-211.4.

11B-212 Kitchens, kitchenettes, wet bars and sinks

212 Kitchens, Kitchenettes, and Sinks

ETA Editor’s Note

The CBC includes wet bars. Therefore, the CBC is more inclusive.

11B-212.1 General.

Where provided, kitchens, kitchenettes, wet bars and sinks shall comply with Section 11B-212.

[2010 ADA Standards] 212.1 General. Where provided, kitchens, kitchenettes, and sinks shall comply with 212.

ETA Editor’s Note

The CBC includes wet bars. Therefore, the CBC is more inclusive.

11B-212.2 Kitchens, kitchenettes, and wet bars.

Kitchens, kitchenettes and wet bars shall comply with Section 11B-804.

[2010 ADA Standards] 212.2 Kitchens and Kitchenettes. Kitchens and kitchenettes shall comply with 804.

ETA Editor’s Note

The CBC includes wet bars. Therefore, the CBC is more inclusive.

11B-212.3 Sinks.

Where sinks are provided, at least 5 percent, but no fewer than one, of each type provided in each accessible room or space shall comply with Section 11B-606.

Exceptions:

  1. Mop, service or scullery sinks shall not be required to comply with Section 11B-212.3.
  2. Scrub sinks, as defined in California Plumbing Code Section 221.0, shall not be required to comply with Section 11B-606.

[2010 ADA Standards] EXCEPTION: Mop or service sinks shall not be required to comply with 212.3.

ETA Editor's Note

The definition of "Sink" in CBC Chapter 2, adopted by DSA-AC, is as follows: SINK. A fixed bowl or basin with running water and drainpipe, as in a kitchen or laundry, for washing dishes, clothing, etc. (As differentiated from the definition of "Lavatory".). The definition of "Lavatory" in Chapter 2, also adopted by DSA-AC, is as follows: LAVATORY. A fixed bowl or basin with running water and drainpipe, as in a toilet or bathing facility, for washing or bathing purposes. (As differentiated from the definition of "Sink".). It would appear that the difference is that a "Lavatory" is for washing a part of the body, while a "Sink" is for washing anything else. It is unclear whether a "Lavatory" can exist in other places than a toilet room or bathroom, even when specifically intended for washing a part of the body. The ADA requirements and exceptions make no mention of wet bars, scullery sinks or scrub sinks. Both ADA and CBC lack definitions for mop sinks, service sinks, and scullery sinks, so their identifications rely upon definitions in collegiate dictionaries (unspecified) per CBC 11B-106.3. In fact, the 2010 ADA Standards, as well as 1991 ADAAG, decline to define sinks or lavatories at all. Oxford American Dictionaries have no definitions for "Mop Sink," "Service Sink," or "Scullery Sink." "Sink" is defined as: A fixed basin with a water supply and a drain. "Lavatory" is defined as: A sink or washbasin in a bathroom. The definitions for "Mop" and "Service" are of little use, and "Scullery" is defined as: A small kitchen or room at the back of a house used for washing dishes and other dirty household work.

The California Plumbing Code (CPC) definition for "Scrub Sink", referenced in 11B-212.3 Exception 2, is as follows: Scrub Sink [OSHPD 1, 2, 3 & 4]. Is a sink used to wash and scrub the hands and arms during the septic preparation for surgery and equipped with a supply spout and controls as required for a handwashing fixture. Sensor operated fixtures shall be capable of functioning during loss of normal power. CPC does not have a definition for "Sink," "Mop Sink," "Service Sink," or "Scullery Sink," but it does define "Lavatory" as follows: Lavatory [HCD 1 & HCD 2]. "Lavatory" shall mean a plumbing fixture used for washing the hands, arms, face and head. This definition has not been adopted by DSA-AC.

The Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD) has expressed (see ETA Editor's Note at 11B-805.6) that it considers the "Handwashing Fixtures" required at such places as exam rooms, nurses' stations and medication preparation rooms to be "Sinks" for accessibility purposes, and not "Lavatories."

Some sink types are unmentioned in ADA and CBC Chapter 11B, including laundry sinks, clinic sinks (with flushing rims), eyewash fixtures, sinks at dental exam rooms used by patients for rinsing, and others. Except for laundry sinks, these are not in locations included in the CBC definitions for "Sink" or "Lavatory": kitchens, laundries, toilet or bathing facilities. By their omission, one might infer that accessibility requirements do not apply. However, that is not an entirely safe assumption, particularly since the ADA requirements default to the extremely broad definition of "Sink" found in collegiate dictionaries. It is also noteworthy that many sinks serve multiple purposes, such as those at employee break rooms, craft rooms at senior living centers, or school classrooms. Those purposes may include washing a part of the body, as well as other items.

These ambiguities have led to much debate as to the identification of plumbing fixtures, scoping of accessibility to them, and which technical requirements apply. It is beyond the scope of this Guide to resolve those issues. It is generally recommended that, before declining to make a sink accessible, consideration should be given to the number of different users and purposes for which the fixture is intended, unless it is specifically exempted from accessibility requirements.

Agencies responsible for promulgating and enforcing accessibility regulations have previously issued guidance, such as DSA-AC's Access Compliance Reference Manual.

11B-213.1 General.

Where toilet facilities and bathing facilities are provided, they shall comply with Section 11B-213. Where toilet facilities and bathing facilities are provided in facilities permitted by Section 11B-206.2.3 Exception 1 not to connect stories by an accessible route, toilet facilities and bathing facilities shall be provided on a story connected by an accessible route to an accessible entrance.

11B-213.1.1 Toilet facilities for designated user groups.

Where separate toilet facilities are provided for the exclusive use of separate user groups, the toilet facilities serving each user group shall comply with Section 11B-213.

11B-213.2 Toilet rooms and bathing rooms.

Where toilet rooms are provided, each toilet room shall comply with Section 11B-603. Where bathing rooms are provided, each bathing room shall comply with Section 11B-603.

Exceptions:

1. In alterations where it is technically infeasible to comply with Section 11B-603, altering existing toilet or bathing rooms shall not be required where a single unisex (single-user or family) toilet room or bathing room complying with Section 11B-213.2.1 is provided and located in the same area and on the same floor as existing inaccessible toilet or bathing rooms.

2. Reserved.

[2010 ADA Standards] 2. Where exceptions for alterations to qualified historic buildings or facilities are permitted by 202.5, no fewer than one toilet room for each sex complying with 603 or one unisex toilet room complying with 213.2.1 shall be provided.

3. Where multiple single user portable toilet or bathing units are clustered at a single location, 5 percent, but no fewer than one, of the toilet units and bathing units at each cluster shall comply with