Dawson doors can be manufactured to meet ADA requirements and guidelines. The information below provides an overview of primary ADA compliance.
Clear Opening Width
For ADA compliance, at least 60 percent of all commercial building entrances be accessible to people with disabilities. Access should be provided for primary entrances for greater convenience. Regardless of the door type, the clear opening width of the entrance/door must be 32” minimum and 48” maximum. This is measured from the face of the door, opened at a 90-degree angle, to the door stop of the frame. The standard door hardware typically protrudes approximately 4” off the door, therefore cannot be mounted below 34” from finished, nor extend beyond 48”. This hardware cannot protrude the clear width opening within the required 90-degree angle. If an opening is more than 24” deep, it will require a minimum clear width of 36”.
Entrance thresholds must be ADA compliant and cannot exceed ½” in height. Above a height of 1⁄4 inch, all threshold edges must be beveled at a slope no steeper than 1:2. These requirements will prevent canes or crutches from potential obstruction from the threshold, and will offer unobstructed accessibility for individuals in wheelchairs.
Opening Force and Closing Speed
Accessible doors should be easy to push open, and provide people with disabilities sufficient time to pass through. ADA Standards specify that the continuous force required to push or pull open an interior door (hinged, sliding or folding), cannot exceed 8.5 pounds. This does not apply to the initial force needed to overcome the inertia of the door. The ADA requires that doors with closers take a minimum of five seconds to close from an open position of 90 degrees to 12 degrees. These requirements help ensure that those with disabilities have ample time to safely proceed through an entryway.
As set forth by the ADA, swinging door surfaces within 10 vertical inches of the floor must be smooth on the push side for the full width of the door. This prevents canes, wheelchairs, and walkers from getting caught on projections found on the door’s surface. Kick plates can be installed; however, any gaps or cavities they create must be capped. Sliding doors are exempt from this rule, as are tempered glass doors without stiles whose bottom rail is tapered to 60 degrees.
Panic Hardware on Balanced Doors
Both NFPA 101 and the IBC state that when panic hardware is used on balanced doors, the panic hardware must be “push-pad” (touchpad) style, and the pad shall extend no more than one-half the width of the door. This differs from the requirements for panic hardware on standard swinging doors, where the pad must be at least one-half the width of the door.
The reason push-pad/touchpad style panics are required, in lieu of crossbar style, is because pushing on the wrong end of a crossbar style panic device will not open a balanced door due to the pivot configuration. With a push-pad/touchpad style panic, it is more obvious that pushing on the pad will allow egress, and it is less likely that someone will push on an area of the device that will not open the door.
For More Information on the ADA and ADA Guidelines
ADA information is available on the Department of Justice ADA homepage at www.ada.gov.
The ADA Accessibility Guidelines for Buildings and Facilities can be found at www.access-board.gov, or call the ADA Information Line at (800) 514-0301 for a free copy of regulations.