ADA door width is an important thing to consider when optimizing your facility for patrons, employees or other visitors. The ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) sets the standard for what is acceptable and what needs to be renovated to accommodate people with disabilities. According to ADA door clearance standards, the minimum width for an accessible door is 32 inches. This allows people who use wheelchairs or other mobility devices enough room to comfortable pass through. In some areas though, such as closets or less frequented areas, 28 inches is the acceptable standard. These are minimum standards, but larger opening are always welcome and preferred. Other things to consider are door height and mode of operation.
To make sure you are compliant, you need to accommodate individuals with disabilities. ADA door width must be 32 inches minimum when the door is open at 90-degrees (or a right angle). For exterior doors, the minimum increases to 36 inches.
Doors need to provide enough space in front of and beside them to allow the visitor approach and pass through the entrance comfortably. Clear space of 18 inches beyond the latch side and 12 inches beyond the handle side is recommended. Most ADA door openers are activated by a push paddle. This paddle’s placement also needs to be considered when going for ADA compliance.
Other door hardware considerations would be thresholds, which should be no higher than 1/2 inch. If the door is not automated, a push plate or lever handle is preferred for ease of use. These should be 34-48 inches above the floor. A door closer should increase the door closing speed to five seconds or more to give the user more time to pass through. Lastly, proper signage should be present to let visitors know about the doors functionality. Automatic doors will usually be marked appropriately as will the push buttons used for activation.
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