FAQs: Accessibility Upgrades


What part of the code tells me I need to spend 20% of the project cost to upgrade for accessibility?

Section 3409 of the International Building Code requires that the entire accessible route be upgraded completely with the exception for alterations greater than 20% of the project cost.


Can the installation of fire alarms equipped with strobe lights be used towards the 20% upgrade cost limit?

No. The building code requires the 20% cost limit to be spent upgrading the accessible route. Fire alarm systems are not considered part of the accessible route.


When upgrading the toilet facilities of an office building, can I provide a single user toilet room rather than upgrading the existing multi-user restroom?

This is only permissible if upgrading the existing restroom requires the removal of a structural system member which is integral to the building’s structural integrity and the existing number of fixtures must be maintained.


Can an automatic door opener be used for a door that lacks the proper pull or push side clearances?

Yes, provided the installation of the door opener meets the requirements of ICC/ANSI A117.1.


More Questions?

Please contact Building Plan Review via e-mail or telephone at 703-222-0114, TTY 711 or consult the Accessibility Fundamentals publication.


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