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April 2015 BSJ

New Requirements in the 2015 IBC for Accessible Guest Rooms in Hotels continued ber of guest rooms, and thus the number of Accessible guest rooms. While there was a requirement to distribute by type, there was not a requirement to distribute among different buildings. There is always difficulty in translating the civil rights issues in the ADA to mirror the intent in the building code arena. DOJ refers to 50 or more guest rooms in a facility. The IBC defines a “facility” as everything on a site. However, the intent of the DOJ appears to be looking at provisions on a building-by-building basis, regardless of site lines or fire walls. The following additional criteria have been added to the 2015 IBC as part of the coordination effort with the 2010 ADA Standard: Where there are multiple buildings on a site, if a building has more than 50 guest rooms, that building must be considered separately to determine the number of guest rooms, and thus, the number of Accessible guest rooms in that building. If the buildings on a site have 50 or fewer guest rooms, the buildings on the site are added, same as before (2015 IBC Section 1107.6.1.1). See the graphic to illustrate. The requirements for Type B guest rooms have not changed. However, it is important to remember that only hotels offering guest rooms as short-term housing are “intended to be occupied as a residence.” Therefore, most hotels are not required to provide Type B units. There also have been some changes for the Accessible guest room configurations: • Where a guest room has multiple floors or a mezzanine, if a toilet facility and sleeping accommodations for at least two guests are provided on the entry level, an accessible route to the upper level is not required (2015 IBC Section 1107.4, Exception 5; 2010 ADA Section 206.2.3, Exception 5). • If there is more than one bathroom in a guest room suite, only one bathroom is required to meet the clearance requirements for an accessible bathroom (2009 ICC A117.1 Section 1002.11). • The requirement for a folding seat for roll-in showers has been removed from the IBC, because the 2009 ICC A117.1 has been revised to require seats in all roll-in showers (2009 ICC A117.1 Section 608.2.2). It was felt that a roll-in shower with a seat would be useable by more people and should be required in all types of occupies, not just hotels. As a reminder, all doors in guest rooms, including non-accessible rooms, are required to provide a clear width of 32 inches (2015 IBC 1010.1.1). This recognizes people who use walkers or crutches might not ask for the Accessible guest room, but they would still need that clear width to be able to get into the bathroom. Hotel amenities are also important to guests. The provisions for scoping for recreational facilities has been greatly expanded (2015 IBC Section 1110). Where exercise rooms are provided, an accessible route is required to one of each type of machine (2015 IBC Section 1110.4.10). A machine must have a wheelchair parking space to allow for transfer or use of the equipment. However, the machines are not required to be modified for transfer heights or operable parts (ICC A117.1 Section 1104). Swimming pools must be accessible, including access into the water. Options depend on the pool size and type (2015 IBC Section 1110.4.13). Five percent of hot tubs are required to be accessible. There are exceptions for diving boards, water slides and catch pools for the water slides. Technical criteria for the different transfer options are addressed in the 2009 ICC A117.1 Section 1109. Provisions address regular small pools to a full-blown water park. So, get out there and enjoy your vacation! APRIL 2015 | 50


April 2015 BSJ
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