11 Washroom Facilities PDF version
Major problems are frequently encountered by persons with disabilities, especially persons using wheelchairs, on entering and leaving washrooms. Doors that are heavy or too narrow, vestibules with a double set of doors that can be difficult to negotiate or a privacy wall can make a washroom completely inaccessible. Entrances should be carefully designed to meet the needs of persons with disabilities. Within the washroom sufficient space is required to allow persons in wheelchairs to move freely to and from the various fixtures. (Figure 11.1) For detailed dimensions for reaching/grasping refer to Section 2.7.
At least one washroom shall be provided on each wing or each floor which has been designed to meet the needs of persons with disabilities. In existing buildings, modifications are recommended to provide bathing / showering facilities on each wing or floor. A system may be developed in which alternate wings or floors contain the modified bathing facilities. In this way, each floor will be provided with accessible facilities. In new construction, washrooms and bathing facilities designed to meet the needs of persons with disabilities should be provided on each wing of every floor.
The toilet paper dispenser should be located so as not to interfere with the grab bars; under the grab bar and in front of the toilet is a convenient location.
11.2 Washroom Identification
Signage for accessible washrooms shall be tactile and well-contrasting and shall comply with Section 6 Signage.
11.3 Toilet Stalls (OBC 22.214.171.124)
Toilet stalls shall
11.3.1 Toilet stall doors shall
Wall-hung toilets are preferred because they provide additional space at toe level. Preferences for toilet seat heights vary considerably. Higher seats may be an advantage to some ambulatory disabled persons but a disadvantage to persons in wheelchairs. Toilet seats 400 to 460 mm high offer a reasonable compromise. Thick seats and filler rings are available to adapt standard fixtures to these requirements. A toilet seat lid is an inexpensive means of providing a back support.
Higher seats may be an advantage to some ambulatory persons with disabilities but a disadvantage to persons in wheelchairs. Toilet seats 400 to 460 mm high offer a reasonable compromise.
Toilets shall have (OBC 126.96.36.199)
11.4.1 Toilets shall be located between 460 and 480 mm from the centre-line to the adjacent wall and shall have 810 mm clear space provided on the transfer side (See Figure 11.4).
11.4.2 Flush controls shall be
11.4.3 Although the OBC allows both an angled grab bar and an L-shaped configuration (OBC 188.8.131.52.(1d)(i)) (as in Figure 11.5), many people with disabilities prefer the L-shaped configuration. It is preferred that toilets be served by horizontal or L-shaped grab bars which shall
11.5.1 Flush controls shall be
b) be electronically / automatically controlled.
Clearance under a lavatory is required for wheelchair access. The drain pipes should be offset to the rear to ensure that the knee-space is clear of obstructions. If this is not possible, the pipes should be insulated to prevent heat injuries to the legs. Lavatories on pedestals are not recommended.
It is desirable that lavatories be located in a vanity counter. However, if that is not possible, a shelf should be provided at counter level.
Lavatories shall (OBC 184.108.40.206)
11.6.1 The front apron of a vanity shall have a minimum clearance 750 mm wide and 720 mm high. A shelf should be provided where a lavatory is not located in a vanity counter. Shelves, etc. should be located so that they do not protrude into the path of travel more than 80 mm which creates a hazard, especially for persons with visual impairments.
11.6.2 Faucets and other controls shall
11.6.3 See Section 11.11 water temperature requirements.
11.7 Washroom Accessories
Accessories such as soap and towel dispensers, hot air blowers and waste receptacles should not protrude into the path of travel but should be placed close to the accessible lavatory, to assist a person who is blind in locating them.
At least one of each type of the washroom accessory provided shall have operable parts and controls between 900 and 1200 mm from the floor. (OBC 220.127.116.11.(1b)) (See Figure 11.8.)
11.7.1 Where mirrors are provided, at least one shall be mounted with its bottom edge not more than 1000 mm from the floor.
11.8 Individual Washrooms
An individual washroom (sometimes referred to as unisex, special, or unit washroom) can be used by a variety of persons, including a person with a disability with an attendant or a parent with a child. It may be desirable in certain locations, (Figure 11.9) to equip this type of washroom with an emergency call switch that activates an alarm. Automatic door openers should be provided.
Where a washroom is provided for the use of persons of both sexes in lieu of facilities for persons with disabilities in washrooms for general public, (OBC 18.104.22.168.(1)) it shall
A clear floor space at least 750 mm wide shall be provided in front of the bathtub, and the lavatory can encroach a maximum of 300 mm into this space providing there is clear knee and toe space under the lavatory. (See Figure 11.10)
11.9.1 Grab bars shall
Care should be taken to ensure that the vertical grab bar does not interfere with the shower curtain. Grab bar dimensions given should be measured to the centre-line.
11.9.2 Faucets and other controls shall
11.9.3 A shower head complying with Clause 11.10.4 shall be provided.
11.9.4 Enclosures for bathtubs shall not
It is desirable to have a seat 400 mm deep across the width of the bathtub located at the end of the bathtub to allow easier access.
11.9.5 The floor of the tub and tub room shall be slip-resistant. (See Table 2.1 for additional guidance on slip resistance.)
11.10 Shower Stalls
Roll-in shower stalls accommodate persons who prefer to remain in a wheelchair while taking a shower. Shower stalls with a seat accommodate persons who prefer to transfer from a wheelchair to a fixed seat in the shower stall or persons who need to be seated while showering.
11.10.1 The minimum clear floor space in front of the shower entrance shall be 900 ´ 1200 mm with the 1200 mm dimension parallel to the shower entrance.
11.10.2 Roll-In Shower Stalls
Grab bars for roll-in shower stalls shall
Controls for roll-in shower stalls shall be mounted on the long wall above the grab bar, not more than 1200 mm from the floor.
Curbs for roll-in shower stalls shall be 6 to 13 mm high, bevelled at a slope of 1:2. (OBC 22.214.171.124.(1d)). 0-6 mm is preferred if the shower has positive drainage.
11.10.3 Shower Stalls with Seat
Shower stalls with a seat shall have interior dimensions at least 900 ´ 900 mm. (Figure 11.12).
In shower stalls with a seat, the seat shall
Grab bars in shower stalls with a seat shall
For shower stalls with a seat, all controls, faucets and the shower unit shall be
Curbs in shower stalls with a seat shall not be higher than 100 mm. (Figure 11.12) Curb colour should contrast with the flooring colour to reduce the danger of tripping.
11.10.4 Faucets and other controls shall be hand operated or electronically controlled. Hand-operated controls shall
11.10.5 A shower head shall
Where the shower head is mounted on a vertical bar, the bar shall be installed so as not to obstruct the use of grab bars. Two hooks should be provided to allow people to mount the shower for either a standing or sitting location.
11.10.6 Enclosures for shower stalls shall not obstruct controls or obstruct transfers from wheelchairs onto shower seats.
11.10.7 The floor of the shower shall be slip-resistant. (See Table 2.1 for additional guidance on slip resistance.)
11.11 Water Temperature
Temperature of the water supplied to lavatories, tubs and showers shall be controlled by a pressure-equalizing valve or by an automatic thermostatically controlled valve to prevent people with limited heat sensation from inadvertently burning themselves.
11.12 Grab Bars
People with disabilities often rely on grab bars for support and stabilization during transfers. The OBC specifies that either an angled grab bar or an L-shaped configuration be provided (Figure 11.5). Many people prefer the L-shaped or combination of horizontal and vertical grab bars. (Figure 11.6)
Grab bars shall
11.12.1 Grab bars shall be installed to resist a force at least 1.3 kN applied vertically or horizontally.
11.12.2 A grab bar and adjacent surfaces shall be free of any sharp or abrasive elements.
11.13 Drinking Fountains
A wall-mounted drinking fountain located in an alcove is preferred because it does not create a hazard for people with visual impairments. Drinking fountains that extend into corridors and have an open space underneath the fountain 680 mm in height or higher should be protected by a wall guard. The provision of two drinking fountains at different heights is very convenient for standing adults, people in wheelchairs and children.
11.13.1 Spouts shall
11.13.2 Controls shall be hand operated or electronically controlled.
Hand-operated controls shall
11.13.3 Cantilevered drinking fountains shall
Freestanding or built-in drinking fountains not having a knee space shall have a clear floor space at least 1200 mm wide by 750 mm deep in front of the unit. (Figure 11.13b)
11.14 Portable Toilets at Special Events
11.14.1 Portable toilets are often provided for special events by local suppliers. It is important to ensure that facilities are also provided to meet the needs of persons with disabilities. Portable toilets that are accessible to persons with disabilities should be provided whenever portable toilets are used.
11.14.2 Portable toilets should be placed along a barrier-free and well-illuminated path of travel.
11.14.3 Doors should have a clear width of 910 mm minimum, with D-type handles and locks which do not require tight grasping, pinching or twisting of the wrist. Doors and handles should be colour contrasting.
If step access is necessary, steps should be colour contrasted and a handrail should be provided. If barrier-free washrooms are located nearby, directional signage should be provided.
11.14.4 Tactile and braille signage should be provided on portable toilets.
11.14.5 Grab bars should be provided both to assist people in getting into accessible toilet units and while in the unit.
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