ADA Knee Clearance

While it is not a great time to read the 279 pages of the ADA standards for accessible design, it is an important part of the design and build of new buildings.  When an inspector goes to inspect these buildings they too are expected to know the various standards that are found within those pages.  However, this can be a lot of work. Measuring everything out by hand can really take a lot of time.  This time-consuming task can be done much more quickly with the use of the ADA knee clearance template.  Let's take a look at some of the recommendations and how this template can work for you.

The first chapter of the ADA guide will go over how to actually read the guide. This is important so that you fully understand the various symbols.  The next chapter will go over what buildings the guidelines cover.  Historical buildings and existing buildings might have different considerations than they would if they were being built.  This will go over the parking lot instructions, fire alarm systems, and egress situations.  

What is ADA knee clearance?

Knee clearance is the space under counters, drinking fountains, desk, etc that is intended to allow a person in a wheelchair to get close enough to the fixture to use it.  Below is a small list of fixtures that require knee clearance:

  • Kitchen sink
  • Bathroom Lavatory
  • Drinking fountain

The 2010 ADA Standard section 306 provides the rules for knee and toe clearance that most jurisdictions across the United States have adopted.

Why is ADA Knee Clearance important?

ADA knee clearance is important as it is designed to allow a person in a wheelchair or mobility scooter for example; to pull their wheelchair under the counter to wash their hands or get a drink at a drinking fountain.  With our ADA Knee Clearance Template you can quickly and accurately check ADA knee clearance and other ADA requirements. Learn more about the ADA Knee Space Template.

 

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You will also have to measure the height of the toilets and this template can assist you with that as well. Again, no need for a tape measure, imagine how much faster your inspections can go.  

These measurements will be for kitchen sinks, restrooms, and drinking fountains.  When the building is a large commercial building it can be quite a challenge to measure all of the various areas that need to be inspected.  Imagine the time saved but also no need to try to remember every tolerance with this handy tool.  

While there are ADA knee and toe clearances there are also other things this tool can assist with as well.  Looking at the grab bars, for example, is another as well as it will test to ensure the mirror is within tolerances as well.  The mirror has to be low enough that the person can see themselves in the mirror.  Because of this, there is a tolerance for this as well. 

Drinking Fountain ADA Clearance is similar to bathroom ADA clearances in which someone that is seated should be able to use the facility.  This is also the case in Bathroom ADA Clearances.  

While many of us go through life not knowing all that needs to go into building a commercial building.  Inspectors know what to look for and understand the labor it takes to fully inspect these sorts of areas. However, these inspections can be very time-consuming, which is why All Things Inspector came up with this original design.  

It is important for contractors, inspectors, and architects to pay close attention to ADA knee space requirements when in the design and construction phase of new building projects. It is estimated that there are 2.7 million wheelchair users in the united states.

Check out our new line of ADA templates for expediting ADA inspections.

We all know that persons in wheelchairs have limited mobility and reach and it makes it harder for them to access everyday fixtures like sinks and drinking fountains. That is why we have rules and regulations governing ADA Clearance requirements such as the 2010 ADA Standards which set minimum standards for accessible design.

Also very important to people in wheelchairs is proper door opening forces.  You may want to check out our door pressure gauges so you can check door opening forces as part of your ADA inspections.

You can quickly spot non-compliances by using our ADA Template during your ADA inspection.

Spot a non complaince with the ADA Knee Clerance Template
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An example of inadequate ADA Knee Clearance
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If you need to learn more about knee clearance requirements check out UpCodes.