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UN Programme on Disability   Working for full participation and equality
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Theme: Accessibility :
Accessibility for the Disabled - A Design Manual for a Barrier Free Environment
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II. ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS

6. ENTRANCES

1. PROBLEM IDENTIFICATION

No distinct accessible entrance.

Inadequate space in front of the entrance.

2. PLANNING PRINCIPLE

To provide accessible and easy-to-find building entrances.

3. DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS

3.1 General

*For new accessible constructions, all main public entrances should be accessible to an ambulant disabled person.

*At least one entrance per facility should be accessible to a wheelchair user. In new buildings, the accessible entrance(s) should be the main entrance(s) intended for use by the general public.

*Each accessible entrance should be connected by accessible pathways to accessible indoor or outdoor parking areas, local public transit stops and drop-off areas (fig. 1).

*In multi-storey buildings, the accessible entrance should permit access to a conveniently located accessible elevator or lift.

3.2 Signs

*Accessible entrances should be clearly identified using the international symbol of accessibility including alternate locations of accessible entrances (fig. 2).

*No signs are needed if the whole building is accessible.

3.3 Entrance landing

*Where the entrance door opens outward, the minimum landing dimensions should comply with figure 3.

*Where the entrance door opens inward, the minimum landing dimensions should comply with figure 4.

*The surface of the landing should have a slope of 2% for drainage.

*The finish material should be non-slippery.

*Jute door mats should be avoided. When used however, the upper surface of the mat should be level with the floor finish (fig. 5).

*Sheltered landings are preferable.

3.5 Threshold

*Thresholds should be removed wherever possible (see Doors).

3.6 Colour

*The colour of the entrance door should contrast with the surrounding surface so as to be distinguishable by people with sight problems.

3.7 Entrance vestibules (see Vestibules)

3.8 Entrance doors (see Doors)

4. EXISTING CONSTRUCTIONS

*Public buildings should have at least one accessible entrance. Wherever possible, this should be the main entrance intended for use by the general public (1) (see Building Types).

*If for architectural or technical reasons the main entrance cannot be made accessible, an alternative accessible entrance should be provided. The location of the alternative entrance should be clearly indicated by signs.

*To allow for an accessible entrance, one of the following solutions can be adapted:

(a) Ramps, bridges or mechanical lifts be used; (2)

(b) The entrance level might be modified earthfill, or by changing the grade or the landscaping of the surrounding site;

(c) A window or another door at ground might be converted into an accessible entrance.


Notes:

(1) For existing constructions, a service entrance can be used temporarily as an accessible entrance, but it should not be the only accessible entrance.

(2) Mechanical lifts are recommended for buildings where modifications are impossible or unacceptable.

Accessible entrances connected by pathways to indoor or outdoor parking areas, transit stops and drop-off areas.
Fig. 1

 

Accessible entrances identified using international symbol of accessibility.
Fig. 2

 

Dimensions for outward opening entrance doors.
Fig. 3

 

Dimensions for entrance doors that open inward.
Fig. 4

 

Jute door mats should be avoided; when used, should be level with floor.
Fig. 5

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United Nations, 2003-04
Department of Economic and Social Affairs
Division for Social Policy and Development