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

7. VESTIBULES

1. PROBLEM IDENTIFICATION

Narrow doorways and vestibules.

2. PLANNING PRINCIPLE

To provide sufficient space to manoeuvre a wheelchair between two sets of doors.

3. DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS

3.1 General

*Vestibule entrance doors can be either the sliding type or the swinging type.

*For swinging doors, the door mechanism should allow the maximum opening swing.

3.2 Layout

*The layout of two swinging doors in a series can be one of the following:

(a) Outward-swinging (fig. 1);

(b) Double-swinging (fig. 2);

(c) Swinging in the same direction  (1) (fig. 3);

(d) Inward-swinging (fig. 4).

4. EXISTING CONSTRUCTIONS

*For narrow vestibules either of the following solutions can be employed:

(a) Replace swinging doors with sliding doors;

(b) Change the direction of the door swing so that both doors can be made to swing outwards, if possible (fig. 5).

(c) Install double-swinging doors for small exit vestibules with a minimum width of 1.20 m.

(d) Remove the inside or second door.

(e) Enlarge the existing vestibule if possible (2) (fig. 6).


Notes:

(1) Doors swinging in the same direction can be aligned, offset on opposite walls or offset on adjacent walls.

(2) This is recommended for vestibules that also serve as emergency exits because other solutions, such as changing the direction of the door swing, might not solve the problem.

Dimensions for outward swinging doors.
Fig. 1

Dimensions for double-swinging doors.
Fig. 2

Dimensions for doors swinging in the same direction.
Fig. 3

Dimensions for inward swinging doors.
Fig. 4

Change direction of door swing so both doors can swing outwards if possible.
Fig. 5

Enlarging existing vestibule.
Fig. 6

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