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May 03 2012

ICC Code Hearings, Dallas

Category: Accessibility,EgressLori @ 3:30 pm Comments (6)

I realize that not everybody is as excited about new code developments as I am, but some of you might want to take a look or a listen…the code development hearings for the IBC/IFC are going on right now, and discussion on the Means of Egress proposals will be starting soon.  The webcast is very clear and you can get a sense of what it’s like to be at the hearings, if you’re so inclined.  🙂

Here’s a link to the live webcast that includes the Means of Egress proposals:

You can download the proposed changes regarding means of egress here – look for the pdf called “IBC-E – International Building Code – Means of Egress.”

One discussion I’m looking forward to is the one regarding proposal E62-12:

E62 – 12
1008.1.3, 1008.1.9.1 (IFC [B] 1008.1.3, 1008.1.9.1)
Proponent: John Woestman, Kellen Company, representing Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association (BHMA) (

Revise as follows:
1008.1.3 (IFC [B] 1008.1.3) Door opening force. The force for pushing or pulling open interior swinging egress doors, other than fire doors, shall not exceed 5 pounds (22 N). These forces do not apply to the force required to retract latch bolts or disengage other devices that hold the door in a closed position. For other swinging doors, as well as sliding and folding doors, the door latch shall release when subjected to a 15-pound (67 N) force. The door shall be set in motion when subjected to a 30-pound (133 N) force. The door shall swing to a full open position when subjected to a 15-pound (67 N) force.

1008.1.9.1 (IFC [B] 1008.1.9.1) Hardware. Door handles, pulls, latches, locks and other operating devices on doors required to be accessible by Chapter 11 shall not require tight grasping, tight pinching or twisting of the wrist to operate and shall not require more than a 15-pound (67 N) force to unlatch.

Reason: The proposed language in Section 1008.1.3 is intended to clarify the IBC, and to be consistent with A117.1.
The sentence proposed for 1008.1.9.1 quantifies the maximum force allowable to operate door hardware to unlatch a door which is required to be accessible. Currently, the IBC is silent regarding this requirement. This maximum force is consistent with the maximum force allowed for panic hardware and fire exit hardware (IBC Section 1008.1.10.1) commonly installed on doors required to be accessible in the means of egress.

Cost Impact: None.

The 2010 edition of the ADA contains a conflict about operating force of door hardware, and this proposal could establish intent with regard to the operating force requirements.  If it is accepted, it may help to get the issue in the ADA resolved.  Here’s the conflict in a nutshell:

Section 404.2.7 of the ADA refers to section 309.4, which states that operable parts on doors must be operable with 5 pounds of force max: 

404.2.7 Door and Gate Hardware. Handles, pulls, latches, locks, and other operable parts on doors and gates shall comply with 309.4. Operable parts of such hardware shall be 34 inches (865 mm) minimum and 48 inches (1220 mm) maximum above the finish floor or ground. Where sliding doors are in the fully open position, operating hardware shall be exposed and usable from both sides.

1. Existing locks shall be permitted in any location at existing glazed doors without stiles, existing overhead rolling doors or grilles, and similar existing doors or grilles that are designed with locks that are activated only at the top or bottom rail.
2. Access gates in barrier walls and fences protecting pools, spas, and hot tubs shall be permitted to have operable parts of the release of latch on self-latching devices at 54 inches (1370 mm) maximum above the finish floor or ground provided the self-latching devices are not also self-locking devices and operated by means of a key, electronic opener, or integral combination lock.

309.4 Operation. Operable parts shall be operable with one hand and shall not require tight grasping, pinching, or twisting of the wrist. The force required to activate operable parts shall be 5 pounds (22.2 N) maximum.
EXCEPTION: Gas pump nozzles shall not be required to provide operable parts that have an activating force of 5 pounds (22.2 N) maximum.

Section 404.2.9 states that doors must be able to be opened with 5 pounds of force, and specifically states that this does not apply to force required to retract latch bolts:

404.2.9 Door and Gate Opening Force. Fire doors shall have a minimum opening force allowable by the appropriate administrative authority. The force for pushing or pulling open a door or gate other than fire doors shall be as follows:
1. Interior hinged doors and gates: 5 pounds (22.2 N) maximum.
2. Sliding or folding doors: 5 pounds (22.2 N) maximum.
These forces do not apply to the force required to retract latch bolts or disengage other devices that hold the door or gate in a closed position.

Advisory 404.2.9 Door and Gate Opening Force. The maximum force pertains to the continuous application of force necessary to fully open a door, not the initial force needed to overcome the inertia of the door. It does not apply to the force required to retract bolts or to disengage other devices used to keep the door in a closed position.

There are other proposals concerning egress from outdoor areas like courtyards (E65), controlled egress in hospitals (E66-E69), delayed egress (E70-E75), security locking arrangements (this one will be interesting – E76), access-controlled egress doors and electromagnetically locked egress doors (E77-E83), and mag-locks on doors that require panic hardware (E84).

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6 Responses to “ICC Code Hearings, Dallas”

  1. Brad Keyes says:


    You need to get a life.

  2. Bill says:

    I hope Brad is only joking. She has a good life and helps to make mine, and others, easier. Thank you Lori.

  3. Tom Breese says:

    This is more important than it first appears. Quiet battle going on out here on the left coast, where Calif officials contend that our bldg code mandates 5lbs to retract the bolts. It doesn’t, they cite a non-applicable code section intended to regulate switches, water fountains, etc. Clarity will be very helpful. Don’t know that it’s physically/mechanically possible to get 5lbs and still meet other lock & p.h. design parameters; all accessible openings would otherwise require electrification, or some other sort of power assist, to meet accessibility requirements.

    • Lori says:

      I agree Tom – it IS important. This was discussed at the hearings this morning, and paragraph 1008.1.3 was approved by the committee and 1008.1.9.1 was removed from the code change proposal.

  4. Tony says:

    Looks all door closers will have to be set at
    # 1.
    With wind conditions, this will be impossible.
    Tony, NYC

    • Lori says:

      Hi Tony –

      The issue with this code change proposal is the force to unlatch the door – retract the latch bolt, not the closer force.

      – Lori

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