The typical height for a dutch door shelf is usually 39-42 inches above the floor. It can be tricky to coordinate the latching hardware in the bottom leaf – the lever handle is often mounted in a lower location than normal. For doors on an accessible route and doors in a means of egress, operable hardware has to be mounted between 34 inches and 48 inches above the floor (some codes and standards exempt locks used only for security purposes from this mounting height). Given the typical shelf location and required hardware location, this can be done if coordinated properly. However, I have had several questions lately regarding the shelf height required by the accessibility standards.
According to the 2010 ADA Standards, a sales and service counter is required to be no more than 36 inches above the floor. With a shelf mounted at this height, operable hardware in the bottom leaf of the dutch door could not be within the required height range of 34-48 inches above the floor without conflicting with the dutch door shelf. The question is whether a dutch door shelf is a counter or a shelf, by ADA standards. Although the ADA standards don’t reference dutch door shelves specifically, other types of shelves may be mounted between 40 and 48 inches above the floor. If a dutch door shelf is considered a shelf, it is possible to meet the requirements for the shelf height and the hardware height, but the purpose of most dutch doors used in commercial and institutional applications is more like a sales and service counter than a shelf.
WWYD to ensure that a dutch door shelf and the operable hardware meet the accessibility standards?
The Steel Door Institute publishes a standard for dutch doors – SDI 111-B, which can be downloaded at www.steeldoor.org (click on SDI 111-09).