I could have sworn that I had already answered this question on iDigHardware, but there are almost 2,000 posts and I can’t find one that specifically addresses this…Is there a required “hand” for a double-egress pair? 

Most double-egress pairs are left-hand-reverse x left-hand reverse (LHR x LHR)*, which looks like this:

The configuration above follows the natural traffic pattern within a corridor.  But is there a code requirement stating that the opposite handing would not be allowed?  Like this:

I have not seen a requirement in a code used in the United States that would require the LHR/LHR swing or prohibit the RHR/RHR swing.  I’m pretty sure I saw something in one of the Canadian codes, so if anyone knows of a written requirement, let me know.

With that said, I HAVE seen situations where a code official would not allow the RHR/RHR swing – the one that swings against the natural traffic flow.  This question just came up again last week, and the AHJ agreed that there is nothing specific in the code, but they would not allow the RHR/RHR swing unless there was a good reason to swing the doors this way, and some sort of assurance that the traffic flow would support the abnormal swing.

Have you had experience with this application?

*Double egress pairs may also be called RH/RH (the “normal” swing) or LH/LH (the “abnormal” swing).  If you need a refresher on door handing, here’s a video and a handy-dandy graphic!

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