The other day, someone asked me if doors in temporary vestibules are required to be compliant with the accessibility standards and the ADA.  If you live in a part of the US that does not have huge seasonal changes in weather, you may not be familiar with these temporary vestibules.  I’ve seen them in New York City, Boston, Chicago, and other cities where winter weather drives the need for a barrier to keep restaurant patrons from being hit by a blast of cold air every time someone opens the door.

Newer buildings typically have permanent vestibules, but in some older buildings, temporary vestibules are installed during the winter months.  The doors on the vestibules often have hardware that is not commercial grade, or that does not meet the requirements for egress or accessibility.  For example, the doors may not be the proper width, or provide the required maneuvering clearance.

The question is this…are these temporary doors required to meet the requirements of the codes and standards?  I don’t see an exception in the IBC that would apply, and the ADA Standards state “these requirements shall apply to temporary and permanent buildings and facilities.”  It makes sense that the intent of the codes and standards would mean that these vestibules should comply…so why are so many of them non-compliant?

Have you run into this in your jurisdiction?  WWYD?

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