Last week I received this photo from Terry Crump of Butler Doors, asking about the code-compliance of the exit.  The crazy thing is…I wrote the hardware spec!  🙂  This door is an emergency exit in one of the galleries at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas.  It was a tough project to specify hardware for, but I love a challenge.  I haven’t been to see the museum in person yet, but Terry said the hardware looks great (the buildings too!).  There’s a video about the project here.

So…I know that this door opening was approved by the AHJ.  I remember that the door was flush to the wall (this usually requires special hinges) and had a recessed Von Duprin Inpact device.  I hadn’t seen the color, but I’m not surprised that the door matches the wall.  It looks like the “emergency exit” text has been added to the panic.

The International Building Code (IBC) says:  “Means of egress doors shall be readily distinguishable from the adjacent construction and finishes such that the doors are easily recognizable as doors.”  However, the US model codes do not offer prescriptive requirements to clarify what would be considered readily distinguishable.  There are no specifics about color contrast or whether the push-side face of the door and the wall can be in the same plane.  That means it is left up to the AHJ to decide, and in this case, the exit was deemed acceptable.  Do you agree?

My specwriting days are over, but I have more than 100 coworkers who can help with your hardware specifications…if you’re not connected with your local Allegion project coordinator, you can send a message here.

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