(1) Section 1109, IBC, is amended to clarify that not every restroom installed in a building or structure is required to be accessible as long as the required facilities are accessible and reasonably available from all areas of the primary function areas of the building. Primary function area means an area of a building or facility in which a major activity for which the building or facility is designed is carried out.
(a) Subsection 1109.1, General is amended by adding the following: "When buildings or portions of buildings are required to be accessible, required building facilities shall be accessible as provided in this section. A person or entity may not be required to meet fully the accessibility requirements for buildings, in those rare circumstances where the person or entity can demonstrate that it is structurally impracticable, due to unique characteristics of terrain and/or not practicable in relation to the proposed usage of the building, as determined on a case-by-case basis, at the discretion of the building official."
(b) Subsection 1109.2, Toilet and Bathing Facilities is amended to read as follows: "Required toilet rooms and bathing facilities shall be accessible. Where a floor level is not required to be connected by an accessible route, the only toilet rooms or bathing facilities provided within the facility shall not be located on the inaccessible floor. At least one of each type of fixture, element, control, or dispenser in each accessible toilet room and bathing facility shall be accessible."
(i) A person or entity may not be required to meet fully the accessibility requirements for required toilet facilities, where the person or entity can demonstrate that it is structurally impracticable, due to unique characteristics of terrain and/or not practicable in relation to the proposed usage of the building, as determined on a case-by-case basis, at the discretion of the building official.
(c) The following examples are not intended to be inclusive of the provisions established in (a) and (b) above, but are provided to help clarify which facilities and plumbing fixtures are required to be accessible:
(i) In occupancies which include an office and a shop area, that requires one accessible restroom for employees, and the owner chooses to install an additional restroom, only one restroom is required to be accessible.
(ii) In occupancies which provide one accessible restroom and a shower is installed that is not a required fixture, the shower is not required to be accessible, even if it is located in the accessible restroom.
(d) In the new construction of establishments which serve food or beverages to be consumed on premises, on a case-by-case basis, the building official shall have the discretion to approve the installation of one unisex accessible restroom which includes a urinal, in lieu of one male and one female accessible restroom, when it can be demonstrated that due to an occupant load which will not exceed 20 seated persons, it would not be reasonable to require two separate accessible restrooms. The International Building Code shall be used to determine occupant load.
(e) In existing establishments, including those which serve food or beverages to be consumed on premises, on a case-by-case basis, the building official shall have the discretion to approve the addition of one unisex accessible restroom or to allow the alteration of the two existing restrooms to make one restroom single occupant unisex accessible and the other restroom single occupant unisex, when it can be demonstrated that it would be impractical to alter the existing facilities to include two separate accessible restrooms, one male and one female. In establishments which serve food or beverages to be consumed on premises, which provide two single occupant unisex restrooms, the unisex accessible restroom shall have a urinal.
(f) Business or commercial occupancies which are open to the public and located in portions of a private residence are required to be accessible even if those portions used for the business or commercial purposes are also used for residential purposes. The accessibility requirements extend to and include an accessible route from the sidewalk, through the doorway, through the hallway and other portions of the home, such as restrooms, used by clients and customers of the business or commercial occupancy.