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Interior Passage

Francis Vineyard

Registered User
Joined
Jan 1, 2010
Messages
3,113
Location
Charlottesville, VA
There was a meeting in June, 2016, to discuss how Section R311.2.1 should be amended for the 2015 VA-IRC. The stakeholders, including home builders and government, rewrote the interior passage section which would hopefully eliminate the confusion. This was a compromise among all of the participants. It was drafted and submitted to DHCD – and I believe was approved for the consent agenda for the BHCD.

It moved Interior Passage out of R311.2.1 and created a new section R329. This is what the new version says:

Section R329 Interior passage

R329.1 General. This section applies to new dwelling units that have both a kitchen and a living area on the same floor level as the egress door required by Section R311.2. This section is not applicable to ADDITIONS, reconstruction, alteration, or repair.

R329.2 Kitchen. One interior passage route from the egress door to the kitchen shall comply with R329.6.

R329.3 Living area. One interior passage route from the egress door to at least one living area shall comply with R329.6.

R329.4 Bedroom. Where the dwelling unit has a bedroom on the same floor level as the egress door, one interior passage route from the egress door to at least one bedroom shall comply with R329.6.

R329.5 Bathroom. Where a dwelling unit has a bathroom on that same floor level as the egress door, and the bathroom contains a water closet, lavatory, and bathtub or shower, one interior passage route from the egress door to at least one bathroom shall comply with R329.6. Bathroom fixture clearances shall comply with R307 and access to fixtures is not required to comply with R329.6.

R329.6 Opening widths. Opening widths along the interior passage route required by this section shall comply with the following.
1. Cased openings shall provide a minimum 34-inch clear width.
2. A door shall be a nominal 34-inch minimum width. Double doors may be used to comply with this requirement.

Note: the last sentence of 329.5 says that the toilet fixtures only have to comply with R307 clearances, and hence the door to the toilet compartment does not have to be 2′-10″. While it might not be easy to understand, it is what the stakeholders compromised.

Note also that all the language about doorways at the “end and facing” corridors has been deleted. The significance of this is: the builder might have to widen the hallways or move walls to accommodate the 2′-10″ door if his trim package would not otherwise fit.



https://vbcoa.org/forums/topic/interior-passage-2/#post-6597
 

Paul Sweet

Sawhorse
Joined
Oct 17, 2009
Messages
1,571
Location
Richmond, VA
I think it should be amended out of the code. A 30" door is adequate for a walker (I know because I had to use one for a while after my knee replacement). If I get confined to a wheelchair when I get older I would not want to stay in a house that I have to clean with a yard that I have to maintain (or pay somebody else to do it for me).

If a person wants to have their house set up for wheelchair access that is their business, but the code shouldn't force everybody to do it.
 

JCraver

Sawhorse
Joined
Feb 20, 2014
Messages
770
Location
Southern IL
I think it should be amended out of the code. A 30" door is adequate for a walker (I know because I had to use one for a while after my knee replacement). If I get confined to a wheelchair when I get older I would not want to stay in a house that I have to clean with a yard that I have to maintain (or pay somebody else to do it for me).

If a person wants to have their house set up for wheelchair access that is their business, but the code shouldn't force everybody to do it.


Agreed.

Firefighters will fit through an opening smaller than 30", too. They've been doing it forever. Yet another code solution in search of a problem.
 
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