Library Aisle width

Am I correct in reading the 2010 ADA Standards and the new CBC that library book stack aisles that serve both sides must be 44" wide, or 36" wide if they serve only one side based on the requirements stated in 11B-403.5.1?

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lmsaia posted:

For the 2010 ADA Standards look at figure 403.5.2.  It sounds like California is making it bigger than what the ADA Standards require.

California continues to be a leader with regards to access issues 

Is "an architectural component" defined in code? Anywhere?


A performance item (you can say it is anything you want it to be that suits your needs)?


By being "architectural" is it then required/considered to be a "part" of the building .....?

Johnathan is right on the money; this section was pulled out of Means of Egress in the UBC and dumped into the accessibility provisions of the CBC many years ago.  It was originally for aisles leading to an exit that had side aisles feeding into the main exiting aisle from one or both sides and included a requirement to increase the aisle width by 1-1/2" every 5 feet of length to the exit.  When it was put into the accessibility provisions they changed the wording and it became ridiculous; if you went into a convenience store and had a shelf with candy on one side and potato chips on a shelf on the other side of an aisle it would end up in litigation because the aisle was less than 44" wide.  Thank DSA's current staff for fixing it to relate to architectural features, not furniture or furnishings.  Book stacks typically won't qualify for this application.  Good Luck!

The 2010 CBC at 1133B.6.2 said 44" wide if serving both sides and 36" wide if serving only one side. I believe the correct application for that meant that an aisle that was fed from two sides (like a tributary into a river) had to be 44" wide. The issue has to do with egress. The requirement originates in Chapter 10, and concerns how many people would be using the aisle - - NOT whether books, products etc. are provided on both sides of an aisle.


The 2013 CBC introduces the new word, "elements", so that an aisle that serves elements on both sides must be 44" wide.


Elements is defined in Chapter 2 as:

 An architectural or mechanical component of a building, facility, space or site.


That obviously could mean more than just being fed by aisles on both sides."Elements" does not apply to books, although, I suppose it could refer to shelving as an architectural component. Pretty vague code writing if you ask me.

I don't read this anywhere in the ADA Standards.  You are correct for the reading from the 2013 CBC.


As a note, the language is in a bad code language format.  The exception is more restrictive than the base paragraph... typically an exception is less stringent not more restrictive.