Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

Facility Standards Regarding Accessibility

Original Document November 2004 Revised Document Implemented 8 March 2018


  1. Introduction
  2. Responsibilities
  3. Design Approval Process
  4. Building Design and Construction Standards
  5. Parking Standards
  6. Furniture Standards

1.0 Introduction

Portland Community College (PCC) supports the vision that educational and employment opportunities are accessible to all persons regardless of ability. PCC expects that all new and remodeled projects will meet the most current federal and state codes regarding accessibility. This includes providing required clearances for all fixtures and furnishings. In addition to meeting minimum code standards, PCC expects that other upgrades will be included with the goal of reaching Universal Design where environments work well for people regardless of variations in ability. The Design and Construction Standards in this document will be incorporated into all new construction and improvements of any kind regardless of funding source. In alteration work, these standards will be utilized to the greatest extent where feasible.

2.0 Responsibilities

  • 2.1 Facilities Management Services (FMS) is responsible for ensuring this document is included in all work related to all maintenance, improvement, and acquisition of assets in the built environment.
  • 2.2 PCC’s Accessible Built Environment Committee (ABEC) is responsible for reviewing and revising this document with participation and collaboration of stakeholders, providing a representative to serve as liaison between the committee and project managers, and approving any waiver to the requirements in this document. ABEC shall review this document every three (3) years or as determined appropriate.
  • 2.3 All PCC personnel are responsible for adhering to the standards of this document.
  • 2.4 All consultants and contractors are responsible for adhering to the standards of this document.


3.0 Design Approval Process

The following procedure will be used for all PCC Capital Improvement Projects:

  • 3.1 Include a representative from ABEC as early as possible during preliminary project planning (for example, at Design Charrettes, Design Planning Meetings, or Temporary Relocations). The assigned ABEC Representative will be extended an invitation to attend user design meetings and be copied on design meeting minutes. A “project” requiring ABEC involvement is defined as any work that may impact accessibility issues such as required reach ranges, clear travel paths and turning circles; not to be confused with maintenance projects, IT upgrade projects, or other projects that do not affect accessibility.
  • 3.2 Require an external third party review for accessibility by an Accessibility Specialist (hired directly by PCC or contracted under the Design Consultant hired by PCC) for capital projects. The Accessibility Specialist and ABEC Representative should participate in the plan review process and construction punch-list.
  • 3.3 Include an ABEC Representative at a Page Turn Meeting and request ABEC review/input during all design review periods.
  • 3.4 Include the ABEC Representative and other ABEC members in a Job Site Visit at the 50%-60% completion point.
  • 3.5 The ABEC Representative will be included on all construction change notices that may impact accessibility. If a change impacts accessibility and does not meet PCC’s Standards, the ABEC Representative will work with the Project Manager and agree upon a solution.
  • 3.6 The Project Manager will provide drawing sets during each phase of construction and at final completion to the FMS CAD/BIM System Administrator to update the base plans and online maps in a timely manner.
  • 3.7 When a department is assigned a temporary location during alteration work, accessible features will be provided to the extent possible at the temporary site based on the time period of relocation in coordination with the Project Manager and ABEC Representative.

4.0 Building Design and Construction Standards

  • 4.1 General Elements
    • 4.1.1 All public entrances and areas, not specifically exempted, will be made accessible. To the extent possible, avoid creating multi-leveled classrooms, sunken areas, raised platforms, mezzanines, and outdoor amphitheaters. The Project Manager and ABEC Representative will collaborate as needed to determine areas that are not technically feasible.
    • 4.1.2 When designing rooms and spaces, show permanent furniture, fixtures, and equipment (e.g. accessories such as hand dryers) in the drawings to make sure these items will not encroach on accessible routes, turning spaces, and required clear floor spaces.
    • 4.1.3 Provide a minimum clear circular turning space of 67” diameter or allow for approved T-shaped turning space. Overlap of knee and toe clearance is 10” max. [ADA note: 60” diameter or T-shaped 30”x48”]
    • 4.1.4 Where a rectangle clear floor space is required, provide a minimum of 30”x52”. [ADA note: 30”x48”]
    • 4.1.5 If Fire Code requires alarm strobes to be located such that two or more are visible from the same location, ensure that the strobes are perfectly synchronized.
    • 4.1.6 Interior Routes
      • Design accessible paths on a single level to avoid having to incorporate ramps whenever possible.
      • Avoid the use of a stair climber or vertical platform lift in new construction. In existing buildings, stair climbers or vertical platform lifts may be an option for making an area accessible, but should always be the last resort.
      • Ensure that the lighting levels on ramps and stairs are at least equivalent to the lighting levels in adjacent areas.
    • 4.1.7 Reach Ranges
      • Controls for items such as automatic door openers, infrared sensors, card readers, emergency call boxes, switches, or controls placed between 18” and 46” AFF to the centerline of the outlet or object. [ADA note: 15”-48” AFF over counters up to 25” deep]
      • Controls and objects will be placed at least 18” away from inside corners of walls or cabinets to allow for wheelchair access.
      • Locate outlets at a consistent height of 18” AFF measured to the centerline of the outlet or object. [ADA note: outlets 15” AFF]
      • Items attached to walls (such as fire extinguishers, first aid kits, and defibrillators) will be mounted so that the top reach is at 46” AFF.
    • 4.1.8 Protruding Objects and Cane Detection
      • All circulation paths shall remain clear of barriers and hazards.
      • No wall-hung items shall project more than 4” from a wall when between 27” AFF and 80” AFF. Projections over 4” in that height range require cane detection.
      • Headroom clearance of at least 80” high is required along all circulation paths (except at doors and doorways where a 78” minimum clearance is permitted to accommodate door stops and closers). Fixed barriers, such as guardrails, are required where the vertical clearance is less than 80” such as at open stairways and along sloped or curved walls. Cane detection must have leading edges at or below 27” AFF so that they are within cane sweep. Curbs may be mistaken for a step or change in level, instead of cane detection for headroom obstruction. For this reason, barriers significantly higher than a curb or riser are recommended, such as a guardrail, fixed planter box, fixed bench, wall, or similar element.
    • 4.1.9 Paths of Travel
      • When building access or egress is being relocated or substantially modified, provide connections from the project site to accessible parking as well as to accessible paths of travel that connect the building to the rest of campus to ensure that an integrated campus is maintained.
      • When an accessible path of travel needs to be closed for construction purposes, the contractor will provide an alternate accessible path and signage that directs people to the nearest accessible path.
      • Whenever possible, locate items such as cleanouts, vault covers, grates, and similar items outside of the path of travel. When these items are located within the path of travel, they shall be flush with the surrounding walkway.
      • Construct alternatives to ramps (such as sidewalks and proper grading) to achieve gentler slopes.
      • Along open walkways, provide minimum of 12” of landscaping along the edges of walks that are flush with the walk or provide edge protection such as a curb. This does not apply to the street side of curbside sidewalks.
      • Bicycle parking should not encroach upon paths of travel.
      • Pavers or stamped concrete should not be used on accessible paths of travel. Pavers may be used in other areas, but will have flush joints. Stamped concrete should not have joints larger than 1/8” wide. Exceptions to be reviewed by the Project Manager and ABEC Representative.
      • Where design slopes on walks approach 5% (1:20) due to existing conditions, consider the incorporation of a ramp or ramps to provide reduced slopes along the majority of the path. Ramps may be preferred over long stretches of walks at maximum allowable grade.
      • Maximum cross slope goal shall be 1.5% (1:66.7). [ADA note: 1:48 or just over 2%. This recommendation is to ensure that, with construction tolerances, the resulting slope will be less than 2% (1:48).]
      • All exterior routes to and from parking areas to building entries and between buildings will be designed and graded in such a way that persons with mobility disabilities will be able to negotiate such areas without special assistance. Grades should meet the same standard as do ramps with landing and resting areas strategically located along regular intervals along the route.
    • 4.1.10 Ramps, Stairs, Handrails
      • Avoid curved ramps.
      • When a ramp is necessary, ramps shall have a slope goal between 5% (1:20) and 6.25% (1:16). Strive for the least amount of slope that is feasible. [ADA note: 8.33% (1:120 maximum). This recommendation is to ensure that, with construction tolerances, the resulting slope will be less than 1:12.]
      • The cross slope goal of ramps and landings shall be 1.5% (1:66.7) maximum. [ADA note: up to 2% (1:48). This recommendation is to ensure that, with construction tolerances, the resulting slope will be less than 2% (1:48).]
      • To avoid a tripping hazard, do not design a space with a single stair riser.
      • For exterior stairs, ensure that the leading edge of treads contrasts with the rest of the treads to increase visibility and safety where appropriate. Provide a contrasting strip on the leading edge of the tread that extends a total of 2” back from the leading edge of each tread. Integral, colored, cast-in-place stair nosings are preferred (yellow or white).
      • Slope treads of exterior stairs 1.5% (1:66.7) maximum slope goal toward the leading edge of the treads. [Note: This is to ensure that, with construction tolerances, the resulting slope will be less than 2% (1:48).]
      • At exterior stairs that are not part of an egress route and are wider than 8’, provide intermediate handrail(s) evenly spaced.
      • Provide continuous handrails around the perimeter of intermediate landings.
      • Install handrails with centerline of handrail at 36” above stair nosings or above ramp surface. Include handrail at 26” in locations used primarily or frequently by children. A PCC representative will provide these locations. [ADA note: 34”-38” AFF]
      • Provide continuous handrails around the perimeter of intermediate landings as structure allows.
      • When using steel pipe or tubing for railing, provide minimum wall thickness of 0.140”.
      • Handrails will be round in cross section.
    • 4.1.11 Openings
      • Consider designing interior passageways without doors.
      • Avoid doors that swing out into corridors or accessible routes of travel except where required for emergency egress. In new construction, doors that are required to open out into corridors must be fully designed within alcoves regardless of corridor width.
      • At door control devices, provide a clear floor space that is level and located outside of the swing of the door.
      • Consider path of travel and traffic flow when placing door control devices in an area.
      • Automatic door openers are required at one building entry and/or egress at every level; all multi-user restrooms when a door is necessary; and at interior areas that are considered to be high traffic general public spaces (such as cafeterias). Openers will not be placed at event centers, lecture halls, or division and department offices. Openers may be placed at single-user restrooms at the discretion of ABEC.
  • 4.2 Drinking Fountains and Water Coolers
    • 4.2.1 Provide dual height drinking fountains.
    • 4.2.2 Provide water bottle fillers on the lower unit of dual height drinking fountains.
    • 4.2.3 Provide alcoves for drinking fountains to avoid protrusion hazards. Provide required floor clearance centered on each unit. If fountains are not recessed in an alcove, provide cane detection.
  • 4.3 Spaces
    • 4.3.1 Classrooms
      • Design classrooms without ramps or lifts.
      • If elevated stages are provided, they shall be on an accessible path internal to the classroom.
      • Provide a minimum 42” clearance between aisles that lead to accessible seating.
      • Wheelchair accessible spaces should be adjacent to an accessible route.
      • A clear line of sight to the instructor and media shall be provided at wheelchair accessible spaces.
      • In classrooms with occupancy of 100 or more, wheelchair and accessible seating should be dispersed to provide a variety of viewing angles. Where fixed furniture is installed, wheelchair accessible seating shall be dispersed to the top, middle, and bottom of the classroom.
      • All accessible spaces and furniture shall be provided with signage indicating that the space is reserved for people with disabilities.
      • Spaces for wheelchair users should be a minimum of 36” wide x 52” deep (60” deep if side access).
    • 4.3.2 Laboratories
      • Provide one accessible workstation in every laboratory area and one additional station for every thirty stations or portion thereof.
    • 4.3.3 Fitness and Weight Rooms
      • Provide accessible fitness equipment that provides the same range of exercises and strength training provided by the rest of the equipment. Where feasible, provide some equipment that can be used by all individuals.
      • Provide adequate path of travel to each type of accessible exercise equipment.
    • 4.3.4 Pools
      • Provide at least two accessible means of access into all pools. At least one of these should be either a pool lift or a sloped entry.
    • 4.3.5 Kitchens and Kitchenettes
      • Where kitchen ranges or stove tops are installed, provide accessible height units with controls located near the front of the units. The exception would be in childcare areas.
      • Where a microwave is provided, locate the unit such that the face is always flush to the front edge of the counter and the top of all controls are located at a height not exceeding 43” AFF. Provide nearby surface area for food preparation.
      • Provide 40” wide minimum clear aisles, typical.
    • 4.3.6 Restrooms
      • In new construction, multi-storied buildings shall have a minimum of one accessible restroom on every floor.
      • Each new public building will have at least one single-user restroom that is fully accessible.
      • Where urinal partitions exceed 24” in length, provide 36” minimum width clearance at the urinal.
      • Toilet Accessories
        • Install a toilet paper dispenser on the nearest side wall, a minimum of 7” from the front edge of the toilet and a maximum of 36” from the back wall to the centerline of the dispenser. Locate the dispenser(s) between 19” minimum AFF and 48” maximum AFF. Install at least one toilet paper dispenser below the grab bar.
        • Mount toilet seat cover dispenser on opposite wall or partition from side grab bar. The opening should be a maximum height of 43”.
        • Mount fixtures (including hand dryers, paper towel holders, and soap dispensers) with controls at a range of 43”-46” AFF. [ADA note: up to 48”]
        • Locate paper towel dispensers and hand dryers in locations that are not within an accessible path of travel.
        • If provided, install baby changing tables so that the front is at 34” above the floor. The horizontally-oriented tables are preferred to vertically-oriented units.
    • 4.3.7 Locker Rooms
      • Provide accessible lockers on accessible routes.
      • Lockers should be located near accessible showers.
      • Accessible lockers should be located within 18”-43” reach range and be furnished with handles operable with one hand and shall not require tight grasping, pinching, or twisting of the wrist.
      • Provide full length mirrors at least 74” AFF at their topmost edge and lower edge at 6” AFF maximum to allow for wall base if needed. Provide 48” clear floor space in front of full length mirrors. Doors should not swing into this clear floor space.
      • Provide a separate area for individuals needing the assistance of a personal care attendant of the opposite gender.
    • 4.3.8 Showers
      • Install roll-in showers that are 36”x60” minimum. [ADA note: 30”x60”]
      • Provide a clear floor space of 36”x60” minimum outside of transfer shower stalls and 36”x60 minimum at roll-in shower stalls. [ADA note” 36”x48” and 30”x60”]
      • Provide a lift-track system from the mobility device into the shower.
      • Install shower controls at 43” AFF. [ADA note: 38”-48”]
      • Mount grab bars at 34” AFF. [ADA note: 33”-36”]

5.0 Parking Standards

  • 5.1 Accessible parking will be located in strategic locations on accessible routes. PCC may exceed the minimum number of parking spaces required by law and will monitor usage to determine the appropriate increase in parking needs.
  • 5.2 PCC will provide accommodated parking for individuals with a temporary disability.
  • 5.3 Parking Meters. Coin slots and credit card swipes for accessible parking spaces or pay stations that serve parking spaces shall be located at a height between 24”-43”.
  • 5.4 Electric Vehicle Charging Stations. An accessible electric vehicle charging station should have all controls at a height between 24”-43”. At least one, but no less than one in each five electric vehicle charging stations in a grouping, shall be accessible.
  • 5.5 Design of parking areas shall avoid using parallel or angled accessible parking.
  • 5.6 Access shall be provided to sidewalks and pathways leading to destinations.
  • 5.7 Driveways
    • 5.7.1 Driveways that cross sidewalks shall be designed such that the sidewalk at the top of the sloped driveway has a maximum cross slope designed to 1.5% (1:66.7) providing a continuous clear pedestrian access path.
    • 5.7.2 An option for narrow curbside sidewalks, although less desirable, would be to provide sloped 7.14% (1:14) ramps along the sidewalk on either side of the driveway (so the sidewalk is closer to the street grade) and slope the driveway up beyond the sidewalk. The sidewalk portion should have a maximum 1.5% (1:66.7) cross slope.

6.0 Furniture Standards

  • 6.1 All classrooms will have a minimum of one pneumatic height adjustable table on casters, one fully adjustable ergonomic chair with arms, and one fully adjustable ergonomic chair without arms.
  • 6.2 All computer labs and resource centers will have a minimum of one electric height adjustable table and one fully adjustable ergonomic chair without arms.
  • 6.3 In addition to the above, all classrooms with individual tablet desks will have at least one regular table and chair.
  • 6.4 Instructional podiums will meet all reach and clearance requirements as stated in other portions of this document.

Contact Information

Portland Community College Facilities Management Services, CSB 314 12000 SW 49th Ave. Portland, OR 97219

Facilities Management Services at PCC