Chapter 9: Built-In Elements

901 General

901.1 Scope.  The provisions of Chapter 9 shall apply where required by Chapter 2 or where referenced by a requirement in this document.

902 Dining Surfaces and Work Surfaces

902.1 General.  Dining surfaces and work surfaces shall comply with 902.2 and 902.3.

EXCEPTION:  Dining surfaces and work surfaces for children's use shall be permitted to comply with 902.4.

Advisory 902.1 General. Dining surfaces include, but are not limited to, bars, tables, lunch counters, and booths. Examples of work surfaces include writing surfaces, study carrels, student laboratory stations, baby changing and other tables or fixtures for personal grooming, coupon counters, and where covered by the ABA scoping provisions, employee work stations.

902.2 Clear Floor or Ground Space.  A clear floor space complying with 305 positioned for a forward approach shall be provided.  Knee and toe clearance complying with 306 shall be provided.

902.3 Height.  The tops of dining surfaces and work surfaces shall be 28 inches (710 mm) minimum and 34 inches (865 mm) maximum above the finish floor or ground.

902.4 Dining Surfaces and Work Surfaces for Children's Use.  Accessible dining surfaces and work surfaces for children's use shall comply with 902.4.

EXCEPTION:  Dining surfaces and work surfaces that are used primarily by children 5 years and younger shall not be required to comply with 902.4 where a clear floor or ground space complying with 305 positioned for a parallel approach is provided.

902.4.1 Clear Floor or Ground Space.  A clear floor space complying with 305 positioned for forward approach shall be provided.  Knee and toe clearance complying with 306 shall be provided, except that knee clearance 24 inches (610 mm) minimum above the finish floor or ground shall be permitted.

902.4.2 Height.  The tops of tables and counters shall be 26 inches (660 mm) minimum and 30 inches (760 mm) maximum above the finish floor or ground.

903 Benches

903.1 General.  Benches shall comply with 903.

903.2 Clear Floor or Ground Space.  Clear floor or ground space complying with 305 shall be provided and shall be positioned at the end of the bench seat and parallel to the short axis of the bench.

903.3 Size.  Benches shall have seats that are 42 inches (1065 mm) long minimum and 20 inches (510 mm) deep minimum and 24 inches (610 mm) deep maximum.

903.4 Back Support.  The bench shall provide for back support or shall be affixed to a wall.  Back support shall be 42 inches (1065 mm) long minimum and shall extend from a point 2 inches (51 mm) maximum above the seat surface to a point 18 inches (455 mm) minimum above the seat surface.  Back support shall be 2 1/2 inches (64 mm) maximum from the rear edge of the seat measured horizontally.

Advisory 903.4 Back Support.  To assist in transferring to the bench, consider providing grab bars on a wall adjacent to the bench, but not on the seat back.  If provided, grab bars cannot obstruct transfer to the bench.

Figure 903.4 Bench Back Support
Figure (a) is an elevation drawing of a bench with a back.  The bottom edge of the back is 2 inches (51 mm) maximum above the seat surface and the top edge of the back is 18 inches (455 mm) above the seat surface.  Figure (b) shows the distance between the rear edge of the seat and the front face of the back support as 2  inches (64 mm) maximum.

903.5 Height.  The top of the bench seat surface shall be 17 inches (430 mm) minimum and 19 inches (485 mm) maximum above the finish floor or ground.

903.6 Structural Strength.  Allowable stresses shall not be exceeded for materials used when a vertical or horizontal force of 250 pounds (1112 N) is applied at any point on the seat, fastener, mounting device, or supporting structure.

903.7 Wet Locations.  Where installed in wet locations, the surface of the seat shall be slip resistant and shall not accumulate water. 

904 Check-Out Aisles and Sales and Service Counters

904.1 General.  Check-out aisles and sales and service counters shall comply with the applicable requirements of 904.

904.2 Approach.  All portions of counters required to comply with 904 shall be located adjacent to a walking surface complying with 403.

Advisory 904.2 Approach.  If a cash register is provided at the sales or service counter, locate the accessible counter close to the cash register so that a person using a wheelchair is visible to sales or service personnel and to minimize the reach for a person with a disability.

904.3 Check-Out Aisles.  Check-out aisles shall comply with 904.3.

904.3.1 Aisle.  Aisles shall comply with 403.

904.3.2 Counter.  The counter surface height shall be 38 inches (965 mm) maximum above the finish floor or ground.  The top of the counter edge protection shall be 2 inches (51 mm) maximum above the top of the counter surface on the aisle side of the check-out counter.

Figure 904.3.2 Check-Out Aisle Counters
A counter surface is shown in elevation with a maximum height of 38 inches (965 mm) above the floor or ground and with edge protection above the surface that is 2 inches (51 mm) high maximum.

904.3.3 Check Writing Surfaces.  Where provided, check writing surfaces shall comply with 902.3.

904.4 Sales and Service Counters.  Sales counters and service counters shall comply with 904.4.1 or 904.4.2.  The accessible portion of the counter top shall extend the same depth as the sales or service counter top.

EXCEPTION:  In alterations, when the provision of a counter complying with 904.4 would result in a reduction of the number of existing counters at work stations or a reduction of the number of existing mail boxes, the counter shall be permitted to have a portion which is 24 inches (610 mm) long minimum complying with 904.4.1 provided that the required clear floor or ground space is centered on the accessible length of the counter.

Figure 904.4 (Exception) Alteration of Sales and Service Counters
A plan view shows a portion of a counter 24 inches (610 mm) long minimum at which is centered the long dimension of clear floor or ground space.

904.4.1 Parallel Approach.  A portion of the counter surface that is 36 inches (915 mm) long minimum and 36 inches (915 mm) high maximum above the finish floor shall be provided.  A clear floor or ground space complying with 305 shall be positioned for a parallel approach adjacent to the 36 inch (915 mm) minimum length of counter.

EXCEPTION:  Where the provided counter surface is less than 36 inches (915 mm) long, the entire counter surface shall be 36 inches (915 mm) high maximum above the finish floor.

904.4.2 Forward Approach.  A portion of the counter surface that is 30 inches (760 mm) long minimum and 36 inches (915 mm) high maximum shall be provided.  Knee and toe space complying with 306 shall be provided under the counter.  A clear floor or ground space complying with 305 shall be positioned for a forward approach to the counter.

904.5 Food Service Lines.  Counters in food service lines shall comply with 904.5.

904.5.1 Self-Service Shelves and Dispensing Devices.  Self-service shelves and dispensing devices for tableware, dishware, condiments, food and beverages shall comply with 308.

904.5.2 Tray Slides.  The tops of tray slides shall be 28 inches (710 mm) minimum and 34 inches (865 mm) maximum above the finish floor or ground.

904.6 Security Glazing.  Where counters or teller windows have security glazing to separate personnel from the public, a method to facilitate voice communication shall be provided. Telephone handset devices, if provided, shall comply with 704.3.

Advisory 904.6 Security Glazing.  Assistive listening devices complying with 706 can facilitate voice communication at counters or teller windows where there is security glazing which promotes distortion in audible information. Where assistive listening devices are installed, place signs complying with 703.7.2.4 to identify those facilities which are so equipped.  Other voice communication methods include, but are not limited to, grilles, slats, talk-through baffles, intercoms, or telephone handset devices.