Michael Ellars

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Michael Ellars, AIA, APX, CSI, CDT, LEED AP, CASp

Chapter 11B, Division 7 (Communication Elements and Features)

2013 CBC Revisions:
Intervening Code Cycle


Chapter 11B, Division 7 (Communication Elements and Features) 

Tactile Sign Location at Doors

11B-703 Signs

11B-703.4 Installation height and location.

11B-703.4.2 Location. Where a tactile sign is provided at a door, … . Signs containing tactile characters shall be located so that a clear floor space of 18 inches (457 mm) minimum by 18 inches (457 mm) minimum, centered on the tactile characters, is provided beyond the arc of any door swing between the closed position and 45 degree open position. Where permanent identification signage is provided for rooms and spaces they shall be located on the approach side of the door as one enters the room or space. Signs that identify exits shall be located on the approach side of the door as one exits the room or space. Where provided, signs identifying permanent rooms and spaces shall be located at the entrance to, and outside of the room or space. Where provided, signs identifying exits shall be located at the exit door when approached in the direction of egress travel.

Exception: Reserved. In alterations where sign installation locations identified in Section 11B-703.4.2 are obstructed or otherwise unavailable for sign installation, signs with tactile characters shall be permitted on the push side of doors with closers and without hold-open devices.

Clarified California amendment language and reinstated the 2010 ADA Standards exception with further California amendment.

International Symbol of Accessibility

11B-703.7.2.1 International Symbol of Accessibility. The International Symbol of Accessibility shall comply with Figure 11B-703.7.2.1. The symbol shall consist of a white figure on a blue background. The blue shall be Color No. 15090 in Federal Standard 595B. The color blue shall approximate FS 15090 in Federal Standard 595C.

Exceptions:
1.
The appropriate enforcement agency may approve other colors to complement décor or unique design. The symbol contrast shall be light on dark or dark on light. provided the symbol contrast is light on dark or dark on light.
2. On the accessibility function button on hall call consoles in a destination-oriented elevator system the International Symbol of Accessibility shall be a white symbol on a black background.

Clarified color selections and added Exception for destination-oriented elevators.

Variable Message Signs

New Section 11B-703.8 for variable message signs based on Section 1110.4 of the 2012 International Building Code (not otherwise adopted by California) and ANSI/ICC A117.1-2009.

Related Definition Revisions

VARIABLE MESSAGE SIGNS (VMS). [DSA-AC]
Electronic signs that have a message with the capacity to change by means of scrolling, streaming, or paging across a background.
VARIABLE MESSAGE SIGN (VMS) CHARACTERS. [DSA-AC]
Characters of an electronic sign are composed of pixels in an array. High resolution VMS characters have vertical pixel counts of 16 rows or greater. Low resolution VMS characters have vertical pixel counts of 7 to 15 rows.

11B-703.8 Variable message signs.

11B-703.8.1 General. High resolution variable message sign (VMS) characters shall comply with Sections 11B-703.5 and 11B-703.8.12 through 11B-703.8.14. Low resolution variable message sign (VMS) characters shall comply with Section 11B-703.8.

11B-703.8.2 Case. Low resolution VMS characters shall be uppercase.

11B-703.8.3 Style. Low resolution VMS characters shall be conventional in form, shall be sans serif, and shall not be italic, oblique, script, highly decorative, or of other unusual forms.

11B-703.8.4 Character height. The uppercase letter “I” shall be used to determine the allowable height of all low resolution VMS characters of a font. Viewing distance shall be measured as the horizontal distance between the character and an obstruction preventing further approach towards the sign. The uppercase letter “I” of the font shall have a minimum height complying with Table 11B-703.8.4.

Exception: In assembly seating where the maximum viewing distance is 100 feet (30.5 m) or greater, the height of the uppercase “I” of low resolution VMS fonts shall be permitted to be 1 inch (25 mm) for every 30 feet (9144 mm) of viewing distance, provided the character height is 8 inches (203 mm) minimum. Viewing distance shall be measured as the horizontal distance between the character and where someone is expected to view the sign.

TABLE 11B-703.8.4
LOW RESOLUTION VMS CHARACTER HEIGHT

HEIGHT ABOVE FLOOR TO BASELINE OF CHARACTER HORIZONTAL VIEWING DISTANCE MINIMUM CHARACTER HEIGHT
40 inches (1016 mm) to less than or equal to 70 inches (1778 mm) Less than 10 feet (3048 mm) 2 inches (51 mm)
10 feet (3048 mm) and greater 2 inches (51 mm), plus 1/5 inch (5.1 mm) per foot (305 mm) of viewing distance above 10 feet (3048 mm)
Greater than 70 inches (1778 mm) to less than or equal to 120 inches (3048 mm) Less than 15 feet (4572 mm) 3 inches (76 mm)
15 feet (4572 mm) and greater 3 inches (76 mm), plus 1/5 inch (5.1 mm) per foot (305 mm) of viewing distance above 15 feet (4572 mm)
Greater than 120 inches (3048 mm) Less than 20 feet (6096 mm) 4 inches (102 mm)
20 feet (6096 mm) and greater 4 inches (102 mm), plus 1/5 inch (5.1 mm) per foot (305 mm) of viewing distance above 20 feet (6096 mm)

11B-703.8.5 Character width. The uppercase letter “O” shall be used to determine the allowable width of all low resolution VMS characters of a font. Low resolution VMS characters shall comply with the pixel count for character width in Table 11B-703.8.5.

TABLE 11B-703.8.5
PIXEL COUNT FOR LOW RESOLUTION VMS SIGNAGE

CHARACTER HEIGHT CHARACTER WIDTH RANGE STROKE WIDTH RANGE CHARACTER SPACING RANGE
75-612
86-71-22-3
96-81-22-3
107-922-4
118-1022-4
128-1123-4
139-122-33-5
1410-132-33-5
1511-142-33-5

11B-703.8.6 Stroke width. The uppercase letter “I” shall be used to determine the allowable stroke width of all low resolution VMS characters of a font. Low resolution VMS characters shall comply with the pixel count for stroke width in Table 11B-703.8.5.

11B-703.8.7 Character spacing. Spacing shall be measured between the two closest points of adjacent low resolution VMS characters within a message, excluding word spaces. Low resolution VMS character spacing shall comply with the pixel count for character spacing in Table 11B-703.8.5.

11B-703.8.8 Line spacing. Low resolution VMS characters shall comply with Section 11B-703.5.9.

11B-703.8.9 Height above floor. Low resolution VMS characters shall be 40 inches (1016 mm) minimum above the floor of the viewing position, measured to the baseline of the character. Heights of low resolution variable message sign characters shall comply with Table 11B-703.8.4, based on the size of the characters on the sign.

11B-703.8.10 Finish. The background of low resolution VMS characters shall have a nonglare finish.

11B-703.8.11 Contrast. Low resolution VMS characters shall be light characters on a dark background.

11B-703.8.12 Protective covering. Where a protective layer is placed over VMS characters through which the VMS characters must be viewed, the protective covering shall have a nonglare finish.

11B-703.8.13 Brightness. The brightness of variable message signs in exterior locations shall automatically adjust in response to change in ambient light levels.

11B-703.8.14 Rate of change. Where a VMS message can be displayed in its entirety on a single screen, it shall be displayed on a single screen and shall remain motionless on the screen for a minimum 3 seconds or 1 second minimum for every seven characters of the message including spaces, whichever is longer.

Detectable Warning Color and Contrast

11B-705.1 Detectable warnings

11B-705.1.1.3 Color and contrast. Detectable warning surfaces at transit boarding platform edges, bus stops, hazardous vehicular areas, reflecting pools, and track crossings shall comply with Section 11B-705.1.1.3.1. Detectable warnings at other locations shall comply with either Section 11B-705.1.1.3.1 or Section 11B-705.1.1.3.2. The material used to provide visual contrast shall be an integral part of the surface.

11B-705.1.1.3.1 Detectable warning surfaces shall be yellow and approximate FS 33538 of Federal Standard 595C.

11B-705.1.1.3.2 Detectable warning surfaces shall provide a 70 percent minimum visual contrast visually with adjacent walking surfaces either light-on-dark, or dark-on-light. The material used to provide contrast shall be an integral part of the surface. Contrast in percent shall be determined by:

Contrast percent = [(B1-B2)/B1] × 100 where
B1 = light reflectance value (LRV) of the lighter area and
B2 = light reflectance value (LRV) of the darker area.

Exception: Where the detectable warning surface does not adequately contrast with provide a 70 percent minimum contrast with adjacent walking surfaces, a 1-inch (25 mm) wide minimum black strip visually contrasting surface shall separate the yellow detectable warning from adjacent walking surfaces. The visually contrasting surface shall contrast with both the detectable warning and adjacent walking surfaces either light-on-dark, or dark-on-light.

11B-705.1.1.4 Resiliency.

11B-705.1.1.5 Color. Detectable warning surfaces shall be yellow conforming to FS 33538 of Federal Standard 595C.

Exception: Detectable warning surfaces at curb ramps, islands or cut-through medians shall not be required to comply with Section 11B-705.1.1.5.

Combined and revised Sections 11B-705.1.1.3 and 11B-705.1.1.5 for greater clarity and consistency. Note that “federal yellow” is the only approved color for detectable warnings in California; DSA “recognizes the high detectability of federal yellow in situations wehre the calculated contrast is less than 70 percent.” Research by USDOT demonstrates that federal yellow detectable wrnings were “detected at a rate which was not significantly different from 100%” and that federal yellow was subectively chosen most frequently by study participants as “the single best contrast.”

Detectable Warning Width

11B-705.1.2.2 Curb ramps. … Detectable warnings shall extend the full width of the ramp run less 2 inches (51 mm) maximum on each side, excluding any flared sides. …

Exception: On parallel curb ramps, detectable warnings shall be placed on the turning space at the flush transition between the street and sidewalk. Detectable warnings shall extend the full width of the turning space at the flush transition between the street and the sidewalk less 2 inches (51 mm) maximum on each side.

11B-705.1.2.3 Islands or cut-through medians. Detectable warnings at pedestrian islands or cut-through medians shall be 36 inches (914 mm) minimum in depth extending the full width of the pedestrian path or cut-through less 2 inches (51 mm) maximum on each side, placed at the edges of the pedestrian island or cut-through median, and shall be separated by 24 inches (610 mm) minimum of walking surface without detectable warnings. …

11B-705.1.2.4 Bus stops. When detectable warnings are provided at bus stop pads, it shall be 36 inches (914 mm) in width boarding and alighting areas, the detectable warnings shall extend the full width of the boarding/alighting area and shall be 36 inches (914 mm) minimum in depth.

Clarified minimum extent of detectable warnings at curb ramps, islands, medians, and bus stops.

Detectable Direction Texture Color

11B-705.2 Detectable directional texture. Detectable directional texture at transit boarding platforms shall comply with Figure 11B-705.2 … The color shall be yellow conforming to Federal Color No. 33538 and approximate FS 33538 of Federal Standard 595C. This surface will be placed … .

Clarified that the yellow color of detectale directional textures at transit boarding platforms need only “approximate” FS 33538 of Federal Standard 595C. However, it must still be yellow.