The International Code Council (ICC), which develops standards for safe and sustainable buildings, has approved changes to restroom standards.
Who is the ICC?
The ICC is a 64,000 member organization focused on building codes and standards worldwide. Their International Building Code standards are the most widely used set of building safety codes. The ICC is also the group that helps establish federal, state, and municipal construction standards.
At the recommendation of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the National Center for Transgender Equality, the ICC is updating their standards to include a requirement for single-stall restrooms and other gender neutral facilities.
According to LGBTQ Nation, the first proposal was approved this week. It mandates that all single-stall restrooms must be shown to be available to all users, not a particular gender.
The second approved proposal allows for multi-stall gender neutral facilities, with a shared sink area and private stalls for each toilet.
These new provisions will make it so everyone — including trans and nonbinary people, disabled people, and families with small children — will be able to access a restroom.
‘The American Institute of Architects is proud to have taken a proactive public stance to ensure bathroom accessibility for all,’ CEO of the AIA, Robert Ivy, told LGBTQ Nation.
‘As architects, we are responsible for the health, safety and welfare of all citizens in the built environment. With pragmatic solutions, we can better serve and accommodate a variety of community needs. The code proposals are but one step in the right direction to enable access for all.’
The problem in building codes
Ivy is not the only architect that found problems with the existing building codes.
‘In my teaching and in my practice, I’ve become increasingly aware that the “default user” of architecture is basically a white, able-bodied, cisgendered male. And we tend to disregard other, non-conforming bodies,’ architect and Yale professor Joel Sanders told Architectural Digest.
Many other architects are working on finding solutions to this restroom dilemma. Stalled! is one example. This project is led by both architects and activists to ensure the creation of ‘safe, sustainable, and inclusive public restrooms.’