Significant changes to bottle filling stations in the 2021 International Building Code
The 2021 Significant Changes guides are available for the International Building, Residential, Fire, Energy Conservation, Plumbing, Mechanical and Fuel Gas Codes. This valuable series can help any code user save time by zeroing in on the most critical changes in the 2021 International Codes. The Code Council’s technical experts provide summaries, analysis and graphics for these changes making them clear and easy to understand.
2021 International Building Code
An addition to Section 1110.6 (Bottle Filling Stations) states that where provided, bottle filling stations must now be accessible.
Water bottle-filling stations are becoming a common feature in an effort to reduce the use of disposable bottles. While some of the bottle-filling stations are installed independently, the majority of them are typically located in conjunction with drinking fountains. It is important to note that this new requirement will not require the bottle filling stations to be installed but will ensure they are made accessible “where . . . provided.”
Section 602.4 of the ICC A117.1 standard contains the technical requirements to make the bottle-filling stations accessible, addressing the need for a clear floor space for either a forward or side approach and controls that comply with the general operable parts requirements of ICC A117.1, Section 309.
Where bottle-filling stations are located over a drinking fountain, the accessible element will need to be located over the drinking fountain in a manner that meets the required reach ranges for persons using a wheelchair (A117.1, Section 602.2). Where bottle fillers are provided over both the high and the low drinking fountains, the bottle-filling station over the drinking fountain installed for standing persons is not required to be accessible. Bottle fillers over both drinking fountains creates a redundant condition and therefore, it reasonably does not need to be made accessible.
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