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Opinion: Type B unit

Inquiry:

07-03

Subject:

Type B Unit

Code Reference:

SBC 1341.1004 Subp. 2

Submitted by:

CCLD

Prepared by:

Curt Wiehle, Building Code Representative

Approved by:

Thomas Anderson, State Building Official

Issue Date:

September 12, 2007

Question: 

Are kitchen counter heights required to be 34 inches maximum in height when switches and outlets are mounted on the wall above and behind the counter in Type B units?

Answer:

No.

Comments:

IBC Section 1102 defines Type B units as " ... consistent with the design and construction requirements of the federal Fair Housing Act." Page 5.8 of the Fair Housing Act Design Manual specifically addresses this issue and indicates that a standard kitchen counter height of 36 inches is acceptable. The Design Manual states that the reach range criteria for side reach over an obstruction (ANSI-2003 Section 308.3) "is in no way intended to dictate counter heights in covered dwelling units."

Therefore, according to the Fair Housing Act Design Manual, switches and outlets are allowed to be mounted 46 inches maximum above the floor when located over 24 inch maximum depth base cabinets and 36 inch maximum height counter tops.

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