Accessible Design in Public Housing: NYCHA Staff Training Program

Version 4.0 July 9, 2001

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Edward Steinfeld and Danise Levine, 2001
Additional information
Dwelling Units
Sink: Section


ksink.jpg (80618 bytes)
Figure 1

Is the sink and surrounding counter mounted no more than 34 inches above the floor measured from the floor to the top of the counter?

Is the sink and counter area at least 30 inches wide? (see Figure 1)

A shallower sink provides more knee clearance underneath the sink. The depth of the sink should be measured from the top of the counter. Many sinks have reveals around the top that can be recessed about 1/2 in.. Some manufacturers do not count this reveal when reporting the depth.  
Is the sink depth a maximum of 6.5 inches? (see Figure 1)
Note: Only one bowl of a double or triple bowl sink needs to meet this requirement.

Section; 4.27.4;
Example of faucet use

This kitchen faucet is easily operable with one hand.

This kitchen faucet is an example of one that is not easy to operate because the handles require a grasping and twisting of the wrist.


Kitchen faucet
Figure 2

Are the faucets operable with one hand, and do they not require any tight grasping, pinching, or twisting of the wrist?

This requirement allows the arms 
of a wheelchair to slide under the countertop. Supporting structure includes any cross pieces of cabinetry under the countertop. 
Such structural support should be 
set back to the face of the sink. 
Then it is out of the way. Since the sink can be 6.5 in. deep anyway, moving structural support to the 
face of the sink does not reduce accessibility.  
Is the counter and supporting structure 2 inches thick or less? (see Figure 1)

Example of forward approach to sink

There is enough clearance in front of the sink to allow a forward approach to the 
Sink clear space
Figure 3

Is there 30 x 48 inches clear floor space allowing a forward approach to the sink?





The second part of this requirement only allows part of the clearance depth under the counter to be counted toward the 48 in. clear depth required.  

The counter may not overlap the required clear floor area more than 19".

Clear knee space
Figure 4

Is there a clear knee space 30 inches wide under the counter (See Fig. 3)? 
Does this space overlap the counter area by no more than 19" (Figs. 3 and 4)?

Removable base cabinets can be identified by finding visible screws that are used to unfasten the lower shelf from the base underneath and by a visible seam between the door frame and the cabinet carcass. 
If provided, are base cabinets at the sink removable to provide at least a 30 inch wide knee space under the sink and surrounding counter? (see Figure 4)

Does the finished floor extend under the counter to the wall? (see Figure 4)

Under sink protection
This vinyl undersink enclosure eliminates the need to insulate piping and offers protection to people in wheelchairs while maintaining knee clearance.  
Surface under sink
Figure 5

Is the underside of the sink free from sharp or abrasive surfaces?

Are the hot water and drain pipes insulated or otherwise covered? (see Figure 5)

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