Log in
LEED v4
Neighborhood Development Plan
Neighborhood Pattern & Design
Visitability and universal design

LEED CREDIT

ND-Plan-v4 NPDc11: Visitability and universal design 1 point

LEEDuser’s viewpoint

Explore this LEED credit

Post your questions on this credit in the forum, and click on the credit language tab to review to the LEED requirements.

Credit language

USGBC logo

© Copyright U.S. Green Building Council, Inc. All rights reserved.

Intent

To increase the proportion of areas usable by a wide spectrum of people, regardless of age or ability.

Requirements

Case 1. projects with new dwelling units (1 point)

Design a minimum of 20% of the new dwelling units (but not less than one dwelling unit per type) in accordance with ICC A117.1, Type C, Visitable Unit, for each of the following residential building types:

  • detached single-dwelling-unit buildings;
  • attached single-dwelling-unit buildings; and
  • buildings with two or three dwelling units.

Each unit must also have a kitchen, living area, bedroom, and full bath on an accessible level.

For multiunit buildings with four or more dwelling units, design a minimum of 20% of the units (but not less than one) to meet the requirements of one of the following options. This category includes mixed-use buildings with dwelling units.

Option 1. universal design features throughout the home (1 point)

Throughout the home, include at least five of the following universal design features:

  • easy-to-grip lever door handles;
  • easy-to-grip cabinet and drawer loop handles;
  • easy-to-grip locking mechanisms on doors and windows;
  • easy-to-grip single-lever faucet handles;
  • easy-touch rocker or hands-free switches;
  • motion-detector lighting at entrance, in hallways and stairwells, and in closets, and motion-detector light switches in garages, utility spaces, and basements;
  • large, high-contrast print for controls, signals, and the house or unit numbers;
  • a built-in shelf, bench, or table with knee space below, located outside the entry door with weather protection overhead, such as porch or stoop with roof, awning, or other overhead covering;
  • a minimum 32-inch (80-centimeter) clear door opening width for all doorways;
  • tread at the entrance, on stairs, and other areas where slipping is common, with color contrast difference between stair treads and risers; and
  • interior floor surfaces (e.g., low-pile carpets, hard-surface flooring) that provide easy passage for a wheelchair or walker, with color contrast between floor surfaces and trim; no carpet is permitted in a kitchen, bathroom, or other wet areas of the dwelling unit.
  • OR

    Option 2. kitchen features (1 point)

    On the main floor of the home (or on another floor, if an elevator or stair lift is provided), provide a kitchen with hard-surface flooring, plumbing with single-lever controls, a 5-foot (1.5-meter) turning radius, and at least four of the following universal design features:

    • variable-height (28- to 42-inch [70- to 110-centimeter]) or adjustable work surfaces, such as countertops, sinks, and cooktops;
    • clear knee space under sink and cooktops (this requirement can be met by installing removable base cabinets or fold-back or self-storing doors), cooktops and ranges with front or side-mounted controls, and wall-mounted ovens at a height to accommodate a seated adult;
    • a toe kick area at the base of lower cabinets with a minimum height of 9 inches (23 centimeters), and full-extension drawers and shelves in at least half (by volume) of the cabinets;
    • contrasting color treatment between countertops, front edges, and floor;
    • adjustable-height shelves in wall cabinets; and
    • glare-free task lighting.

    OR

    Option 3. bedroom and bathroom features (1 point)

    On the main floor of the building (or on another floor, if an elevator or stair lift is provided), include all of the following:

    In at least one accessible bedroom,

    • Size the room to accommodate a twin bed with a 5-foot (1.5-meter) turning radius around the bed.
    • Install a clothes closet with a 32-inch (80-centimeter) clear opening with adjustable-height closet rods and shelves.
    • In at least one full bathroom on the same floor as the bedroom,

    • Provide adequate maneuvering space with a 30-by-48-inch (75-by-120 centimeter) clear floor space at each fixture.
    • Center the toilet 18 inches (45 centimeters) from any side wall, cabinet, or tub, and allow a 3-foot (90-centimeter) clear space in front.
    • Install broad blocking in walls around toilet, tub, and/or shower for future placement and relocation of grab bars.
    • Provide knee space under the lavatory (this requirement may be met by installing removable base cabinets or fold-back or self-storing doors).
    • Install a long mirror whose bottom is no more than 36 inches (90 centimeters) above the finished floor and whose top is at least 72 inches (180 centimeters) high.
    • In addition, all bathrooms must have hard-surface flooring, all plumbing fixtures must have single-lever controls, and tubs or showers must have hand-held showerheads.

      Case 2. projects with noncompliant routes and no new dwelling units (1 point)

      This case applies to projects that have no new residential units and are either (1) retrofitting existing public rights-of-way or publicly accessible travel routes that are not in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA, for private sector and local and state government facilities) or the Architectural Barriers Act (ABA, for federally funded facilities), or (2) building new publicly accessible travel routes that are not legally required to meet ADA-ABA accessibility guidelines.

      Design, construct, or retrofit 90% of the rights-of-way and travel routes in accordance with the ADA-ABA accessibility guidelines, as applicable, or local equivalent for projects outside the U.S., whichever is more stringent.

See all forum discussions about this credit »

What does it cost?

Cost estimates for this credit

On each BD+C v4 credit, LEEDuser offers the wisdom of a team of architects, engineers, cost estimators, and LEED experts with hundreds of LEED projects between then. They analyzed the sustainable design strategies associated with each LEED credit, but also to assign actual costs to those strategies.

Our tab contains overall cost guidance, notes on what “soft costs” to expect, and a strategy-by-strategy breakdown of what to consider and what it might cost, in percentage premiums, actual costs, or both.

This information is also available in a full PDF download in The Cost of LEED v4 report.

Learn more about The Cost of LEED v4 »

Documentation toolkit

The motherlode of cheat sheets

LEEDuser’s Documentation Toolkit is loaded with calculators to help assess credit compliance, tracking spreadsheets for materials, sample templates to help guide your narratives and LEED Online submissions, and examples of actual submissions from certified LEED projects for you to check your work against. To get your plaque, start with the right toolkit.

USGBC logo

© Copyright U.S. Green Building Council, Inc. All rights reserved.

Intent

To increase the proportion of areas usable by a wide spectrum of people, regardless of age or ability.

Requirements

Case 1. projects with new dwelling units (1 point)

Design a minimum of 20% of the new dwelling units (but not less than one dwelling unit per type) in accordance with ICC A117.1, Type C, Visitable Unit, for each of the following residential building types:

  • detached single-dwelling-unit buildings;
  • attached single-dwelling-unit buildings; and
  • buildings with two or three dwelling units.

Each unit must also have a kitchen, living area, bedroom, and full bath on an accessible level.

For multiunit buildings with four or more dwelling units, design a minimum of 20% of the units (but not less than one) to meet the requirements of one of the following options. This category includes mixed-use buildings with dwelling units.

Option 1. universal design features throughout the home (1 point)

Throughout the home, include at least five of the following universal design features:

  • easy-to-grip lever door handles;
  • easy-to-grip cabinet and drawer loop handles;
  • easy-to-grip locking mechanisms on doors and windows;
  • easy-to-grip single-lever faucet handles;
  • easy-touch rocker or hands-free switches;
  • motion-detector lighting at entrance, in hallways and stairwells, and in closets, and motion-detector light switches in garages, utility spaces, and basements;
  • large, high-contrast print for controls, signals, and the house or unit numbers;
  • a built-in shelf, bench, or table with knee space below, located outside the entry door with weather protection overhead, such as porch or stoop with roof, awning, or other overhead covering;
  • a minimum 32-inch (80-centimeter) clear door opening width for all doorways;
  • tread at the entrance, on stairs, and other areas where slipping is common, with color contrast difference between stair treads and risers; and
  • interior floor surfaces (e.g., low-pile carpets, hard-surface flooring) that provide easy passage for a wheelchair or walker, with color contrast between floor surfaces and trim; no carpet is permitted in a kitchen, bathroom, or other wet areas of the dwelling unit.
  • OR

    Option 2. kitchen features (1 point)

    On the main floor of the home (or on another floor, if an elevator or stair lift is provided), provide a kitchen with hard-surface flooring, plumbing with single-lever controls, a 5-foot (1.5-meter) turning radius, and at least four of the following universal design features:

    • variable-height (28- to 42-inch [70- to 110-centimeter]) or adjustable work surfaces, such as countertops, sinks, and cooktops;
    • clear knee space under sink and cooktops (this requirement can be met by installing removable base cabinets or fold-back or self-storing doors), cooktops and ranges with front or side-mounted controls, and wall-mounted ovens at a height to accommodate a seated adult;
    • a toe kick area at the base of lower cabinets with a minimum height of 9 inches (23 centimeters), and full-extension drawers and shelves in at least half (by volume) of the cabinets;
    • contrasting color treatment between countertops, front edges, and floor;
    • adjustable-height shelves in wall cabinets; and
    • glare-free task lighting.

    OR

    Option 3. bedroom and bathroom features (1 point)

    On the main floor of the building (or on another floor, if an elevator or stair lift is provided), include all of the following:

    In at least one accessible bedroom,

    • Size the room to accommodate a twin bed with a 5-foot (1.5-meter) turning radius around the bed.
    • Install a clothes closet with a 32-inch (80-centimeter) clear opening with adjustable-height closet rods and shelves.
    • In at least one full bathroom on the same floor as the bedroom,

    • Provide adequate maneuvering space with a 30-by-48-inch (75-by-120 centimeter) clear floor space at each fixture.
    • Center the toilet 18 inches (45 centimeters) from any side wall, cabinet, or tub, and allow a 3-foot (90-centimeter) clear space in front.
    • Install broad blocking in walls around toilet, tub, and/or shower for future placement and relocation of grab bars.
    • Provide knee space under the lavatory (this requirement may be met by installing removable base cabinets or fold-back or self-storing doors).
    • Install a long mirror whose bottom is no more than 36 inches (90 centimeters) above the finished floor and whose top is at least 72 inches (180 centimeters) high.
    • In addition, all bathrooms must have hard-surface flooring, all plumbing fixtures must have single-lever controls, and tubs or showers must have hand-held showerheads.

      Case 2. projects with noncompliant routes and no new dwelling units (1 point)

      This case applies to projects that have no new residential units and are either (1) retrofitting existing public rights-of-way or publicly accessible travel routes that are not in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA, for private sector and local and state government facilities) or the Architectural Barriers Act (ABA, for federally funded facilities), or (2) building new publicly accessible travel routes that are not legally required to meet ADA-ABA accessibility guidelines.

      Design, construct, or retrofit 90% of the rights-of-way and travel routes in accordance with the ADA-ABA accessibility guidelines, as applicable, or local equivalent for projects outside the U.S., whichever is more stringent.

See all LEEDuser forum discussions about this credit » Subscribe to new discussions about ND-Plan-v4 NPDc11