Wausau Window and Wall Systems
April 2013



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To help ensure that fresh air and a connection with the outdoors are made accessible to people with physical disabilities, windows Operating Force Test Pic capable of meeting operating force and motion requirements of ICC/ANSI A117.1 are often specified.


Many of Wausau's accessible projected windows are laboratory-proven capable of operating with one hand, using a force of five pounds or less, to unlock, open, close and lock, without tight grasping, pinching or twisting of the wrist. Maintaining Wausau's reputation for industry-leading high performance, no reductions in air, water or structural performance were necessary in laboratory testing of Wausau's accessible windows.


Helping ensure accessibility and compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), government agencies have promulgated regulations including: 

  • The U.S. Department of Justice - "ADA Standards for Accessible Design,"
  • The U.S. Access Board - "ADA and ABA Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG),"
  • The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) - "U.S. Fair Housing Act (FHA)."   
Other authorities also are requiring or recommending accessibility, including the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) and the Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD), the New York City Building Code and university housing offices. Detailed requirements vary, but all reference ICC/ANSI A117.1, "Accessible and Usable Buildings and Facilities," for window operating forces and motions.


The American Architectural Manufacturers Association's AAMA 513-12 "Standard Laboratory Test Method for Determination of Forces and Motions Required to Activate Operable Parts of CW and AW Class Operable Windows, Sliding Glass Doors and Terrace Doors in Accessible Spaces," addresses the necessary window-specific testing provisions, such as sampling, test equipment, allowable performance reductions and methodology. 


Remember, building codes represent only minimum requirements;  even if they are not required, accessible operating windows may be a highly desirable feature of the occupied spaces being designed. Skilled nursing and personal care facilities, condominiums, apartments and hotels, as well as classrooms and dormitories may all benefit from easy-to-operate accessible windows. 


Be sure to locate and detail accessible operable windows in a way that meets the "reach" limitations of ICC/ANSI A117.1. One typical diagram is shown. Different height requirements apply to "obstructed" and "front"  reach. There are also physical limits on clearances and protrusions, as    well as approach area and threshold height (for terrace doors and sliding glass doors).    


Wausau's pre-tested, accessible window product offering covers a wide spectrum of aesthetic and functional needs:

  • 2250i, 3250i and 4250i INventTM Series casement, awning, hopper and fixed windows,
  • INvent-XLT Series windows for enhanced thermal performance,
  • INvent RetroTM-XLT historical replacement windows, including simulated double-hung projected vents, and
  • 4250-Z Series Zero Sightline project-out awning and casement insert vents for curtainwall.  

Wausau's registered professional engineers help you navigate the technical and administrative details of codes and testing requirements for specific projects, ensuring compliance verification in a timely manner. All of Wausau's products support LEED® sustainable design goals.    


If you would like to discuss proper system selection in detail, Wausau's market managers are available as architectural support resources, and can be reached at education@wausauwindow.com, healthcare@wausauwindow.com,or 
or visit us in Booth #3139 at the AIA National Design Expo in Denver, Colorado, June 20-22, 2013.    





Find Wausau online at: www.wausauwindow.com, or email us at info@wausauwindow.com.
Featured Project   

Penn State Millenium Sci Comp 

Penn State Millennium Science Complex


Location: University Park, PA
Architect: Rafael Viñoly Architect; NY
Product(s) Used: SuperWall curtainwall and
ClearStory sun shades