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2024 International Building Code Explained

Adult Changing Tables Will Soon be Required 

To address the lack of adult changing stations in the community, the International Code Council (ICC) A117 committee established a task group including ADA experts, advocates/caregivers, code officials, suppliers of the tables, and architects to develop code change (approved to be included in the 2024 International Building Code (IBC) and specifications (published as part of the next edition of the ICC A117.1 accessibility standard in 2023). 

This page explains the building code. To view the exact building code language, click here.


Helpful Definitions:

A water closet means a toilet stall or a urinal. 

Aggregate means when added all together, the total number of water closets in a given building. 

Where Will Adult Changing Tables Be Required?

The following locations will be required to install Universal changing tables according to the 2024 International Building Code.

  • Assembly and mercantile locations that require a total of 6 or more male and female water closets. (Including, but not limited to movie theaters, concert halls, banquet halls, casinos,  swimming pools, lecture halls, museums, places of worship, arenas, skating rinks, stadiums, amusement parks, airports, department stores, shopping malls, etc.)

  • College or university business occupancies, where an aggregate of 12 or more male and female water closets/urinals are provided on any floor in a building. 

  • Elementary & high school educational occupancies with an assembly use, where 6 or more male and female water closets is required for that assembly use. (e.g., high school basketball gymnasiums where the number of occupants in the seating would require 6 or more water closets).

  • Highway rest stops and service plazas (e.g., the rest stops provided directly on the major highway — not the rest stops at exits).

  • Located such that a person is no more than two stories above or below the story with the adult changing station and the accessible path of travel to such a facility shall not exceed 2000 feet. In large facilities, such as airports or sports arenas, this would be an adult changing station in approximately half of the family/assisted use toilet rooms.

  • The required accessible routes to adult changing stations shall not pass through security checkpoints.

  • Required universal changing tables (those located in NEW building occupancies listed above) must be located in a family/assisted care restroom, also known as a single-user restroom. 

  • Non-required universal changing tables (those installed where the building code does not require it, such as in pre-existing buildings) may be located in a single-user, multi-user, family, assisted use toilet or bathing rooms. If located in multi-user toilet rooms, privacy must be provided.

Changing Table and Restroom Specifications 

  • The following specifications have been discussed and a committee has been formed by the International Association of Plumbers and Mechanics to finalize safety standards for adult changing stations.

  • The changing surface must be at least 70 in. X 30 in. and comprised of non-porous and durable materials

  • The changing surface must be height-adjustable from at least 17 in. to 38 in. above the floor.

  • There must be at least 36 in. of clearance on the long side of the table, and 36 in. on one short side of the table. 

  • The changing table must include a side rail for safety, a minimum of ⅔ the length of the changing surface and centered.  Rail must be capable of being raised and lowered, with it locking in the raised position. It must extend at least 5 in. above the surface of the table. When lowered, should not be in way of transferring individual

  • Safety belts are highly recommended for the safety of individuals who move or have seizures.

  • Capacity – allowable stresses for materials, fastening mounting devices, and support structure shall support a downward force of not less than 400 lbs applied to any point on the changing surface.

Single-user Restrooms (such as a family/companion care bathroom) must contain:

Dispenser for soap

Hand towel dispenser or hand dryer

Coat hook located in proximity to the changing surface

Waste receptacle

Signage indicating Adult changing station provided at entrance to the room

For large buildings where an adult changing station is required, it must be located in a single-user restroom, unless it is an additional changing station they are installing which goes above and beyond what is required.

Multi-user toilet or bathing rooms 

If a changing station is not required (for example, because the building is not large enough to trigger the family restroom requirement, or the building is preexisting) and a building owner or manager decides to install an adult changing station, they have more flexibility where it can be installed. It can be located in a single-user restroom, a men's restroom, women's restroom, locker room, changing room, medical/first aid room, etc. In addition to the requirements listed above, privacy must be provided by walls, curtains or partitions enclosing the compartment. 


The adult changing station and its supporting structure shall not obstruct required clear floor spaces and clearances at accessible elements, maneuvering clearances at doors, or the wheelchair turning space.


Signage is required at the entrance to the room indicating an "Adult changing station".

Signage is also required inside the room displaying operating instructions and weight capacity of the table.

Changing Spaces Campaign also recommends signage indicating the location(s) of adult changing station(s) be added to map kiosks, building directories, and any signage used to orient the public visitor, although this is not required by the 2024 IBC.

Get These Standards Into Your State Building Code!

  • The International Building code is a Model Code for states and cities to follow. Your board of building standards in your state or city must adopt these standards so it will go into effect in your state. 

  • Once this is part of your state's building code, it will be enforced for new buildings and some buildings at time of renovation. It will not be enforced retroactively on pre-existing buildings.

  • Having these standards outlined by the International Code Council gives us guidelines to go by when planning to install an adult size/universal changing table. 

  • Contact your state's Board of Building Standards to ask about petitioning the board to add standards for Adult Changing Stations into your state building code. They may be housed within your state's Department of Commerce. 

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