Vancouver Implements an Alternative to the Traditional Doorknob

Next March Vancouver, B.C. will say goodbye to something many find so common – the doorknob.

New legislation was passed requiring lever handles on all doors and lever faucets in all new housing construction. The change will take effect in early 2014.

The reason for this change to Vancouver’s building code is to make buildings and houses more accessible for those with arthritis or gnarled and weakened hands.

Vancouver is looking at the lever handle, because it is easier to use, as someone can just push down on it and the door will open.

Other changes implemented under the new bylaw include wider hallways and doorways, lower light switches, higher outlets and wider stairways for possible installation of a stair lift.

The legislation does not impact homes that have doorknobs; it just means new houses have to be built with lever handles. People are also still able to purchase doorknobs, and replace the lever handles if they want.

The only city in Canada that has its own building code is Vancouver, so often the B.C. Building Code adopts amendments from Vancouver. Then Canada’s National Building Code looks to the B.C. Building Code, so there is a possibility legislation around handle levers may be seen across Canada.

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