Design Doors and Gates That Pass ADA Plan Check The First Time

Doors and gates are useful design elements for conveying people from place to place. As with other elements of design, the Americans with Disabilities Act affects how landscape architects design doors and gates. The California Supplemental Exam for landscape architects has several questions about accessible design and it is possible that questions about doors and gates will be on the exam.


All entrances and ground floor exit doors must be made accessible. In existing buildings, when an exit is not accessible, provide a sign to direct people to the nearest accessible means of egress.

At each accessible door, provide and indicate a clear and level (2% slope) landing on each side of door. On the plan or indicate level difference between top of threshold and door landing to be 1/2″ max (if beveled at 1:2). Indicate level difference between interior and exterior door landing to be 1/2″ max (if beveled at 1:2).

In existing projects, level differences at landing/threshold transitions greater than 1/2″ shall be accomplished by means of ramps or sloped walking surfaces and must include required level landings.


All gates intended for pedestrian use, including ticket gates, must comply with all applicable requirements of doors (see items above).

Identify gate with a mark on plans and include in door schedule. Provide and indicate accessible operating hardware and 10” high smooth surface at bottom of gate. Gate on required exit path must comply with exit door and hardware requirements.


John is a landscape architect who is currently preparing to take the California Supplemental Exam to become licensed in California. He is currently a licensed professional landscape architect in Georgia and Florida. John graduated from California State University, Pomona with a BSLA degree in landscape architecture in 1997 and has extensive practice experience in residential and commercial landscape design.

Posted in ADA & Accessibility Tagged with: , , , , ,

Do You Want to Pass the CSE?

You are in the right place. Learn what you need to pass the California Supplemental Exam for landscape architects the first time. This site is dedicated to aspiring landscape architects who want to get a California landscape architect license. I'll share my research for the CSE as I prepare for the exam.

Feel free to submit a question and I'll do my best to answer it here.

Good luck,

Ask Me A Question

Your message was successfully sent.
Thank You!