Transgender Toilet Rooms – The Scoop

The issue of transgender toilet rooms has been a hot topic in the news a LOT recently!  And, I bet, as a building owner, you’ve been asked how you will accommodate this segment of the population.  So, the first thing you did is call a trusted Architect or Engineer to ask this specific question…and the answer?  “I don’t know” (which isn’t very helpful!).
Well, I recently discussed this topic with the State of Illinois’ Plumbing Program Manager (the GUY)….and this is what I learned:
The State of Illinois has NO formal stance at this time (and he didn’t seem to have an idea on when they might).  However, we did have a good discussion and I came away with the following:
  • You must provide the required number of toilets per the Illinois Plumbing Code for both Men and Women (obviously).
  • If you provide multi-user toilets, they should ONLY be for either Men or Women.  This is NOT a requirement of the Illinois Plumbing Code, but noted as good practice to relieve potential concerns you may receive from your ‘community.’ It was also mentioned the Illinois Department of Health may be introducing new requirements to address this exact issue…stay tuned.
  • If you provide uni-sex toilets (single-user toilets), these can be included in the number of required Men’s and Women’s toilets.  These toilet rooms are considered gender neutral and must be labeled as such.  If you label these as transgender rooms, see below…
  • What you cannot do…
    • Create multi-user ‘uni-sex’ toilet rooms (said that already)
    • Create bathrooms exclusively for transgender individuals and include these as a part of your required toilet count (for Men and Women).  If you are to label the bathroom ‘Transgender,’ these toilets MUST be on top of the required Men’s and Women’s toilet fixture counts.

I realize this might have been a little confusing (sometimes we Architects speak a language we assume everyone understands)!  If you have any questions or need assistance on a specific request regarding this (or any) issue, PLEASE feel free to contact me (or anyone at BLDD Architects, Inc.).

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