All-Inclusive Restrooms:   A Comprehensive Analysis and Design + Code Compliance Guide to All-Inclusive & Gender Specific Restrooms in K-12 Schools


Heidi Neumueller
Cuningham Group Architecture

Angela Selb-Sack
Senior Project Manager
Facilities DepartmentSt. Paul Public Schools

LU: 1.5

Learning Units/Health, Safety, Welfare (LU/HSW)

How applies to HSW:

This topic addresses code compliance in restroom design.


The design of public restrooms has long been a contested territory for civil rights issues and policy debates of the time. Currently, segregated facilities, which were created to prevent discrimination on the basis of gender, are increasingly coming under scrutiny by the LGBTQ community, as they fail to recognize the non-binary nature of gender and create social difficulties for members of the transgender community.   While ongoing conversations and laws continue to evolve at the local and federal levels, very little data regarding the   implementation and logistics of all-inclusive bathrooms, or bathrooms which are non-gender specific, exist at the K-12 level. In much of the United States, school districts recognize the issue but do not have the information readily available to address it.   The intent of this presentation is to provide a case study of all-inclusive restroom at SPPS Johnson High School, including design, and methods to reach alternative code compliance using the key components of the design of all-inclusive restrooms, prior to the adoption of the 2018 ICC code change which allows all inclusive restrooms.

Learning Objectives:
  • Describe the key design components in all-inclusive restroom design;
  • Describe alternative code compliance methods
  • Describe code implications of all inclusive restroom design;
  • Describe the history of segregated restrooms
Primary Competency:

Educational Visioning: Exhibits an understanding of best and next practices related to educational leadership, programming, teaching, learning, planning and facility design. Establishes credibility with educators, community members and design professionals while conceiving and leading a community-based visioning process. Demonstrates the ability to articulate the impact of learning environments on teaching and learning and uses that ability to facilitate a dialogue that uncovers the unique needs and long-range goals of an educational institution and its stakeholders – translating that into an actionable written/graphic program of requirements for the design practitioner.

Primary Domain:

Context: Content of this session/workshop will focus on the circumstances that form the setting for the design and construction of specific learning environments and characteristics that distinguishes the project from other applications.

Secondary Domain:

Toolbox: Content of this session/workshop will focus on the approaches, methods and applications when transitioning from design and concept into reality, actual existence through quality performance, execution and/or product.

Additional information: This presentation will include a case study of the student engagement process of designing the all inclusive restrooms as well as results of student survey data collected at this school to understand what design components are critical to security and safety of these environments.