This information is out of date. Refer to RAS Bulletin 2012-01 for more info.
First let’s look at what the Standards say to do:
212.2 Kitchens and Kitchenettes. Kitchens and kitchenettes shall comply with 804.
804.5 Storage. At least 50 percent of shelf space in storage facilities shall comply with 811.
811.3 Height. Storage elements shall comply with at least one of the reach ranges specified in 308.
308.3.1 Unobstructed. Where a clear floor or ground space allows a parallel approach to an element and the side reach is unobstructed, the high side reach shall be 48 inches (1220 mm) maximum and the low side reach shall be 15 inches (380 mm) minimum above the finish floor or ground.
Ok, simple enough. 50% of the shelves shall be with 15″ and 48″. And I have been told by the Access-Board that we should measure linear feet of shelves. No problem.
Let’s take a look at a typical breakroom kitchenette with counter-top, sink, dishwasher and storage.
Well, that doesn’t seem to work. I don’t have enough shelf space to make up for the upper cabinets and I’m only counting 2 shelves in the upper cabinets. Let’s try to add a pantry to make this work.
Now this is just ridiculous. I guess the only way to comply is to have very little vertical clearance at each shelf or eliminate the upper cabinets. Or we could just pretend there is only one shelf in the upper cabinets.