Type A, Type B, Spec A, Spec B

August 8, 2008

No, the title of this post is not a Dada Poem.

These are terms used to describe dwelling units subject to the Fair Housing Act (FHA).  And they are some of the most confusing terms, but confusion keeps me in business so who am I to complain.

In a typical apartment complex, if you are using the IBC 2006 as your safe harbor code for complying with the design requirements of the FHA, 2% of the units are required to be Type A units.  A Type A unit requires more clear floor space, maneuvering clearance at doors and other features that are not required in a Type B unit.

If you are using the FHA Design Manual as your Safe Harbor, Type A Units are not required.  In a non-elevator building, except for the Type A units, all ground floor units are required to be Type B units.

Now here’s the confusing bit: Type A units only have one set of rules for the bathrooms, but in the Type B Units, you can have either Specification A or Specification B bathrooms.  I’ll explain the difference in a later post.