Obesity And Building Design


Unfortunately, Americans are getting larger and heavier than ever. Thirty years ago it would have been unusual to see someone who weighed more than 300 pounds. Now, it is not uncommon to see individuals weighing 500 pounds or more. Many homes and businesses are not designed or equipped to accommodate such individuals safely.

Body Mass Index (BMI) is a ratio of a person’s weight to height. A person with a BMI of 30 or higher is considered obese, and a person with a BMI of 40 or higher is considered morbidly obese. Most current residential facilities accommodate obese individuals safely. However, for morbidly obese individuals the picture is different— residents may not fit through doorways, their weight may be over the capacity for chairs and beds, and some residents may use heavy motorized wheelchairs that further tax facilities.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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