How do we get gender inclusive restrooms?

Gender inclusive facilities on the UC Berkeley campus fall under UC Office of the President policy, California law and the California Building and Plumbing codes. The UCOP Policy RD4.1: Providing Gender Inclusive Facilities (first issued June 2015, updated December 2021) provides guidelines for:

  • Designating single-stall restrooms as gender inclusive.
  • Providing at least one gender inclusive restroom on each floor where restrooms are required or provided in a building in new construction or renovations after July 2015.
  • Converting existing gender specific restrooms to gender inclusive restrooms.

In October 2022, the California Legislature passed Senate Bill 1194 to provide guidance for gender inclusive restrooms provided by public entities such as UC Berkeley. The California Building and Plumbing codes govern the design of campus restrooms. Together, these codes and guidelines determine the feasibility and manner of converting and installing gender inclusive facilities in campus buildings.

Methods of getting Gender Inclusive Restrooms:

Single-Stall Restrooms

  • The 2015 issuance of the UCOP Guidelines for Providing Gender Inclusive Facilities directed the conversion of existing single-occupancy or single-stall restrooms in all UC-owned buildings from gender-specific to gender inclusive facilities. These conversions have typically been limited to revised signage. Conversions that are accomplished by signage alone shall not be considered renovations.

  • The 2021 update of the policy also notes that each existing and newly constructed single-stall restroom shall be gender inclusive.

New Buildings/Major Renovations

  • New construction or major renovation shall meet the following criteria (refer to the UCOP policy and Building codes for complete requirements)

    • If the work occurs as part of a new building or major renovation, gender inclusive facilities shall be provided.

      • When calculating required fixture count, up to one third (1/3) of the required plumbing fixtures may be included in GIRR.

      • In a new facility, provide at least one GIRR on each floor where restrooms are required. Each existing and newly constructed single-stall restroom shall be gender inclusive.

      • In a new facility, provide at least one multi-stall GIRR when more than one set of gender specific multi-stall restrooms are required for the building.

      • In a major renovation with more than one set of gender specific multi-stall restrooms, provide at least one multi-stall GIRR.

      • Each gender specific restroom shall have at least one adjacent single-stall restroom, unless a set of GIRR are adjacent.

      • Each multi-stall GIRR shall have at least one adjacent single-stall restroom, unless a set of gender specific restrooms are adjacent.

Conversion of Existing Restrooms

  • Departments may request to change an existing gender specific facility to GIRR, or request that a GIRR be provided within a specific University building.

  • Conversions of existing restrooms not as part of a major renovation shall comply with the UCOP policy. 

  • Process for conversions:

    • If you are interested in having a restroom converted, discuss the conversion with a department representative of that building (such as an advisor, supervisor, or other staff member). 

    • After the request is made:

      • Upon receipt of the request, the department representative will discuss the request with the building Facility Manager (where applicable) or the campus LGBTQ Director (if the building does not have a Facility Manager)

        • In buildings without a Building Manager, key stakeholders, including department chairs, directors, and other administrators should be consulted for their approval to convert the facility.

      • Information to gather before submitting a request for conversion: 1) target restroom(s) for conversion, and 2) breakdown of all restrooms in the building, by floor and gender designation.
      • Once the FM or the LGBTQ Director has determined the request should be considered, they will submit the request to the CBD to determine if the request can be approved under current code and guidelines

      • If the CBO determines the request is feasible per section B.2,  the CBO shall approve the request and inform the requesting party that the project may proceed to scoping and design.

      • Scoping and design will be done by the requesting department working with Capital Projects as necessary.

      • During the scoping process, cost implications for the conversion are identified, and the source(s) of funding are determined.

      • When the funding has been identified and the Building Manager gives their approval, the conversion should move forward through a typical process, including proper notice to key stakeholders in the building.