City Bans Doorknobs – Requires Electric Car Plug-ins for New Homes


It seems the city of Vancouver, British Columbia is demonstrating that quite literally. "Bancouver," as it will now be affectionately referenced, has decided to ban door knobs. No, seriously, they have.

The Vancouver Sun reports:

20131120-155549-gIn September, Vancouver council adopted new amendments to its building code, effective next March, that, among other things, will require lever handles on all doors and lever faucets in all new housing construction.


Vancouver has already signaled how serious it was about this change. Last year, before the amendments were proposed, city maintenance workers quietly removed most of the Art Deco doorknobs from the public doors in the heritage-listed City Hall, which was built in 1936. Where once the public, politicians and bureaucrats alike grasped ornate brass knobs with a stylized face embossed with "VCH" — for Vancouver City Hall — they now find utilitarian gold-coloured levers.

The new law is not retroactive, which means that regular doorknobs will be around for quite some time. However, as The Sun reports:

The bylaw is not retroactive, so if residents won't have to get rid of doorknobs they already have in their homes.

Vancouver Coun. Geoff Meggs said residents who want doorknobs in their new homes cannot install them.

"No, I don't think so. They would be asked to put in an accessible doorknob," Meggs said. "If they were really adamant I suppose they could go back later and retrofit them.

"I mean, the rules are there for a good reason. They've been looked at by contractors. They've been looked at by people with disabilities."

Anyone want to guess that companies have also been involved in pushing the door handle over the door knob?

Vancouver is the only city in Canada with its own building code. You can't find a regular toilet in Vancouver, nor can you find a regular incandescent light bulb!

According to previous research, distinctions between types of door handles are important to the elderly population and it appears easier for seniors to use. Unlike door knobs, door handles don't require a tight grasp.

Tim Stainton, a professor and director of the School of Social Work at the University of British Columbia, said "Basically, the idea is that you try to make environments that are as universally usable by any part of the population."

"The old model was adaptation, or adapted design," he continued. "You took a space and you adapted for use of the person with a disability. What universal design says is let's turn it around and let's just build everything so it is as usable by the largest segments of the population as possible."

Well, that is all fine and good. I understand the use of door handles in municipal buildings, but making it mandatory in homes seems a bit ridiculous. Shouldn't people have the right to choose whether they want a door knob or a door handle in their own home? If it's easier on senior citizens, shouldn't they have the right to determine if they want one or the other in their home? Silly me, I was just thinking it's your home, why can't you decide that?

"Technology changes," said Will Johnston, the former Vancouver chief building inspector who drafted the changes. "Things change – we live with that. When I look at what we are proposing, it is simply good design. It allows for homes to be built that can be used more easily for everybody."

One thing noticeably missing from the reports is the fact that generally door handles are more expensive. In most cases, several dollars more expensive, but of course, bringing that up wouldn't be helpful to the cause.

Additionally all new homes and condos will be required to provide special plug-ins for electric cars, whether the homeowner owns one or not, and yes that is part of that entire "green" movement, something that "Bancouver"" is adamant about pushing; desiring to be the most environmentally friendly city in the world by 2020. I might also add that they will also be making a good run for the most socialist city by that time too.

Personally, I like door handles, but have knobs in my house. Door knobs and handles, in my opinion, are merely cosmetic issues and should not be forced on new home builders. I can understand a certain leaning towards that on public property, but to force it into homes seems a bit much.

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Comments

comments

  • OutdoorFrontiers

    It's a good thing that I live in Tennessee instead of Vancouver. Now I don't have to move... What a bunch of A$$hats.....

  • catman

    For the love of God, don't let our idiot legislators hear about this, they will want to do the same damned thing here in the U.S.
    And by the way, I have a cat that has learned how to open a lever type door handle. We have to keep a few rooms in the house locked so he can't get in and get into things he is not supposed to.

  • terrys_dragon

    THE ONLY THING IT DOESN'T DISCRIMINTE AGAINST IS DUMB A'S

  • Gabby354

    I guess they are forgetting that wildlife can open lever-type locks, specifically, bears. Lever-type locks have been banned in some mountain towns in Colorado for that reason.

  • pearl87

    I don't like handles because they catch on your clothing, your purse and other items you might be carrying. They can really cause damage and injury. As for whether it's "a bit much" to mandate them in private homes, I say it's WAY beyond complete tyranny. As economist Herbert Stein observed, if something can't go on forever, it won't. This applies to almost everything that is happening today.

  • Dr. 9

    "Political correctness is a far greater threat to our freedom and liberty than is terrorism..." -- Spider

  • Marty G

    It takes all of 3 minutes to switch a knob to a lever or back again. If a new resident wants levers, they can hire a handy many to put levers in, or negotiate their purchase include the seller swapping them over, or whatever. I fail to see why levers are required at construction time for some lever-demanding hypothetical future resident when they could just as easily be swapped over at whim depending on the resident. We aren't talking the pitch of of an oak staircase that would require 100 man hours to tear down and replace here. *boggles*

  • Becky

    "a bit much" ???? It's called FASCISM. Your government knows BETTER than you what you need. And YOUR opinion doesn't matter. Right down the coast I can see the Liberal west coast full of the brain dead thinking this is "cool" and picking it right up. Probably even Bloomberg the idiot Fascist is thinking this is so "cool" he has to get right on it. These people need wiped from the earth, plain and simply.

  • charliehanna

    The Green advocates tend to overlook the fact that the electric energy from the house is not "free." But they act as if it is.

    • pearl87

      And it's also much less efficient to convert energy in this manner.

  • Meathead

    Evidently, there is a group of people in Bancouver that are as power hungry as America has in Washington. Forbid that they ever get together. Mankind would be doomed!
    Government DICTATING what someone can, or cannot, have in their private home and mandating the added espense. Did someone resurrect Adolf or Joseph or Mao and drop him in Bancouver? Actually, levers are easier to operate than handles, so why not go back past handles to levers?

  • PWe72

    I remember as a young GI in Germany, fifty years ago, we all referred to the "States" as "the land of the round doorknobs."

    • DavidTUSAF

      I was there in the 80's. I remember that the handles made it easier to get in after a night at the bar. For public access buildings it makes sense, but for private property, it should be the choice of the owner.

    • Meathead

      "Choice" IS the operational word.

    • fort9erdon

      Haven't you heard, or understand? The government is so much better at making our personal choices for us. I advise, irrespective of the cost, that EVERYONE who builds a new home in Bancouver, immediately after the final inspection, change out your doors back to knobs, and render your electric car outlets unservicable, unless of course you have or plan to have an electric car. I would change back to knobs, even if I preferred levers, just to demonstrate my unwillingness to have the gubmint make my choices for me.

    • pearl87

      The only "choice" we have now is whether to kill babies, and that also may soon become mandated murder, as in China.

    • Jack Combs

      yes we did

  • BeckyWiggins

    My dog can operate a lever handle, but has yet to twist a knob. When I want to keep her in the back room because I have workers in the house, I prefer knobs on my door. And what about younger children? Levers would make it easier for them to access places they shouldn't be. This is age and species discrimination!

    • TexasOlTimer

      But remember the disable are the 'majority of the people' if you use their reasoning. Families with children and pets are in the minority and why should they help the minority? No, wait, that's backwards - the liberals/progressives also go after what the minority wants so it's obvious that the majority of people DON'T want this!