The Humble Doorknob Just Got Booted

Doorknobs have had a long career offering a simple technique to open doors. While their artistic forms have attracted home–owners & guests alike, a new law in Vancouver has officially banned them in new buildings.

The humble doorknob that has been gracing doors and welcoming people in the house with a simple turn has been officially banned in Vancouver Canada. The simplistically effective tool will not be allowed henceforth in new constructions.

The Canadian city felt the need to do away with the doorknob, owing to the difficulty it caused to the elderly. The city council stated that elderly, infirm and disabled often find it extremely hard to turn the doorknob to gain entry. Moreover, the doorknobs are always a struggle at some point or the other.

"We need to look at why doorknobs are not suitable for disabled people," said Alan Norton, Chief Executive of Assist UK, an organization that provides products and equipment to people with disabilities. "When you look at people with arthritis or those who have little movement of their hands, a lever is easier as you push down on it. However, automatic doors would be the better solution. I agree that we should ban doorknobs in the UK," reportedThe Economist.

Incidentally, the Canadian city might be the first to officially recognize the pitfalls of a traditional doorknob, but many other countries are actively debating following the footsteps of Vancouver in ensuring the elderly and weak have a much easier time in gaining access, reportedNewsTalk.

In the UK, the ban on doorknobs has been actively supported by both, The British Standards Institution and The UK Design Council. Both the institutes are apparently well–known for their 'inclusive design', which ensures the developed habitats are designed keeping mind various scenarios and ages.

What has replaced the doorknob? A simple lever will now be mandatory at all access points, instead of the doorknobs. These levers can be as artistic as desired, but the basic functionality should be an easier downward movement instead of the rotational movement, which has been found to be cumbersome.

Simple Alternative To Convert Doorknob Into Approved Lever
Simple Alternative To Convert Doorknob Into Approved Lever

The banning of doorknob appears to be just the beginning for an elemental redesign that takes into consideration the building is equally used by people with disabilities as well as what is considered as 'normal' human being. Vancouver's Independent Code is currently flush with ideas like low-flush toilets, and energy-saving fluorescent light–bulbs, compact ramps that may even be replaced with a hydraulic lift.

Owing to rapid development in medicine, people are now living longer, but the problems of old age are more acute than ever. However, it is sad to see the humble doorknob had to be the first victim in the name of easier access.

[Image Via Bing]