Parking

High Obstructed Reach Range over lavatories and Clear floor space requirements

Friday, October 2nd, 2020

Introduction

This month’s newsletter we are excited to speak to Ms. Marsha Godeaux from TDLR where she will be clarifying a common question they receive. It has to do with the reach range over obstructions and clear floor spaces below the obstruction.

The 2010 ADA Standards and the 2012 TAS (even the 2009 ICC ANSI A117.1) has a requirement that the depth of the clear floor space below an obstruction should equal the high reach range over an obstruction.


308.2.2 Obstructed High Reach. Where a high forward reach is over an obstruction, the clear floor space shall extend beneath the element for a distance not less than the required reach depth over the obstruction.

Therefore if we have to reach to a faucet, or a soap dispenser mounted behind the sink then we are also required to have the same amount of space at the floor directly under the operable part.

And the way we measure the clear floor space is to use the figure showing the toe clearance. The 30″x48″ clear floor space should be measured from the operable part above and must be no deeper than 25″ and no less than 17″.

This sink section shows all the correct knee and toe clearance but it also shows a piece of blocking at the base board which measures 17″. Unless the faucet is also at 17″ from the edge of the counter, this detail does not provide the correct amount of clear floor space under the sink to allow for the reach range to the faucet.

This sink was built in a similar design as the detail with only 17″ of depth at the toe clearance, which was not enough clear floor space for the high reach required to the faucet or the test tube racks or even the outlet behind the sink.

This clear floor space was only 17″

This section shows the relationship between the high reach above and the clear floor space below.

This lavatory has a faucet 20″ from the edge of the counter.

The clear floor space below the lavatory is more than 20″ from the operable part which is compliant.

The reach range at the sink or lavatories should always be a forward approach even though high reach can also be parallel.

So to summarize, the amount of depth required to reach an operable part above a sink or lavatory (such as faucets, soap dispensers, paper towel dispensers, electric outlets etc) should have an equal or greater amount of clear floor space below the operable part.

New parking requirements in Texas

Tuesday, September 1st, 2020

Introduction

In Texas, Beginning Aug. 1, 2020, a new rule from The Texas Department of Licensing of Regulation relating to markings and signage required for Accessible Parking Spaces went into effect.  Rule 68.104 (Texas Administrative Code) implements House Bill 3163, passed by the 86th Texas Legislature in 2019. The Elimination of Architectural Barriers (EAB) Advisory Committee recommended adoption of the rule during its June 15, 2020 meeting, and it was adopted by the Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation at their June 30, 2020, meeting.

All projects registered with TDLR on or after August 1, 2020 must comply with the rule, as well as Texas Accessibility Standards requirements related to parking spaces. Any new or alteration construction projects that begin on or after August 1, 2020 (including those that do not meet the $50,000 threshold requiring registration with TDLR), must also satisfy the rule if they include accessible parking requirements. Rule 68.104 is available on TDLR’s Elimination of Architectural Barriers webpage.

Rule 68.104 is available on TDLR’s Elimination of Architectural Barriers webpage.


68.104. Accessible Parking Spaces.

(New section effective August 1, 2020, 45 TexReg 5166)

  • (a) A paved accessible parking space must include:
  • (1) the International Symbol of Accessibility painted conspicuously on the surface in a color that contrasts the pavement;

(2) the words “NO PARKING” painted on any access aisle adjacent to the parking space. The words must be painted:

  1. in all capital letters;
  2. with a letter height of at least twelve inches, and a stroke width of at least two inches; and
  3. centered within each access aisle adjacent to the parking space and;

These images are from California Code Title 24 but it is very close to what TDLR is requiring

(3) a sign identifying the consequences of parking illegally in a paved accessible parking space. The sign must:

  1. at a minimum state “Violators Subject to Fine and Towing” in a letter height of at least one inch;
  2. be mounted on a pole, post, wall or freestanding board;

  1. be no more than eight inches below a sign required by Texas Accessibility Standards, 502.6; and
  2. be installed so that the bottom edge of the sign is no lower than 48 inches and no higher than 80 inches above ground level.
  • (b) A parking space identification sign that complies with Texas Accessibility Standards, 502.6, that includes the requirements in subsection (a)(3)(A) satisfies subsection (a)(3).

This sign complies with TAS 502.6 which is acceptable for the new requirements

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Ramps and Curb Ramps

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

ADA Section 405 Ramps and 406 Curb Ramps

We all know that one of the ways that people in wheelchairs maneuver between changes in level greater than 1/2″ is by using a ramp. When an accessible route crosses a curb, it requires a “curb ramp”. There is confusion between requirements for ramps vs. curb ramps. Let’s see if we can make it more clear:

1. The first thing to remember is that curb ramps are also ramps. The main difference is that a “curb ramp” is located at a curb and a “ramp” is located elsewhere (like along the route to the front door, or on the interior of the building)

The curb ramp is the one that crossed a curb at the parking spaces. The ramp in the background is part of the entry and does not cross the curb

 

2. Both ramps and curb ramps require a maximum running slope of 1:12 and a maximum cross slope of 1:48 (per 405.2 and 405.3)

Cross slope

running slope

 

3. Both ramps and curb ramps require that the surface be stable, firm and slip resistant and should not have changes in level at ramp runs. (per 405.4)

 

4. Both ramps and curb ramps require a minimum clear width of 36″ (per 405.5). The width is measured inside the handrails if they are provided.

 

5. and Both ramps and curb ramps and their landings require that they do not accumulate water. (per section 405.10)

 

The curb ramp shows water accumulated

The curb ramp shows water accumulated

Those are the only requirements that they share. There are other requirements that only apply to Ramps and some that only apply to Curb Ramps.

ADA Section 405 Ramps

Besides all the items listed above, ramps have other requirements.  These requirements only apply to ramps and NOT to curb ramps:
1. Only a ramp cannot have a vertical rise greater than 30″ without a landing.  In other words, if a ramp rises more than 30″ it must have a landing before the next run begins (per section 405.6)
2. Only a  ramp requires flat landing at the top and bottom of the ramp run (per section 405.7).  Flat can be no steeper than 1:48 that is 60″ deep and the width of the ramp (like the figure shown above).  Only a ramp requires a 60″x60″ landing when it changes direction
 
3) Only a ramp ramp requires handrails on both sides (except if the rise is less than 6″).
4) Only a ramp requires edge protection if there is a drop off on either side of the ramp. So even if a curb ramp is higher than 6″ in vertical rise, it will not require handrails.

ADA Section 406 Curb Ramps

Curb ramps have the following unique requirements that regular ramps do not require:
1. Only a curb ramp requires that the bottom of the ramp have a slope no steeper than 1:20.  This is called a counter slope.  (Per section 406.2).  A regular ramp will require a landing at the bottom with a slope no steeper than 1:48 in all directions.
2. Only a curb ramp requires its side have flares if located along a walkway.  The flared sides are not required, but if they are provided they must comply with section 406.3
Flare sides are recommended if the curb ramp is located within a path of travel. This would prevent any tripping.  Since the flared sides are not “required” a parallel curb ramp is allowed to be used.

 

this curb ramp is parallel with the curb and no flares are required

3. Only a curb ramp requires a 36″ deep landing at the top.  The slope of that landing is not specified and it would depend on where is it located.  For example, if the curb ramp terminates at a sidewalk that is parallel to the ramp, then the slope could be as steep as 1:20 (5%).  But if it is located so that the ramp and the walkway are perpendicular, then the landing must not have a slope steeper than 1:48 since it will also be part of the cross slope of the sidewalk. (per 406.4)
4. Curb ramps and the flared sides cannot project onto a vehicular way or parking spaces and access aisles. (per section 406.5)

this curb ramp did not require the flared sides_ and the one_s provided project onto the vehicular way

5.  A diagonal curb ramp will require a counter close 48″ in length and located outside of the traffic area (per section 406.6)
6. When curb ramps are located in a traffic island or median, then the landing must not interfere with another curb ramp.  A 48″ space along the direction of travel must also be provided (per section 406.7)

Curb Ramps at Public Rights of Way

 If you are wondering why we haven’t mentioned detectable warnings (i.e. contrasting color and texture/truncated domes), it is because curb ramps do not require them anymore.  Some Departments of Transportation in different States have adopted a Public Right of Way Guidelines that give us a scoping for when the detectable warnings are required.
Basically any curb ramp located inside the property line will not require detectable warnings.
Any curb ramp that is located in the public right of way will require a portion of the ramp to have detectable warnings.  The bottom 24″ of the curb ramp must have the truncated domes and the contrasting color.
Check your municipality on what they have adopted to see if their curb ramps need it.

Helping Houston

Abadi Accessibility will be donating 5% of the fees received in the month of September to help the victims of hurricaine Harvey.  Thank you for your assistance!
 
Need Barrier Free CEUs?
 
September 18-  TAID Day of Education: “Common mistakes in the Texas Accessibility Standards” at the Dallas Market Center
Save the dates: October 24 and 25th- “Barrier Free Design Room by Room” 2 hr Barrier Free HSW class at Inspire! 2017, Dallas Texas
Online courses:
Green CE On Demand webinar “How Accessible is Your work place?”
Green CE On Demand webinar “ADA and Residential Facilities”
or
If you are interested in Building Code seminars check out my colleague Shahla Layendecker with SSTL Codes
If you want to learn more about these standards, be sure to check out my books:
book cover
If you have any questions about these or any other topics, please feel free to contact me anytime.
Marcela Abadi Rhoads, FAIA RAS #240
Abadi Accessibility
214. 403.8714

Inspector’s Corner

Wednesday, June 1st, 2016

The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation requires that commercial projects that are over $50,000 in construction cost get a third party plan review as well as inspection.  During inspections I often see violations that tend to occur more often than others.  In this newsletter you will find three examples of items that happen often enough where I think it would be important to bring it to your attention.  Hope this prevents these violations to happen to you.

Door Hardware

Herculite doors are very popular in office buildings.  The door hardware varies in location and size.  Some of the hardware that we see are vertical handles that will sometimes reach the floor.
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This door has vertical handle that almost reaches the ground.
The 2010 ADA and the 2012 TAS require that the bottom surface of swing doors have smooth surfaces up to 10″ a.f.f.  on the push side.
404.2.10 Door and Gate Surfaces. Swinging door and gate surfaces within 10 inches (255 mm) of the finish floor or ground measured vertically shall have a smooth surface on the push side extending the full width of the door or gate. Parts creating horizontal or vertical joints in these surfaces shall be within 1/16 inch (1.6 mm) of the same plane as the other. Cavities created by added kick plates shall be capped.
When the door hardware extends to the ground, or below 10″ a.f.f.,  the door would not have a smooth surface.
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Shell building finish out

When I inspect empty shell buildings at strip shopping centers or office parks, I inspect elements that are new and installed.  Since there are no tenants at the point of the inspection, the entry door that is provided is only inspected for slopes and heights at threshold.  The location of the parking spaces in relation to the doors that are provided is also inspected, since the ADA and TAS require that the accessible parking space is located at the shortest distance to the door.
 
208.3.1 General. Parking spaces complying with 502 that serve a particular building or facility shall be located on the shortest accessible route from parking to an entrance complying with 206.4. Where parking serves more than one accessible entrance,parking spaces complying with 502 shall be dispersed and located on the shortest accessible route to the accessible entrances.
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In this shell building the accessible parking spaces are located at the shortest accessible route to just one door.  Since there are several entrances, the parking spaces should be dispersed.
As tenants move in and new doors are added, parking spaces may be in violation of the proximity to the entry. Every time a new tenant moves in and alters his space, the inspection will include the existing parking that might have already been inspected during the shell building inspection.  The existing parking might be a violation to an already inspected building if the location is not the shortest route to the entry.
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The accessible parking space in this shopping center is located in front of one tenant space.  There are other doors which imply that new tenants will move in and therefore the parking for those will be in violation.

Handrail extensions

Many times I see new ramps get built into existing sites.  ADA and TAS require that ramp handrails extend 12″ on the top and bottom of the ramp.
505.10 Handrail Extensions. Handrail gripping surfaces shall extend beyond and in the same direction of stair flights and ramp runs in accordance with 505.10.
EXCEPTIONS: 1. Extensions shall not be required for continuous handrails at the inside turn of switchback or dogleg stairs and ramps.
2. In assembly areas, extensions shall not be required for ramp handrails in aisles serving seating where the handrails are discontinuous to provide access to seating and to permit crossovers within aisles.
 
3. In alterations, full extensions of handrails shall not be required where such extensions would be hazardous due to plan configuration
 
Many times the handrail extension is not done correctly.  I typically see them turning the corner.
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This ramp handrail does not extend 12″ beyond the ramp run, but instead it turns to avoid projecting into the existing sidewalk. Because this is a new ramp, during design there would have been an opportunity to give enough room for the ramp handrail extension.
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As you can see in this picture, there is a level on the sidewalk.  This indicates a slope which is part of the ramp.  The handrails were not extended all the way to the end of the ramp run on this ramp.
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The hand rail extension is located just shy of the end of the ramp run in this ramp.

Need CEUs

Green CE live Webinar June 7th 12:00 p.m. “Applying the ADA on Existing Buildings”
If you are interested in Building Code seminars check out my colleague Shahla Layendecker with SSTL Codes
If you want to learn more about these standards, be sure to check out my books:

97c8a80a-9426-4c3d-88fb-ef6213d94712
6fc8cab3-4989-476b-b86b-d65fdc8c74cc

They are available for sale now. (also available as an e-book)

If you have any questions about these or any other topics, please feel free to contact me anytime.

Marcela Abadi Rhoads, RAS #240
Abadi Accessibility
214. 403.8714
marhoads@abadiaccess.com
www.abadiaccess.com

Employee Work Areas

Monday, May 2nd, 2016
A work place can be complicated to understanding as it pertains to the requirements for accessibility. Some spaces in work areas are exempted while some require full access.  Because the ADA requires that a person with disabilities is given the same opportunity to seek employment, an employer may not decide that his establishment will not employ persons with disabilities, and therefore will not make the work areas accessible. So what does the ADA require the employer to provide?
This newsletter will  give an overview of what requirements exist in the ADA about work areas and when the ADA Standards apply.

Work Areas

According to the ADA the definition of an employee work area is:
Employee Work Area. All or any portion of a space used only by employees and used only for work. Corridors, toilet rooms, kitchenettes and break rooms are not employee work areas.
Work Area Equipment. Any machine, instrument, engine, motor, pump, conveyor, or other apparatus used to perform work. As used in this document, this term shall apply only to equipment that is permanently installed or built-in in employee work areas. Work area equipment does not include passenger elevators and other accessible means of vertical transportation.
Per the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design:
203.9 Employee Work Areas. Spaces and elements within employee work areas shall be designed and constructed so that individuals with disabilities can approach, enter, and exit the employee work area.
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An example of a work area that only requires an approach, enter and exit would be a janitor’s closet.  Elements within the janitor’s closet such as the faucet for the mop sink will not be required to comply.
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An exam room is partially a “work” area and partially a “patient” area.  The area that is only used by the doctor (the sink) will be exempted from having to comply.
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Employee work areas, or portions of employee work areas, other than raised courtroom stations, that are less than 300 square feet and elevated 7 inches or more above the finish floor or ground where the elevation is essential to the function of the space shall not be required to comply with these requirements or to be on an accessible route.
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This toll booth is less than 300 s.f. and elevated more than 7″ a.f.f. and therefore do not require an accessible route to it or the ability to approach it and enter it.

The Standards sometimes provide additional guidance through “advisories”.  These are NOT requirements, but they are suggestions that might make your design a better one.  Below are some of the advisories on work areas:

Advisory 203.9 Employee Work Areas. Although areas used exclusively by employees for work are not required to be fully accessible, consider designing such areas to include non-required turning spaces, and provide accessible elements whenever possible. 

Under the Title I of the ADA, employees with disabilities are entitled to reasonable accommodations in the workplace; accommodations can include alterations to spaces within the facility. Designing employee work areas to be more accessible at the outset will avoid more costly retrofits when current employees become temporarily or permanently disabled, or when new employees with disabilities are hired. 

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In addition to approach, enter and exit, the employee work area shall also comply with the following sections of the ADA Standards: 206.2.8, 207.1, and 215.3. These will be explained in detail below.

206.2.8 Employee Work Areas. Common use circulation paths within employee work areas shall comply with 402.

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The circulation path should meet the requirements for ADA Section 402 which includes a minimum 36″ width along the circulation path.

EXCEPTIONS: 

1. Common use circulation paths located within employee work areas that are less than 1000 square feet (93 m2) and defined by permanently installed partitions, counters, casework, or furnishings shall not be required to comply with 402.2.

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This employee work area is less than 1,000 s.f. and therefore the step is allowed

Common use circulation paths located within employee work areas that are an integral component of work area equipment shall not be required to comply with 402.3.
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This commercial kitchen has equipment that is an integral part of the work area.  The 36″ min. circulation path in this space is not required to comply due to the location of the work area equipment.

Advisory 206.2.8 Employee Work Areas

Exception 2. Large pieces of equipment, such as electric turbines or water pumping apparatus, may have stairs and elevated walkways used for overseeing or monitoring purposes which are physically part of the turbine or pump. However, passenger elevators used for vertical transportation between stories are not considered “work area equipment” as defined in Section 106.5.

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An accessible route/circulation path up to the elevated walkway used to monitor work area equipment is not required to be provided.

Common use circulation paths located within exterior employee work areas that are fully exposed to the weather shall not be required to comply with 402.

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A dumpster is considered an extension of a work area.  Although a circulation path within the work area might be required, because the dumpster is located on the exterior and fully exposed to the weather, a circulation path will not be required.

Advisory 206.2.8 Employee Work Areas Exception 1. Modular furniture that is not permanently installed is not directly subject to these requirements

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The modular furniture in an open office is not required to be installed so that there is a minimum 36″ width is provided.  They are essentially exempted from having to comply (unless they are permanently attached to the ground or wall)

207.1  Employee work areas are required to have an accessible means of egress per the requirements in the IBC

215.3 Employee Work Areas. Where employee work areas have audible alarm coverage, the wiring system shall be designed so that visible alarms complying with 702 can be integrated into the alarm system.

Employee Areas that are not work related

The requirements thus far have been for areas that are considered part of the “work” areas in a space.  But there are other areas that are also part of an employee area, but are not related to the work they perform.  Those areas that are NOT related to their job description will not be exempted and must comply.  Below are a few examples of areas that might be for employees only, but must be fully compliant with the Standards:

Break Rooms

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The sink in this break room and the height of the counter are required to comply.  The microwave shown in this photo is not permanently attached and therefore the reach range is not required to comply.

LEED Showers for employees

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Some showers that are accessed through a private office have less requirements.  But if it is a common use shower for all employees to use, then they must comply with section 608

Employee Restrooms

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All restrooms including employee restrooms must comply with the requirements in Sections 603-606

Employee Locker Rooms

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The lockers as well as the bench in this locker/dressing room must comply with the Standards

Employee dining counters

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5% of the dining counter is required to be between 28″-34″ a.f.f. and provide a knee space like the photo above.
Employee parking
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Parking that is designated for employees should have accessible spaces as well.
Vocational schools where they teach how to use certain “work area equipment” is not exempted.  Because it is considered a “public accommodation” , the equipment or access to it will have to be provided.  Sometimes that is not reasonable, and at that situation, the school will have to get a variance from TDLR or provide reasonable accommodations for the students with disabilities
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Barrier Free Day in Dallas Texas

Experience what it is like to have a disability and be in a work space.  The AIA Dallas Codes and Standards Committee is having their annual Barrier Free Day this May 5th.  If you would like to participate, please sign up today.  If you would like to just get a 1 hr. Barrier Free CEU, join us at the happy hour where participants will share their experience of their day with a disability.
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Need CEUs

May 5th- Barrier Free Day Panel Discussion  5:30-7:30 at the Eberhard 2107 N. Henderson Dallas Tx 75206 1 hr. HSW Barrier Free CEU
May 23-27th  Building Industry Professionals: University of Texas at Arlington 416 Yates Street Arlington, TX 76010
May 24th: Legal and ADA issues of Practicing Architecture at Building Industry Professionals Conference, Arlington Texas
If you are interested in Building Code seminars check out my colleague Shahla Layendecker with SSTL Codes
If you want to learn more about these standards, be sure to check out my books:
97c8a80a-9426-4c3d-88fb-ef6213d947126fc8cab3-4989-476b-b86b-d65fdc8c74cc

They are available for sale now. (also available as an e-book)

If you have any questions about these or any other topics, please feel free to contact me anytime.

Marcela Abadi Rhoads, RAS #240
Abadi Accessibility
214. 403.8714
marhoads@abadiaccess.com
www.abadiaccess.com

ANSI vs. ADA

Monday, January 4th, 2016

What is ANSI?

ANSI is part of a model code.  The IBC Model code has requirements for accessibility. It is found in Chapter 11 and references the ANSI A117.1 Guidelines.  ANSI on its own does not have any scoping requirements.  In other words, it doesn’t tell you how many elements must be accessible.  It mainly gives you technical guidelines on how to make elements accessible to people with disabilities.
ADA, on the other hand, is a civil rights law that is not tied to a building code.  Title III of the ADA requires that certain elements within facilities be accessible to the disabled community.  Whether or not there is construction in a facility, the ADA still applies.  Below you will find some other technical differences on the requirements between the ADA and ANSI guidelines.

Some Differences between ADA Design Guidelines and ANSI A117.1

In the 2010 ADA Standards, the side wall grab bars are required to be horizontal per the figure below
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ANSI A117.1 , in addition to the horizontal grab bar, it requires a vertical grab bar at the side wall.
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In the ADA, a set of doors in series has a certain dimension between the two doors.
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But in ANSI A117.1  the same doors in series also require a turning space within the interim space.
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Toilet paper dispensers at the water closet also have different requirements between ADA and ANSI.  The 2010 ADA Standards requires that the dispenser be located between 7″-9″ from the face of the toilet
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The ANSI Standards is more flexible on the position, and gives the designer more options
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Inspector’s Corner

While doing an ANSI inspection at a multi-family housing project, I noticed the accessible parking space for one of the residential dwelling units.  It was a covered parking space, but they forgot to also cover the access aisle.  The post that is supporting the roof for the covered parking is in the way of the access aisle.  A driver will have a hard time opening their door and maneuvering onto the access aisle with this parking space

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Need CEUs

If you are interested in Building Code seminars check out my colleague Shahla Layendecker with SSTL Codes
If you want to learn more about these standards, be sure to check out my books:
97c8a80a-9426-4c3d-88fb-ef6213d94712
6fc8cab3-4989-476b-b86b-d65fdc8c74cc

If you have any questions about these or any other topics, please feel free to contact me anytime.

Marcela Abadi Rhoads, RAS #240
Abadi Accessibility
214. 403.8714
marhoads@abadiaccess.com
www.abadiaccess.com

Public Right of Way

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015

The ADA and TAS have requirements for building entrances.  The building code also has requirements for means of egress.  Both ADA and the building code connect entrances and means of egress to either a public way or a public street.  This newsletter will explain the difference between a public way and a public street and will give examples of how these can be applied to our accessible designs.

Definition of Public Way

The ADA defines a “Public way” as follows:
Public Way. Any street, alley or other parcel of land open to the outside air leading to a public street, which has been deeded, dedicated or otherwise permanently appropriated to the public for public use and which has a clear width and height of not less than 10 feet (3050 mm).
 If you notice the  definition, in addition to the public way being a street or alley, it also speaks about “other parcel of land open to the outside air leading to a public street” .  

But what does that mean?  My very smart client Josh Williams from D2 Architecture pointed out to me that  “other parcel of land” could be a parking lot that is located within the property line as long as it is open to the outside air and connected to a public street.  A parking garage would not meet that definition.

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Public Way and Accessible Means of Egress

When designing an accessible means of egress, you are required to create a continuous and unobstructed path of travel to a safe area for a person with disabilities to reach in case of an emergency.
The definition of this path of travel is:
Accessible Means of Egress. A continuous and unobstructed way of egress travel from any point in a building or facility that provides an accessible route to an area of refuge, a horizontal exit, or a public way.
An accessible means of egress can terminate at a public way.  As we saw on the previous section, the public way can be a parking lot.
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This parking lot is an acceptable “public way” for the purposes of providing a route for an accessible means of egress from the shopping center to the right.

Public Way and Accessible Route

Although, as we read in the previous section, an accessible means of egress is only required up to the “public way”, an accessible route has to connect the buildings or facility to a site arrival.  A site arrival would also include public sidewalks and public transportation stops even if they are outside the property line.
206.2.1 Site Arrival Points. At least one accessible route shall be provided within the site from accessible parking spaces and accessible passenger loading zones; public streets and sidewalks; and public transportation stops to the accessible building or facility entrance they serve.
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Even though this bus stop is not within the property line of the shopping mall that we see behind it, it must have an accessible route from the bus stop to the mall entrance.
EXCEPTION:
1. Where exceptions for alterations to qualified historic buildings or facilities are permitted by 202.5, no more than one accessible route from a site arrival point to an accessible entrance shall be required.
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2. An accessible route shall not be required between site arrival points and the building or facility entrance if the only means of access between them is a vehicular way not providing pedestrian access.
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 This photo shows a building but no pedestrian access.  This would not require an accessible route all the way to the street.

Upcoming Continuing Education Opportunities

November 5 and 6: “Texas Accessibility Standards: A Success story of inclusion for over 20 years” TSA convention in Dallas, Texas (pricing for the convention go up on September 2nd)

If you are interested in Building Code seminars check out my colleague Shahla Layendecker with SSTL Codes

If you want to learn more about these standards, be sure to check out my books:

“The ADA Companion Guide”  “Applying the ADA” published by Wiley. 

 

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6fc8cab3-4989-476b-b86b-d65fdc8c74cc

 They are available for sale now. (also available as an e-book)
If you have any questions about these or any other topics, please feel free to contact me anytime.

Marcela Abadi Rhoads, RAS #240
Abadi Accessibility
214. 403.8714
marhoads@abadiaccess.com
www.abadiaccess.com

Useful Links
4211966d-1763-427b-b22d-635a5a5536d8
23e5e0af-7846-472b-b702-19386acb4fca0e98de4a-47d4-412d-9302-b0212a4b2b0d

Inspector’s Corner

Monday, August 3rd, 2015

July 26th, 2015 was the 25th anniversary of the ADA.  On July 23rd the AIA Dallas organized an awareness day exercise called “Wheelchair in A Day” where we asked 10 architects to sit in a wheelchair and record their experiences throughout the day.  The day was a huge success and the stories they retold were so important.  This newsletter will give you a few examples of the participants.

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Thank you to Bob Bullis, AIA; Beth Brandt, AIA; Daivd Dillard, FAIA; Bob Borson, AIA; Peter Darby AIA, Laurel Stone, Amanda Adler, Jason Dugas, AIA for participating and for sharing your experience with the rest of us!

Traveling by Airplane on a wheelchair

AIA Dallas President Bob Bullis, AIA participated in the “Wheelchair for a Day” event.  He had a meeting in Houston which he decided to keep.  So he flew in his wheelchair and tweeted about his experience.  We asked him what was his biggest challenge.  He told us about his trials with TSA….and I will not get into the “search” pat down he received…Southwest Airlines was very accommodating, and allowed him to remain in the chair so he could experience what it was like.  He got to go to the front of the line and board first.

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He liked the feel of the Terrazzo flooring the best….easier to push on.  But noticed that even the slightest slope was hard to navigate

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Being in the office and going out to lunch

Two architects experienced their day in a wheelchair: Bob Borson, AIA and David Dillard, FAIA

Bob Borson, AIA experienced his day in the office doing his typical duties: making copies, taking drawings from his car to his desk, and even going out to lunch.  All a very eye opening experiences….read his blog post for a more detailed account

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I bet Bob was glad that the doors of his office had the proper widths and maneuvering clearances 

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When Bob wen out to lunch here is what he experienced 

Next challenge? Going out to lunch. Again, long arms to the rescue, but I am acutely aware of how freakishly long my arms are and as a result, I am acutely aware of how difficult going through a cafeteria line would be for people who don’t have the physical proportions of a simian. “ 

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Taking the tray back to his table was a big challenge…glad he didn’t drop his food!

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when he got to his table he noticed that there was no place for a wheelchair except at the end….he made everyone move and find a better table (It’s good to be the boss)

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David Dillard, FAIA also stayed in his office and also experienced his daily routine in a wheelchair.  Meetings are easier when you are the designer of the office and make accommodations…Good job David!

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David also had doors he had to maneuver…although his experience was different since he had an electric wheelchair

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The City of Dallas didn’t plan properly the locations of stop signs and fire hydrants.  David found them right in the middle of his accessible route.  I bet those were fun to maneuver.

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At lunch they found a restaurant with a wheelchair lift that accommodated him so he could dine with his colleagues

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Experiences like these makes architects and designers more sensitive to the people they are designing for.

Taking public transportation

The last example was of our friend Peter Darby, AIA who decided to spend his day in a wheelchair navigating the public transportation system in the City of Dallas

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Peter rode in buses, light rail, taxis and even Uber

“Quite a few impediments today. Blocked, Crooked pavements or sidewalks to nowhere! “

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He experienced getting onto light rail via ramps

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And buses

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Getting assistance from rail operators

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It takes so much longer to get from point A to point B when you are in a wheelchair taking public transportation, but most people with disabilities, especially visually impaired people use public transportation to get around.  It is so important that we have these accommodations to enable them to be independent and as sense of dignity and empowerment.

Upcoming Continuing Education Opportunities

August 7, 2015 Accessibility Professionals Association Regional training Plano, Texas

8:00 – 10:00 am- Difference between TAS and ADA Standards- 2 CE/LU/HSW

10:15 am -11:15 pm-  Retail Stores and Spaces- TDLR 1 CE #13464, AIA #155 1 LU/HSW- Detail Review of Retail Spaces Barrier Removal;Common errors; Path of Travel Requirements; Retail Accessible Parking and Accessible Routes,

August 13, 2015 Metrocon 15

An ADA Case Study of Existing & Remodeled Interiors
11:00 a.m. and 1:00PM

If you are interested in Building Code seminars check out my colleague Shahla Layendecker with SSTL Codes

If you want to learn more about these standards, be sure to check out my books:

“The ADA Companion Guide”  “Applying the ADA” published by Wiley. 

 

f6d0d3fd-b4dd-4507-a88a-ac46f993f5fb6fc8cab3-4989-476b-b86b-d65fdc8c74cc

 They are available for sale now. (also available as an e-book)

If you have any questions about these or any other topics, please feel free to contact me anytime.

Marcela Abadi Rhoads, RAS #240
Abadi Accessibility
214. 403.8714
marhoads@abadiaccess.com
www.abadiaccess.com

Useful Links

 

23e5e0af-7846-472b-b702-19386acb4fca0e98de4a-47d4-412d-9302-b0212a4b2b0d

Specifying ADA Products

Monday, November 24th, 2014

When spec writers, architects or even builders specify products there might be some confusion about what products are actually good for people with disabilities.  Sometimes the cut sheets will have the universal symbol of design, but they may not exactly be accessible.  Other times there might be so many choices that it can get confusing.  This newsletter will attempt to give you some general guidelines on what to look for when specifying.

302 Floor and Ground Surfaces

Accessible ground and floor surfaces must be firm, stable and slip resistant.  This is typically achieved by specifying a product with a high static coefficient of friction (specific number is not specified anymore, but good as a guideline).

There are several products that might be good for LEED that will not be good for accessibility.  One example is decomposed granite.  In essesce, DG is a type of gravel that is loose.  It is not considered stable unless you use stabilizers.  The DG must be maintained in order to keep it stable.  If the ground gets wet  the decomposed granite will be muddy and no longer stable.  I don’t recommend this surface. If possible, don’t use it on accessible routes or parking, and try to limit it to non-walking surfaces

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The photo above shows wheel marks where the decomposed granite is not stable and therefore not easy for people who use wheelchairs to use

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Parking spaces must also have a stable ground surface, and decomposed granite for parking spaces are not recommended

BEWARE OF CUT SHEETS!

Cut sheets for different products will sometimes show the universal symbol of accessibility on them.

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The symbol is not regulated and anyone can place it on any product without actually being endorsed or reviewed by the DOJ or ADA agencies.  So be careful when specifying products solely on the symbol being placed on the cut sheet.  Here are some examples:

This feminine napkin dispenser has the symbol shown on the cut sheet and states that if mounted at a height no higher than 48″ a.f.f. to the operating mechanism that it would comply with the ADA standards.  What they did not tell you is that the operating mechanism itself was not compliant.  In order for it to be compliant, it will require no tight grasping and pulling to operate.  This unit requires tight grasping and pulling.

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   1f8a295d-19c6-4b17-a330-66502ea4e91d

This is the unit installed which a person with disabilities may not be able to use

This paper towel dispenser in the cut sheet shown below also shows the universal symbol of accessibility, stating a similar claim that if mounted at a certain height, it will meet the ADA requirements.  This unit also did not take into consideration the operating mechanism.  Not only does the paper towels need to be tightly grasped and pulled to use, but if the paper is not out, the user will have to twist the red wheel by using their wrist to make the paper come out.

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Pre-fab showers sometimes have incorrect information on their spec/cut sheets.  The height of the curb for either roll in or transfer shower must not be higher than 1/2″.  The shower shown below states that it is ADA compliant, but if you notice the dimension on the threshold it states that it is either 5/8″ or 2″,which are not compliant

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309 Operating Mechanism

ADA section 309 states that “operable parts shall be operable with one hand and shall not require tight grasping, pinching, or twisting of the wrist. The force required to activate operable parts shall be 5 pounds (22.2 N) maximum.”

5% of lockers must have the proper operating mechanism.  Built in locks that require tight grasping and twisting of the wrist is not compliant.

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The lockers shown above have the built in lock that requires twisting of the wrist to operate and it is not compliant with ADA guidelines

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This locker shows a push button locking mechanism which is better for accessibility

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One operable window per room or space must be accessible and follow section 309.  They must be able to be opened without twisting of the wrist or more than five pounds of opening force.  The handle on the picture above can be opened with a closed fist.

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Pocket doors are hard to open without using your hands.  This operating mechanism is a good solution which opens up with using knuckles to release the handle

Upcoming CEU opportunities

Note: We will be at the TSA convention November 5,6 and 7

November 6- TSA Convention in Houston Texas! Early Bird Three Hr Seminar: Applying TAS in Existing and Renovated Buildings” 

November 13- Half Moon Class: Complying with Changes to Barrier Free Requirements: Determining which code applies to your project 10:45 a.m. Arlington Texas

November 13- CSI Dallas Meeting : Specifying for the ADA 7-8 p.m. in Addison Texas

If you are interested in Building Code seminars check out my colleague Shahla Layendecker with SSTL Codes

We are celebrating our 10th year of service to the building industry as a Registered Accessibility Specialist!  Mention this newsletter and receive 10% off your next review or inspection.

If you want to learn more about these standards, be sure to check out my books:

“The ADA Companion Guide”  “Applying the ADA” published by Wiley. 

f6d0d3fd-b4dd-4507-a88a-ac46f993f5fb
6fc8cab3-4989-476b-b86b-d65fdc8c74cc

 They are available for sale now. (also available as an e-book)

If you have any questions about these or any other topics, please feel free to contact me anytime.

If you have any questions about these or any other topics, please feel free to contact me anytime.

Marcela Abadi Rhoads, RAS #240
Abadi Accessibility
214. 403.8714
marhoads@abadiaccess.com
www.abadiaccess.com

Useful Links
4211966d-1763-427b-b22d-635a5a5536d8
 23e5e0af-7846-472b-b702-19386acb4fca0e98de4a-47d4-412d-9302-b0212a4b2b0d

Accessible Entrances

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

The 2010 ADA Standards requires that entrances be made accessible.  Not every entrance has to be, but there are requirements for the different types of entrances provided.  The following entrances are required to comply:

  1. Public Entrances
  2. Parking Structure entrances
  3. Entrances from Tunnels  or Elevated Walkways
  4. Entrances at Transportation Facilities
  5. Tenant Spaces
  6. Residential Dwelling Units (Not Fair Housing or ANSI)
  7. Restricted Entrances
  8. Service Entrances
  9. Entrances for inmates or detainees

The newsletter will explain how the accessibility requirements.

Public Entrances

ADA Section 206.4.1 requires that 60 percent of all public entrances shall comply with the door requirements listed in section 404.  A public entrance is defined as:

“An entrance that is not a service entrance or a restricted entrance”

This means that if the entrance is available for the general public to use, then it will be  a public entrance.

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This is a tenant space with a tenant entrance

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Parking Structure Entrance 

Each direct access to the building from the parking structure

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Entrances from Tunnels or Elevated Walkways 

At least one direct entrance to the building must be accessible.

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Transportation facilities 

At least one public entrance serving each fixed route or group of fixed routes

Section 404 explains the requirements for the doors located at the entrances.  There should be proper widths, proper hardware and maneuvering clearances.  If the doors are not on grade and a ramp is required to access them, a landing at the top and bottom of the ramp should be provided and should coincide with the maneuvering clearances a the doors.  The image below shows an entrance, but not accessible (even though it shows the universal symbol of access)  😉

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Restricted and Service Entrances

A restricted entrance is defined as:

“Restricted entrance is an entrance that is made available for common use on a controlled basis but not public use and that is not a service entrance.”

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At least one of restricted entrance to the building or facility shall comply with Section 404.

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At least one primary entrance a residential dwelling unit that has to comply with ADA  shall comply. Residential dwelling units that is required to comply with ADA are group homes, homeless shelters,  faculty and director’s residences in places of education and sleeping quarters for emergency personnel.

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Where entrances used only by inmates or detainees and security personnel are provided at judicial facilities, detention facilities, or correctional facility, at least one such entrance shall comply.

A service entrance is defined as:

“Service Entrance is an entrance intended primarily for delivery of goods or services.”

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If a service entrance is the only entrance to a building or to a tenancy in a facility, that entrance shall comply with Section 404.  Otherwise it is not required to.

Public Comments wanted by TDLR

The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (Department) is reviewing the Elimination of Architectural Barriers rules (Title 16, Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 68) for re-adoption, revision, or repeal.

The Department will determine whether the reasons for adopting or readopting these rules continue to exist by answering the following questions for each rule:

* Is it obsolete?
* Does it reflect current legal and policy considerations?
* Is it in alignment with the current procedures of the Department?

The Department encourages anyone interested in the Elimination of Architectural Barriers program to review the Notice of Intent and current Chapter 68 rules online at

http://www.tdlr.texas.gov/ab/abrules.htm

Comments may be submitted by email to erule.comments@tdlr.texas.gov

Deadline for comments-June 30, 2014

More information

Our offices will be closed on June 4th and 5th.

We are celebrating our 10th year of service to the building industry as a Registered Accessibility Specialist!  Mention this newsletter and receive 10% off your next review or inspection.

If you want to learn more about these standards, be sure to check out my books:

“The ADA Companion Guide”

“Applying the ADA” published by Wiley. 

They are available for sale now. (also available as an e-book)

If you have any questions about these or any other topics, please feel free to contact me anytime.

Marcela Abadi Rhoads, RAS #240
Abadi Accessibility
214. 403.8714
marhoads@abadiaccess.com
www.abadiaccess.com

Useful Links
4211966d-1763-427b-b22d-635a5a5536d8
 23e5e0af-7846-472b-b702-19386acb4fca0e98de4a-47d4-412d-9302-b0212a4b2b0d