There are certain things in Access that at first and even second glance, appear to be clear. But many of the simple things are not as intuitive as you might imagine, particularly if you are not a wheelchair user. Clear floor spaces, for instance.
Aside from hotels, motels, and inns there are other types of vacation rentals that people use. Some fall under the definition of bed and breakfasts while others are considered short-term private rentals where people rent out their homes, or rooms within their homes whether thru an agent or thru online companies such as Airbnb.
With the 2010 ADA Standards, college housing, if operated by or on behalf of a place of education, is considered transient lodging even though the period of stay is over 30 days. What this means is, it is required to comply with the ADA Standards, and in California, Section 11B as well.
Over the years people use various terminology referring to areas where pedestrian move – circulation path, accessible route, path of travel, and accessible means of egress. But the question is, are all of these terms inter-changeable or do they have some nuance of difference in their meaning? The answer is, they do overlap each other, but there is indeed differences between each of the terms. It would be good to understand the differences since the ADA Standards has further requirements for each of these categories and limits some of what we can do within each.
Generally when we design a project, we know what codes and regulations apply. But what happens if the project was shelved for a while and suddenly comes alive? Or for that matter what happens if the project is under construction during the transition from the 1991 ADA to the 2010 ADA and it is an ADA requirement that was not previously regulated.
When we do layouts of tables and seating, the question comes up – how much space between the tables and aisles are we going to need? We know we are required to have 5% of the seating accessible and dispersed within the area, but there is nothing specific on spacing other than that the tables are accessible and require a specific amount of clear floor space and the aisles require a specific width. So, we need to put this information together.
So what do we need to know about access for kitchen storage? Since we are talking about ADA it would pertain to kitchens that are new or altered in employee lounges/break rooms, and new or altered kitchenettes or kitchens in transient lodging whether in the guest room or in a common space. It would also apply to kitchens in multi-family residences that are owned, built, or operated on behalf of a public agency both in the common space and in the mobility feature dwelling units.
Truncated domes, a form of detectable warnings, have been around for a while. It is one of those items which is not a great solution but there does not appear to be anything comparable. It is meant for people with a visual impairment to determine the boundary between a sidewalk and a street. It has been used to warn of hazards along a circulation path where there is no curb, although it can cause a problem for people with other types of disabilities and can even create a trip hazard for those who are able-bodied. Also, in new construction, there has been a trend to eliminate curbs so we have even a less of a separation between vehicles and pedestrians.
The 2015 Jury of Fellows from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) has elected Janis Kent to its esteemed College of Fellows.
In the last few years I have noticed more and more projects for both new and altered multi-family dwellings some of which are multi-use as well. These projects are both privately funded and publicly funded leading to the question – which regulations are applicable. There is no simple answer since, as usual, it depends. It depends on whether it is totally privately funded or whether it has some public funding or involvement. It also depends on whether it is new construction, a conversion from lofts or something similar, or whether it is an older building.