For some reason, storage requirements appear to be confusing for most people – either accessible storage is forgotten completely or adequate accessible storage is not provided. And there also are some ambiguous portions in the ADA which really do need to be better defined. Like most other things in Access, the requirements for storage depends on its use. In order for storage to be considered accessible, it needs to be within reach range, whether side or forward reach, and from a level clear floor space that is along an accessible route. If it has any operable parts then they are required to have 5 lbs maximum operating force and are operable without tight grasping, pinching, or twisting of the wrist. The issue though, is the scoping – how much do we need? Below is a summary of different types of storage and their respective requirements.
Pool lifts have very specific requirements which many times have been overlooked – from the mechanism itself to the level clear floor space adjacent to the water edge. Lifts are typically required for both pools and spas, although there are other alternative means of entry into the water that are also acceptable. This requirement first became mandatory on March 15, 2012 but an extension was provided until January 31, 2013 for existing pools. What was cause for great confusion at the time was the difference between the industry language of portable lift versus fixed and the ADA requirements. Basically the ADA states that the lift has to be fixed – whether this means a portable lift that is fixed in place or a typical fixed lift – both appear to be acceptable as long as they meet the other lift requirements.
While the ADA Standards for Accessible Design (ADAS) have a tremendous amount of information, they can not cover all specific items and occurrences…hence the gray areas. Presuming you have verified the Scoping Requirements in Chapter 2 which provides information on whether it applies to your specific facility, and additionally you have verified the definitions as listed in the Application and Administration provisions located in Chapter 1, which may better define specific words, and you still are at loss, there are other resources.
Aside from all of the scoping and technical information one is required to implement into transient lodging guest rooms, there are a number of other items to be aware of that may not be as clearly defined.
Acceptable tolerances are one of the major questions for built projects. No matter how carefully we delineate drawings or how well facilities are built, there always seems to be something that comes up that is not per plan or design. So after it is built, the question often is, a tolerance of ¼” or a tenth of a percent, for instance, is it acceptable? The answer is, of course – it depends.
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.