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.
One of the more common questions posed to me, is in regards to existing buildings. Many times it is a very simple question of what do I need to do? But in order to answer this question, other than ‘it depends’, there is a whole list of information that has impact and needs to be known.
Trash enclosures are one of the items we tend not to talk about or even think about much – out of sight, out of mind, and for years it was thought no access was required. But a trash enclosure should have some measure of access – the question is how much?
Proportional spending translates basically into how much additional money will be required to be spent over and above construction costs of a project to provide access for path of travel items. It only comes into play when performing alterations to primary function areas per ADA or all altered spaces per CBC, or altering the usability of a space, or additions to existing buildings or facilities. Some of these items may not even fall within the altered area but support the area itself. So if you are only doing new construction this does not pertain, although new construction and an altered area itself are required to totally comply.
Guest rooms in hotels, motels, and other short stay facilities can be quite complex with all of the requirements. There are one set of requirements for mobility rooms, another set of requirements for communication feature rooms, and even requirements for all of the rest of the guest rooms in terms of Access.