Differences between A117.1-2009 and the 2010 ADA Standards

February 28, 2014

The most obvious difference between the 2010 ADA Standards and A117.1-2009 is Chapter 2. Chapter 2 of the  ADA Standards provides complete scoping for determining when and where accessibility is required. Chapter 2 of A117.1 does not include scoping but instead defers to the administrative authority that adopted the standard. Typically, the scoping comes from Chapter 11 of the IBC.

Aside from this bureaucratic difference, there are some major differences between the scoping and technical requirements of the ADA Standards and the IBC/ICC A117.1.

For example: Multiple Single-User Toilet and Bathing Rooms

Both standards start with the requirement that each toilet room and bathing room must be accessible.

ADA 213.2 Toilet Rooms and Bathing Rooms. Where toilet rooms are provided, each toilet room shall comply with 603. Where bathing rooms are provided, each bathing room shall comply with 603.

IBC 1109.2 Toilet and bathing facilities. Each toilet room and bathing room shall be accessible.

Then, exceptions are offered for existing conditions, private offices, transient lodging and medical facilities.

The exceptions for multiple single-use toilet rooms have one not-so-obvious difference:

ADA 213.2 Exception 4. Where multiple single user toilet rooms are clustered at a single location, no more than 50 percent of the single user toilet rooms for each use at each cluster shall be required to comply with 603.

IBC 1109.2 Exception 3. Where multiple single-user toilet rooms or bathing rooms are clustered at a single location, at least 50% but not less than one room for each use at each cluster shall be accessible.

The exception in the ADA Standards leaves out bathing rooms and only allows the exception for toilet rooms. It is unclear why bathing rooms were not included in the exception.

The result is that if you have multiple single user bathrooms in facility such as a truck stop, 100% of the bathing rooms must be accessible. A clinic that has 4 unisex toilet rooms would only require 2 accessible toilet rooms.

This interpretation has been confirmed by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation and addressed in Technical Memorandum 2013-10.

 

 

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A few questions from a client regarding sinks in break rooms.

August 7, 2012

From: Brad Pitt, Architect (honorary)

Sent: Monday, August 06, 2012 5:37 PM

To: Jeromy Murphy [jmurphy@acico.com]

Subject: Accessibility Question-Knee Space under Sinks

We are trying to get proper interpretation on the attached bulletin.

In summary:

  • A Break Room with a sink but without “Cooking Facilities” is not required to have Knee Space
  • Any room with at least one fixed or built-in cooking facility including microwave ovens is considered a kitchen and therefore the sink needs knee space
  • A portable countertop Microwave Oven is not considered a Cooking Facility since it is not fixed or built-in
  • Sinks in Break Rooms with no other cooking facility except a portable countertop microwave oven does not require knee space

Are these statements correct?

Your best buddy,

Brad

————————————————————————-

From: Jeromy Murphy [jmurphy@acico.com]

Sent: Monday, August 06, 2012 5:37 PM

To: Brad Pitt, Architect (honorary)

Subject: re: Accessibility Question-Knee Space under Sinks

Brad,

So good to hear from you. See my answers in red below. Note that these are NOT my interpretations, they are directly from TDLR.

      • A Break Room with a sink but without “Cooking Facilities” is not required to have Knee Space. False. 606.2(Exception 1) only applies to sinks located in “Kitchens” or “Wet Bars”. Because a break room is neither a kitchen nor a wet bar, the knee clearance is required (ridiculous, I know).
      • Any room with at least one fixed or built-in cooking facility including microwave ovens is considered a kitchen and therefore the sink needs knee space. True, but…If there is only a microwave, you can apply 606.2(Exception 1) and not provide the knee clearance. If it’s a non-fixed microwave, you can still call it a kitchen, but then you must meet the 50% storage and other kitchen requirements.
      • A portable countertop Microwave Oven is not considered a Cooking Facility since it is not fixed or built-in. Truish. These Standards only address fixed or built-in elements. If dedicated circuits or shelves are provided for a microwave, it could still be considered a kitchen.
      • Sinks in Break Rooms with no other cooking facility except a portable countertop microwave oven does not require knee space. False. As described, this is not a kitchen nor a wetbar, therefore 606.2(Exception 1) cannot be applied.

See you this Thanksgiving,

Jeromy

For reference:

606.2 Clear Floor Space. A clear floor space complying with 305, positioned for a forward approach, and knee and toe clearance complying with 306 shall be provided.

EXCEPTIONS: 
1. A parallel approach complying with 305 shall be permitted to a kitchen sink in a space where a cook top or conventional range is not provided and to wet bars.


Problems with the 2010 ADA Standards (and 2012 TAS)

July 18, 2012

There are two things that really bug me about the new Standards.

Firstly, this issue with 50% storage in kitchens. See my earlier post. This rule was not written by someone familiar with designing kitchens. Just take a look at the recent Access-Board webinar on kitchens where in one slide they show upper cabinets dimensioned 48″ to the bottom shelf, but somehow still fit a microwave under that upper cabinet. The elevation is unrealistic and so is the rule.

Secondly, under the old Standards we had an exception for maneuvering clearance at doors that were automatic or power-assisted (1991 ADA Standards 4.13.6). The new Standards allow the maneuvering clearance exception only at doors that are automatic. Here in Texas, and probably elsewhere, the interpretation is that an automatic door does not require any interaction so push-button operators are out. The problem with this is that often push-button operators were installed at existing restroom doors where tight spaces didn’t allow the provision of complying maneuvering clearance. Now, I guess that door will need to be automatic and will just swing open anytime someone passes by. I don’t think that is very practical.

Away from any State or local authority you can always argue compliance to the “maximum extent feasible” and stick with the push-button, but in Texas the words “maximum extent feasible” equate to “rejected variance application”.


Barrier-free Continuing Education

May 3, 2012

By request, here is the slideshow that I use for continuing education. Distribution is encouraged (see CC license info below).

TASPresentation2012

Upcoming seminars:

 June 14: AIA Austin 2012 Annual Summer Conference & Product Expo, Commons Learning Center.

October 18: Texas Society of Architects Annual Conference, Austin Convention Center

Creative Commons License
2012 TAS Presentation by Jeromy G. Murphy is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.


The problem with Kitchens in the 2010 ADA Standards

April 19, 2012

This information is out of date. Refer to RAS Bulletin 2012-01 for more info.

First let’s look at what the Standards say to do:

212.2 Kitchens and Kitchenettes. Kitchens and kitchenettes shall comply with 804.

804.5 Storage. At least 50 percent of shelf space in storage facilities shall comply with 811.

811.3 Height. Storage elements shall comply with at least one of the reach ranges specified in 308.

308.3.1 Unobstructed. Where a clear floor or ground space allows a parallel approach to an element and the side reach is unobstructed, the high side reach shall be 48 inches (1220 mm) maximum and the low side reach shall be 15 inches (380 mm) minimum above the finish floor or ground.

Ok, simple enough. 50% of the shelves shall be with 15″ and 48″. And I have been told by the Access-Board that we should measure linear feet of shelves. No problem.

Let’s take a look at a typical breakroom kitchenette with counter-top, sink, dishwasher and storage.

Well, that doesn’t seem to work. I don’t have enough shelf space to make up for the upper cabinets and I’m only counting 2 shelves in the upper cabinets. Let’s try to add a pantry to make this work.


Dangit! 4-1/2′ short. Guess I’ll have to lose even more counter space to get this done.


Now this is just ridiculous. I guess the only way to comply is to have very little vertical clearance at each shelf or eliminate the upper cabinets. Or we could just pretend there is only one shelf in the upper cabinets.

Any ideas?


Swimming Pool access delayed.

April 12, 2012

http://www.ada.gov//regs2010/final_rule_pools.htm

SUMMARY: By this rule, the Department of Justice is extending the date for compliance with certain requirements in the 2010 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Standards for Accessible Design (2010 Standards) that relate to provision of accessible entry and exit for swimming pools, wading pools, and spas. This final rule, based on a finding of good cause, changes the date for compliance from March 15, 2012, to May 21, 2012 in order to allow additional time to address misunderstandings regarding compliance with these ADA requirements. Some pool owners and operators believed that taking certain steps would always satisfy their obligations under the ADA when in fact those steps would not necessarily result in compliance with the ADA regulations.

DATES: Effective on March 15, 2012, the compliance date for 28 CFR 35.150(b)(1), (b)(2)(ii), and 28 CFR 36.304 (d)(2)(iii) for sections 242 and 1009 of the 2010 Standards is delayed to May 21, 2012.

 

There was really no point in delaying this rule. The misunderstanding that they mention in the summary will still be around in 60 days. It will still be there in 10 years.

Unfortunately, the DOJ does not provide black & white answers to questions regarding existing facilities. They say that technical infeasibility and readily achievable are determined on a case by case basis. This is too ambiguous for hotel owners.

The drama continues.


Effective date of the 2012 Texas Accessibility Standards

December 14, 2011

The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) recently announced adoption of the 2012 Texas Accessibility Standards. These new Standards are modeled on the 2010 ADA Standards and are mostly identical except for some minor changes.

Unlike the 2010 ADA Standards, TDLR did not allow for a grace period in which compliance is optional. Prior to March 15, 2012 compliance with the 1994 Texas Standards is required. After March 15, 2012 compliance with the 2012 Texas Standards is required.

As we approach the deadline, many architects have been inquiring about specific permit and construction start dates. Here are the specifics from the ADA Standards:

Compliance Date for Title II

If the start date for construction is on or after March 15, 2012, all newly constructed or altered State and local government facilities must comply with the 2010 Standards.  Before that date, the 1991 Standards (without the elevator exemption), the UFAS, or the 2010 Standards may be used for such projects when the start of construction commences on or after September 15, 2010.

Compliance Date for Title III

The compliance date for the 2010 Standards for new construction and alterations is determined by:

  • the date the last application for a building permit or permit extension is certified to be complete by a State, county, or local government;
  • the date the last application for a building permit or permit extension is received by a State, county, or local government, where the government does not certify the completion of applications; or 
  • the start of physical construction or alteration, if no permit is required. 

If that date is on or after March 15, 2012, then new construction and alterations must comply with the 2010 Standards.  If that date is on or after September 15, 2010, and before March 15, 2012, then new construction and alterations must comply with either the 1991 or the 2010 Standards.

The specifics for the 2012 Texas Accessibility Standards are bit different. First, they do not differentiate between Title II and Title III facilities. Secondly, they left off the bit about “if no permit is required”. From the TDLR website:

Compliance with the 2012 TAS will be required on all buildings and facilities subject to Chapter 469.003 when:

  • the construction project is registered with the Department on or after March 15, 2012 ; or
  • the application for a building permit is issued by a state, county, or local government on or after March 15, 2012; or
  • the commencement of construction begins on or after March 15, 2012.

This would mean that even if a project was permitted prior to March 15, 2012, compliance with the new Standards would be required if construction began after March 15, 2012.  BUT DON”T STOP READING.

I submitted a request to Tech Info for clarification. This was their response:

TDLR RESPONSE TO RAS:  The third bullet point addresses projects that are not required to be registered (such as those that have a construction cost of less than $50,000) or those located in municipalities or cities that do not issue building permits.

Therefore, the 3rd bullet point is only applicable when the project is not being permitted.