I: ACCESSIBLE BUILDINGS -- ADDITIONS AND ALTERATIONS
Additions must meet the applicable minimum requirements for new construction in 4.1.1
to 4.1.3 and the applicable technical provisions in 4.2 through 4.35 and 5.0 through 10.0
for each space or element added to the existing building or facility. Use the applicable
survey forms for new construction for each altered element or space.
Additions to an existing building or facility also are regarded as alterations. An
addition that affects an area of primary function must also comply with 4.1.6(2) and 28
No alteration may decrease accessibility below the requirements for new construction.
Alterations are not required to provide greater accessibility than that in new
construction. In existing buildings or facilities, alterations must comply with the
- Each element, space, feature, or area that is altered must comply with the applicable
minimum requirements for new construction in 4.1.1 through 4.1.3 and the applicable
technical provisions in 4.2 through 4.35 and 5.0 through 10.0. (Use Forms 1-29.) If the
applicable requirements for new construction require that an element, space, feature, or
area be on an accessible route, an accessible route is not required except as provided in
4.1.6(2) (Alterations to an Area Containing Primary Function).
- When alterations of single elements amount to an alteration of a room or space, the entire space must be made accessible.
- If full compliance with the technical provisions (4.2 through 4.35 and 5.0 through 10.0)
of an altered element, space, feature, or area is technically infeasible, the special
technical provisions in 4.1.6(3) may be utilized. If there is no special technical
provision in 4.1.6(3) for an altered element, space, feature, or area, or if full
compliance with the special technical provision is technically infeasible, the alteration
must provide accessibility to the maximum extent feasible. Any elements or features of the
building or facility that are being altered and can be made accessible, must be made
accessible within the scope of the alteration.
Special Technical Provisions 4.1.6(3): The following elements may be
modified only as described below.
- Curb Ramps and Ramps - Slope and Rise: Where space limitations prohibit
the use of a 1:12 slope, a slope between 1:10 and 1:12 is allowed for a maximum rise of
6 inches; and a slope between 1:8 and 1:10 is allowed for a maximum rise of 3
- Stairs - Handrail Extensions: Where handrail extensions would be
hazardous (e.g., protruding into pedestrian traffic perpendicular to the stair) or
impossible due to plan configuration, full extension of handrails is not required.
- Elevators - Safety Edges and Car Dimensions: If safety edges are
provided in an existing automatic elevator, automatic door opening devices may be omitted.
Where existing shaft configuration or technical infeasibility prohibits full compliance
with 4.10.9, the car plan dimensions may be reduced by the minimum amount necessary, but
in no case shall the inside car area be less than 48 inches by 48 inches. Equivalent
facilitation may be provided with an elevator car of different dimensions when usability
can be demonstrated and when all other accessible elements comply with 4.10.
- Doors - Clear Opening and Thresholds: Where it is technically
infeasible to comply with the 32 inch clear opening width requirement, a maximum
projection of 5/8 inch will be permitted for the latch side stop. If existing thresholds
are no more than 3/4 inch high, and have (or are modified to have) a beveled edge on each
side, they may remain.
- Toilet/Bath Rooms - Unisex, Alternate Stall, Directional Signage: Where
it is technically infeasible to modify both men's and women's toilets/bath rooms in
compliance with 4.22 or 4.23, a unisex toilet/bath room is permitted. Each unisex toilet
room must contain one water closet complying with 4.16 and one lavatory complying with
4.19, and the door must have a privacy latch. Where it is technically infeasible to
install a required standard stall (Fig. 30(a)), or where other codes prohibit reduction of
the fixture count, either alternate stall (Fig. 30(b)) may be provided. Where existing
toilet/bath rooms are not altered to be accessible, signage must be provided indicating
the location of the nearest accessible toilet/bath room within the facility.
- Assembly Areas - Dispersal of Seating and Performing Areas: Where it is
technically infeasible to meet dispersal requirements, accessible seating may be
clustered. Each accessible seating area must have provisions for companion seating and
must be located on an accessible route usable as a means of emergency egress. Where it is
technically infeasible to alter all performing areas to be on an accessible route, at
least one of each type of performing area must be made accessible.
- Lifts - Conditions for Use: In alterations, the use of lifts is not
limited to the four conditions in 4.1.3(5) Exception 4. Lifts must comply with 4.11 and
applicable State and local codes.
- Dressing/Fitting Rooms - Minimum Number: Where technically infeasible
to provide the minimum number of dressing/fitting rooms required in 4.1.3(21), one
dressing room for each sex (or one unisex room if typical) on each level must be made
Additional Requirements and Exceptions (4.1.6(1)):
- Text Telephones - At least one interior public text telephone complying with 4.31.9 must
be provided where:
- Alterations to existing buildings or facilities with fewer than four exterior of
interior public pay telephones would increase the total number to four or more telephones
with at least one in an interior location; or
- Alterations to one or more exterior or interior public pay telephones occur in an
existing building or facility with four or more public telephones with at least one in an
- Accessible Vertical Access - If an escalator or stair is planned or
installed where none existed previously and major structural modifications are necessary
for such installation, then a means of accessible vertical access must be provided that
complies with the applicable provisions of 4.7 Curb Ramps, 4.8 Ramps, 4.10 Elevators, or
- Areas of Rescue Assistance - In alterations, areas of rescue assistance
are not required because the new construction requirements of 4.1.3(9), 4.3.10 and 4.3.11
do not apply.
- Entrances - If a planned alteration entails alterations to an entrance,
and the building has an accessible entrance, the entrance being altered is not required to
comply with 4.1.3(8), except to the extent required by 4.1.6(2). If a particular entrance
is not made accessible, appropriate accessible signage indicating the location of the
nearest accessible entrance(s) must be installed at or near the inaccessible entrance,
such that a person with a disability will not be required to retrace the approach route
from the inaccessible entrance.
- Alterations Not Affecting Accessibility - If the alteration work is
limited solely to the electrical, mechanical, or plumbing system, or to hazardous material
abatement, or automatic sprinkler retrofitting, and does not involve the alteration of any
elements or spaces required to be accessible under ADAAG then 4.1.6(2) does not apply.
- Elevator Exception - If a building is less than three stories or has
less than 3,000 square feet per story, an elevator is not required unless the building is
a shopping center or shopping mall, the professional office of a health care provider, or
a transportation facility. These terms are defined in 28 CFR _36.404(a).
Alterations to an Area Containing a Primary Function (4.1.6(2)):
In addition to the requirements of 4.1.6(1), an alteration that affects or could affect
the usability of or access to an area containing a primary function must be made so as to
ensure that, to the maximum extent feasible, the path of travel to the altered area and
the restrooms, telephones, and drinking fountains serving the altered area, are readily
accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, unless such alterations are
disproportionate to the overall alterations in terms of cost and scope (as determined
under criteria established by the Attorney General). These terms are further defined in 28
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