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CHAPTER 4:  ALTERNATIVES THAT ELIMINATE COSTS ESTIMATED FOR THE PROPOSED RULE
 

4.0  Introduction

 

The regulatory assessment for the proposed rule estimated that the national costs of the rule would be $87.5 million annually for newly constructed office buildings, hotels, and sports stadiums and arenas.[52]  The Access Board adopted alternatives in the final revised guidelines that eliminate these costs.  This chapter discusses the alternatives that were adopted.  The relevant text of the current guidelines, the proposed rule, and the final revised guidelines is presented in tables.  Unless otherwise noted, the current guidelines refer to ADAAG.  Scoping and technical requirements are presented together, where appropriate.  The text of the proposed rule that imposed the cost and the text of the final revised guidelines that eliminates the cost are underlined.  Where a new requirement was included in the proposed rule, but is not included in the final revised guidelines, there is no underlined text in the final revised guidelines.  Equivalent requirements in the International Building Code and the ICC/ANSI A117.1 Standard on Accessible and Usable Buildings and Facilities are also noted in the tables.[53]

4.1  Office Buildings

 

The proposed rule added a new scoping requirement for visible alarms in employee work areas. The regulatory assessment for the proposed rule estimated the national costs of the revision for newly constructed office buildings would be $16 million annually.  As discussed below, the final revised guidelines eliminate these costs.

 

Visible Alarms in Employee Work Areas

 

Table 4.1 shows the relevant text of the current guidelines, the proposed rule, and the final revised guidelines with respect to the scoping requirement for visible alarms in employee work areas.

 

Table 4.1 - Visible Alarms in Employee Work Areas (text version)

Current Guidelines

Proposed Rule

Final Revised Guidelines

4.1.1(3)  Areas Used Only by Employees as Work Areas.  Areas that are used only as work areas shall be designed and constructed so that individuals with disabilities can approach, enter, and exit the areas.  These guidelines do not require that any areas used only as work areas be constructed to permit maneuvering within the work area or be constructed or equipped (i.e., with racks or shelves) to be accessible.

 

4.1.3  Accessible Buildings: New Construction.  Accessible buildings and facilities shall meet the following minimum requirements: . . .

 

(14)  If emergency warning systems are provided, then they shall include both audible alarms and visual alarms complying with 4.28. . . .

203.3  Employee Work Areas.  Employee work areas shall be designed and constructed so that individuals with disabilities can approach enter, and exit the employee work areas.  In addition, visual alarm coverage shall be provided where audible alarm coverage is provided in employee work areas.  This part does not require that employee work areas be constructed to permit maneuvering with the employee work area or be constructed or equipped to be accessible.

 

215.1  Fire Alarms.  Where fire alarm systems are provided in public use or common use areas, the alarm shall provide a system with both audible and visual signals complying with 702. . . .

203.9  Employee Work Areas.  Spaces and elements within employee work areas shall only be required to comply with 206.2.8, 207.1, and 215.3 and shall be designed and constructed so that individuals with disabilities can approach, enter, and exit the employee work area. . . .

 

215.1  General.  Where fire alarm systems provide audible alarm coverage, alarms shall comply with 215. . . .

 

215.2  Public and Common Use Areas.  Alarms in public and common use areas shall comply with 702.

 

215.3  Employee Work Areas.  Where employee work areas have audible alarm coverage, the wiring system shall be designed so that visible alarms complying with 702 can be integrated into the alarm system.

Model Codes & Standards

IBC 2000:  No requirement for visible alarms in employee work areas.

 

IBC 2003:  Section 907.9.1.2 has an equivalent requirement for visible alarms in employee work areas.

 

The current guidelines require visible alarms to be provided where fire alarm systems are provided, but do not require areas used only by employees as work areas to be equipped with accessibility features.  As applied to office buildings, the current guidelines require visible alarms to be provided in public and common use areas such as conference rooms, break rooms, and restrooms, where fire alarm systems are provided. 

 

The proposed rule required visible alarm coverage to be provided in employee work areas where audible alarm coverage is provided.  Since building codes and fire and life safety codes generally require visible alarms in open-plan office areas, the regulatory assessment for the proposed rule estimated the impact of extending visible alarm coverage to individual offices.  The cost of installing a single 15 candela visible alarm appliance in an individual office was estimated at $270.[54]  A newly constructed office building with 200,000 square feet in area was estimated to require an additional 250 visible alarm appliances, plus additional power supply and circuits for the alarm system, which would increase the construction cost by $65,375.[55]  The regulatory assessment for the proposed rule estimated the national costs of requiring visible alarms in employee work areas would be $16 million annually for 250 newly constructed office buildings.[56]

 

The final revised guidelines eliminate these costs by requiring the alarm wiring system to be designed so that visible alarms can be added when needed to serve employees who are deaf or hard of hearing.  In new construction, alarm systems are typically designed with circuits at 80 percent of their capacity and the alarm wiring is run through the spaces that are provided with alarm coverage.  In typical configurations with offices along both sides of a corridor, or with offices on one side and open-plan work areas on the other side, the alarm wiring is commonly run in line with the corridor.  This design allows for short wiring “runs” to provide audible and visible alarm appliances in the public and common use areas, and open-plan work areas.  This design also places the alarm wiring in a location where it is relatively easy to extend the wiring into an individual office and install a visible alarm appliance when needed.

4.2  Hotels

 

The proposed rule revised the scoping requirement for guest rooms with communication features.  The regulatory assessment for the proposed rule estimated the national costs of the revision for newly constructed hotels would be $31 million annually.  As discussed below, the final revised guidelines eliminate these costs.

 

Guest Rooms with Communication Features

 

Table 4.2 shows the relevant text of the current guidelines, the proposed rule, and the final revised guidelines with respect to the scoping requirement for guest rooms with communications features.[57]

 

Table 4.2 – Guest Rooms with Communication Features (text version)

Current Guidelines

Proposed Rule

Final Revised Guidelines

9.1.2  Accessible Units, Sleeping Rooms, and Suites.  Accessible sleeping rooms or suites that comply with the requirements of 9.2 (Requirements for Accessible Units, Sleeping Rooms, and Suites) shall be provided in accordance with the table below.  In addition, in hotels of 50 or more sleeping rooms or suites, additional accessible sleeping rooms or suites that include a roll-in shower shall also be provided in conformance with the table below. . . .

 

Number of Rooms

Accessible

Rooms

Rooms with Roll-in

Showers

1 to 25

1

 

26 to 50

2

 

51 to 75

3

1

766 to 100

4

1

101 to 150

5

2

151 to 200

6

2

201 to 300

7

3

301 to 400

8

4

401 to 500

9

 

4 plus 1 for each additional 100 over 400

501 to 1000

2% of total

1001 and over

20 plus 1 for each 100 over 1000

 

9.1.3 Sleeping Accommodations for Persons with Hearing Impairments.  In addition to those accessible sleeping rooms and suites required by 9.1.2, sleeping rooms and suites that comply with 9.3 (Visual Alarms, Notification Devices, and Telephones) shall be provided in conformance with the following table:

 

Number of Elements

Accessible Elements

1 to 25

1

26 to 50

2

51 to 75

3

76 to 100

4

101 to 150

5

151 to 200

6

201 to 300

7

301 to 400

8

401 to 500

9

501 to 1000

2% of total

1001 and over

20 plus 1 for each 100 over 1000

 

9.2.2  Minimum Requirements.  An accessible unit, sleeping room or suite shall be on an accessible route complying with 4.3 and have the following accessible elements and spaces. . . . 

 

(8) Sleeping room accommodations for persons with hearing impairments required by 9.1 and complying with 9.3 shall be provided in the accessible sleeping room or suite.

224.4  Communication Features.  In transient lodging facilities, at least fifty percent, but not less than one, of the total number of guest rooms shall have accessible communication features complying with 806.3.

 

 

224.4  Guest Rooms with Communication Features.  In transient lodging facilities, guest rooms with communication features complying with 806.3 shall be provided in accordance with Table 224.4.

 

Table 224.4 Guest Rooms with Communication Features

 

Total Number of Guest Rooms Provided

Minimum Number of Required Guest Rooms with Communication Features

2 to 25

2

26 to 50

4

51 to 75

7

76 to 100

9

101 to 150

12

151 to 200

14

201 to 300

17

301 to 400

20

401 to 500

22

501 to 1000

5% of total

1001 and over

50, plus 3 for each 100 over 1000

 

224.5  Dispersion. . . . At least one guest room required to provide mobility features complying with 806.2 shall also provide communication features complying with 806.3.  Not more than 10 percent of guest rooms required to provide mobility features complying with 806.2 shall be used to satisfy the minimum number of guest rooms required to provide communication features complying with 806.3.

 

 

Model Codes & Standards

IBC 2000:  Section 907.9.1.2 and section E1104.3 of Appendix E have equivalent requirements for the number of guest rooms with communication features in facilities with six or more guest rooms. 

 

IBC 2003:  Section 907.9.1.3 and section E104.3 of Appendix E have equivalent requirements for the number of guest rooms with communication features in facilities with six or more guest rooms. 

 

The current guidelines require hotels to provide a minimum number of guest rooms with mobility features based on the total number of guest rooms in the facility.  The current guidelines require an additional minimum number of guest rooms to provide roll-in showers.  All the guest rooms that are required to provide mobility features and roll-in showers are also required to provide communication features for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing.  The current guidelines also require hotels to provide an additional minimum number of guest rooms with communication features for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing.

 

The proposed rule required a minimum of 50 percent of the total number of guest rooms to provide communication features.  The regulatory assessment for the proposed rule estimated the cost of providing communication features in a guest room at $556, including $293 for a 110 candela visible alarm appliance and $263 for a notification device.[58]  The proposed rule required a newly constructed hotel with 150 guest rooms to provide a minimum of 75 guest rooms with communication features, compared to a minimum of 12 guest rooms under the current guidelines, which would increase the construction cost by $35,028.[59]  The regulatory assessment for the proposed rule estimated the national costs of increasing the number of guest rooms required to provide communication features to a minimum of 50 percent of the total number of guest rooms would be $31 million annually for 890 newly constructed hotels.[60]

 

The final revised guidelines make no change from the current guidelines with respect to the number of guest rooms required to provide communication features.  The scoping requirement is consolidated into a single table in the final revised guidelines, instead of appearing in three sections as in the current guidelines.  The final revised guidelines also limit the overlap between guest rooms required to provide mobility features and guest rooms required to provide communication features.  At least one, but not more than 10 percent, of the guest rooms required to provide mobility features can also provide communication features.

4.3  Sports Stadiums and Arenas

 

The proposed rule revised the scoping requirements for vertical access, vertical dispersion of wheelchair spaces, companion seats, and designated aisle seats in assembly areas. The regulatory assessment for the proposed rule estimated the national costs of the revisions for newly constructed sports stadiums and arenas would be $40.5 million.  As discussed below, the final revised guidelines eliminate these costs.

 

Vertical Access

 

Table 4.3 shows the relevant text of the current guidelines, the proposed rule, and the final revised guidelines with respect to the scoping requirement for vertical access.

 

Table 4.3 - Vertical Access (text version)

Current Guidelines

Proposed Rule

Final Revised Guidelines

4.1.3  Accessible Buildings: New Construction.  Accessible buildings and facilities shall meet the following minimum requirements: . . .

 

(5)  One passenger elevator complying with 4.10 shall serve each level, including mezzanines, in all multi-story buildings and facilities unless exempted below.  If more than one elevator is provided, each passenger elevator shall comply with 4.10. . . .

206.2.3  Multi-Level Buildings and Facilities.  Accessible routes shall connect each level, including mezzanines, in multi-level buildings and facilities. . . .

 

221.5  Vertical Access.  Where wheelchair spaces or designated aisle seats share a common accessible route that includes vertical access by means of elevators or platform lifts, elevators or platform lifts shall be provided in such number, capacity, and speed to provide a level of service equivalent to that provided in the same seating area to patrons who can use stairs or other means of vertical access.

206.2.3  Multi-Story Buildings and Facilities.  At least one accessible route shall connect each story and mezzanine in multi-story buildings and facilities. . . .

 

206.6  Elevators.  Elevators provided for passengers shall comply with 407.  Where multiple elevators are provided, each elevator shall comply with 407 . . . .

 

 

 

Model Codes & Standards

IBC 2000:  Section 1104.4 has an equivalent requirement for accessible routes in multi-story facilities.

 

IBC 2003:  Section 1104.4 has an equivalent requirement for accessible routes in multi-story facilities.

 

The current guidelines require one accessible passenger elevator to serve each level in multi-story facilities, unless an exception applies.  If more than one elevator is provided, each elevator is required to be accessible. 

 

The proposed rule required elevators or platform lifts to be provided to wheelchair spaces and designated aisle seats in sports stadiums and arenas in sufficient number, capacity, and speed so as to provide a level of service equivalent to that provided in the same seating area to patrons who can use stairs.  The regulatory assessment for the proposed rule assumed large sports facilities with 50,000 seats would add 3 more elevators to provide equivalent vertical access to wheelchair spaces and designated aisle seats; medium sports facilities with 20,000 seats would add 2 more elevators; and small sports facilities with 11,000 seats would add 1 more elevator.[61]  The cost of installing a 3-stop hydraulic elevator was estimated at $61,794.[62]  The regulatory assessment for the proposed rule estimated the national costs of requiring equivalent vertical access to wheelchair spaces and designated aisle seats would be $1.5 million annually for 3 large, 5 medium, and 5 small newly constructed sports facilities.[63]

 

The final revised guidelines make no change from the current guidelines with respect to accessible routes in multi-story facilities.

 

Vertical Dispersion of Wheelchair Spaces[64]

 

Table 4.4 shows the relevant text of the current guidelines, the proposed rule, and the final revised guidelines with respect to the scoping requirement for vertical dispersion of wheelchair spaces in assembly areas.
 

Table 4.4 – Vertical Dispersion of Wheelchair Spaces (text version)

Current Guidelines

Proposed Rule

Final Revised Guidelines

4.33.3  Placement of Wheelchair Locations.  Wheelchair areas . . . shall be provided so as to provide people with physical disabilities a choice of admission prices and lines of sight comparable to those for members of the general public . . . . When the seating capacity exceeds 300, wheelchair spaces shall be provided in more than one location. . . .

802.6.1  Admission Prices.  Wheelchair spaces and designated aisle seats shall be provided in each price level distinguishable by location.

 

802.6.3  Vertical Dispersion.  Wheelchair spaces and designated aisle seats shall be located at varying distances from the performance area on each accessible level and in each balcony or mezzanine that is located along an accessible route.

221.2.3.2  Vertical Dispersion.  Wheelchair spaces shall be dispersed vertically at varying distances from the screen, performance area, or playing field.  In addition, wheelchair spaces shall be located in each balcony or mezzanine that is located on an accessible route. . . .

 

Model Codes & Standards

IBC 2000:  Section 1107.2.3 has a similar requirement for vertical dispersion of wheelchair spaces. 

 

IBC 2003:  Section 1108.2.4 has a similar requirement for vertical dispersion of wheelchair spaces. 

 

The current guidelines require wheelchair spaces to be located in more than one area where the seating capacity exceeds 300 and to provide a choice of admission prices.  Under the current guidelines, sports facilities typically locate some wheelchair spaces on each accessible level of the facilities.

 

The proposed rule required wheelchair spaces and designated aisle seats to be provided in each price level distinguishable by location, and to be located at varying distances from the performance area on each accessible level and in each balcony or mezzanine that is located along an accessible route.  The regulatory assessment for the proposed rule assumed large sports facilities with 50,000 seats would add an additional upper deck concourse to achieve this level of dispersion, which would increase the construction cost by $11 million, and estimated the national costs would be $33 million annually for 3 newly constructed large sports facilities.[65]  The regulatory assessment for the proposed rule further assumed medium sports facilities with 20,000 seats would add 4 lifts, and small sports facilities with 11,000 seats would add 2 lifts.[66]  The cost of installing a lift was estimated at $14,213, and the national costs would be $0.5 million annually for 5 medium and 5 small newly constructed sports facilities.[67]

 

The final revised guidelines do not require wheelchair spaces to be dispersed based on admission prices because pricing is not always established at the design phase and may vary by event.  Instead of requiring wheelchair spaces to be vertically dispersed on each accessible level, the final revised guidelines require wheelchair spaces to be vertically dispersed at varying distances from the screen, performance area, or playing field.  The final revised guidelines also require wheelchair spaces to be located in each balcony or mezzanine served by an accessible route.  Sports facilities can meet the requirements by locating some wheelchair spaces on each accessible level of the facilities, which is consistent with the current guidelines.

Companion Seats

 

Table 4.5 shows the relevant text of the current guidelines, the proposed rule, and the final revised guidelines with respect to the scoping and technical requirements for companion seats in assembly areas.

Table 4.5 - Companion Seats (text version)

Current Guidelines

Proposed Rule

Final Revised Guidelines

4.33.3  Placement of Wheelchair Locations. . . .  At least one companion fixed seat shall be provided next to each wheelchair seating area. . . .

221.3  Readily Removable Companion Seats.  One readily removable companion seat complying with 802.7 shall be provided for each wheelchair space.  Each required readily removable companion seat shall provide an additional wheelchair space complying with 802.1, 802.2, 802.3, 802.4, 802.5, and 802.9 when removed.

221.3  Companion Seats.  At least one companion seat complying with 802.3 shall be provided for each wheelchair space required by 221.2.1.

 

802.3   Companion Seats.  Companion seats shall comply with 802.3.

 

802.3.1  Alignment.  In row seating, companion seats shall be located to provide shoulder alignment with adjacent wheelchair spaces.  The shoulder alignment point of the wheelchair space shall be measured 36 inches (915mm) from the front of the wheelchair space.  The floor surface of the companion seat shall be the same elevation as the floor surface of the wheelchair space.

 

802.3.2  Type.  Companion seats shall be equivalent in size, quality, comfort, and amenities to the seating in the immediate area.  Companion seats shall be permitted to be movable.

Model Codes & Standards

IBC 2000:  Section 1107.2.2 has an equivalent requirement for the number of companion seats.

 

IBC 2003:  Section 1108.2.5 has an equivalent requirement for the number of companion seats.

 

The current guidelines require at least one fixed companion seat to be provided next to each wheelchair space. 

 

The proposed rule required companion seats to be designed so the seat can be readily removed and serve as a wheelchair space.  The regulatory assessment for the proposed rule estimated 6 square feet must be added to the companion seat space to make it serve as a wheelchair space; and an anchoring system must be provided to make the seat removable.  These requirements would add $1,315 per seat to the construction cost.[68]  A newly constructed large sports facility with 50,000 seats must provide 501 companion seats, which would add $661,320 to the construction cost.[69]  A newly constructed medium sports facility with 20,000 seats must provide 201 companion seats, which would add $265,320 to the construction cost.[70]  A newly constructed small sports facility with 11,000 seats must provide 111 companion seats, which would add $146,520 to the construction cost.[71]  The regulatory assessment for the proposed rule estimated the national costs for requiring removable companion seats that can also serve as wheelchair spaces would be $4 million annually for 3 large, 5 medium, and 5 small newly constructed sports facilities.

 

The final revised guidelines permit companion seats to be readily removable, but do not require the seats to be designed so they can also serve as wheelchair spaces when removed. 

 

Designated Aisle Seats

 

Table 4.6 shows the relevant text of the current guidelines, the proposed rule, and the final revised guidelines with respect to the scoping and technical requirements for designated aisle seats in assembly areas.

 

Table 4.6 - Designated Aisle Seats (text version)

Current Guidelines

Proposed Rule

Final Revised Guidelines

4.1.3  Accessible Buildings: New Construction.  Accessible buildings and facilities shall meet the following minimum requirements: . . .

 

(19) Assembly areas.

 

(a) … In addition, one percent but not less than one, of all fixed seats shall be aisle seats with no armrests on the aisle side, or removable or folding armrests on the aisle side.  Each such seat shall be identified by a sign or marker.  Signage notifying patrons of the availability of such seats shall be posted at the ticket office. Aisle seats are not be required to comply with 4.33.4.

221.4  Designated Aisle Seats.  Aisle seats complying with 802.8 shall be provided in all assembly areas.  Signs notifying patrons of the availability of such seats shall be posted at the ticket office.

 

Exception:  Designated aisle seats are not required in luxury boxes, club boxes, or suites.

 

221.4.1  Number.  One designated aisle seat complying with 802.8 per 100 seats, or fraction thereof shall be provided.

221.4.2  Location.  At least one of each four required designated aisle seats shall be located on an accessible route.  All other required designated aisle seats shall be located not more than two rows from an accessible route serving such seats.

 

802.8  Designated Aisle Seats.  Removable or folding armrests or no armrests shall be provided on the aisle side of designated aisle seats.  Each such seat shall be identified by a sign or marker.

 

221.4  Designated Aisle Seats.  At least 5 percent of the total number of aisle seats provided shall comply with 802.4 and shall be the aisle seats located closest to accessible routes. . . .

 

802.4  Designated Aisle Seats.  Designated aisle seats shall comply with 802.4.

 

802.4.1  Armrests.  Where armrests are provided on the seating in the immediate area, folding or retractable armrests shall be provided on the aisle side of the seat.

 

802.4.2  Identification.  Each designated aisle seat shall be identified by a sign or marker.

Model Codes & Standards

IBC 2000:  No requirement for designated aisle seats.

 

IBC 2003:  Section 1108.2.6 has an equivalent requirement for the number of designated aisle seats.

 

The current guidelines require 1 percent of fixed seats in assembly areas to be designated aisle seats.  Designated aisle seats must have either no armrests or folding or retractable armrests on the aisle side of the seat.

 

The proposed rule required at least 25 percent of the designated aisle seats to be located on an accessible route, and the rest to be located no more than two rows from an accessible route.  The regulatory assessment for the proposed rule assumed large and medium sports facilities would add accessible routes to comply with this requirement.[72]  The upper deck concourses added to large sports facilities to comply with the proposed rule’s vertical dispersion requirements for wheelchair spaces were assumed to also provide the accessible routes needed to comply with the proposed rule’s designated aisle seat requirements.[73]  The regulatory assessment for the proposed rule further assumed medium sports facilities with 20,000 seats would add 1,500 square feet to provide accessible routes to the designated aisle seats, and would increase the construction cost by $306,000.[74]  The regulatory assessment for the proposed rule estimated the national costs would be $1.5 million annually for 5 medium newly constructed sports facilities.[75]

 

The final revised guidelines base the number of required designated aisle seats on the number of aisle seats, instead of all the seats in a sports facility as the current guidelines do.  At least 5 percent of the aisle seats are required to be designated aisle seats and to be located closest to accessible routes.  This revision will almost always result in fewer aisle seats being designated aisle seats compared to the current guidelines.  Sports facilities typically locate designated aisle seats on, or as near to, accessible routes as permitted by the configuration of the facilities.