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CHAPTER 6REVISIONS THAT HAVE MINIMAL IMPACTS

6.0  Introduction

 

This chapter discusses revisions to the scoping and technical requirements that will have minimal impacts on the new construction and alteration of facilities.  The relevant text of the current guidelines and the final revised guidelines is presented in tables.  Unless otherwise noted, the current guidelines refer to ADAAG.  The requirements are presented in the order in which they appear in the final revised guidelines.  Scoping and technical requirements are presented together, where appropriate.  The text of the current guidelines and the final revised guidelines is underlined to highlight the revisions in the scoping and technical requirements.  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.[92]

6.1  Alterations to Primary Function Areas

 

Table 6.1 shows the relevant text of the current guidelines and the final revised guidelines with respect to the scoping requirement for alterations to primary function areas.  The current guidelines refer to UFAS.   

 

Table 6.1 – Alterations to Primary Function Areas (text version)

Current Guidelines

Final Revised Guidelines

4.1.6  Accessible Buildings: Alterations.

 

(3)  Where substantial alteration occurs to a building or facility, then each element or space that is altered or added shall comply with the applicable provisions of 4.1.1 to 4.1.4 of 4.1, Minimum Requirements, except to the extent where it is structurally impracticable.  The altered building or facility shall contain:

 

(a)  At least one accessible route complying with 4.3, Accessible Route, and 4.1.6(a);

 

(b)  At least one accessible entrance complying with 4.14, Entrances.  If additional entrances are altered then they shall comply with 4.1.6(a); and

 

(c)  The following toilet facilities, whichever is greater:

 

(i)  At least one toilet facility for each sex in the altered building complying with 4.22, Toilet Rooms; and 4.23, Bathrooms, Bathing Facilities, and Shower Rooms.

 

(ii)  At least one toilet facility for each sex on each substantially altered floor, where such facilities are provided, complying with 4.22, Toilet Rooms; and 4.23, Bathrooms, Bathing Facilities, and Shower Rooms.

 

(d)  In making the determination as to what constitutes “substantial alteration,” the agency issuing standards for the facility shall consider the total cost of all alterations (including but not limited to electrical, plumbing, and structural changes) for a building or facility within any twelve (12) month period.  For guidance in implementing this provision, an alteration to any building or facility is to be considered substantial if the total cost for this twelve month period amounts to 50 percent or more of the full and fair cash value of the building as defined in 3.5

202.4  Alterations Affecting Primary Function Areas.  In addition to the requirements of 202.3, an alteration that affects or could affect the usability of or access to an area containing a primary function shall be made so as to ensure that, to the maximum extent feasible, the path of travel to the altered area, including the rest rooms, 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. . . .

 

[Note:  The Department of Justice defines a “primary function” and “disproportionate” in its regulations at 28 C.F.R. § 36.403.  A “primary function” is “a major activity for which a facility is intended.”  Alterations to provide an accessible path of travel to the altered area are “deemed disproportionate to the overall alteration when the cost exceeds 20 percent of the cost of the alteration to the primary function area.”]

 

 

Model Codes & Standards

IBC 2000:  Section 3408.6 has an equivalent requirement for alterations to primary function areas.

 

IBC 2003:  Sections 3409.6 has an equivalent requirement for alterations to primary function areas.

 

UFAS requires an accessible route, accessible entrance, and accessible toilets to be provided when alterations amount to 50 percent or more of the value of the facility.  When alterations affect a primary function area containing a major activity for which the facility is intended, the final revised guidelines require the path of travel to the altered area and the toilet rooms, public telephones, and drinking fountains serving the altered area to be made accessible, to the extent that the cost of making these elements accessible does not exceeds 20 percent of the cost of the alterations to the primary function area.[93]

 

The revision affects Federal, State, and local governments.  The impacts are expected to be minimal since federally financed facilities subject to standards issued by the General Services Administration are required to comply with ADAAG when it provides an improved level of access compared to UFAS.[94]  State and local governments are permitted to use either ADAAG or UFAS.[95]  Many State and local governments use ADAAG.  The impacts are further minimized by the fact that State and local governments have made many of their existing facilities accessible to comply with separate program accessibility requirements under the Americans with Disabilities Act and section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. 

 

6.2  Common Use Circulation Paths in Employee Work Areas

 

Table 6.2.1 shows the relevant text of the current guidelines and the final revised guidelines with respect to the scoping and technical requirements for common use circulation paths in employee work areas. 
 

Table 6.2.1 – Common Use Circulation Paths in Employee Work Areas (text version)

Current Guidelines

Final Revised Guidelines

4.1.1  Application. . .  .

 

(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.

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.  Employee work areas, or portions of employee work areas, that are less than 300 square feet (28 m²) in area and elevated 7 inches (178 mm) or more above the finish floor or ground where the elevation is essential to the function of the space shall not be required to comply with these requirements or to be on an accessible route.

 

206.2.8 Employee Work Areas.  Common use circulation paths within employee work areas shall comply with 402.

Exceptions:  1.  Common use circulation paths located within employee work areas that are less than 1000 square feet (93 m²) and defined by permanently installed partitions, counters, casework, or furnishings shall not be required to comply with 402.

2.  Common use circulation paths located within employee work areas that are an integral component of work area equipment shall not be required to comply with 402.

3.  Common use circulation paths located within exterior employee work areas that are fully exposed to the weather shall not be required to comply with 402.

 

402.1 General.  Accessible routes shall comply with 402.

 

402.2  Components.  Accessible routes shall consist of one or more of the following components: walking surfaces with a running slope not steeper than 1:20, doorways, ramps, curb ramps excluding the flared sides, elevators, and platform lifts.  All components of accessible routes shall comply with the applicable requirements of Chapter 4.

 

403.5 Clearances.  Walking surfaces shall provide clearances complying with 403.5.

Exception:  Within employee work areas, clearances on common use circulation paths shall be permitted to be decreased by work area equipment provided that the decrease is essential to the function of the work being performed.

 

405.5 Clear Width.  The clear width of a ramp run and, where handrails are provided, the clear width between handrails shall be 36 inches (915 mm) minimum. 

Exception:  Within employee work areas, the required clear width of ramps that are a part of common use circulation paths shall be permitted to be decreased by work area equipment provided that the decrease is essential to the function of the work being performed.

 

405.8 Handrails.  Ramp runs with a rise greater than 6 inches (150 mm) shall have handrails complying with 505.

Exception:  Within employee work areas, handrails shall not be required where ramps that are part of common use circulation paths are designed to permit the installation of handrails complying with 505.  Ramps not subject to the exception to 405.5 shall be designed to maintain a 36 inch (915 mm) clear width when handrails are installed.

Model Codes & Standards

IBC 2000:  Section 1103.2.3 has similar requirements and exceptions for employee work areas. 

 

IBC 2003:  Section 1104.3.1 has equivalent requirements and similar exceptions for employee work areas.

 

The current guidelines and the final revised guidelines require employee work areas to be designed and constructed so that individuals with disabilities can approach, enter, and exit the areas.  The work areas themselves are not required to be accessible.  The Americans with Disabilities Act requires employers to make reasonable accommodations in the workplace for individuals with disabilities, which may include modifications to work areas when needed.[96]

 

The final revised guidelines require common use circulation paths within employee works areas to comply with the technical requirements for accessible routes.  Individual employee work stations, such as a grocery checkout counter or an automobile service bay designed for use by one person, do not contain common use circulation paths and are not required to comply.[97]

 

The final revised guidelines contain several exceptions that exempt common use circulation paths in employee work areas where it may be difficult to comply with the technical requirements for accessible routes due to the size or function of the area.

 

 

 

 

 

The final revised guidelines also contain exceptions to the technical requirements for accessible routes:

 

 

 

The model building codes and fire and life safety codes, which are adopted by all the States, require circulation paths in facilities, including employee work areas, to be at least 36 inches wide for purposes of emergency egress.[98]  Accessible routes are generally at least 36 inches wide. 

 

Because of the exceptions that exempt common use circulation paths in employee work areas where it may be difficult to comply with the technical requirements for accessible routes due to the size or function of the area, and because the model building codes and fire and life safety codes, which are adopted by all the States, require circulation paths in facilities, including employee work areas, to be at least 36 inches wide for purposes of emergency egress, the revision is expected to have minimal impacts.

 

6.3  Location of Accessible Routes

 

Table 6.3 shows the relevant text of the current guidelines and the final revised guidelines with respect to the scoping requirement for the location of accessible routes. 

 

Table 6.3 – Interior Accessible Routes (text version)

Current Guidelines

Final Revised Guidelines

4.3.2  Location.

 

(1) At least one accessible route within the boundary of the site shall be provided from public transportation stops, accessible parking and accessible passenger loading zones, and public streets or sidewalks to the accessible building entrance they serve.  The accessible route shall, to the maximum extent feasible, coincide with the route for the general public.

206.3 Location.  Accessible routes shall coincide with or be located in the same area as general circulation paths.  Where circulation paths are interior, required accessible routes shall also be interior.

Model Codes & Standards

IBC 2000:  Section 1104.5 has an equivalent requirement for location of accessible routes.

 

IBC 2003:  Section 1104.5 has an equivalent requirement for location of accessible routes.

 

The current guidelines require accessible routes connecting site arrival points and accessible building entrances to coincide with general circulation paths, to the maximum extent feasible.  The final revised guidelines require all accessible routes to coincide with or be located in the same general area as general circulation paths.  The revision will have no impacts on exterior accessible routes since the requirements in the current guidelines and the final revised guidelines are basically the same.  Designing interior accessible routes to coincide with or to be located in the same area as general circulation path will not typically present a difficult design challenge and is expected to have minimal impacts.

 

The final revised guidelines also require accessible routes to be located in the interior of the facility, where general circulation paths are located in the interior of the facility.  The revision affects a limited number of buildings.  For example, under the current guidelines, a two-story building that is constructed into a hill, has an interior stairway connecting the stories, and is not exempt from providing an accessible route between the stories could provide entrances to each story of the building and connect the entrances with an exterior accessible route.[99] The final revised guidelines would require an elevator to be provided since there is an interior stairway.  The revision is expected to have minimal impacts since the cost of providing an elevator would be about the same as constructing an exterior accessible route around the building. 

6.4  Public Entrances

 

Table 6.4 shows the relevant text of the current guidelines and the final revised guidelines with respect to the scoping requirement for public entrances. 

 

Table 6.4 – Public Entrances (text version)

Current Guidelines

Final Revised Guidelines

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

 

(8)  The requirements in (a) and (b) below shall be satisfied independently:

 

(a)(i) At least 50 percent of all public entrances (excluding those in (b) below)  shall comply with 4.14. . . .

 

(ii)  Accessible public entrances must be provided in a number at least equivalent to the number of exits required by the applicable building or fire codes.  (This paragraph does not require an increase in the total number of public entrances planned for a facility.) . . .

 

4.1.6 Accessible Buildings: Alterations.

 

(1) General.  Alterations to existing buildings and facilities shall comply with the following: . . .

 

(h)  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). . . .

206.4 Entrances.  Entrances shall be provided in accordance with 206.4. . . .

Exceptions:  1.  Where an alteration includes alterations to an entrance, and the building or facility has another entrance complying with 404 that is on an accessible route, the altered entrance shall not be required to comply with 206.4 unless required by 202.4. . . .

 

206.4.1 Public Entrances.  In addition to entrances required by 206.4.2 through 206.4.9, at least 60 percent of all public entrances shall comply with 404.

Model Codes & Standards

IBC 2000:  Section 1105.1 has a similar requirement for the number of accessible public entrances. 

 

IBC 2003:  Section 1105.1 has a similar requirement for the number of accessible public entrances.

 

The current guidelines require at least 50 percent of public entrances to be accessible.  In addition, the current guidelines require the number of accessible public entrances to be equivalent to the number of exits required by applicable building and fire codes.  Building and fire codes typically require at least two exits to be provided from a facility.  Thus, under the current guidelines where two public entrances are planned in a newly constructed facility, both entrances must be accessible. 

 

Instead of requiring at least 50 percent of public entrances plus a number equal to the number of required exits to be made accessible, the final revised guidelines require at least 60 percent of public entrances to be made accessible.[100]  The revision is intended to achieve the same result as the current guidelines.  Thus, under the final revised guidelines where two public entrances are planned in a newly constructed facility, both entrances must be accessible.

 

Where multiple public entrances are planned to serve different site arrival points, the current guidelines and the final revised guidelines require at least one accessible route to be provided from each site arrival point, including accessible parking spaces, accessible passenger loading zones, public streets and sidewalks, and public transportation stops, to an accessible public entrance that serves the site arrival point.[101]  Thus, the accessible route requirements will typically result in more than 50 percent of the public entrances being accessible.  Requiring at least 60 percent of public entrances to be accessible is not expected to result in a substantial increase in the number of accessible entrances compared to the current guidelines. 

 

On a site with little change in elevation, providing an accessible route to an accessible entrance requires providing a walking surface with a running slope not steeper than 1:20.[102]  On a site with a moderate change in elevation, providing an accessible route to an accessible entrance requires providing a ramp with a running slope not steeper than 1:12 along all or part of the accessible route.[103]  On a site with extreme changes in elevation, providing an accessible route to an accessible entrance may require adjusting the planned location of an accessible entrance to minimize the amount of ramping, or an elevator or platform lift may be a design solution in rare cases.  Where extreme changes in elevation or other site constraints make it too difficult or too costly to make additional public entrances accessible, the likely design solution will be to eliminate redundant public entrances.

 

The current guidelines and the final revised guidelines contain exceptions that limit the number of accessible entrances required in alterations to existing facilities.  When entrances in an existing facility are altered and the facility has an accessible entrance, the entrance being altered is not required to be accessible, unless a primary function area is also altered and then an accessible path of travel must be provided to the primary function area to the extent the cost is not disproportionate.[104]

6.5  Direct Access Entrances from Parking Structures

 

Table 6.5 shows the relevant text of the current guidelines and the final revised guidelines with respect to the scoping requirement for direct access entrances from parking structures. 

 

Table 6.5 – Direct Access Entrances From Parking Structures (text version)

Current Guidelines

Final Revised Guidelines

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

 

(8)(b)(i)  In addition, if direct access is provided for pedestrians from an enclosed parking garage to the building, at least one direct entrance from the garage to the building must be accessible. . . .

206.4.2 Parking Structure Entrances.  Where direct access is provided for pedestrians from a parking structure to a building or facility entrance, each direct access to the building or facility entrance shall comply with 404.

Model Codes & Standards

IBC 2000:  Section 1105.2 has a similar requirement for the number of accessible direct access entrances from parking structures.

 

IBC 2003:  Section 1105.1.1 has an equivalent requirement for the number of accessible direct access entrances from parking structures.

 

Where levels in a parking garage have direct connections for pedestrians to another facility, the current guidelines require at least one of the direct connections to be accessible.  The final revised guidelines require all of the direct connections to be accessible.  The vertical distances between the levels in a parking garage are typically less than the vertical distances between the stories in the facility to which it is connected so that not every level of the parking garage has a direct connection to a story in the facility.  For example, a parking garage with five levels may have direct connections to only two or three stories of another facility.  Making the direct connections between the parking garage and another facility accessible will not typically present a difficult design challenge and is expected to have minimal impacts.

6.6  Alterations to Existing Elevators

 

Table 6.6 shows the relevant text of the current guidelines and the final revised guidelines with respect to the scoping requirement for alterations to existing elevators. 

 

Table 6.6 – Alterations to Existing Elevators (text version)

Current Guidelines

Final Revised Guidelines

4.1.6  Accessible Buildings: Alterations.

 

(1)  General.  Alterations to existing buildings and facilities shall comply with the following: . . .

 

(b)  If existing elements, spaces, or common areas are altered, then each such altered element, space, feature, or area shall comply with the applicable provisions of 4.1.1 to 4.1.3 Minimum Requirements (for New Construction). . . .

206.6.1 Existing Elevators.  Where elements of existing elevators are altered, the same element shall also be altered in all elevators that are programmed to respond to the same hall call control as the altered elevator and shall comply with the requirements of 407 for the altered element.

 

Model Codes & Standards

IBC 2000:  Section 3408.7.1 has an equivalent requirement for alterations to existing elevators.

 

IBC 2003:  Section 3409.7.2 has an equivalent requirement for alterations to existing elevators.

 

When a single space or element is altered, the current guidelines require the space or element to be made accessible.  When an element in one elevator is altered, the final revised guidelines require the same element to be altered in all elevators that are programmed to respond to the same call button as the altered elevator to ensure that when an individual with a disability presses a call button, an accessible elevator will arrive, and not an inaccessible one. 

 

The revision is expected to have minimal impacts since all the elevators in a bank are typically upgraded at the same time when elevators are altered as part of a planned modernization project.  The final revised guidelines also contain exceptions to the technical requirements for elevators when existing elevators are altered that further minimize the impacts of the revision:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6.7  Accessible Means of Egress

 

Table 6.7 shows the relevant text of the current guidelines and the final revised guidelines with respect to the scoping requirements for accessible means of egress. 

 

Table 6.7 – Accessible Means of Egress (text version)

Current Guidelines

Final Revised Guidelines

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

 

(9)  In buildings or facilities, or portions of buildings or facilities, required to be accessible, accessible means of egress shall be provided in the same number as required for exits by local building/life safety regulations.  Where a required exit from an occupiable level above or below a level of accessible exit discharge is not accessible, an area of rescue assistance shall be provided on each such level (in a number equal to that of inaccessible required exits).  Areas of rescue assistance shall comply with 4.3.11.  A horizontal exit meeting the requirements of local building/life safety regulations, shall satisfy the requirement for an area of rescue assistance.

Exception: Areas of rescue assistance are not required in buildings or facilities having a supervised automatic sprinkler system.

 

(16)  Building Signage. . . .

 

(b)  Other signs which provide direction to or information about functional spaces of the building shall comply with 4.30.1, 4.30.4, 4.30.5, and 4.30.6. . . .

 

4.1.6  Accessible Buildings: Alterations.

 

(1)  General.  Alterations to existing buildings and facilities shall comply with the following: . . .

 

(g)  In alterations, the requirements of 4.1.3(9) . . . do not apply.

 

4.3.10  Egress.  Accessible routes serving any accessible space or element shall also serve as a means of egress for emergencies or connect to an accessible area of rescue assistance.

207.1  General.  Means of egress shall comply with section 1003.2.13 of the International Building Code (2000 edition and 2001 Supplement) or section 1007 of the International Building Code (2003 edition)  (incorporated by reference, see “Referenced Standards” in Chapter 1).

Exceptions:  1.  Where means of egress are permitted by local building or life safety codes to share a common path of egress travel, accessible means of egress shall be permitted to share a common path of egress travel. . . .

 

216.4  Means of Egress.  Signs for means of egress shall comply with 216.4.

 

216.4.1  Exit Doors.  Doors at exit passageways, exit discharge, and exit stairways shall be identified by tactile signs complying with 703.1, 703.2, and 703.5.

 

216.4.2  Areas of Refuge.  Signs required by section 1003.2.13.5.4 of the International Building Code (2000 edition) or section 1007.6.4 of the International Building Code (2003 edition) (incorporated by reference, see “Referenced Standards” in Chapter 1) to provide instructions in areas of refuge shall comply with 703.5.

 

216.4.3  Directional Signs.  Signs required by section 1003.2.13.6 of the International Building Code (2000 edition) or section 1007.7 of the International Building Code (2003 edition) (incorporated by reference, see “Referenced Standards” in Chapter 1) to provide directions to accessible means of egress shall comply with 703.5

Model Codes & Standards

IBC 2000:  Section 1003.2.13 has equivalent requirements for accessible means of egress.

 

IBC 2003:  Section 1007 has equivalent requirements for accessible means of egress.

 

The current guidelines establish scoping and technical requirements for accessible means of egress.  The final revised guidelines reference the International Building Code for scoping and technical requirements for accessible means of egress. 

 

The current guidelines require the same number of accessible means of egress to be provided as the number of exits required by applicable building and fire codes.  The International Building Code requires at least one accessible means of egress; and at least two accessible means of egress, where more than one means of egress is required by other sections of the code.  The revision is expected to have minimal impacts since the model fire and life safety codes, which are adopted by all the States, contain equivalent requirements with respect to the number of accessible means of egress.[120]

 

The current guidelines require areas of rescue assistance or horizontal exits in facilities with stories above or below the exit discharge level.  Areas of rescue assistance are spaces, which have direct access to an exit, where individuals who are unable to use stairs can go to register a call for assistance and wait for evacuation.  The International Building Code requires an evacuation elevator designed with standby power and other safety features that can be used for emergency evacuation of individuals with disabilities in facilities with four or more stories above or below the exit discharge level, and allows exit stairways and evacuation elevators to be used as an accessible means of egress in conjunction with areas of refuge or horizontal exits.  The revision is expected to have minimal impacts since the model fire and life safety codes contain equivalent requirements with respect to evacuation elevators.[121]

 

The current guidelines exempt facilities equipped with a supervised automatic sprinkler system from providing areas of rescue assistance, and also exempt alterations to existing facilities from providing an accessible means of egress.  The International Building Code exempts buildings equipped with a supervised automatic sprinkler system from certain technical requirements for areas of refuge, and also exempts alterations to existing facilities from providing an accessible means of egress. 

 

The current guidelines require signs which provide direction to or information about functional spaces to meet certain technical requirements.  Signs used for means of egress are covered by this scoping requirement.  The final revised guidelines specifically identify signs used for means of egress and require the signs to meet certain technical requirements. 

 

6.8  Passenger Loading Zones

 

Table 6.8 shows the relevant text of the current guidelines and the final revised guidelines with respect to the scoping and technical requirements for passenger loading zones. 

 

Table 6.8 – Passenger Loading Zones (text version)

Current Guidelines

Final Revised Guidelines

4.1.2  Accessible Sites and Exterior Facilities:  New Construction.  An accessible site shall meet the following minimum requirements: . . .

 

(5) . . . (c)  If passenger loading zones are provided, then at least one passenger loading zone shall comply with 4.6.

 

4.6.6  Passenger Loading Zones.  Passenger loading zones shall provide an access aisle at least 60 in (1525 mm) wide and 20 ft (240 in) (6100 mm) long adjacent and parallel to the vehicle pull-up space (see Fig. 10).  If there are curbs between the access aisle and the vehicle pull-up space, then a curb ramp complying with 4.7 shall be provided.  Vehicle standing spaces and access aisles shall be level with surface slopes not exceeding 1:50 (2%) in all directions.

209.2.1 Passenger Loading Zones.  Passenger loading zones, except those required to comply with 209.2.2 and 209.2.3, shall provide at least one passenger loading zone complying with 503 in every continuous 100 linear feet (30 m) of loading zone space, or fraction thereof.

 

503.2  Vehicle Pull-Up Space.  Passenger loading zones shall provide a vehicular pull-up space 96 inches (2440 mm) wide minimum and 20 feet (6100 mm) long minimum.

 

503.3  Access Aisle.  Passenger loading zones shall provide access aisles complying with 503.3 adjacent to the vehicle pull-up space.  Access aisles shall adjoin an accessible route and shall not overlap the vehicular way.

 

503.3.1  Width.  Access aisles serving vehicle pull-up spaces shall be 60 inches (1525 mm) wide minimum.

 

503.3.2  Length.  Access aisles shall extend the full length of the vehicle pull-up spaces they serve.

 

503.3.3 Marking.  Access aisles shall be marked so as to discourage parking in them.

 

503.4  Floor and Ground Surfaces.  Vehicle pull-up spaces and access aisles serving them shall comply with 302.  Access aisles shall be at the same level as the vehicle pull-up space they serve.  Changes in level are not permitted.

Exception: Slopes not steeper than 1:48 shall be permitted.

Model Codes & Standards

IBC 2000:  Section 1106.6 has a similar requirement for passenger loading zones.

 

IBC 2003:  Sections 1106.7.1 and 1106.7.2 have equivalent requirements for passenger loading zones.

 

ICC/ANSI A117.1-1998:  Sections 503.3 and 503.4 have equivalent requirements for vehicle pull-up spaces, access aisles, and floor and ground surfaces.

 

Where passenger loading zones are provided, the current guidelines require at least one passenger loading zone to be accessible.  The final revised guidelines require facilities such as airport passenger terminals that have long, continuous passenger loading zones to provide one accessible passenger loading zone in every continuous 100 linear feet of loading zone space.  The final revised guidelines include technical requirements for the vehicle pull-up space (96 inches wide minimum and 20 feet long minimum).  Accessible passenger loading zones must have an access aisle that is 60 inches wide minimum and extends the full length of the vehicle pull-up space.  Under the current guidelines, the access aisle may be on the same level as the vehicle pull-up space, or on the sidewalk with a curb ramp.  The final revised guidelines require the access aisle to be on the same level as the vehicle pull-up space and to be marked so as to discourage parking in the access aisle.

 

The revision is expected to have minimal impacts since the overall width of the vehicular way or the pedestrian way does not have to be increased to provide an access aisle.  If the sidewalk is wide, the sidewalk can be narrowed 5 feet where the access aisle is provided.  If the sidewalk is narrow, the sidewalk can be depressed where the access aisle is provided.

 

6.9  Valet Parking and Mechanical Access Parking Garages

 

Table 6.9 shows the relevant text of the current guidelines and the final revised guidelines with respect to the scoping requirements for parking facilities that provide valet parking services and for mechanical access parking garages. 

 

Table 6.9 – Valet Parking and Mechanical Access Parking Garages (text version)

Current Guidelines

Final Revised Guidelines

4.1.2  Accessible Sites and Exterior Facilities: New Construction.  An accessible site shall meet the following minimum requirements: . . .

 

(5)(a)  If parking spaces are provided for self-parking by employees or visitors, or both, then accessible parking spaces complying with 4.6 shall be provided in each such parking area in conformance with the table below.  . . .

 

(e)  Valet Parking.  Valet parking facilities shall provide a passenger loading zone complying with 4.6 located on an accessible route to the entrance of the facility.  Paragraphs 5(a), 5(b), and  5(d) of this section do not apply to valet parking facilities.

208.2  Minimum Number.  Parking spaces complying with 502 shall be provided in accordance with Table 208.2, except as required by 208.2.1, 208.2.2, and 208.2.3. . . .

 

209.4  Valet Parking.  Parking facilities that provide valet parking services shall provide at least one passenger loading zone complying with 503.

 

209.5  Mechanical Access Parking Garages.  Mechanical access parking garages shall provide at least one passenger loading zone complying with 503 at vehicle drop-off and vehicle pick-up areas.

 

Model Codes & Standards

IBC 2000:  Sections 1106.1 and 1106.6.2 have equivalent requirements for valet parking facilities.

 

IBC 2003:  Sections 1106.1 and 1106.7.3 have equivalent requirements for valet parking facilities.

 

The current guidelines and the final revised guidelines require parking facilities that provide valet parking services to have an accessible passenger loading zone.  The final revised guidelines also require mechanical access parking garages to have an accessible passenger loading zone.[122]  The current guidelines contain an exception that exempts valet parking facilities from providing accessible parking spaces.  The final revised guidelines do not include the exception.  The revision is expected to have minimal impacts since the exception in the current guidelines applies to facilities that provide valet parking services exclusively and is rarely used. 

 

6.10     Stairs

 

Table 6.10 shows the relevant text of the current guidelines and the final revised guidelines with respect to the scoping and technical requirements for stairs. 

 

Table 6.10 – Stairs (text version)

Current Guidelines

Final Revised Guidelines

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

 

(4)  Interior and exterior stairs connecting levels that are not connected by an elevator, ramp, or other accessible means of vertical access shall comply with 4.9.

 

4.9.2  Treads and Risers.  On any given flight of stairs, all steps shall have uniform riser heights and uniform tread widths.  Stair treads shall be no less than 11 in (280 mm) wide, measured from riser to riser (see Fig. 18(a)).  . . .

210.1 General.  Interior and exterior stairs that are part of a means of egress shall comply with 504.

Exceptions: . . .

2.  In alterations, stairs between levels that are connected by an accessible route shall not be required to comply with 504 except that handrails complying with 505 shall be provided when the stairs are altered. . . .

 

504.2 Treads and Risers.  All steps on a flight of stairs shall have uniform riser heights and uniform tread depths.  Risers shall be 4 inches (100 mm) high minimum and 7 inches (180 mm) high maximum.  Treads shall be 11 inches (280 mm) deep minimum.

Model Codes & Standards

IBC 2000:  Sections 1003.3.3.3 and 1003.3.3.3.1 have equivalent requirements for stairs that are part of a means of egress. 

 

IBC 2003:  Sections 1009.3 and 1009.3.1 have equivalent requirements for stairs that are part of a means of egress.

 

ICC/ANSI A117.1-1998:  Section 504.2 has equivalent requirements for treads and risers.

 

The current guidelines require stairs serving levels that are not connected by an accessible route to comply with the technical requirements for stairs.  The final revised guidelines require stairs that are part of a means of egress to comply with the technical requirements for stairs, including treads and risers.  The current guidelines and the final revised guidelines require uniform riser heights and tread depths.  The current guidelines do not specify a riser height.  The final revised guidelines specify a riser height of 4 inches minimum and 7 inches maximum.  Both the current guidelines and the final revised guidelines specify a tread depth of 11 inches minimum.  The revision is expected to have minimal impacts since 7 inch maximum risers and 11 inch minimum treads (“7/11” stairs) are widely accepted as the standard for stairs.[123]   

 

The final revised guidelines include an exception for alterations to existing facilities that exempt stairs serving levels that are connected by an accessible route from the requirements for uniform treads and risers.

6.11     Drinking Fountains

 

Table 6.11 shows the relevant text of the current guidelines and the final revised guidelines with respect to the scoping and technical requirements for drinking fountains. 

 

Table 6.11 – Drinking Fountains (text version)

Current Guidelines

Final Revised Guidelines

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

 

(10)  Drinking Fountains.

 

(a)  Where only one drinking fountain is provided on a floor there shall be a drinking fountain that is accessible to individuals who use wheelchairs in accordance with 4.15 and one accessible to those who have difficulty bending or stooping. . . .

 

(b)  Where more than one drinking fountain or water cooler is provided on a floor, 50 percent of those provided shall comply with 4.15 . . . .

 

4.15.2  Spout Height.  Spouts shall be no higher than 36 in (915 mm), measured from the floor or ground surfaces to the spout outlet (see Fig. 27 (a)).

 

4.15.5  Clearances.

 

(1)  Wall and post-mounted cantilevered units shall have a clear knee space between the bottom of the apron and the floor or ground at least 27 in (685 mm) high, 30 in (760 mm) wide, and 17 in to 19 in (430 mm to 485 mm) deep (see Fig. 27 (a) and (b)).  Such units shall also have a minimum clear floor space 30 in by 48 in (760 mm by 1220 mm) to allow a person in a wheelchair to approach the unit facing forward.

Exception:  These clearances shall not be required at units used primarily by children ages 12 and younger where clear floor space for a parallel approach complying with 4.2.4 is provided and where the spout is no higher than 30 in (760 mm), measured from the floor or ground surface to the spout outlet.

 

(2)  Free-standing or built-in units not having a clear  space under them shall have a clear floor space at least 30 in by 48 in (760 mm by 1220 mm) that allows a person in a wheelchair to make a parallel approach to the unit (see Fig. 27 (c) and (d)).  This clear floor space shall comply with 4.2.4.

211.1 General.  Where drinking fountains are provided on an exterior site, on a floor, or within a secured area they shall be provided in accordance with 211. . . .

 

211.2 Minimum Number.  No fewer than two drinking fountains shall be provided.  One drinking fountain shall comply with 602.1 through 602.6 and one drinking fountain shall comply with 602.7.

Exception:  Where a single drinking fountain complies with 602.1 through 602.6 and 602.7, it shall be permitted to be substituted for two separate drinking fountains.

 

211.3 More Than Minimum Number.  Where more than the minimum number of drinking fountains specified in 211.2 are provided, 50 percent of the total number of drinking fountains provided shall comply with 602.1 through 602.6, and 50 percent of the total number of drinking fountains provided shall comply with 602.7.

Exception:  Where 50 percent of the drinking fountains yields a fraction, 50 percent shall be permitted to be rounded up or down provided that the total number of drinking fountains complying with 211 equals 100 percent of drinking fountains.

 

602.2 Clear Floor Space.  Units shall have a clear floor or ground clearance complying with 305 positioned for a forward approach and centered on the unit.  Knee and toe clearance complying with 306 shall be provided.

Exception:  A parallel approach complying with 305 shall be permitted at units for children's use where the spout is 30 inches (760 mm) maximum above the finish floor or ground and is 3½ inches (90 mm) maximum from the front edge of the unit, including bumpers.

 

602.4  Spout Height.  Spout outlets shall be 36 inches (915 mm) maximum above the finish floor or ground.

 

602.7  Drinking Fountains for Standing Persons.  Spout outlets for drinking fountains for standing persons shall be 38 inches (965 mm) minimum and 43 inches (1090 m) maximum above the finish floor or ground.

Model Codes & Standards

IBC 2000:  Section 1108.5 has a similar requirement for the number of accessible drinking fountains.

 

IBC 2003:  Section 1109.5 has a similar requirement for the number of accessible drinking fountains.

 

ICC/ANSI A117.1-1998:  Section 602.2 has a similar requirement for clear floor space at drinking fountains.

 

The current guidelines and the final revised guidelines require drinking fountains to be provided at a wheelchair height and at a standing height.  The current guidelines require wall and post-mounted cantilevered drinking fountains mounted at a wheelchair height to provide clear floor space for a forward approach with knee and toe clearance, and free-standing or built-in drinking fountains to provide clear floor space for a parallel approach.  The final revised guidelines require drinking fountains mounted at a wheelchair height to provide clear floor space for a forward approach with knee and toe clearance, and include an exception for a parallel approach for drinking fountains used by children. The final revised guidelines also include a technical requirement for drinking fountains for standing persons.  The revision is expected to have minimal impacts since drinking fountains mounted at a wheelchair height that provide clear floor space for a forward approach with knee and toe clearance are common in new construction, and generally cost less than other types of drinking fountains. 

6.12     Sinks

 

Table 6.12 shows the relevant text of the current guidelines and the final revised guidelines with respect to the scoping and technical requirements for sinks.

 

Table 6.12 – Sinks (text version)

Current Guidelines

Final Revised Guidelines

4.1.1  Application.

 

(1)  General.  All areas of newly designed or newly constructed buildings and facilities and altered portions of existing buildings and facilities shall comply with section 4, unless otherwise provided in this section or as modified in a special application section.

 

4.24.1  General.  Sinks required to be accessible by 4.1 shall comply with 4.24.

 

4.24.3  Knee Clearance.  Knee clearance that is at least 27 in (685 mm) high, 30 in (760 mm) wide, and 19 in (485 mm) deep shall be provided underneath sinks.

 

4.24.5 Clear Floor Space.  A clear floor space at least 30 in by 48 in (760 mm by 1220 mm) complying with 4.2.4 shall be provided in front of a sink to allow forward approach.  The clear floor space shall be on an accessible route and shall extend a maximum of 19 in (485 mm) underneath the sink (see Fig. 32).

 

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. . . .

 

(7)  Kitchens, Kitchenettes, or Wet Bars.  When provided as an accessory to a sleeping room or suite, kitchens, kitchenettes, wet bars, or similar amenities shall be accessible. Clear floor space for a front or parallel approach to cabinets, counters, sinks, and appliances shall be provided to comply with 4.2.4. . . .

212.3 Sinks.  Where sinks are provided, at least 5 percent, but no fewer than one, of each type provided in each accessible room or space shall comply with 606.

Exception:  Mop or service sinks shall not be required to comply with 212.3.

 

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.  . . .

Model Codes & Standards

IBC 2000:  Section 1108.3 has an equivalent requirement for sinks.

 

IBC 2003:  Section 1109.3 has an equivalent requirement for sinks.

 

ICC/ANSI A117.1-1998:  Section 606.2 has an equivalent requirement for clear floor space at sinks and an equivalent exception for sinks without a cook top or conventional range.

 

 

The current guidelines contain technical requirements for sinks, but do not have specific scoping requirements for sinks in all accessible spaces.[124]  The final revised guidelines require at least 5 percent of sinks in each accessible space to comply with the technical requirements for sinks.  The technical requirements address clear floor space, height, faucets, and exposed pipes and surfaces.  The current guidelines and the final revised guidelines require the clear floor space at sinks to be positioned for a forward approach, and knee and toe clearance to be provided under the sink.  The current guidelines allow the clear floor space at kitchen sinks and wet bars in hotel guest rooms with mobility features to be positioned for either a forward approach with knee and toe clearance, or for a parallel approach because the rooms usually do not have cooking facilities.  The final revised guidelines include a broader exception that permits the clear floor space to be positioned for a parallel approach at kitchen sinks in any space where a cook top or conventional range is not provided, and at a wet bar.

 

The revision is expected to have minimal impacts since the base cabinet under kitchen sinks is usually eliminated to provide knee and toe clearance under the sink when the clear floor space is positioned for a forward approach, which offsets the cost for the lowered sink counter height and the pipe insulation. 

6.13     Public Telephone Volume Controls[125]

 

Table 6.13 shows the relevant text of the current guidelines and the final revised guidelines with respect to the scoping and technical requirements for public telephone volume controls. 

 

Table 6.13 – Public Telephone Volume Controls (text version)

Current Guidelines

Final Revised Guidelines

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

 

(17)  Public Telephones. . . .

 

(b)  All telephones required to be accessible and complying with 4.31.2 through 4.32.8 shall be equipped with a volume control.  In addition, 25 percent, but never less than one, of all other public telephones provided shall be equipped with a volume control . . . .

 

4.30.7 Symbols of Accessibility. . . .

 

(2)  Volume Control Telephones.  Telephones required to have a volume control by 4.1.3 (17) (b) shall be identified by a sign containing a depiction of a telephone handset with radiating sound waves.

 

4.31.5  Hearing Aid Compatible and Volume Control Telephones Required by 4.1. . . .

 

(2)  Volume controls capable of a minimum of 12 dba and a maximum of 18 dba above normal, shall be provided in accordance with 4.1.3.  If an automatic reset is provided then 18 dba may be exceeded. 

217.3  Volume Controls.  All public telephones shall have volume controls complying with 704.3.

 

704.3  Volume Control Telephones.  Public telephones required to have volume controls shall be equipped with a receive volume control that provides a gain adjustable up to 20 dB minimum.  For incremental volume control, provide at least one intermediate step of 12 dB of gain minimum.  An automatic reset shall be provided.

Model Codes & Standards

IBC 2000:  Section E1106.3 of Appendix E has a similar requirement for public telephones with volume controls.

 

IBC 2003:  Section E106.3 of Appendix E has an equivalent requirement for public telephones with volume controls.

 

ICC/ANSI A117.1-1998:  Section 704.3 has an equivalent requirement for level of volume control.

 

The current guidelines require all wheelchair accessible public telephones and 25 percent of all other public telephones to have volume controls, and to be identified by signs.  The final revised guidelines require all public telephones to have volume controls, and delete the requirement for identifying signs.  The current guidelines require volume control telephones to provide a minimum gain of 12 dB and a maximum gain of 18 dB.  The final revised guidelines require a gain up to 20 dB minimum and an automatic reset. 

 

The revision is expected to have minimal impacts since the scoping and technical requirements in the final revised guidelines are consistent with guidelines and standards issued by the Access Board under section 255 of the Telecommunications Act of 1998 and section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, which require all new telephones to have volume controls.[126] 

6.14     Dispersion of Wheelchair Spaces and Lines of Sight in Assembly Areas[127]

 

Table 6.14 shows the relevant text of the current guidelines and the final revisions to the guidelines with respect to the scoping and technical requirements for dispersion of wheelchair spaces and lines of sight in assembly areas. 

 

Table 6.14 – Dispersion of Wheelchair Spaces and Lines of Sight in Assembly Areas (text version)

Current Guidelines

Final Revised Guidelines

4.33.3  Placement of Wheelchair Locations.  Wheelchair areas shall be an integral part of any fixed seating plan and 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.  They shall adjoin an accessible route that also serves as a means of egress in case of emergency. . . When the seating capacity exceeds 300, wheelchair spaces shall be provided in more than one location. . . .

Exception:  Accessible viewing positions may  be clustered for bleachers, balconies, and other areas having sight lines that require slopes greater than 5 percent.  Equivalent accessible viewing positions may be located on levels having accessible egress.

221.2.2  Integration.  Wheelchair spaces shall be an integral part of the seating plan.

 

221.2.3  Lines of Sight and Dispersion.  Wheelchair spaces shall provide lines of sight complying with 802.2 and shall comply with 221.2.3.  In providing lines of sight, wheelchair spaces shall be dispersed.  Wheelchair spaces shall provide spectators with choices of seating locations and viewing angles that are substantially equivalent to, or better than, the choices of seating locations and viewing angles available to all other spectators.  When the number of wheelchair spaces required by 221.2.1 has been meet, further dispersion shall not be required. . . .

 

221.2.3.1  Horizontal Dispersion.  Wheelchair spaces shall be dispersed horizontally. 

Exceptions:  1.  Horizontal dispersion shall not be required in assembly areas with 300 or fewer seats if  companion seats required by 221.3 and wheelchair spaces are located within the 2nd or 3rd quartile of the total row length.  Intermediate aisles shall be included in determining the total row length.  If the row length in the 2nd and 3rd quartile of a row is insufficient to accommodate the required number of companion seats and wheelchair spaces, the additional companion seats and wheelchair spaces shall be permitted to be located in the 1st and 4th quartile of the row.

2.  In row seating, two wheelchair spaces shall be permitted to be located side-by-side.

 

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.

Exceptions:  1.  Vertical dispersion shall not be required in assembly areas with 300 or fewer seats if wheelchair spaces provide viewing angles that are equivalent to, or better than, the average viewing angle provided in the facility.

2.  In bleachers, wheelchair spaces shall not be required to be provided in rows other than rows at points of entry to bleacher seating.

 

802.2 Lines of Sight.  Lines of sight to the screen, performance area, or playing field for spectators in wheelchair spaces shall comply with 802.2.

 

802.2.1 Lines of Sight Over Seated Spectators.  Where spectators are expected to remain seated during events, spectators in wheelchair spaces shall be afforded lines of sight complying with 802.2.1.

 

802.2.1.1 Lines of Sight Over Heads.  Where spectators are provided lines of sight over the heads of spectators seated in the first row in front of their seats, spectators seated in wheelchair spaces shall be afforded lines of sight over the heads of seated spectators in the first row in front of wheelchair spaces.

 

802.2.1.2 Lines of Sight Between Heads.  Where spectators are provided lines of sight over the shoulders and between the heads of spectators seated in the first row in front of their seats, spectators seated in wheelchair spaces shall be afforded lines of sight over the shoulders and between the heads of seated spectators in the first row in front of wheelchair spaces.

 

802.2.2 Lines of Sight Over Standing Spectators.  Where spectators are expected to stand during events, spectators in wheelchair spaces shall be afforded lines of sight complying with 802.2.2.

 

802.2.2.1 Lines of Sight Over Heads.  Where standing spectators are provided lines of sight over the heads of spectators standing in the first row in front of their seats, spectators seated in wheelchair spaces shall be afforded lines of sight over the heads of standing spectators in the first row in front of wheelchair spaces.

 

802.2.2.2 Lines of Sight Between Heads.  Where standing spectators are provided lines of sight over the shoulders and between the heads of spectators standing in the first row in front of their seats, spectators seated in wheelchair spaces shall be afforded lines of sight over the shoulders and between the heads of standing spectators in the first row in front of wheelchair spaces. 

Model Codes & Standards

IBC 2000:  Section 1107.2.3 has similar requirements for dispersion of wheelchair spaces.

 

IBC 2003:  Section 1108.2.4 has similar requirements for dispersion of wheelchair spaces.

 

ICC/ANSI A117.1-1998:  Section 802.8 has similar requirements for lines of sight.

 

The current guidelines require wheelchair spaces to be an integral part of any fixed seating plan in assembly areas and to be dispersed, when the seating capacity exceeds 300.  The current guidelines also require wheelchair spaces to provide individuals with disabilities lines of sight comparable to the sightlines available to other spectators in assembly areas.  The Department of Justice, which adopted the current guidelines as enforceable standards, interprets comparable sightlines as requiring wheelchair spaces in sports stadiums and arenas to provide lines of sight over standing spectators to the playing field, where spectators are expected to stand during events.[128]  The Department of Justice also interprets comparable sightlines as requiring wheelchair spaces in stadium-style movie theaters to provide viewing angles comparable to those provided to other spectators.[129] 

 

The final revised guidelines add specific technical requirements for providing sightlines over seated and standing spectators; and require wheelchair spaces to provide individuals with disabilities choices of seating locations and viewing angles that are substantially equivalent to, or better than, the choices of seating locations and viewing angles available to other spectators.  The final revised guidelines also clarify the dispersion requirements.  Wheelchair spaces must be dispersed horizontally and vertically.  The final revised guidelines include exceptions for assembly areas that have 300 or fewer seats, where the wheelchair spaces are located in the 2nd or 3rd quartile of the total row length and provide viewing angles that are equivalent to, or better than, the average viewing angle provided in the facility.  The revisions are expected to have minimal impacts since they are consistent with the Department of Justice’s interpretations of the current guidelines. 

 

The current guidelines contain an exception that permits wheelchair spaces to be clustered in steeply sloped bleachers and balconies.  The final revised guidelines require wheelchair spaces to be located at the entry points to bleachers, and in each balcony or mezzanine that is on an accessible route.

6.15     Lawn Seating in Assembly Areas

 

Table 6.15 shows the relevant text of the current guidelines and the final revised guidelines with respect to the scoping requirement for lawn seating in assembly areas. 

 

Table 6.15 – Lawn Seating in Assembly Areas (text version)

Current Guidelines

Final Revised Guidelines

4.1.1  Application.

 

(1)  General.  All areas of newly designed or newly constructed buildings and facilities and altered portions of existing buildings and facilities shall comply with section 4, unless otherwise provided in this section or as modified in a special application section.

221.5 Lawn Seating.  Lawn seating areas and exterior overflow seating areas, where fixed seats are not provided, shall connect to an accessible route.

 

Model Codes & Standards

No requirements for lawn seating in assembly areas.

 

The current guidelines require all areas of newly constructed facilities to be accessible, but do not contain a specific scoping requirement for lawn seating in assembly areas.  The final revised guidelines specifically require lawn seating areas and exterior overflow seating areas without fixed seats to connect to an accessible route.  The revision is expected to have minimal impacts since the requirement can be met by locating an accessible route serving the fixed seating areas along a portion of the lawn seating area.  The accessible route does not have to extend through the lawn seating area. 

6.16     New Construction of Federal, State, and Local Government Housing

 

Table 6.16 shows the relevant text of the current guidelines and the final revised guidelines with respect to the scoping requirements for new construction of Federal, State, and local government housing.  The current guidelines refer to UFAS.

 

Table 6.16 – New Construction of Federal, State, and Local Government Housing (text version)

Current Guidelines

Final Revised Guidelines

4.1.4  Occupancy Classifications.  Buildings and facilities shall comply with these standards to the extent noted in this section for various occupancy classifications, unless otherwise noted by a special application section. . . .

 

(11) Residential.  Residential occupancy includes, among others, the use of a building or structure, or portion thereof, for sleeping accommodations when not classed as an institutional occupancy.  Residential occupancies shall comply with the requirements of 4.1 and 4.34 except as follows: . . .

 

(b)  Residential occupancies in multiple dwellings where the occupants are primarily permanent in nature, including:

 

Facilities

Multifamily housing

(Apartment houses):

 

 

Application

Federally assisted

5 percent of the total, or at least one unit, whichever is greater, in projects of 15 or more dwelling units . . . .

Federally owned

5 percent of the total, or at least one unit, whichever is greater.

Dormitories

5 percent of the total, or at least one unit, whichever is greater.

 

(c)  Residential occupancies in one (1) and two (2) family dwellings where the occupancies are primarily permanent in nature and not classified as preceding residential categories or as institutional.

 

 

Facilities

One and two family dwelling:

 

 

Application

Federally assisted, rental

5 percent of the total, or at least one unit, whichever is greater, in projects of 15 or more dwelling units . . . .

Federally assisted, home ownership

 

To be determined by home buyer.

Federally owned

5 percent of the total, or at least one unit, whichever is greater.

233.1 General.  Facilities with residential dwelling units shall comply with 233.

 

233.2 Residential Dwelling Units Provided by Entities Subject to HUD Section 504 Regulations.  Where facilities with residential dwelling units are provided by entities subject to regulations issued by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, such entities shall provide residential dwelling units with mobility features complying with 809.2 through 809.4 in a number required by the applicable HUD regulations.  Residential dwelling units required to provide mobility features complying with 809.2 through 809.4 shall be on an accessible route as required by 206.  In addition, such entities shall provide residential dwelling units with communication features complying with 809.5 in a number required by the applicable HUD regulations.  Entities subject to 233.2 shall not be required to comply with 233.3.

 

233.3 Residential Dwelling Units Provided by Entities Not Subject to HUD Section 504 Regulations.  Facilities with residential dwelling units provided by entities not subject to regulations issued by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, shall comply with 233.3.

 

233.3.1 Minimum Number: New Construction.  Newly constructed facilities with residential dwelling units shall comply with 233.3.1.

Exception:  Where facilities contain 15 or fewer residential dwelling units, the requirements of 233.3.1.1 and 233.3.1.2 shall apply to the total number of residential dwelling units that are constructed under a single contract, or are developed as a whole, whether or not located on a common site.

 

233.3.1.1 Residential Dwelling Units with Mobility Features.  In facilities with residential dwelling units, at least 5 percent, but no fewer than one unit, of the total number of residential dwelling units shall provide mobility features complying with 809.2 through 809.4 and shall be on an accessible route as required by 206.

 

233.3.1.2 Residential Dwelling Units with Communication Features.  In facilities with residential dwelling units, at least 2 percent, but no fewer than one unit, of the total number of residential dwelling units shall provide communication features complying with 809.5.

 

233.3.2 Residential Dwelling Units for Sale.  Residential dwelling units offered for sale shall provide accessible features to the extent required by regulations issued by Federal agencies under the Americans with Disabilities Act or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended.

Model Codes & Standards

IBC 2000:  Section 1107.5.4 requires 2 percent of dwelling units in certain multi-family occupancies to comply with the requirements for Type A dwelling units in ICC/ANSI A117.1-1998.

 

IBC 2003:  Section 1107.6.2.1.1 requires 2 percent of dwelling units in certain multi-family occupancies to comply with the requirements for Type A dwelling units in ICC/ANSI A117.1-1998.

 

The current guidelines contain scoping requirements for the new construction of Federal, State, and local government housing required to comply with the Architectural Barriers Act and Americans with Disabilities Act.[130]  For federally owned housing, the current guidelines require 5 percent of newly constructed dwelling units to provide mobility features.  For federally assisted housing, the current guidelines require 5 percent of newly constructed dwelling units in projects of 15 or more dwelling units to provide mobility features.  The current guidelines do not define the term “project.”

 

The final revised guidelines differentiate between entities subject to the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) regulations implementing section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and entities not subject to the HUD regulations.  The HUD regulations apply to recipients of Federal financial assistance through HUD, and require at least 5 percent of dwelling units in multi-family projects of five or more dwelling units to provide mobility features and at least 2 percent of the dwelling units to provide communication features.[131]  The HUD regulations define a project unique to its programs as “one or more residential structures . . . which are covered by a single contract for Federal financial assistance or application for assistance, or are treated as a whole for processing purposes, whether or not located on a common site.”[132]  To avoid any potential conflicts with the HUD regulations, the final revised guidelines require entities subject to the HUD regulations to comply with the scoping requirements in the HUD regulations, instead of the scoping requirements in the final revised guidelines.

 

For entities not subject to the HUD regulations, the final revised guidelines require at least 5 percent of the dwelling units in residential facilities to provide mobility features, and at least 2 percent of the dwelling units to provide communication features.  The final revised guidelines define facilities in terms of buildings located on a site.[133] The final revised guidelines permit facilities that contain 15 or fewer dwelling units to apply the scoping requirements to all the dwelling units that are constructed under a single contract, or are developed as whole, whether or not located on a common site.

 

The final revised guidelines defer to the Department of Justice and agencies responsible for issuing regulations under section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act to determine the extent to which accessible features are to be provided in dwelling units offered for sale.

 

The scoping requirements in the final revised guidelines for new construction of dwelling units with mobility features are sufficiently similar to the current guidelines that the impacts are expected to be minimal.  The technical requirements in the final revised guidelines for dwelling units with communication features will have monetary impacts and are further discussed in Chapter 7.14.

6.17     Alterations to Federal, State, and Local Government Housing

 

Table 6.17 shows the relevant text of the current guidelines and the final revised guidelines with respect to the scoping requirements for alterations to Federal, State, and local government housing.  The current guidelines refer to UFAS.

 

Table 6.17 – Alterations to Federal, State, and Local Government Housing (text version)

Current Guidelines

Final Revised Guidelines

4.16  Accessible Buildings: Alterations.

 

(1)  General.  Alterations to existing buildings and facilities shall comply with the following:

 

(a)  If existing elements, spaces, essential features, or common areas are altered, then each such altered element, space, feature, or area shall comply with the applicable provisions of 4.1.1 to 4.1.4 of 4.1, Minimum Requirements. . . .

 

(c)  If alterations of single elements, when considered together, amount to an alteration of a space of a building or facility, the entire space shall be made accessible. . . .

 

(2)  Where a building or facility is vacated and it is totally altered, then it shall be altered to comply with 4.1.1 to 4.1.5 of 4.1, Minimum Requirements, except to the extent where it is structurally impracticable.

 

(3)  Where substantial alteration occurs to a building or facility, then each element or space that is altered or added shall comply with the applicable provisions of 4.1.1 to 4.1.4 of 4.1, Minimum Requirements, except to the extent where it is structurally impracticable.  The altered building or facility shall contain:

 

(a)  At least one accessible route complying with 4.3, Accessible Route, and 4.1.6(a);

 

(b)  At least one accessible entrance complying with 4.14, Entrances.  If additional entrances are altered then they shall comply with 4.1.6(a); and

 

(c)  The following toilet facilities, whichever is greater:

 

(i)  At least one toilet facility for each sex in the altered building complying with 4.22, Toilet Rooms; and 4.23, Bathrooms, Bathing Facilities, and Shower Rooms.

 

(ii)  At least one toilet facility for each sex on each substantially altered floor, where such facilities are provided, complying with 4.22, Toilet Rooms; and 4.23, Bathrooms, Bathing Facilities, and Shower Rooms.

 

(d)  In making the determination as to what constitutes “substantial alteration,” the agency issuing standards for the facility shall consider the total cost of all alterations (including but not limited to electrical, plumbing, and structural changes) for a building or facility within any twelve (12) month period.  For guidance in implementing this provision, an alteration to any building or facility is to be considered substantial if the total cost for this twelve month period amounts to 50 percent or more of the full and fair cash value of the building as defined in 3.5. 

 

202.3 Alterations.  Where existing elements or spaces are altered, each altered element or space shall comply with the applicable requirements of Chapter 2.

Exceptions: . . . 

3.  Residential dwelling units not required to be accessible in compliance with a standard issued pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, shall not be required to comply with 202.3.

 

202.4 Alterations Affecting Primary Function Areas.  In addition to the requirements of 202.3, an alteration that affects or could affect the usability of or access to an area containing a primary function shall be made so as to ensure that, to the maximum extent feasible, the path of travel to the altered area, including the rest rooms, 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. . . .

Exception:  Residential dwelling units shall not be required to comply with 202.4. 

 

233.3 Residential Dwelling Units Provided by Entities Not Subject to HUD Section 504 Regulations.  Facilities with residential dwelling units provided by entities not subject to regulations issued by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, shall comply with 233.3.

 

233.3.4 Alterations.  Alterations shall comply with 233.3.4. 

Exception:  Where compliance with 809.2, 809.3, or 809.4 is technically infeasible, or where it is technically infeasible to provide an accessible route to a residential dwelling unit, the entity shall be permitted to alter or construct a comparable residential dwelling unit to comply with 809.2 through 809.4 provided that the minimum number of residential dwelling units required by 233.3.1.1 and 233.3.1.2, as applicable, is satisfied. 

 

233.3.4.1 Alterations to Vacated Buildings.  Where a building is vacated for the purposes of alteration, and the altered building contains more than 15 residential dwelling units, at least 5 percent of the residential dwelling units shall comply with 809.2 through 809.4 and shall be on an accessible route as required by 206.  In addition, at least 2 percent of the residential dwelling units shall comply with 809.5.

 

233.3.4.2 Alterations to Individual Residential Dwelling Units.  In individual residential dwelling units, where a bathroom or a kitchen is substantially altered, and at least one other room is altered, the requirements of 233.3.1 shall apply to the altered residential dwelling units until the total number of residential dwelling units complies with the minimum number required by 233.3.1.1 and 233.3.1.2.  Residential dwelling units required to comply with 233.3.1.1 shall be on an accessible route as required by 206.

Exception:  Where facilities contain 15 or fewer residential dwelling units, the requirements of 233.3.1.1 and 233.3.1.2 shall apply to the total number of residential dwelling units that are altered under a single contract, or are developed as a whole, whether or not located on a common site.

Model Codes & Standards

No requirements for alterations to dwelling units.

 

The current guidelines require Federal, State, and local government housing to comply with the general requirements for alterations to facilities.  Applying the general requirements for alterations to housing can result in partially accessible dwelling units where single elements or spaces in dwelling units are altered. 

 

The final revised guidelines contain specific scoping requirements for alterations to dwelling units by entities that are not subject to the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) regulations implementing section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.[134]  Dwelling units that are not required to be accessible are exempt from the general requirements for alterations to elements and spaces and for alterations to primary function areas.[135]

 

The scoping requirements for alterations to dwelling units are based on the general requirements in the current guidelines for alterations to facilities that are vacated and for substantially altered facilities, and are expected to have minimal impacts compared to the current guidelines.

 

 

 

As with new construction, the final revised guidelines permit facilities that contain 15 or fewer dwelling units to apply the scoping requirements to all the dwelling units that are altered under a single contract, or are developed as whole, whether or not located on a common site.  The final revised guidelines also permit a comparable dwelling unit to provide mobility features where it is not technically feasible for the altered dwelling unit to comply with the technical requirements. 

6.18     Accessible Routes in Dwelling Units with Mobility Features

 

Table 6.18 shows the relevant text of the current guidelines and the final revised guidelines with respect to the scoping and technical requirements for accessible routes in dwelling units with mobility features.  The current guidelines refer to UFAS.

 

Table 6.18 – Accessible Routes in Dwelling Units with Mobility Features (text version)

Current Guidelines

Final Revised Guidelines

4.34.1  General.  The requirements of 4.34 apply to dwelling units required to be accessible by 4.1.

 

4.34.2  Minimum Requirements.  An accessible dwelling unit shall be on an accessible route.  An accessible dwelling unit shall have the following accessible elements and spaces as a minimum: . . .

 

(3)  At least one accessible route complying with 4.3 shall connect the accessible entrances with all accessible spaces and elements within the dwelling units. . . .

 

(12)  At least one full bathroom shall comply with 4.34.5. . . .

 

(13)  The kitchen shall comply with 4.34.6.

 

(14)  If laundry facilities are provided, they shall comply with 4.34.7.

 

(15)  The following spaces shall be accessible and shall be on an accessible route: 

 

(a)  The living area.

 

(b)  The dining area.

 

(c)  The sleeping area, or the bedroom in one bedroom dwelling areas, or at least two bedrooms or sleeping spaces in dwelling units with two or more bedrooms.

233.3.5 Dispersion.  Residential dwelling units required to provide mobility features complying with 809.2 through 809.4 . . . shall be dispersed among the various types of residential dwelling units in the facility and shall provide choices of residential dwelling units comparable to, and integrated with, those available to other residents.

Exception:  Where multi-story residential dwelling units are one of the types of residential dwelling units provided, one-story residential dwelling units shall be permitted as a substitute for multi-story residential dwelling units where equivalent spaces and amenities are provided in the one-story residential dwelling unit.

 

809.1 General. . . . Residential dwelling units required to provide mobility features shall comply with 809.2 through 809.4 . . . .

 

809.2 Accessible Routes.  Accessible routes complying with Chapter 4 shall be provided within residential dwelling units in accordance with 809.2.

Exception:  Accessible routes shall not be required to or within unfinished attics or unfinished basements.

 

809.2.1 Location.  At least one accessible route shall connect all spaces and elements which are a part of the residential dwelling unit.  Where only one accessible route is provided, it shall not pass through bathrooms, closets, or similar spaces. 

 

809.4 Toilet Facilities and Bathing Facilities.  At least one toilet facility and bathing facility shall comply with 603 through 610.  At least one of each type of fixture provided shall comply with applicable requirements of 603 through 610.  Toilet and bathing fixtures required to comply with 603 through 610 shall be located in the same toilet and bathing area, such that travel between fixtures does not require travel between other parts of the residential dwelling unit.

Model Codes & Standards

ICC/ANSI A117.1-1998:  Section 1002.3 has an equivalent requirement for accessible routes in Type A dwelling units.

 

In dwelling units with mobility features, the current guidelines require the living area, kitchen and dining area, bedroom, bathroom, and laundry area where provided to be on an accessible route.  Where dwelling units have two or more bedrooms, at least two bedrooms are required to be on an accessible route.[136]

 

The final revised guidelines require all spaces and elements within dwelling units with mobility features to be on an accessible route.  The final revised guidelines exempt unfinished attics and unfinished basements from the accessible route requirement.  The final revised guidelines also include an exception to the dispersion requirement that permits single-story dwelling units or “flats” to be constructed, where multi-story dwelling units are provided.[137]  A “flat” eliminates the need to provide a residential elevator or platform lift to connect stories.  In multi-family construction, building codes and fire and life safety codes typically require one-hour minimum fire-resistance rated construction between dwelling units regardless of type.  There is little difference in the cost of constructing two adjacent two-story dwelling units, and a “flat” and a second dwelling unit on top.

6.19     Side Reach[138]

 

Table 6.19 shows the relevant text of the current guidelines and the final revised guidelines with respect to the scoping requirements for some of the elements required to be placed within a forward or side reach, and the technical requirements for a side reach.
 

Table 6.19 – Side Reach (text version)

Current Guidelines

Final Revised Guidelines

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

 

(13)  Controls and operating mechanisms in accessible spaces, along accessible routes, or as parts of accessible elements . . . shall comply with 4.27.

 

4.27.3  Height.  The highest operable part of controls, dispensers, receptacles, and other operable equipment shall be placed within at least one of the reach ranges specified in 4.2.5 or 4.2.6. . . .

 

4.2.6  Side Reach.  If the clear floor space allows a parallel approach by a person in a wheelchair, the maximum high side reach allowed shall be 54 in (1370 mm) and the low side reach shall be no less than 9 in (230 mm) above the floor (Fig. 6 (a) and (b)). 

[Note:  Figures 6 (a) and (b) show a reach depth of 10 inches maximum.] 

205.1  General.  Operable parts on accessible elements, accessible routes, and in accessible rooms and spaces shall comply with 309. 

 

228.1  General.  Where provided, at least one of each type of depository, vending machine, change machine, and fuel dispenser shall comply with 309. 

Exception:  Drive-up only depositories shall not be required to comply with 309. 

 

228.2 Mail Boxes.  Where mailboxes are provided in an interior location, at least 5 percent, but no fewer than one, of each type shall comply with 309.  In residential facilities, where mailboxes are provided for each residential unit, mail boxes complying with 309 shall be provided for each residential dwelling unit required to provide mobility features complying with 809.2 through 809.4. 

 

309.3  Height.  Operable parts shall be placed within one or more of the reach ranges specified in 308.

 

308.3  Side Reach.

 

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.

Exceptions: . . . 

2:  Operable parts of fuel dispensers shall be permitted to be 54 inches (1370 mm) maximum measured from the surface of the vehicular way where fuel dispensers are installed on existing curbs. 

 

308.3.2  Obstructed High Reach.  Where a clear floor or ground space allows a parallel approach to an element and the high side reach is over an obstruction, the height of the obstruction shall be 34 inches (865 mm) maximum and the depth of the obstruction shall be 24 inches (610 mm) maximum.  The high side reach shall be 48 inches (1220 mm) maximum for a reach depth of 10 inches (255 mm) maximum. . . .

Model Codes & Standards

ICC/ANSI A117.1-1998:  Sections 308.3.1 and 308.3.2 have equivalent requirements for a side reach.

 

The current guidelines and the final revised guidelines require operable parts on accessible elements, along accessible routes, and in accessible rooms and spaces to be placed within a forward or side reach.  The final revised guidelines also require at least one of each type of depositories, vending machines, change machines, and gas pumps; and at least 5 percent of mailboxes provided in an interior location to meet the technical requirements for a forward or side reach. 

 

The current guidelines specify a maximum 54 inch high side reach and a minimum 9 inch low side reach for a reach depth of 10 inches maximum.  The final revised guidelines specify a maximum 48 inch high side reach and a minimum 15 inch low side reach for an unobstructed reach, and a maximum 48 inch high side reach for a reach depth of 10 inches maximum over an obstruction 34 inches maximum in height. 

 

Changing the side reach will affect a variety of building elements such as light switches, electrical outlets, thermostats, fire-alarm pull stations, card readers, and keypads.  Installing the elements at the proper height when a facility is newly constructed or when an element or space is altered typically will involve little or no cost. 

 

The Access Board held public meetings in October 2000 to gather additional information on the impacts of changing the side reach on automated teller machines, gas pumps, and vending machines.[139]  Information provided at the public meeting disclosed that the revision will have minimal impacts:

 

 

 

 

6.20     Handrails Along Walkways[140]

 

Table 6.20 shows the relevant text of the current guidelines and the final revised guidelines with respect to the technical requirement for handrails along walkways that are not ramps. 

 

Table 6.20 – Handrails Along Walking Surfaces (text version)

Current Guidelines

Final Revised Guidelines

No requirement.

403.6 Handrails.  Where handrails are provided along walking surfaces with running slopes not steeper than 1:20 they shall comply with 505.

 

[Note:  The following requirements in 505 are applicable to handrails along walking surfaces:  505.4 Height; 505.5 Clearance; 505.6 Gripping Surface; 505.7 Cross Section; 505.8 Surfaces; and 505.9 Fittings.  An exception to 505.6 permits the handrail gripping surfaces to be obstructed along their entire length where they are integral to crash rails or bumper guards.] 

Model Codes & Standards

No requirement for handrails along walking surfaces.

 

The current guidelines do not contain any technical requirement for handrails provided along walkways that are not ramps.  The final revised guidelines require handrails along walkways that are not ramps to comply with certain technical requirements..

 

The revision is expected to have minimal impacts since handrails provided along walkways that are not ramps are typically installed in accordance with the model codes, which are generally consistent with the final revised guidelines.  Certain health care facilities provide handrails in corridors for use by ambulatory patients or residents.  Health-care facilities may also provide bumper guards along walls to protect the walls from damage by carts, beds, and other moving equipment.  Products that are designed to serve as bumper guards only are not required to comply with the technical requirements for handrails.  There are products designed to serve as combination bumper guards and handrails that meet the technical requirements for handrails.  Where combination bumper guards and handrails are provided, the final revised guidelines contain an exception that permits the bottom of the gripping surface to be obstructed along the entire length.

 

6.21     Thresholds at Doorways

 

Table 6.21 shows the relevant text of the current guidelines and the final revised guidelines with respect to the technical requirement for thresholds at doorways. 

 

Table 6.21 – Thresholds at Doors (text version)

Current Guidelines

Final Revised Guidelines

4.13.8  Thresholds at Doorways.  Thresholds at doorways shall not exceed ¾ in (19 mm) in height for exterior sliding doors or ½ in (13 mm) for other types of doors.  Raised thresholds and floor level changes at accessible doorways shall be beveled with a slope no greater than 1:2 (see 4.5.2). 

 

[Note:  Section 4.5.2 requires changes in level between ¼ inch and ½ inch to be beveled with a slope not steeper than 1:2.] 

404.1 General.  Doors, doorways, and gates that are part of an accessible route shall comply with 404.

 

404.2.5 Thresholds.  Thresholds, if provided at doorways, shall be ½ inch (13 mm) high maximum.  Raised thresholds and changes in level at doorways shall comply with 302 and 303.

EXCEPTION:  Existing or altered thresholds ¾ inch (19 mm) high maximum that have a beveled edge on each side with a slope not steeper than 1:2 shall not be required to comply with 404.2.5.

Model Codes & Standards

IBC 2000:  Section 1003.3.1.6 has an equivalent requirement for thresholds at doorways that are part of an accessible means of egress, except for sliding doors.  Section 3408.7.14 has an equivalent exception for existing or altered thresholds.

 

IBC 2003:  Section 1008.1.6 has an equivalent requirement for thresholds at doorways that are part of an accessible means of egress, except for sliding doors.  Section 3409.7.12 has an equivalent exception for existing or altered thresholds.

 

ICC/ANSI A117.1-1998:  Section 404.2.5 has an equivalent requirement for thresholds at doorways.  Section 1002.5 has an equivalent requirement for thresholds at doorways in Type A dwelling units, except for exterior sliding doors.

 

The current guidelines require thresholds at doorways not to exceed ½ inch; and thresholds at exterior sliding doors not to exceed ¾ inch.  The final revised guidelines require thresholds at all doorways that are part of an accessible route not to exceed ½ inch.  The current guidelines and the final revised guidelines require raised thresholds that exceed ¼ inch to be beveled on each side with a slope not steeper than 1:2.  The final revised guidelines include an exception that exempts existing and altered thresholds which do not exceed ¾ inch and are beveled on each side from the requirement. 

 

Exterior sliding doors typically have higher thresholds than other doors to provide a barrier for water and wind infiltration, and to prevent the doors from being lifted out of the tracks.  Threshold heights for exterior sliding doors typically exceed 1 inch.  The ¾ inch threshold requirement in the current guidelines is typically met by providing a special installation detail.  In wood construction, the threshold may need to be set on the sub-floor, or the sub-floor material or thickness may need to change at the threshold.  In concrete construction, the slab may need to be recessed at the door location.  Adding a lightweight concrete floor topping on the structural floor can also raise the finish floor in relation to the threshold height.  Changing the threshold requirement from ¾ inch to ½ inch will make the special installation detail slightly more difficult, but is not expected to add any quantifiable cost to the work.

 

Lower thresholds, whether ¾ inch or ½ inch, make it more difficult to prevent water and wind infiltration, and require special design consideration to be given to the detail at the juncture of exterior walls and floors where exterior sliding doors are provided.  Changing the threshold requirement from ¾ inch to ½ inch may require some additional design consideration, but does not add to the cost of the sliding door or to the design solution.  Where the design solution is too difficult or too costly, a swinging door can be used instead of a sliding door.  Swinging doors must also meet the ½ inch threshold requirement, but threshold heights and profiles for swinging doors are more varied than for sliding doors.  Swinging doors can meet the ½ inch threshold requirement without any special installation detail and provide greater protection against water and wind infiltration.

6.22     Door and Gate Surfaces

 

Table 6.22 shows the relevant text of the current guidelines and the final revised guidelines with respect to the technical requirement for door and gate surfaces. 

 

Table 6.22 – Door and Gate Surfaces (text version)

Current Guidelines

Final Revised Guidelines

No requirement.

404.1 General.  Doors, doorways, and gates that are part of an accessible route shall comply with 404.

 

404.2.10 Door and Gate Surface.  Swinging door and gate surfaces within 10 inches (255 mm) of the finish floor or ground measured vertically shall have a smooth surface on the push side extending the full width of the door or gate.  Parts creating horizontal or vertical joints in these surfaces shall be within 1/16 inch (1.6 mm) of the same plane as the other.  Cavities created by added kick plates shall be capped.

Exceptions: . . .

2.  Tempered glass doors without stiles and having a bottom rail or shoe with the top leading edge tapered at 60 degrees minimum from the horizontal shall not be required to meet the 10 inch (255 mm) bottom smooth surface height requirement. . . .

4.  Existing doors and gates without smooth surfaces within 10 inches (255 mm) of the finish floor or ground shall not be required to comply with 404.2.10 provided that if added kick plates are installed, cavities created by such kick plates are capped.

Model Codes & Standards

ICC/ANSI A117.1-1998:  Section 404.2.10 has an equivalent requirement for door and gate surfaces and exception for tempered glass doors without stiles. 

 

The current guidelines do not contain any technical requirement for door surfaces.  The final revised guidelines require a smooth surface on the bottom 10 inches of the push side of swinging doors so that individuals who use wheelchairs can open the door without creating a trap or pinch point.  The revision is expected to have minimal impacts since wood, metal, and composite doors with flush surfaces meet the technical requirements.  Doors with raised or inset panels 10 inches above the bottom of the door also meet the technical requirements.  The final revised guidelines contain an exception that exempts tempered glass doors without stiles from the technical requirements.  The exception requires the top rail to be beveled to the glass surface, which is a common detail on tempered glass doors.  The final revised guidelines also contain an exception for existing doors.

 

6.23     Automatic Door Break-Out Openings

 

Table 6.23 shows the relevant text of the current guidelines and the final revised guidelines with respect to the technical requirement for automatic door break-out openings. 

 

Table 6.23 – Automatic Door Break-Out Openings (text version)

Current Guidelines

Final Revised Guidelines

4.13.12  Automatic Doors and Power-Assisted Doors.

If an automatic door is used, then it shall comply with ANSI/BHMA A156.10-1985.  Slowly opening, low-powered, automatic doors shall comply with ANSI A156.19-1984. . . .

 

404.1 General.  Doors, doorways, and gates that are part of an accessible route shall comply with 404.

 

404.3  Automatic and Power-Assisted Doors and Gates.  Automatic doors and automatic gates shall comply with 404.3. . . .

  

404.3.1  Clear Width.  Doorways shall provide a clear opening of 32 inches (815 mm) minimum in power-on and power-off mode.  The minimum clear width for automatic door systems in a doorway shall be based on the clear opening provided by all leaves in the open position.

 

404.3.6 Break Out Opening.  Where doors and gates without standby power are a part of a means of egress, the clear break out opening at swinging or sliding doors and gates shall be 32 inches (815 mm) minimum when operated in emergency mode.

Exception:  Where manual swinging doors and gates comply with 404.2 and serve the same means of egress compliance with 404.3.6 shall not be required.

Model Codes & Standards

IBC 2000:  Sections 1003.3.1.1 and 1003.3.1.3.2 have an equivalent requirement for automatic door break-out openings.

 

IBC 2003:  Sections 1008.1.1 and 1008.1.3.2 have an equivalent requirement for automatic door break-out openings.

 

The current guidelines do not contain any technical requirement for automatic door break out openings.  The final revised guidelines require automatic doors that are part of a means of egress and that do not have standby power to have a 32 inch minimum clear break out opening when operated in emergency mode.  The minimum clear opening width for automatic doors is measured with all leaves in the open position.  Automatic bi-parting doors or pairs of swinging doors that provide a 32 inch minimum clear break out opening in emergency mode when both leaves are opened manually meet the technical requirement.  The final revised guidelines include an exception that exempts automatic doors from the technical requirement for break-out openings when accessible manual swinging doors serve the same means of egress.  The revision is expected to have minimal impacts since most automatic doors that are part of a means of egress meet the technical requirement.

 

6.24     Assistive Listening Systems[141]

 

Table 6.24 shows the relevant text of the current guidelines and the final revised guidelines with respect to the technical requirements for assistive listening systems. 

 

Table 6.24 – Assistive Listening Systems (text version)

Current Guidelines

Final Revised Guidelines

4.33.7  Types of Assistive Listening Systems.  Assistive listening systems (ALS) are intended to augment standard public address and audio systems by providing signals which can be received directly by persons with special receivers or their own hearing aids and which eliminate or filter background noise.  The type of assistive listening system appropriate for a particular application depends on the characteristics of the setting, the nature of the program, and the intended audience.  Magnetic induction loops, infra-red and radio frequency systems are types of listening systems which are appropriate for various applications.

706.1 General.  Assistive listening systems required in assembly areas shall comply with 706.

 

706.2 Receiver Jacks.  Receivers required for use with an assistive listening system shall include a 1/8-inch (3.5 mm) standard mono jack.

 

706.3 Receiver Hearing-Aid Compatibility.  Receivers required to be hearing-aid compatible shall interface with telecoils in hearing aids through the provision of neckloops.

 

706.4 Sound Pressure Level.  Assistive listening systems shall be capable of providing a sound pressure level of 110 dB minimum and 118 dB maximum with a dynamic range on the volume control of 50 dB.

 

706.5 Signal-to-Noise Ratio.  The signal-to-noise ratio for internally generated noise in assistive listening systems shall be 18 dB minimum.

 

706.6 Peak Clipping Level.  Peak clipping shall not exceed 18 dB of clipping relative to the peaks of speech.

Model Codes & Standards

ICC/ANSI A117.1-1998:  No specific requirements for assistive listening systems.

 

The current guidelines do not contain specific technical requirements for assistive listening systems.  The final revised guidelines require assistive listening systems to have standard mono jacks; and require hearing-aid compatible receivers to have neckloops to interface with telecoils in hearing aids.  The final revised guidelines also specify sound level pressure, signal-to-noise ratio, and peak clipping level.  The revision is expected to have minimal impacts since currently available assistive listening systems meet the technical requirements. 

6.25     Automated Teller Machines and Fare Machines

 

Table 6.25 shows the relevant text of the current guidelines and the final revised guidelines with respect to the technical requirements for automated teller machines and fare machines. 

 

Table 6.25 – Automated Teller Machines and Fare Machines (text version)

Current Guidelines

Final Revised Guidelines

4.34.1  General.  Each automated teller machine required to be accessible by 4.1.3 shall be on an accessible route and shall comply with 4.34.

 

4.34.5  Equipment for Persons with Vision Impairments.  Instructions and all information for use shall be made accessible to and independently usable by persons with vision impairments.

 

10.3.1  New Construction.  New stations in rapid rail, light rail, commuter rail, intercity bus, intercity rail, high speed rail, and other fixed guideway systems (e.g., automated guideway transit, monorails, etc.) shall comply with the following provisions, as applicable: . . .

 

 (7)  Automatic fare vending, collection and adjustment (e.g., add fare) systems shall comply with . . . 4.34.5.

707.1  General.  Automatic teller machines and fare machines shall comply with 707.

 

707.3  Operable Parts.  Operable parts shall comply with 309.  Unless a clear or correct key is provided, each operable part shall be able to be differentiated by sound or touch, without activation. . . .

 

707.4  Privacy.  Automatic teller machines shall provide the opportunity for the same degree of privacy of input and output available to all individuals.

 

707.5  Speech Output.  Machines shall be speech enabled.  Operating instructions and orientation, visible transaction prompts, user input verification, error messages, and all displayed information for full use shall be accessible to and independently usable by individuals with vision impairments.  Speech shall be delivered through a mechanism that is readily available to all users, including but not limited to, an industry standard connector or a telephone handset.  Speech shall be recorded or digitized human, or synthesized.

Exceptions: 1.  Audible tones shall be permitted instead of speech for visible output that is not displayed for security purposes, including but not limited to, asterisks representing personal identification numbers.

2.  Advertisements and other similar information shall not be required to be audible unless they convey information that can be used in the transaction being conducted.

3.  Where speech synthesis cannot be supported, dynamic alphabetic output shall not be required to be audible.

 

707.5.1  User Control.  Speech shall be capable of being repeated or interrupted.  Volume control shall be provided for the speech function.

Exception:  Speech output for any single function shall be permitted to be automatically interrupted when a transaction is selected.

 

707.5.2  Receipts.  Where receipts are provided, speech output devices shall provide audible balance inquiry information, error messages, and all other information on the printed receipt necessary to complete or verify the transaction.

Exceptions:  1.  Machine location, date and time of transaction, customer account number, and the machine identifier shall not be required to be audible.

2.  Information on printed receipts that duplicates information available on-screen shall not be required to be presented in the form of an audible receipt.

3.  Printed copies of bank statements and checks shall not be required to be audible.

 

707.6  Input.  Input devices shall comply with 707.6.

 

707.6.1  Input Controls.  At least one tactilely discernible input control shall be provided for each function.  Where provided, key surfaces not on active areas of display screens, shall be raised above surrounding surfaces.  Where membrane keys are the only method of input, each shall be tactilely discernable from surrounding surfaces and adjacent keys.

 

707.6.2  Numeric Keys.  Numeric keys shall be arranged in a 12-key ascending or descending telephone keypad layout.  The number five key shall be tactilely distinct from the other keys.

 

707.6.3  Function Keys.  Function keys shall comply with 707.6.3.

 

707.6.3.1  Contrast.  Function keys shall contrast visually from background surfaces.  Characters and symbols on key surfaces shall contrast visually from key surfaces.  Visual contrast shall be either light-on-dark or dark-on-light.

Exception:  Tactile symbols required by 707.6.3.2 shall not be required to comply with 707.6.3.1.

 

707.6.3.2  Tactile Symbols.  Function key surfaces shall have tactile symbols as follows: Enter or Proceed key: raised circle; Clear or Correct key: raised left arrow; Cancel key: raised letter ex; Add Value key: raised plus sign; Decrease Value key: raised minus sign.

 

707.7  Display Screen.  The display screen shall comply with 707.7.

Exception:  Drive-up only automatic teller machines and fare machines shall not be required to comply with 707.7.1.

 

707.7.1  Visibility.  The display screen shall be visible from a point located 40 inches (1015 mm) above the center of the clear floor space in front of the machine.

 

707.7.2  Characters.  Characters displayed on the screen shall be in a sans serif font.  Characters shall be 3/16 inch (4.8 mm) high minimum based on the uppercase letter "I".  Characters shall contrast with their background with either light characters on a dark background or dark characters on a light background. 

 

707.8  Braille Instructions.  Braille instructions for initiating the speech mode shall be provided.  Braille shall comply with 703.3.

Model Codes & Standards

ICC/ANSI A117.1-1998:  Section 707 has similar requirements for automatic teller machines and fare machines.

 

The current guidelines require instructions and all information for using automated teller machines and fare machines to be accessible to and independently usable by persons with vision impairments.  Blind individuals and their organizations have entered into settlement agreements with major banks to implement the current guidelines by providing speech output and tactilely discernable input controls on automated teller machines.[142]  The manufacturers of automated teller machines have responded by making available equipment with these features.  The final revised guidelines contain technical requirements for privacy, speech output, tactilely discernable input controls, display screens, and Braille instructions.[143]

 

The Access Board held a public meeting in October 2000 to gather additional information on the capabilities of automated teller machines, especially with respect to speech output.[144]  Based on the meeting and supplemental comments from the banking industry, the final revised guidelines include several exceptions:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The revision is expected to have minimal impacts since the technical requirements are consistent with current technology, and the exceptions address the concerns of the banking industry.

 

6.26     Wheelchair Space Overlap in Assembly Areas[145]

 

Table 6.26 shows the relevant text of the current guidelines and the final revised guidelines with respect to the technical requirements for wheelchair space overlap in assembly areas. 

 

Table 6.26 – Wheelchair Space Overlap in Assembly Areas (text version)

Current Guidelines

Final Revised Guidelines

4.3.3  Width.  The minimum clear width of an accessible route shall be 36 in (915 mm) except at doors (see 4.13.5 and 4.13.6). . . .

402.1  General.  Accessible routes shall comply with 402.

 

402.2  Components.  Accessible routes shall consist of one or more of the following components: walking surfaces with a running slope not steeper than 1:20, doorways, ramps, curb ramps excluding the flared sides, elevators, and platform lifts.  All components of an accessible route shall comply with the applicable requirements of Chapter 4.

 

403.5.1  Clear Width.  Except as provided in 403.5.2 and 403.5.3, the clear width of walking surfaces shall be 36 inches (915 mm) minimum. . . .

 

802.1.4  Approach.  Wheelchair spaces shall adjoin accessible routes.  Accessible routes shall not overlap  wheelchair spaces.

 

802.1.5  Overlap.  Wheelchair spaces shall not overlap circulation paths.

Model Codes & Standards

IBC 2000:  Section 1008.7.6 prohibits obstructions in the required width of assembly aisles, except for handrails.

 

IBC 2003:  Section 1024.9.6 prohibits obstructions in the required width of assembly aisles, except for handrails.

 

The current guidelines and the final revised guidelines require walkways that are part of an accessible route to have a 36 inch minimum clear width.  The final revised guidelines specifically prohibit accessible routes from overlapping wheelchair spaces.  This is consistent with the technical requirements for accessible routes, since the clear width of accessible routes cannot be obstructed by any object.  The final revised guidelines also specifically prohibit wheelchair spaces from overlapping circulation paths.  An advisory note clarifies that this prohibition applies only to the circulation path width required by applicable building codes and fire and life safety codes since the codes prohibit obstructions in the required width of assembly aisles. 

 

The revision does not present any difficult design challenges and is expected to have minimal impacts.  Where a main circulation path is located in front of a row of seats that contains a wheelchair space and the circulation path is wider than required by applicable building codes and fire and life safety codes, the wheelchair space may overlap the “extra” circulation path width.  Where a main circulation path is located behind a row of seats that contains a wheelchair space and the wheelchair space is entered from the rear, the aisle in front of the row may need be to be wider in order not to block the required circulation path to the other seats in the row, or a mid-row opening may need to be provided to access the required circulation path to the other seats.

 

6.27     Visible Alarms in Hotel Guest Rooms with Communication Features

 

Table 6.27 shows the relevant text of the current guidelines and the final revised guidelines with respect to the technical requirement for visible alarms in hotel guest rooms with communication features.[146]

 

Table 6.27 – Visible Alarms in Hotel Guest Rooms with Communication Features (text version)

Current Guidelines

Final Revised Guidelines

9.3.1  General.  In sleeping rooms required to comply with this section, auxiliary visual alarms shall be provided and shall comply with 4.28.4. . . .

 

4.28.4  Auxiliary Alarms.  Units and sleeping accommodations shall have a visual alarm connected to the building emergency alarm system or shall have a standard 110-volt electrical receptacle into which such an alarm can be connected and a means by which a signal  from the building emergency alarm system can trigger such an auxiliary alarm.  When visual alarms are in place the signal shall be visible in all areas of the unit or room.  Instructions for use of the auxiliary alarm or receptacle shall be provided.

806.3  Guest Rooms with Communication Features.  Guest rooms required to provide communication features shall comply with 806.3.

 

806.3.1  Alarms.  Where emergency warning systems are provided, alarms complying with 702 shall be provided.

 

702.1  General.  Fire alarm systems shall have permanently installed audible and visible alarms complying with NFPA 72 (1999 or 2002 edition) (incorporated by reference, see “Referenced Standards” in Chapter 1) . . .  In addition, alarms in guest rooms required to provided communication features shall comply with sections 4-3 and 4-4 of NFPA 72 (1999 edition) or sections 7.4 and 7.5 of NFPA 72 (2002 edition).

Model Codes & Standards

IBC 2000:  Section 907.9.1.2 has an equivalent requirement for visible alarms in hotel guest rooms with communication features.

 

IBC 2003:  Section 907.9.1.3 has an equivalent requirement for visible alarms in hotel guest rooms with communication features.  

 

The current guidelines require hotel guest rooms with communication features to provide either permanently installed visible alarms that are connected to the building fire alarm system, or portable visible alarms that are connected to a standard 110-volt electrical outlet and are activated by the building fire alarm system.  People who are deaf or hard of hearing have reported that portable visible alarms used in hotel guest rooms are deficient because the alarms are not always activated by the building fire alarm system, and the alarms do not work when the building power source goes out in emergencies.[147] 

 

The final revised guidelines require hotel guest rooms with communication features to provide permanently installed visible alarms complying with the NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm Code (1999 or 2002 edition).  The NFPA 72 contains technical requirements for visible alarms in sleeping areas, and requires combination smoke alarms and visible notification appliances that are connected to the building’s electrical system.[148]  The revision is consistent with the model building codes and fire and life safety codes, which are adopted by all the States and require newly constructed hotels to provide hard- wired smoke alarms complying with the NFPA 72 in guest rooms, including combination visible notification devices in guest rooms for individuals with hearing impairments.[149] 

 

As discussed in Chapter 5.14, the final revised guidelines add a new exception for alterations to existing facilities that exempt existing fire alarm systems from providing visible alarms, unless the fire alarm system is upgraded or replaced, or a new fire system is installed.  Hotels that alter guest rooms are not required to provide permanently installed visible alarms complying with the NFPA 72 if the existing fire alarm system has not been upgraded or replaced, or a new fire alarm system has not been installed.