PDA

View Full Version : ADA Disabilities experience?



NutmegCT
04-20-2018, 07:35 PM
We'll be building a new reference and artifact archive facility at the New England Air Museum. As we just got approval for the new building, we're in "wish list and ideas" mode now.

I wondered if any forum members have been involved with designing a building to meet ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) requirements.

There's a *lot* on the ADA website, but I'm first trying to determine if *all* spaces of a building must be accessible to people with physical (including vision) impairments - or just the public areas. Or does the ADA also apply to spaces where the public *and staff (employees and volunteers)* will be.

Obviously the architect will be involved in the details, but I want to prevent "over-designing" the building, adding ADA details that may not actually be needed.

Thanks.
Tom M.

TRMark
04-21-2018, 09:57 AM
Several years ago biz partner and I rehabed a multi floor some brick and some later parts block warehouse, the original parts built in 1935. We converted to a brewery, office and retail. Be happy you are starting from scratch. Check references for your architect or engineer, have them cite the applicable laws in their design. Talk with the local fire department and code people. Consulting here is not a good idea, there may be local requirements also.

NutmegCT
04-21-2018, 01:31 PM
Thanks Mark. As a (paranoid) volunteer working for a non-profit organization, I worry that the architect will "pad the fee and blow the budget" by adding features and items that aren't actually required by ADA. Especially as there will be only one small room (20x20) for public use, and the rest of the 6000 sq ft building will be racks and shelves for materials.

My completely untrained understanding of ADA is that public facilities in a public building must be accessible by all the public. And that includes having a front door buzzer that alerts a staff member to come open the door. Is a warehouse considered a public building?

If a staff member wants to access the rack and shelf area, and that staff member uses a wheelchair - does that mean the racks and shelves must be accessible, even tho' another staff member can get the material for the person in the wheelchair?

Thanks.
Tom M.

Basil
04-21-2018, 05:16 PM
This is a test reply to see it "Last Post By" updates to Basil.

NutmegCT
04-21-2018, 05:42 PM
Seems like it's working now. But like Paul said over in my Chrome thread, some of my posts today either (1) didn't show at all, or (2) posted twice.

And I'm now getting email reply notices again.

Thanks.
Tom M.

TRMark
04-22-2018, 10:00 AM
Dealing with handicapped employees falls under the EEOC policies for providing reasonable accommodation. That is a different matter than public access. There is plenty of info available on the internet. https://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/internal/reasonable_accommodation.cfm You may want to do some reading in these areas so you are more conversational with your architect and are able to ask the questions you need answered. I do not have a lot of experience in that area, my passing knowledge of reasonable accommodation comes from renting residential property.

bobhustead
04-22-2018, 06:58 PM
Google "ADAAG" for the regulations. To nutmeg's comment, I sometimes volunteer on Appalachian Trail maintenance. Several years ago, I worked on a privy (in deep mountain back country) which had been designed by an architect to ADA standards, including ramp slope and wheelchair width access to the platform.
Bob

NutmegCT
04-22-2018, 07:07 PM
Bob - that ADAAG guide is excellent. Thanks very much.

Tom M.

bobhustead
04-22-2018, 07:20 PM
Although called guidelines, those are the substantive regulations (law) published in the Federal Register/CFR.
Bob

TOC
04-24-2018, 05:41 PM
Google "ADAAG" for the regulations. To nutmeg's comment, I sometimes volunteer on Appalachian Trail maintenance. Several years ago, I worked on a privy (in deep mountain back country) which had been designed by an architect to ADA standards, including ramp slope and wheelchair width access to the platform.
Bob

Like braille on drive up banking windows.

Then you get one that bites you in the hindquarters.

USS Yorktown in Charleston...was it hurricane Andrew? Feds came by to check damage, asked where the mooring lines were...well, we emptied all the tanks, dragged it into place in the shallows, then flooded the tanks...it's permanent. In the mud.

Oh...then you are no longer a historic ship, but a building...and they had to cut the bottoms of the WTD's out for wheelchair access.

And public access is one thing...employee (or volunteer) is something else.

waltesefalcon
04-25-2018, 09:10 AM
"Like braille on drive up banking windows.

USS Yorktown in Charleston...was it hurricane Andrew? Feds came by to check damage, asked where the mooring lines were...well, we emptied all the tanks, dragged it into place in the shallows, then flooded the tanks...it's permanent. In the mud."

This is what the government does when it has too much authority.

TRMark
04-25-2018, 09:38 AM
After baring the cost and aggravation of restoring an old building, I understand why old schools and old building get demolished. Dealing with ADA, codes of all types and the odd bonehead architect/pretend engineer will drive a person nuts.

NutmegCT
04-25-2018, 09:47 AM
After baring the cost and aggravation of restoring an old building, I understand why old schools and old building get demolished. Dealing with ADA, codes of all types and the odd bonehead architect/pretend engineer will drive a person nuts.

Got that right. And my project is just getting started.

53286

Gliderman8
04-25-2018, 09:53 AM
Architects and engineers can be your allies... their job as professionals is to make sure the building meets all codes.
Paying legal fees as a result of lawsuits are worse.

TRMark
04-25-2018, 01:30 PM
You are correct Elliot, the problem was in a few cases incompetence. We finally brought in a structural engineer we had used a few decades ago out of retirement, he had kept his stamp current. He was about 85 at the time and knows what he is looking at. The previous engineer decided we needed to reinforce the trusses to withstand the weight of an insulated roof. Procedure was to release the point where the elements of the truss joined so they could be reinforced, the trusses immediately started to move. Even I know every part of a truss is either under compression or tension. We finally got the team together we needed and they did a good job. We actually invited people from the city building department and fire department to give us advice. They were more than willing to help since the old place was getting to be a bit of an eye sore and needed to be either redeveloped or knocked down. So if you are ever in Missoula MT. stop by the Draught Works brewery, one of several businesses in the building.

Gliderman8
04-25-2018, 01:40 PM
I agree Mark... there's nothing like experience. Of course you can always find "incompetence" in any profession. I worked for many years calling on architects in major east coast cities to get products specified in projects including ADA compliant products. Like any business deal, do your homework and get references.
Thanks for the invite; Missoula sounds like a fun place to visit. One day, one day...

Brooklands
04-26-2018, 06:19 AM
But be sure when hiring architects, that they understand the usage of the building they are designing. Locally, the plans for a large middle school were sent to a group of teachers to see if there were any problems. They noticed that the architects had put all the bathrooms at the gym at the very back of the building to save on plumbing costs. And in another school, all the shelves in the library were parallel to the librarian's desk where the librarian could not see behind the front shelf of 10 rows of stacks. And when America On Wheels Transportation Museum was designed, the only doors on the north side where the parking lot, dumpster, etc was placed were three garage doors for bringing in vehicles. No place to walk out to the dumpster with a bag of garbage without raising a large door letting out the heat in winter and letting it in in summer. Plus the gallery where vehicles are changed every 6 months was placed upstairs, the only vehicle gallery not on the ground floor.

NutmegCT
04-26-2018, 06:36 AM
Dave - those are excellent points. Regarding your AOW building, weren't there staff working with the architect as he/she designed the building? Seems that would have prevented the door problem.

Thanks.
Tom M.

Brooklands
04-26-2018, 06:42 AM
Dave - those are excellent points. Regarding your AOW building, weren't there staff working with the architect as he/she designed the building? Seems that would have prevented the door problem.

Thanks.
Tom M.

This was before I joined up with the museum, but it was mostly executives from Mack Trucks, government agencies, and fund-raisers. The planning group is pretty well all gone 10 years after the museum opened. Changes keep being made, but other design "errors" make the costs to run the place higher than they should be, and the corrections come as funds are available. It is a beautiful building, but it could have been much better with no additional costs.

NutmegCT
04-26-2018, 06:49 AM
This was before I joined up with the museum, but it was mostly executives from Mack Trucks, government agencies, and fund-raisers. The planning group is pretty well all gone 10 years after the museum opened. Changes keep being made, but other design "errors" make the costs to run the place higher than they should be, and the corrections come as funds are available. It is a beautiful building, but it could have been much better with no additional costs.

Thanks Dave. I've heard that story many times before. The "big wigs" say they'll take charge of the design, but leave all the details to the architect. Then the staff have to live with what results.

Sounds like representative democracy! Choose the captain to guide the ship, but few people pay attention until the ship hits the rocks.

I'll probably be driving the architect nuts, as I've got a small team to make the basic "wish list", and follow the architect every step of the way.

Tom M.

Brooklands
04-27-2018, 07:07 AM
We had a great architect when we added to our old house twice. Everything blended, and he made excellent changes to my original design, but then he also lived in a house and could suggest things that made sense. But the, Frank Lloyd Wright also lived in a house, and still designed beautifully impractical housing at times. Keep after the design so that it works both aesthetically and practically. You have the advantage of having worked at your place for awhile, and you know what the needs are. Even if I had been there at the beginning, I had no experience with the day-to-day of an institution like these, and may not have been much help.

Keep us posted.