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Code Subtleties

If you have a basic understanding of the ADA design standards, then you have a pretty good idea about the minimum requirements to make commercial and retail facilities readily accessible to individuals with disabilities.

 

But although most accessibility requirements can be similar to the ADA standards there are many State specific differences that are important to know..and that could make a difference in your construction budgets.

 

Below are just a few examples: 

Massachusetts   

 

If you're planning any new work that exceeds $100k, you're going to have to provide an accessible public entrance and an accessible toilet room, telephone, drinking fountain (if toilets, telephones and drinking fountains are provided) whether or not your renovation was planning these upgrades.

 

Also important to know is that when the work performed on a 

building is divided into separate phases or projects or is under separate building permits, the total cost of such work in any 36 month period  shall be added together when determining the above $100k threshold. 

Connecticut  

 

 In addition to the toilet room wall mounted grab bars required by most accessibility codes, CT requires a separate, additional swing grab bar at a minimum of one accessible toilet location for each gender per floor.

Illinois

   

 The basement or second floor or mezzanine space of privately owned public facilities does not have to be served by accessible passenger elevators so long as it passes this first-level requirement: the functional space is limited to 1000 net square feet or less.

Texas

   

 Texas requires all new business construction or alterations over $50,000 to be submitted to the State's Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) for review and inspection to verify compliance with the provisions of the Texas Architectural Barriers Act  (TABA), including the Texas Accessibility Standards . 

 

This type of review is not performed at the local level.

 

There are also Registered Accessibility Specialists (RAS) licensed by the State to provide project registration, plan review, and inspection services in lieu of submitting to TDLR directly.

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