Properly Incorporate ADA Accessibility Standards into Your Next Construction or Renovation Project
When the Americans With Disability Act (ADA) was passed into law, it was a monumental step forward in making buildings accessible to all people, and it’s an integral part of commercial building design and construction projects.
The ADA Standards cover how to specifically implement safety and proper accessibility into each part of an establishment, whether it’s new construction or a renovation project. If you’re looking to alter your building or begin new construction, make sure to check these standards and safely include the following to make sure you’re on track with ADA compliance:
- Safe flooring and ground surfaces
- Entrances, doors and gates
- Elevators and platform lifts
- Parking spaces
- Passenger load zones
Common Challenges while Striving for ADA Compliance
One of the most important parts of this process is making sure your contractor is familiar and reliable when it comes to ADA Standards. Going the extra mile, knowing all of the small details and inspecting every part of the structure that falls into the compliance category can make all the difference in your design build project. Hiring a contractor with both knowledge and experience with these standards, along with great communication skills, is a way to streamline and ensure your process will be on track.
A common problem that organizations face is the lack of understanding of the ongoing maintenance standards within ADA compliance. Lee Swinscoe from FacilitiesNet expresses the importance of all staff being aware of these standards, including cleaning and janitorial personnel:
“Cleaning staff or other employees should have a basic understanding of ADA design criteria so they are not inadvertently creating ADA compliance problems. If a trash can is pulled to the door, emptied, and left there, it can obstruct the door maneuvering clearance. Or if a hotel employee places a table against the wall in a meeting room to provide refreshments and doesn’t understand the need to provide a clear floor space for a wheelchair by the only house phone in the room, then this creates a compliance issue.”– Lee Swinscoe, FacilitiesNet
Experienced Contractors at Your Disposal
It can be challenging to retrofit older buildings with elevators and other ADA compliant fixtures, but Galbraith has helped many clients find practical and affordable ways to upgrade their buildings. Currently, Galbraith is pleased to be a part of the construction to install elevators and other features to update two churches in making them accessible and ADA compliant.
It’s always satisfying to be a part of projects that make such positive improvements for the end-users of various structures. Contact Galbraith if your commercial or industrial building needs help with ADA accessibility updates.
Allan Galbraith is co-owner of Galbraith/Pre-Design, Inc. and oversees company operations and strategic planning. He is an accomplished business leader with over 22 years of experience in commercial and industrial construction.