Author Topic: ADA requirements in construction  (Read 730 times)

iris lily

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ADA requirements in construction
« on: August 19, 2018, 07:40:41 PM »
My neighborhood association wants to buy a commerical building for meetings and to store stuff.

The building we are looking at does not have ADA compliant bathrooms.

Mr. Google does not reveal what triggers the requiremrnt for ADA compliant bathrooms. I assume
 because we are buying a commercial building, we will have to install an ADa compliant bathroom even though the building is not open to the public and does not serve the public.

Is my assumption correct? What experience do you all have with this issue?

Fishindude

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Re: ADA requirements in construction
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2018, 08:14:59 AM »
Doesn't have to be "public" access, if you are going to put it back into commercial use where it's open to all of your members, yes the restrooms will have to be ADA compliant.
Depending upon size and occupancy, you may be able to get by with a single uni-sex restroom.   

Key things about ADA restrooms: 
Large enough entry door for wheel chair, 36".
Room size adequate to turn wheel chair around in, typically 7' x 8' for a one holer.
Toilet and sink properly positioned and sized to meet ADA dimensions.
ADA grab bars at the toilet.
Tissue and towel dispensers properly positioned to meet ADA.
ADA accessible sign on door.

You may also need to have suitably marked, sized and located ADA parking spot(s).
Ramped access into the building for a wheel chair.

If in doubt, get with the local building inspector.

thd7t

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Re: ADA requirements in construction
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2018, 09:58:33 AM »
I deal with this a lot.  ADA requirements typically get capped based on the extent of renovation (20% of cost), but if you're not renovating, you are not required to upgrade.  I've added the most relevant portion of the commentary that I can think of here.
https://www.ada.gov/reachingout/lesson33.htm

This is a situation where hiring an architect will pay off.


Papa bear

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Re: ADA requirements in construction
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2018, 10:43:55 AM »
I heard a story about ADA compliance.  The ADA retort to "bathrooms not for the public or for employees only" is "so you won't employ someone that needs access?" And then it gets the company/building in more trouble.

I don't know your specifics, but you may want to change your reasoning for not having a compliant bathroom if someone comes out to ask.


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iris lily

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Re: ADA requirements in construction
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2018, 11:26:51 AM »
I heard a story about ADA compliance.  The ADA retort to "bathrooms not for the public or for employees only" is "so you won't employ someone that needs access?" And then it gets the company/building in more trouble.

I don't know your specifics, but you may want to change your reasoning for not having a compliant bathroom if someone comes out to ask.


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Yes, I thought about the arguement “well, you may not be open to the public but wont you/dont you have members of your group in need of accessibility?”

We are moving from an 1860’s building with no handicapped access,with a meeting room up windy stairs in a Victorian tower, to possibly this one story building. It is turn of the century vintage but it could be made wheelchair accessible unlike our previous space. Of course that costs money.

I do not  yet know how much of the interior needs to be renovated.

iris lily

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Re: ADA requirements in construction
« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2018, 03:56:12 PM »
I deal with this a lot.  ADA requirements typically get capped based on the extent of renovation (20% of cost), but if you're not renovating, you are not required to upgrade.  I've added the most relevant portion of the commentary that I can think of here.
https://www.ada.gov/reachingout/lesson33.htm

This is a situation where hiring an architect will pay off.
Very useful, thank you. We may end up having to hire an architect, dont know, we havent seen the inside of the building yet. The previous owner made some recent upgrades but we dont know how extensive they were. They did not get permits since they claim permits were not required doe this work.


thd7t

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Re: ADA requirements in construction
« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2018, 06:45:02 AM »
I deal with this a lot.  ADA requirements typically get capped based on the extent of renovation (20% of cost), but if you're not renovating, you are not required to upgrade.  I've added the most relevant portion of the commentary that I can think of here.
https://www.ada.gov/reachingout/lesson33.htm

This is a situation where hiring an architect will pay off.
Very useful, thank you. We may end up having to hire an architect, dont know, we havent seen the inside of the building yet. The previous owner made some recent upgrades but we dont know how extensive they were. They did not get permits since they claim permits were not required doe this work.
Another thing to consider is that from a building code official's perspective, if you are changing the use of the space, you may be subject to bringing the space up to code.  This is a relatively flexible requirement and will partially depend on your code official.

At a minimum, if you decide to renovate at all, consult with your municipality's Building Official.  They're incredible resources.

One last note about renovations and permits for non-residential construction: Any reconfiguration of space requires a building permit under the IBC.  This is the model code adopted across most of the United States (and I think Canada).  If walls or doors were added, whoever renovated should have pulled a permit.  Some Code Officials aren't as stringent about this, but that is how the code is written. 

Jon Bon

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Re: ADA requirements in construction
« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2018, 08:34:45 AM »
*NOT A LAWYER*

Do you know why every downtown bar you ever go to has the grossest shittiest bathroom you have ever seen?

Yep, its ADA.

You do any repair/replacement on that bathroom it has to become ADA compliant. I believe that you cant be forced to bring a bathroom up to code just because you purchase a building, that would be Ex Post Facto.

So that is why you run into a bunch of super gross bathrooms in commercial buildings.  My thought would be the bathroom if it predates ADA is fine however it is, just dont start doing upgrades on it.


*Feel free to correct me, this is just what I have heard