New Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations originally announced in 2010 officially took effect on March 15, 2012. Property owners across the country will now be required to meet these expanded regulations for renovation or construction projects, or risk ADA compliance lawsuits. To help owners and operators avoid legal fees and civil penalties, Dominion Construction Inc. offers an ADA compliance platform to assist owners in achieving ADA compliance.
Dominion has helped many clients across market sectors to navigate the changes to ADA regulations and successfully minimize disruption to the operations of commercial environments while delivering cost savings.
The ADA is a complex law that had not previously had any major refinements since it was signed into law in 1990. Properties for which construction was completed before March 15, 2012 fall under the safe harbor provision and are considered to be in compliance as long as they meet the original standard. However, projects for which renovation or construction is completed after the cut-off date will be required to comply with the new rules immediately.
Some of the significant changes to existing regulations include:
- The side reach range of equipment in accessible areas has been reduced to be no higher than 48 inches (instead of 54 inches) and no lower than 15 inches (instead of 9 inches).
- Construction tolerances for dimensions of equipment (such as grab bars) stated as a range will be eliminated.
- In single-user toilet rooms, the water closet now must provide clearance for both a forward and a parallel approach and, in most instances, the lavatory cannot overlap the required clear space around water closets.
- Increased requirements for accessible routes within buildings
- More stringent slope requirements for clear floor space at accessible elements
- Each pool must have its own wheelchair lift — one moveable lift for multiple pools in a facility is no longer acceptable. (A statement from the Department of Justice has extended this requirement by 60 days.)
ADA compliant construction is a service that Dominion Construction offers through the design, construction, and renovation of interior and exterior spaces. Construction for ADA compliance meets the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design, ensuring all new places of public accommodation and commercial facilities be designed and constructed to be readily accessible and useable by persons with disabilities.
The act requires the removal of architectural barriers that are structural in nature in existing facilities where such removal is readily achievable, and also the installation of grab bars and other items mandated by law.