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Smooth Surface at Doors

Tuesday, August 8th, 2017

Section  404.2.10 Door and Gate Surfaces

The 2010 ADA Standards require that the push side of swinging doors have the bottom rail that is 10″ measured vertically from the finish floor or ground be “smooth”.

Abadi Access

This door is a flush door and therefore considered to have a “smooth surface” within 10″ from the floor

 

Sometimes the doors are paneled by joints and may not be considered to have a “smooth surface”. If there are joints in the surface below 10″ from the finish floor, it is only allowed to be within 1/16 inch of the same plane as the other to be considered “smooth”.

This paneled door is not considered to have a smooth surface because there are joints deeper than 1/16 inches and below 10″ a.f.f. creating a paneled effect.

The locking mechanism on this door is more than 1/16 inches from the face of the bottom rail and therefore will not be considered to have a smooth surface

 

 

Abadi Access

This door has glass panels that are located above 10 inches a.f.f. , therefore the bottom rail is considered smooth

 

According to the 2010 ADA , the smooth surface should extend full width of the door or gate. This may be an issue when door hardware is located within the 10 inch smooth surface.

Abadi Access

The kick plate extends the entire width of the door and therefore considered to have a smooth surface

 

Abadi Access

The door hardware at this door is located within the 10 inches and therefore it is not considered to have a smooth surface

Abadi Access

The hinges have a chrome plate on either side of the door which makes the bottom rail not smooth since it is not extending all the way across the door

There are some exceptions:

1. Sliding doors shall not be required to comply with section 404.2.10

Abadi Access

This door does not have a smooth surface within 10″ of the floor, but since it is a sliding door then it is allowed

 

2. Tempered glass doors without stiles and having a bottom rail or shoe with the top leading edge tapered at 60 degrees minimum from the horizontal shall not be required to meet the 10 inch bottom smooth surface height requirement.

Abadi Access


This door has tempered glass and the bottom rail is tapered 60 degrees at the top, therefore the 4″ height of the bottom rail is compliant

Abadi Access

This bottom rail is not tapered and it is less than 10″ high, therefore is it not compliant

3. Doors and gates that do not extend to within 10 inches (255 mm) of the finish floor or ground shall not be required to have smooth surface at the bottom of the gate or door

Abadi Access

This door does not extend to 10 inches from the ground, therefore it will not require a smooth surface at the bottom

Construction Tolerances

Friday, July 7th, 2017

“But it is only 1/4″ off…”

Construction is not a perfect science.  All construction work has tolerances to allow for variations in construction materials and workmanship skills.  Zero tolerance in construction is not feasible.

This ramp was obviously not built correctly…the slope exceeds the 1_12″ maximum allowable slope

Tolerance is defined as the:
*permissible range of variation in a dimension of an object
*permissible variation of an object in some characteristic such as hardness, density, or size
*permissible deviation from plan alignment, location or grade.

So knowing this…how does the ADA deal with construction tolerances? First of all the tolerances ONLY apply to “construction”. There are no tolerances allowed in design. Therefore as architects and designers, we must design our spaces with enough room for construction errors.

This detail did not have all the dimensions noted which will tell the contractor how to achieve compliance for a knee space per the ADA. If the dimension is not provided_ the contractor might make assumptions and make a mistake in the field.

 

This door did not show the minimum dimension required at the pull side maneuvering. If the drawings do not show this dimension_ the contractor might not build it in a compliant manner.

 

this drawing showed the toilet compartment door in front of the water closet rather than on the opposite corner as required. If the compartment door would have been built per the drawing, there would not be any tolerances allowed to be taken.

 

The position of the U. S. Access Board – as formalized in the ADA/ABA Guidelines in Section 104.1.1 – is that industry standard tolerances should be relied on when questions regarding this issue arise. However, few trades have codified specific tolerances for many of the elements mentioned in ADA/ABA Guidelines, nor have they developed accepted industry protocols for measuring when questions of accessibility arise. The US Access Board has completed research (‘Dimensional Tolerances in Construction and for Surface Accessibility’). Here is the link

Ranges

The 2010 ADA provides conventions in their requirements that state a specified range.  For example, the location of the signage is between 48″ to 60″ a.f.f. to the bottom of the lowest and highest raised character.

When a range is stated, it provides an adequate tolerance and therefore no tolerance outside of the range at either point is permitted.

This sign was mounted lower than 48″ a.f.f. which is the minimum height allowed. Even though the amount that the sign was off was small, the fact that the ADA provided a range between 48″ minimum and 60″ maximum, the tolerances were already built in by the range provided by the Standards and they cannot deviate.

 

Maximum and Minimums dimensions

When the ADA states a maximum or a minimum dimension that does not have two specific minimum and maximum end points, tolerances may apply. For example, a door pull side maneuvering clearance is stated to require 18″ min. If the door has a 17 1/2″ maneuvering clearance instead, it might be allowed according to the amount of lee way given as the industry standard.

This figure shows that the maneuvering clearance on the pull side of the door that has a forward approach is 18″ min.

 

This is a photo of a pull side of the door

 

The door maneuvering clearance was 17 1/4″ rather than the 18″ minimum required. According to the Access Board, only 3/32″ is allowed as tolerances

 

Absolute dimensions

Some dimensions in the ADA are a complete absolute. For example in a transfer shower you are only allowed a 36″x36″ size . There is no maximum or minimums allowed and there is not a range. Therefore industry standard tolerances are allowed.

Some manufacturers will make the walls 36″x36″ but the base is narrower.  The Access Board allows a smaller foot print at the base of the shower knowing that the manufacturers products may vary.

Summary

  1. Remember that as you design, allow for construction mistakes (because we all know they happen). There are no tolerances allowances for design mistakes.
  2. If the ADA gives you a range, don’t design to the highest or the lowest number. Always pick a number in the middle.
  3. If the ADA gives you a number not to exceed, then there might be some tolerances, but again do not design to the maximum or minimum number they give you. Always allow for some built in tolerances.
  4. If the ADA gives you an absolute number, then the industry standard tolerances will be able to be used if that number is not achieved. These vary but some references below have codified it a bit.

References

The US Access Board created a document along with the AIA, CSI and other industry leaders to determine their acceptable industry tolerances for issues related to accessibility. Here is the report

Here is a good article about ADA tolerances by our colleagues at Evan Terry and Associates

Janis Kent, Architect, FAIA, CASp © January, 2016 wrote a blog about tolerances. Here is the link

 

“The Art of Architecture” : An interview with Marcy by Naomi Goldberg of Hamodia.com

Wednesday, June 14th, 2017

The following is an excerpt from an interview by Naomi Goldberg of Hamodia.com published June 14th.


Download the full article here

Did you know that when you play with LEGO and Magnatiles, envisioning and planning what to build, you’re practicing the skills of an architect? That’s where the fun begins. Architects use those skills to turn ideas — such as how someone wants their house to look — into reality.

Some architects build houses, while others build office buildings or skyscrapers, bridges or runways.

Today, we’re meeting with a modern-day architect who specializes in making the world more accessible for people with disabilities. Marcy Rhoads is the owner of Abadi Accessibility, an architecture firm in Dallas, Texas.

Download the full article here.

Women in Architecture – May Profile Features Marcela Rhoads, FAIA

Tuesday, June 6th, 2017

In last month’s issue of the publication, I had the honor of being featured in the May profile. Have a quick read of the full article here

The Requirements for Accessible Mezannines

Tuesday, June 6th, 2017
When determine an accessible route between levels, a question frequently comes up about mezzanines or half levels.  The question is, do you need an accessible routes to mezzanines?
First we have to define what a mezzanine is. According to the 2010 ADA Standards a mezzanine is defined as:
An intermediate level or levels between the floor and ceiling of any story with an aggregate floor area of not more than one-third of the area of the room or space in which the level or levels are located. Mezzanines have sufficient elevation that space for human occupancy can be provided on the floor below.
So a floor or story that is only one-third the size of the area below it will be considered a mezzanine. Generally, an accessible route must connect each story and mezzanine.  But there are exceptions.
Generally, an accessible route must connect each story and mezzanine. However, there are exceptions.
In a privately owned multi-story building, per ADA section 206.2.3 an accessible route is not required if:
a) the building has less than three stories OR
b) if the building has more than three stories but each story is less than 3,000 s.f. per story.
This only applies if the building is not a “shopping center, a shopping mall, the professional office of a health care provider, a terminal, depot or other station used for specified public transportation, an airport passenger terminal, or another type of facility as determined by the Attorney General.”
 
In a publicly funded multi-story building, an accessible route is not required if it is a two story building and one of the stories has an occupant load of five or fewer persons.
 
But since a story is not a mezzanine, there is also an exception specifically for mezzanines: Per ADA section 206.2.4 exception 3,  If you have a one story building and it has a mezzanine within (per the definition of a mezzanine), then no accessible route will be required to the mezzanine.

The photo above shows a one story building, and even though it is a shopping center, the second story is actually a mezzanine and will not require an accessible route to it. It is advisable that a route be provided, since a person with disabilities might want to shop on the mezzanine and should not be denied access.
 
The second story in this “one story” fitness center shown in the photo above is less than one-third of the space below and therefore is considered a mezzanine. An accessible route to the mezzanine is not required
Mezzanines in Restaurants and Cafeterias
 
According to ADA Section 206.2.5  an accessible route shall be provided to all dining areas, including raised or sunken dining areas, and outdoor dining areas.  But if there is a dining area located on a mezzanine that contains less than 25% of the total combined area for seating, and if the same decor and services are provided in an accessible part of the restaurant, then an accessible route is not required to the mezzanine.
 
Mezzanines as part of a work area
 
A “work” area is where employees perform work.  Even though the work area is not open to the “public” it is not entirely exempted from the Standards.  According to the ADA a work area is required to have an approach, the ability to enter and to exit.
So what happens when you have a mezzanine within a work area that is used for work?  If it is a one story building and the work area on the second level is less than one-third the area below, then it will not require an accessible route up to it.
The photo above is a one story warehouse with a mezzanine for storage. Even though the space above is a “work” area, because it is a mezzanine it does not require an accessible route.
Note: A mezzanine that is used to house mechanical equipment is always exempted no matter how large it is.

Barrier Free Products

Wednesday, May 24th, 2017

2017 AIA Convention Expo in Orlando Florida

I just attended the 2017 AIA Convention Expo and met with some vendors about their new products for barrier free design.  I am not endorsing or recommending these products.  These are interesting products that might work well for barrier free applications.  I hope you find these interesting as well.

LIFT-U Accessor Convertible Walkway

I visited with the folks at LIFT-U on their convertible walkways.  If you are walking along a walkway (exterior or interior) and you encounter a change in level, this product will create a ramp for you with a push of a button.  It is surface mounted and will require electricity.  Below is a video of how it works.

lift u
Convertible walkway
One of the limitations with this product is that it will only go up to 6″ in height. The length of the ramp that it creates is only six feet long to achieve a 1:12 maximum slope at a 6″ maximum height curb.  So if you encounter a taller change in level, this product will not work for ADA compliance.  In addition, if you are approaching a door, it will only comply if there is a 60″ landing in front of the door.  But in general, this product seems to have a lot of potential.

Cavity Sliders

We visited with the folks at Cavity Sliders and they showed us their ADA Magnetic accessible hardware by Cavilock.  This lock is used for pocket or sliding doors and can be used with one hand, does not require tight grasping, pinching or twisting of the wrist to operate and it requires less than 5 lbs to lock and unlock.

magnetic lock

 We ran across an interesting product that is installed onto any window to open and close it electronically.  This can be used any place that requires operable windows to be accessible.  Some examples are assisted living centers, schools, hotels etc.  The ADA requires that operable windows meet also the reach range and operation requirements.  The lock should be not only mounted within reach range (no higher than 48″ a.f.f.) but also not require more than 5 lbs to lock and unlock.  This mechanism assists in the opening and makes the windows accessible.

operable windows

Just Manufacturing

Just Manufacturing has come up with a way to have an accessible sink that is also deeper than 6 1/2″.  They taper than sink in the front 30 degrees which allows for proper knee clearance and makes the sink farther back which allows it to be deep for more practical uses.

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ADA Enviro Series 30 degrees lavatory system.

Need CEUs

Building Professionals Institute seminar, Arlington Texas

Understanding the Fair Housing Act- August 10th Metrocon17 Dallas Texas

Green CE On Demand webinar “How Accessible is Your work place?”

Green CE On Demand webinar “ADA and Residential Facilities”

AIA U online course:  “Applying the ADA on Existing and Altered Buildings”

or

Green CE “Applying the ADA on Existing and Altered Buildings”

If you are interested in Building Code seminars check out my colleague Shahla Layendecker with SSTL Codes

If you want to learn more about these standards, be sure to check out my books:

“The ADA Companion Guide” “Applying the ADA” published by Wiley. 

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97c8a80a-9426-4c3d-88fb-ef6213d94712

They are available for sale now. (also available as an e-book)

If you have any questions about these or any other topics, please feel free to contact me anytime.

Marcela Abadi Rhoads, FAIA RAS #240
Abadi Accessibility
214. 403.8714
marhoads@abadiaccess.com
www.abadiaccess.com

Toe Clearance

Monday, April 24th, 2017

Section 306 Toe Clearance

In the 1991 ADAAG, there was a figure (Figure 31) which showed dimensions for knee and toe clearances.  There was a lot of confusion as to why the “toe” clearance was shown as 6″ MAX?  Why not minimum?  why couldn’t we have more toe clearance under a sink, drinking fountain or desk?
What was throwing us off was the fact that the figure showed the toe clearance dimension to the rear wall where the sink/lavatory was mounted.  That was misleading.
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The 6″ dimension on the figure is not a construction dimension.  It is not giving you a requirement for a distance to the rear wall.  In fact we don’t care where the rear wall is, since we are given guidance about knees and toes which occur in the front of the element.

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This section shows a protective skirt with a dimension at the bottom shown 6″ from the rear wall.  The 6″ dimension is showing the toe clearance.  The dimension that they should have shown is the 17″ min.  depth from the front of the counter.
The 2010 ADA Standards revised the figure to remove the rear wall reference.  But did it make it more clear?
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The question remains: why is the 6″ a maximum and not a minimum?
In order to understand, you must read the words of the standard:
306.1 General. Where space beneath an element is included as part of clear floor or ground space or turning space, the space shall comply with 306.  Additional space shall not be prohibited beneath an element but shall not be considered as part of the clear floor or ground space or turning space.
What the standards are trying to explain is that when designing your floor space that will be used by a person in a wheelchair, make sure you allocate the toe clearance so that most of the required 17″-25″ of depth occurs in front of the obstruction, and only 6″ should be counted beyond the obstruction.
The 30″x 48″ rectangle can go underneath a sink for a depth of 17″ where 11″ will be considered knee clearance and 6″ will be considered toe clearance (11″+6″=17″).  If the depth is 19″, then the knee space will be allowed to be 13″ and the toe clearance will be 6″ (13″+6″=19″) etc.  You can always increase the knee clearance at the front of the obstruction, but the maximum depth that can be designated for the toes will only be 6″.
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The toe clearance should be 17″-25″ deep.  The blocking shown on the section is not required to be provided to create the 6″ max of toe clearance.
My colleague drew this picture to show this concept.  It’s not prohibited to have more than 6″ beyond the protective panel, it’s just not considered part of the “toe clearance”.
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The requirement is used for measuring turning spaces or clear floor space that uses the floor under objects such as sinks, lavatories, drinking fountains or desks. So the 6″  under an element is the only amount allowed to be considered “toe clearance”.  Any more than 6″ it’s just air space.

News from TDLR

There is a new Technical Memoradum from TDLR explaining the smooth surface at doors.

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Here is the link to the new memo.

Need CEUs

Green CE On Demand webinar “How Accessible is Your work place?”
Green CE On Demand webinar “ADA and Residential Facilities”
or
If you are interested in Building Code seminars check out my colleague Shahla Layendecker with SSTL Codes
If you want to learn more about these standards, be sure to check out my books:

“The ADA Companion Guide” “Applying the ADA” published by Wiley. 

6fc8cab3-4989-476b-b86b-d65fdc8c74cc
97c8a80a-9426-4c3d-88fb-ef6213d94712

They are available for sale now. (also available as an e-book)

If you have any questions about these or any other topics, please feel free to contact me anytime.

Marcela Abadi Rhoads, FAIA RAS #240
Abadi Accessibility
214. 403.8714
marhoads@abadiaccess.com
www.abadiaccess.com

Reach range and floor space

Friday, March 24th, 2017

Obstructed High Reach Range

ADA Section 308 gives us guidance on the different types of reach ranges required for persons with disabilities.  Most of us understand the high reach and the low reach; forward approach and side approach; unobstructed and obstructed.  But there is a subtle rule that is not always understood.  The obstructed reach range in a forward approach:

308.2.2 Obstructed High Reach.  Where a high forward reach is over an obstruction, the clear floor space shall extend beneath the element for a distance not less than the required reach depth over the obstruction…. 

In other words, the space provided at the floor underneath the obstruction should equal or be greater than the distance to the object you are reaching for. For example, if you are reaching for a faucet over a counter, and the faucet is 19″ away from the edge of the counter, then there should be 19″ of clearance at the floor space.

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The faucet in this lavatory was located 20″ away from the edge of the counter

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The required floor space should be a minimum 20″ to match the reach range for the faucet on the top of the sink.  In this case the floor space is 24″ the same as the sink counter

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This soap dispenser is 26″ away from the edge of the counter. Because the allowable forward approach reach over an obstruction cannot exceed 25″, It is not compliant no matter how much clear floor space we provide.

Sometimes the floor space is obstructed by a base board or maybe piping.  When detailing keep in mind the distance you will need to be compliant.

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This detail shows blocking at the back wall which is dimensioned 17″-25″ from the edge of the counter to the base board.  This would be correct only if the objects we are reaching for (soap dispensers, faucet etc.) was located at 17″ from the edge.  The section shows the toilet accessories and fixtures mounted 18″-20″ away.  Therefore it is not a compliant reach range.

One thing to keep in mind is that the clear floor space is referring to the clearance right on the floor.  It is different than the knee and toe clearance (although part of those clearances occur on the floor as well)

Need CEUs

Green CE On Demand Webinar: “Understanding the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design”

Green CE On Demand webinar “How Accessible is Your work place?”

Green CE On Demand webinar “ADA and Residential Facilities”

AIA U online course:  “Applying the ADA on Existing and Altered Buildings”

or

Green CE “Applying the ADA on Existing and Altered Buildings”

If you are interested in Building Code seminars check out my colleague Shahla Layendecker with SSTL Codes

If you want to learn more about these standards, be sure to check out my books:
“The ADA Companion Guide” “Applying the ADA” published by Wiley. 

6fc8cab3-4989-476b-b86b-d65fdc8c74cc

97c8a80a-9426-4c3d-88fb-ef6213d94712

They are available for sale now. (also available as an e-book)

If you have any questions about these or any other topics, please feel free to contact me anytime.

Marcela Abadi Rhoads, FAIA RAS #240
Abadi Accessibility
214. 403.8714
marhoads@abadiaccess.com
www.abadiaccess.com

Accessible sinks at Kitchens

Friday, February 24th, 2017

Sinks and Lavatories

In the 2010 ADA and the 2012 TAS requires that 5% but no less than 1 sink must be accessible.  One of the requirements of accessibility at sinks is  to have a knee space under the sink.  But there is a few exceptions.  The one we will focus on this time is the first exception:
606.2 Clear Floor Space Exception 1: A parallel approach complying with 305 shall be permitted to a kitchen sink in a space where a cook top or conventional range is not provided, and to wet bars. 
The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation issued a bulletin whichdefines “kichen sink”  And another technical memo that explains when this exception can be taken and when it cannot.  This newsletter will explain it as well.

Does my sink at a break room have to have a knee space?

It depends (don’t you love that answer?)…..
It depends on whether the break room is a kitchen or not. But it can’t be our definition of a “kitchen”, but the dictionaries definition. When dealing with terms that the ADA and TAS do not define, we are directed by the US Access Board to use the Webster’s definitions:
-Kitchen: A place (as a room) with cooking facilities.
-Kitchenette: A small kitchen or alcove containing cooking facilities.
-Wet Bar: A bar for mixing drinks that contains a sink with running water.
-Cooking Facilities: Fixed or built-in range, cook top, oven, microwave, or convection oven.
-Fixed Appliance: When attached to a cabinet, shelf or other surface or to a gas supply.
-Built -In Appliance: When cabinetry design or location of utilities (i.e.. gas supply or 220V electrical outlets) creates a dedicated shelf or space for the appliance.
So, if a break room has no fixed “cooking facilities” within, then it is not considered a “kitchen” and therefore it must have a proper knee clearance at the sink.
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This break room has a microwave in a shelf, but it is not fixed or built in.  Because it is not considered a “fixed cooking facility”, this space is not a ‘kitchen” and the sink will require a knee space.
If on the other hand, the break room has a fixed cooking appliance, like a fixed microwave, wall ovens, or a range, then it is a kitchen.
If it is a kitchen and has a cook top or a range, then a knee space at the sink will be required.
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This break room is a kitchen because it has both a range and a fixed microwave oven.  Therefore the sink must have a knee space.  In addition, all appliances must be accessible, and 50% of the shelving must be within reach.  This breakroom should follow section 804 for kitchens.
But if the break room has a built in microwave or oven, then it will still be considered a “kitchen” but now the sink can take the exception and have a parallel approach rather than a front approach.
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This break room has a built in oven, but no range or cook top.  This break room is considered a “kitchen”, but can take the exception for the knee space per 606.2

Wet bars and other sinks

According to Exception #1, another location where a knee space at a sink is not required is at wet bars. Wet bars is a place where drinks are mixed.They are typically found either at hotels or sometimes even at waiting rooms.  According to TDLR, a break room is not a wet bar.
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This is a wet bar and does not require a knee space
Sinks that are part of a “work” area and only used for work related things,  like a commercial kitchen, teacher’s work room, medical labs etc., are exempted from having to comply.

Need CEUs

If you are interested in Building Code seminars check out my colleague Shahla Layendecker with SSTL Codes
If you want to learn more about these standards, be sure to check out my books:
6fc8cab3-4989-476b-b86b-d65fdc8c74cc
97c8a80a-9426-4c3d-88fb-ef6213d94712

If you have any questions about these or any other topics, please feel free to contact me anytime.

Marcela Abadi Rhoads, RAS #240
Abadi Accessibility
214. 403.8714
marhoads@abadiaccess.com
www.abadiaccess.com

Counters at Accessible Kitchens

Tuesday, January 24th, 2017

Accessible Kitchens

Kitchens have certain requirements when it comes to accessibility.  In order to understand the requirements you first have to define what kind of kitchens are required to comply with accessibility standards like the ADA, ANSI or FHA.  The type of kitchens required to comply are ones that are:
  1. Kitchens that are not staffed with employees that have fixed cooking appliances
  2. kitchens located in residential facilities like multi-family housing units, dorms, social service facilities, assisted living facilities or emergency personnel facilities like fire stations used by residents
In kitchens when there are counters facing each other all the standards require a certain amount of distance between the counters, depending what kind of kitchen it is.  The ADA, ANSI and FHA have similar requirements, but this newsletter will describe the small differences that might get us in trouble if we don’t understand them.

What does the Fair Housing Act Design Guidelines require at accessible counters in kitchens?

There are two types of kitchens described in the Fair Housing Act: Parallel or U-Shape.  The parallel or pass through type kitchen requires 40″ between counters.  This is measured between counters not the base cabinet.

 

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A question arises when appliances are located within the counters, like a refrigerator, which extends a bit beyond the counter’s depth.  The guidelines will require that the 40″ clearance be measured at the appliance face, exclusive of the hardware and handles.
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The second type of kitchen are “u-shape” kitchens.  The distance between two counters that are facing each other in a u-shaped kitchen is 60″
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In the fair housing act design guidelines, there are two exceptions: one where there is a sink with a knee space which then allows the distance between counters to be 40″
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And the other exception is when there is a u-shape kitchen but the cook top and the dishwasher are on the same base cabinet at the end of the kitchen.  That configuration requires 64″ in width between the counter
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What does the 2009 ANSI design guidelines require?

Just like the Fair Housing Act Design Guidelines, the ANSI Standards also requires 40″ at the face of the base cabinet, counters or applicances at a pass through kitchen.
804.2.1 Pass-through Kitchens. In pass-through kitchens where counters, appliances or cabinets are on two opposing sides, or where counters, appliances or cabinets are opposite a parallel wall, clearance between all opposing base cabinets, counter tops, appliances, or walls within kitchen work areas shall be 40 inches (1015 mm) minimum. Pass through kitchens shall have two entries.
There are two differences between the FHA and  ANSI
a) The clearance is not just between counters, but also between walls and counters.  Below the 2009 ANSI A117.1 figures
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b) The second difference is that the ANSI does not stipulate that the clearance should not be measured from the face of the hardware.  
The requirements for the U-Shape kitchen is only for 60″  between counters.  There is no exception for a narrower or wider kitchen.  Below the 2009 ANSI  A117.1 Standard figure.
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What does the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible design require?

Just like the other standards require 40″ at the face of the base cabinet, counters or appliances at a pass through kitchen.  And just like the Fair Housing Act design guidelines, the clearance is measured from the face of the appliance and not from the hardware of the appliance.  Below the 2010 ADA Standard for Accessible Design figures
Advisory 804.2 Clearance. Clearances are measured from the furthest projecting face of all opposing base cabinets, counter tops, appliances, or walls, excluding hardware
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And just like the ANSI Standard, the U-shape kitchens only has the 60″ clearance required between counters.  Below the 2010 ADA Standard for Accessible Design figures
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Need CEUs

If you are interested in Building Code seminars check out my colleague Shahla Layendecker with SSTL Codes
If you want to learn more about these standards, be sure to check out my books:
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If you have any questions about these or any other topics, please feel free to contact me anytime.

Marcela Abadi Rhoads, RAS #240
Abadi Accessibility
214. 403.8714
marhoads@abadiaccess.com
www.abadiaccess.com