ADA Requirements, New Construction vs. Existing

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    David Kaplan

    Jennifer,
    It absolutely does not matter if a club is private and members only - it is a commercial property regulated by the building code and therefore must comply with Chapter 11 and ADA.
    Ask yourself these questions: what if there's a member in a wheelchair? What if an employee is disabled? If the club board wants to deny these people a membership, hey more power to them and they will likely be sued. But as architects, we are bound by the code.
    If it's a new building - 100% accessibility. Yes. If its existing, you can reference Chapter 34 for Accessibility requirements in existing buildings. There are things you might be able to get away with or get grandfathered on.
    Hope that helps.

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    Jennifer Schuler

    Super helpful, thank you!!

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    Jennifer Schuler

    Hi David,

    I was researching this topic again for an upcoming exam and I've found two instances in 4.0 material and Jenny's notes which states in some cases members only clubs are not required to be accessible. Does that sound incorrect? 

    I also read that new residences if they are detached 1 & 2 family dwellings and under 4 units, accessibility is not required.

     

    Thanks!

    Jenn 

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    David Kaplan

    Jennifer,

    I don't know what "in some cases" would refer to.  I can't imagine allowing exclusivity from accessibility in a members only club.  The second you have a prospective member in a wheelchair and someone says "sorry, can't come in," it's an instant lawsuit waiting to happen.  I suppose it's possible that there are "some cases" out there but I don't know what those are.  I would offer to you that you are not going to be presented with such a gray area question such as this on the exam.  Any question you get asked in the realm of "accessibility required or not" should be cut and dry.

    Correct, typical family homes don't require accessibility.  

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    Jessica Deaver

    Jennifer,

    As a note, although this isn't going to be part of the exam, AHJ's like Austin Texas have 'visitability' codes for residential. This requires you to be able to have handicapped access to the dwelling unit public spaces. Many residences not at grade address this with ramps in the garage. Maybe not for the exam, but for professional purposes, check with your AHJ.

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