ADA non complying commercial facilities

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    Katie Merten

    Buildings prior do not have to comply, UNLESS they go through a substantial renovation.  Same with the Building Code.  If a building is built to IBC 2009 standards, it would not have to update to the current code unless it went through substantial renovation and/or change of use.  Fun fact: Military buildings do not often have to comply to ADA standards, as folks in the military are to be able-bodied, so would not need ADA accommodations.  

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    Gang Chen (Edited )

    Yes, existing buildings do not have to comply with new codes enacted after the buildings are built because they are “grandfather-in.” This is a very important code concept, I am sure ARE exams will test it one way or another.

    Even if a building is substantially remodeled, the cost of bringing the building to comply should not be more than 20% to avoid undue hardship to the owner. If ARE exams test you this concept, the 20% number will be buried somewhere in the materials provided in the exam, you can simply use the search function to find it.

    Gang Chen, Author, Architect, LEED AP BD+C (GreenExamEducation.com)

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    Artem Melikyan

    Hello Katie and Gang,

    Are you referring to codes or ADA Standards? 

    My understanding was that, as you say Gang, existing buildings would be considered "grandfathered-in" for code compliance. BTW where can I find info about those 20%, in IBC?

    However for ADA compliance I thought that buildings still need to be brought in compliance through changes, even those buildings already existing. Hence the table 36.406 I placed in my post above: it lists dated of construction and applicable standards.That's what i wanted to confirm.

    Is that not correct?

    PS. Gang, do you mind also taking a look at my questions here:

    https://are5community.ncarb.org/hc/en-us/community/posts/360048220533-3rd-party-test-prep-questions-PPI2PASS-

     

    Thank you All,

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    Gang Chen (Edited )

    When I use “codes,” I mean all regulations, codes, etc. issued by governing agencies or codes publishers. ADA is one of the “codes” I am referring to also.

    ADA also follows the “grandfather-in” rule of codes. The 20% undue hardship rule is also per ADA:

    Per ADA.Gov:

    “When passed in 1990, the ADA did not require that all existing buildings be retrofitted for accessibility immediately. Instead, it relies on planned alterations (discussed here) and barrier removal (discussed in lesson 4) to improve accessibility in older buildings over time. It says that when a business alters an existing facility in a way that affects usability, the areas or elements being altered must comply with the ADA Standards…

    When a primary function area is altered, the path of travel to the altered area and the amenities serving the altered area must be made accessible, unless the costs for these changes are disproportionate. The costs for the added alterations are considered disproportionate if they exceed 20 percent of the cost of the overall alteration. In this case, you should make as many of the changes as you can without going over the 20 percent limit. Use this order of priority: entrance; route to the primary function area; at least one unisex restroom or one restroom for each sex serving the area; public telephones serving the area; drinking fountains serving the area; other elements."

    See link:

    https://www.ada.gov/reachingout/lesson33.htm

    Gang Chen, Author, Architect, LEED AP BD+C (GreenExamEducation.com)

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    Gang Chen

    The best party to ask about your other questions is PPI since it publishes the materials you are talking about.

    I sometimes pick a few questions to respond to because I happen to read it at the right time, or the question is a common one and can help many people. I simply do not have time to go over and review many specific questions. I am busy most of the time.

    Gang Chen, Author, Architect, LEED AP BD+C (GreenExamEducation.com)

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    Artem Melikyan

    Gang,

    I'm copying this from Lesson 4 where you referred me. It says this:

    https://www.ada.gov/reachingout/lesson41.htm

     

     

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    Gang Chen

    “When passed in 1990, the ADA did not require that all existing buildings be retrofitted for accessibility immediately. Instead, it relies on planned alterations (discussed here) and barrier removal (discussed in lesson 4) to improve accessibility in older buildings over time. It says that when a business alters an existing facility in a way that affects usability, the areas or elements being altered must comply with the ADA Standards.

    See link:

    https://www.ada.gov/reachingout/lesson33.htm

    Gang Chen, Author, Architect, LEED AP BD+C (GreenExamEducation.com)

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    Gang Chen

    I stand corrected to some extent. The idea of grandfather in is not to cause too much hardship to existing building owners. In the link you quoted, it also mentions the criteria of “readily achievable.”

    "Readily achievable"

    What is readily achievable is determined on a case-by-case basis, relative to a particular business's resources and existing barriers.  Something readily achievable for one business may not be readily achievable for the one next door, because of more limited resources or more difficult physical constraints.  And, what is readily achievable when a business is doing well may not be readily achievable in a down cycle when business is slow.  A barrier that cannot be removed when business is slow should be reevaluated when business improves.

    If a business has more barriers than it can afford to remove all at once, it can spread the work out over time.  Removing barriers is an ongoing responsibility, so you should reevaluate the barriers in your facility every year to determine which ones to remove.

    Priorities

    In evaluating what barriers need to be removed, you should give first priority to getting customers with disabilities in the door.  The second priority is providing access to the areas where you provide goods and services to the public.  The third priority is providing access to the restroom facilities that are provided for customers' use.  Lastly, you should eliminate any other physical barriers you have. 

       

    A woman using a wheelchair is buying a drink at a small grocery store. Adequate maneuvering space and a low, uncluttered counter make it possible for her to approach the sales counter.

    A woman using a scooter is selecting items from the condiment bar at a casual restaurant.  Adequate maneuvering space and items placed within reach make it possible for her to serve herself.

    Limits

    The ADA does have limits for barrier removal.  While stores may need to rearrange racks and shelves, restaurants may need to rearrange tables, and other businesses may need to rearrange furniture or potted plants in order to permit wheelchair access, businesses are not expected to reduce the amount of furniture or display racks to the extent that it results in a significant loss of selling or serving space.

    In removing barriers, you never have to do more than is required under the standards for alterations (as discussed in lesson 3).

    Gang Chen, Author, Architect, LEED AP BD+C (GreenExamEducation.com)

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    Artem Melikyan

    Gang,

    Thank you for clarifying. This was helpful to understand.

    If you find any time to look at my weather barrier question, would be great. It is here:

    https://are5community.ncarb.org/hc/en-us/community/posts/360039356994-Vapor-Barrier-vs-Air-Barrier?page=1#community_comment_360012358373

     

     

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    Gang Chen

    I responded to the weather barrier question at the above link.

    Gang Chen, Author, Architect, LEED AP BD+C (GreenExamEducation.com)

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    Artem Melikyan (Edited )

    Thank you Gang.

    As you suggested I started posting questions in existing topics created by other people, so that a person who answers can help several people at once.

    If you do not mind, when you have time, please take a look at these 2 questions I posted in topics on fire rating of partitions and on foundation types:

    https://are5community.ncarb.org/hc/en-us/community/posts/360018658373-Fire-Ratings-Rule-of-Thumb

    https://are5community.ncarb.org/hc/en-us/community/posts/360038570534-Mat-Foundation-Vs-Grade-Beam-on-Piers

     

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