Wall bases can be both practical and aesthetically pleasing, providing a wall protection from damage or adding a distinctive architectural touch to an otherwise boring, flat plane. But, when it comes to accessibility, the wall base needs to be considered when measuring the clear width of an accessible route or the clear floor space at elements.
Since a wall base can mean an offset of an extra inch or so, a hallway that is designed to be 36” wide but has a wall base lining each side, might actually turn out to be about 34” wide after finishes are put in. The minimum footprint of a wheelchair—the measurement for clear floor space—is 30”x48”, so the critical measurement should be taken from the ground where the wheels will be.
This can also be important when designing for the minimum clear floor space at elements, such as in a drinking fountain alcove. The comment in the photo accounts for forward approach to the accessible fountain (and the water bottle filler), but it doesn’t account for the ¾” wall base. The 30” wide minimum requirement includes toe clearance.
Sometimes the basics of accessibility require a little extra thought about the realities of how a person might use something.
If you are licensed in the State of California, this is a great opportunity! Earn 5 AIA LU/HSW Credits for this seminar on Accessibility Requirements for Large Assembly Facilities in California (click link to view more info and registration).
This one webinar could fulfill your annual requirements for license renewal!
I’ll be speaking in various locations across the country in the next few months. Let me know if you want to connect for a cup of coffee/tea if I’m in your neighborhood.
Karen will be presenting at the following conferences:
Dwell on Design 2014, Los Angelos, CA – June 21, 2014
AIA National Convention 2014, Chicago, IL – June 27, 2014 – FR 304 “Why Are ADA Compliant Toilet, Bathing, Dressing and Locker Rooms So Tricky?”
ABX 2014, Boston, MA – October 28, 2014
This is such great news for Architects and designers that I just had to share the announcement as written by USAB.
The U.S. Access Board has launched new online guides on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Accessibility Standards and the Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) Accessibility Standards. This web-based material features illustrated technical guides that explain and clarify requirements of the ADA and ABA standards, answer common questions, and offer best practice recommendations. It also includes a series of animations on various subjects covered by the standards.
“The Board is very excited to offer this series of technical guides and animations to help users understand the requirements of the ADA and ABA Standards and how they can be met,” states Access Board Member Michael Graves, FAIA. “As a practicing architect, I know from experience how valuable this type of guidance is in following the standards and ensuring accessibility.”
The initial installment of the guide covers the first three chapters of the standards, including application and use of the standards (Chapter 1), scoping in new construction, alterations, and additions (Chapter 2), and basic “building block” technical provisions (Chapter 3). Guides covering other sections of the standards will be released at a later date. The supplementary animations, which range in length from 6 to 10 minutes, address wheelchair maneuvering, doors and entrances, and accessible toilet and bathing facilities.
“These new resources not only explain requirements in the standards but also demonstrate their rationale,” notes Graves. “Knowing the ‘whys’ behind various provisions is key to understanding what accessibility means and how best to achieve it.”
The Guide to the ADA Standards covers design requirements that apply to places of public accommodation, commercial facilities, and state and local government facilities subject to the ADA in new construction, alterations, and additions. The Guide to the ABA Standards addresses similar standards that apply under the ABA to facilities that are designed, constructed, altered, or leased with federal funds.
Future installments to the guides will be published as they become available. Users can sign-up to receive email updates on the release of new technical guides in the series.