Skip to content


Existing Buildings – What needs to be done?

Posted on December 17th, 2014

One of the more common questions posed to me, is in regards to existing buildings. Many times it is a very simple question of what do I need to do? But in order to answer this question, other than ‘it depends’, there is a whole list of information that has impact and needs to be known.

Trash Enclosures — Accessible or not?

Posted on November 6th, 2014

Trash enclosures are one of the items we tend not to talk about or even think about much – out of sight, out of mind, and for years it was thought no access was required. But a trash enclosure should have some measure of access – the question is how much?

Proportional Spending — Exactly what is it?

Posted on September 4th, 2014

Proportional spending translates basically into how much additional money will be required to be spent over and above construction costs of a project to provide access for path of travel items. It only comes into play when performing alterations to primary function areas per ADA or all altered spaces per CBC, or altering the usability of a space, or additions to existing buildings or facilities. Some of these items may not even fall within the altered area but support the area itself. So if you are only doing new construction this does not pertain, although new construction and an altered area itself are required to totally comply.

Lodging Guest Rooms — A Quick Overview

Posted on July 28th, 2014

Guest rooms in hotels, motels, and other short stay facilities can be quite complex with all of the requirements. There are one set of requirements for mobility rooms, another set of requirements for communication feature rooms, and even requirements for all of the rest of the guest rooms in terms of Access.

Refrigerators — What You Need To Know

Posted on May 20th, 2014

A question comes up – just how far reaching is the ADA? Most of us understand it affects buildings. A number of us understand it affects our operating policies, such as allowing a service animal into all buildings including restaurants. A more enlightened group understands it even affects access to our websites. But what about the lowly appliance we all use – the refrigerator? Does that need to be accessible and if so just what is accessible for a refrigerator?

Building Permits — Accessibility approved…or not?

Posted on April 29th, 2014

Many owners, developers, architects, and other design professionals have the common belief that if they have a building permit or a certificate of occupancy then all requirements for accessibility have been met, both for the local jurisdiction as well as ADA. Not.

Parking – To comply or not to comply

Posted on March 18th, 2014

Everyone complains about the increase in litigation and threat to sue that has been going on, but in reality are we as accessible as we should be? Many items are relatively easy to fix…that is if we know there is a problem. For many not planning or doing construction, they might not even realize there is an ongoing requirement on older buildings to do any fixes – Barrier Removal. And once we realize we might have a problem…well what do we do about it and which items first?

Doors – Power Assist and Low Energy

Posted on January 29th, 2014

Pedestrian doors and gates come in many varieties whether – sliding, swinging, or folding and whether manual at one side of the spectrum to fully Power Operated at the other side. In between, we have Power Assist and Low Energy doors. It is these latter two types which have generated confusion and which we will look at including the signage requirements.

Holidays And Accessibility

Posted on December 15th, 2013

Janis Kent, Architect, CASp © December, 2013 No matter what the holidays are, decorations are part of the celebration. So, since the decorations are temporary, I do not need to worry about access, correct? The answer to that question is no. One needs to be very careful not to block off access whether it is […]

Seating at Tables and Desks – How Much Space Do I Need?

Posted on October 15th, 2013

You are working on seating arrangements and the question is – how much space is necessary at a table or desk for the accessible space. The answer, of course is, it depends. Basically there is one spatial requirement if a wheelchair space is backing up to an accessible route or open aisle verses if the wheelchair space is backed up to a wall or some other object or obstruction.