‘Office & Employee Only Spaces’ Category
There has long been discussion about the differences between Service Animals per the ADA Standards and Support Animals per FHA or even Service Animals under the Air Carrier Access Act. But in California, we like to be different.
Counters come in many varieties from transaction to service to work surfaces just to name a few. We will look closer at kitchen countertops located in dwelling units, employee lounges, and common-use spaces.
What do you need to provide for an accessible sink? One of the more difficult issues about making a kitchen sink accessible is reaching the faucet controls.
Closet space, whether common shared storage for employees, or within mobility feature guest rooms in hotels, student housing, or public dwelling units, needs to be accessible under the ADA.
Earlier this year a law was passed in California stating that all single user toilet rooms are to be unisex — in other words we will no longer have a men’s restroom or a women’s restroom for one user. Since the rooms are required to have privacy locks they can now be used by either sex.
Sinks have many differing requirements depending upon how they are being used including types of approach, cabinetry below or not, and even the number required to be accessible. Following is a summary of different sink types and their uses that will hopefully shed some light on the issue and requirements for each.
One of the things that we may not pay too much attention to is counters – whether kitchens, kitchenettes, service, or work surfaces. Depending on the set up, we have either a side/parallel approach, or if we have knee/toe clearance below we can have a front approach. And certain portions actually require a front approach.
For some reason, storage requirements appear to be confusing for most people – either accessible storage is forgotten completely or adequate accessible storage is not provided. And there also are some ambiguous portions in the ADA which really do need to be better defined. Like most other things in Access, the requirements for storage depends on its use. In order for storage to be considered accessible, it needs to be within reach range, whether side or forward reach, and from a level clear floor space that is along an accessible route. If it has any operable parts then they are required to have 5 lbs maximum operating force and are operable without tight grasping, pinching, or twisting of the wrist. The issue though, is the scoping – how much do we need? Below is a summary of different types of storage and their respective requirements.
So what do we need to know about access for kitchen storage? Since we are talking about ADA it would pertain to kitchens that are new or altered in employee lounges/break rooms, and new or altered kitchenettes or kitchens in transient lodging whether in the guest room or in a common space. It would also apply to kitchens in multi-family residences that are owned, built, or operated on behalf of a public agency both in the common space and in the mobility feature dwelling units.
With the change in economy over recent years, more and more people are working out of home. It saves on expense, it saves on commuting time, and it allows you to work around the clock which has both its advantages and disadvantages. The question that should come up, but maybe doesn’t is, ‘Do I need […]
Janis Kent, FAIA, Architect, CASp © 2013, Updated March, 2021 So the question that often comes up is, what do we do for employee only spaces? And the answer is, it depends on whether it is an existing employee only space or a new/altered employee only space, whether it is an employee only work area […]
Whether you have a reception counter in an office, a reservation counter at a restaurant, or a sales counter in a store, it does need to be accessible. Since many of these items do not require a building permit, the business owner is responsible and often times relies upon the cabinetry fabricator to make it […]