In today’s day and age, builders must be aware of many different state and Federal regulations, including ADA requirements. Unfortunately, many building contractors make mistakes, because these regulations are longwinded and confusing.
Since ignorance is never an excuse in construction, read the answers to these frequently asked questions before your next project.
1) What is the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)?
The Americans with Disabilities Act was enacted into law in 1990. It requires that new buildings accommodate people with disabilities and prohibits discrimination against them.
2) What types of Housing are covered by ADA Requirements?
“The Fair Housing Act requires all ‘covered multifamily dwellings’ designed and constructed for first occupancy after March 13, 1991, to be readily accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities.”
The term “covered multifamily dwellings” refers to many different types of residential buildings and facilities, including condos, apartment buildings, residential hotels and more.
3) What are the Basic Requirements for new Construction?
New building construction must be readily accessible and usable by people with disabilities. The ADA requirements builders must follow include:
- An accessible building entrance on an accessible route
- Accessible public use areas
- Doors that may be operated by an individual in a wheelchair
- Hallways wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair
- Reinforced bathroom walls so that grab bars can be installed, if necessary
4) What if Limited Space or Zoning affects your new Building’s Compliance?
Experts recommended that builders must bend to meet ADA requirements regardless of the size or layout of their structure.
5) Do these Regulations Apply to Repurposed Buildings?
Current ADA rules may not apply to repurposed buildings, such as a commercial space converted into a loft apartment. The law applies to those buildings that were designed and constructed for “first occupancy” after March 31, 1991.
6) Does the ADA’s Design and Construction Requirements Apply to Additions?
Yes. If four or more units are built as an addition to a building, then the added units must comply with ADA requirements. This is true even if the building in question was erected before the law went into effect.
The American with Disabilities Act is an important piece of legislation that has an impact on every structure built in this country today. By learning the ins and outs of the law right now, you can avoid facing construction issues in the future.