Subtle things....
Subtle things on the guidelines sometimes get missed.  Things such as the difference between an Essential Feature or an Accessible Element,  Changes in codes that may not be well publicized, and  some interesting events that are worth attending. This month's newsletter addresses a few of these
Essential Features
In an alteration of an existing facility, the items being altered must comply with the accessibility requirements.  But what happens if the items altered are part of an area that contain a primary function? 
In an alteration that affects a primary function of a building or facility,  the time the parking, accessible route, restrooms, drinking fountains and public telephones that are closest to the alteration must also comply.  But if the alteration is only an essential feature, even if it's part of a primary function, then the five items mentioned above do not have to be brought up to compliance.
An example of this is at the State Fair of Texas there was an alteration of one of their major features: The Esplanade Fountain.  This fountain is 700 feet long and it has areas for walking alongside.  The Esplanade is not the primary function of Fair Park (even though it is a very large feature), but it is an essential feature.  Therefore only the areas of the Esplanade being altered that affect the usability will need to comply.


This is the Esplanade that has been newly renovated by the Preservation firm of Quimby McCoy in Dallas, Tx 

In This Issue
Essential Features
Changes to IBC 2009
Dallas AIA's Accessibility Awareness Day
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Changes to Chapter 11 of IBC 2009
Chapter 11 of the IBC 2009 has been revised to incorporate changes to the accessibility requirements.  Check with your municipalities to verify which version of the IBC they have adopted.  Remember that the Building Official will inspect the building per the IBC and the more stringent rule will prevail.  A summary of the changes are:

-       Live/Work: in a residential dwelling unit that also incorporates a business (i.e. day care, nails, lawyer's office) the portion of the residence that is used for the business must be made accessible.

-       Van Accessible Spaces:  accessible van spaces located within private garages in R-2 and R-3 occupancy (i.e. multi-family housing) are permitted to have vehicular routes, entrances, parking spaces and access aisles with a vertical clearance of 84 inches. Accessible van spaces serving other conditions are still required to provide the minimum 98 inches vertical clearance as required by ICC/ANSI A117.1.

-       Mechanical Parking: The new Section  in IBC 2009 now requires passenger loading zones in mechanical access parking garages as well. They are treated like valet parking spaces.
mech parking

-       Doors in Occupancy I-2 sleeping units:  doors to sleeping units in Group I-2 facilities (i..e. hospitals)  that are minimum 44 inches wide are exempt from the maneuvering clearance requirements at the room side.

-       Roll in Showers: Table 1107.6.1.1 clarified the number accessible of bathing fixtures required in guest rooms by adding a column for non-roll in showers guest rooms.  This change ensure that not all guest rooms in a hotel will  have only roll in showers as an option but should also have some rooms with tubs and standard showers as well.

-       Lavatories- where six or more lavatories are provided, 5% (but no less than one) should be provided for enhanced reach ranges (i.e. dwarfism)

-       Assembly Seating: At least one companion seat is required at general seating and luxury box seats in assembly areas (like stadiums)
Dallas AIA's Accessibility Awareness Day Luncheon

Date:  Thursday,October 8, 2009
Time: All day event. Luncheon CEU program is from 12 - 1 p.m.  Lunch and drinks provided!
Place: Participants' offices and AIA Dallas | Dallas Center for Architecture
1909 Woodall Rodgers Fwy., Suite 100, Dallas, TX 75201
Background: What better way to understand a few of the accessibility challenges faced by people in wheelchairs than to experience it firsthand?  The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Dallas chapter's fourth annual Accessibility Awareness Day will be held Thursday, Oct 8. As part of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, representatives of local architecture firms are invited to spend a normal day in their office, while sitting in a wheelchair. Participants will record the challenges they faced and their lessons learned.



"Our goal is to help architects understand that accessibility is a lot more than meeting the basic requirements of TAS or the ADA," said event organizer Walter Kilroy, AIA. "We hope to affect the way architects think about design for the long term benefit of the mobility challenged."
All proceeds will be donated to Wheelchairs for Iraqi Kids, an organization that provides mobility-challenged children in Iraq with wheelchairs. Some of the kids are injured by the war, others have debilitating diseases, and thousands are without wheelchairs. The donated wheelchairs are delivered to these children by soldiers serving in Iraq. Visit to learn more about this organization.

For more information contact the AIA Dallas office 214-742-3242 
If you have any other questions or if there is anything else I can help you with, feel free to contact me any time. 
Marcela Abadi Rhoads, RAS #240
Abadi Accessibility
214. 403.8714