Volume V  Number 3  March 2010
One of the most important things that design professionals are required to provide is a safe way to exit a building in an emergency.  The building codes give us parameters to include in our design which dictate where exits should be located, how wide they should be and how they relate to the rest of the building.
Accessibility guidelines also dictate how the design professional provides the means to exit the building.  These differ between new construction and renovations. 
Means of Egress Defined
 Chapter 3 defines Egress as:
Egress, Means of. "A continuous and unobstructed way of exit travel from any point in a building or facility to a public way...."
This photo shows an accessible route striped with a curb ramp leading to the public sidewalk.
This part of the definition is always a point of contention.  How far does one consider the "public way"?  The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, requires that the means of egress be taken to a public sidewalk.  In the absence of a public sidewalk, they defer to requirements from the fire Marshall.
At New Construction
 4.1.3 in the ADAAG and in the Texas Accessibility Standards we find the requirements for new construction.
TAS and ADA 4.1.3 (9) states:
 "In buildings or facilities, or portions of buildings or facilities, required to be accessible, accessible means of egress shall be provided in the same number as required for exits by local building/life safety regulations...."
For example, if the building code requires two means of egress and two are provided, then both those exits must be on an accessible route.  On the other hand, if a building code only requires two means of egress but four are provided, only two must be accessible.
In This Issue
New Construction
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At Alterations
Means of egress is exempted....
Believe it or not, in an existing facility where renovations are being made to a primary area, the means of egress does not have to be brought up to compliance with the accessibility standards if it is not already accessible.
fire exit 
TAS 4.1.6 (1) (g) states:

"In alterations, the requirements of 4.1.3(9), 4.3.10 and 4.3.11 do not apply."

4.1.3(9) speaks about the means of egress requirements stated above.  4.3.10 discusses egress and 4.3.11 discusses areas of rescue assistance.  These sections will not apply in an alteration


We are proud to announce that we have been asked by John Wiley & Sons to author a book to explain the 2004 ADAAG.  It is called "The ADA Companion Guide" and will be released in April 2010.  
For our Abadi Accessibility News subscribers, the publisher is offering the book at 20% off the list price.  Please visit our website to purchase your discounted copy today.  Follow this link to purchase your copy at a discount

book cover

If you have any questions about these or any other topics, please feel free to contact me anytime.

Marcela Abadi Rhoads, RAS #240
Abadi Accessibility
214. 403.8714