Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Guest Blog: New Accessibility Standards, Part II

Jeromy G. Murphy, AIA, RAS

Architects are often surprised when they learn that construction tolerances are permitted by the Texas Accessibility Standards, especially if they have just been informed by an over zealous inspector that a toilet will need to be moved one eighth of an inch.

Just look in section 3.2 of the Texas Accessibility Standards (TAS).
3.2 Dimensional Tolerances.
All dimensions are subject to conventional industry tolerances for field conditions.

In the new 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design (SAD), the permissible tolerances are more specific.

104.1 Dimensions. Dimensions that are not stated as "maximum" or "minimum" are absolute.
104.1.1 Construction and Manufacturing Tolerances. All dimensions are subject to conventional industry tolerances except where the requirement is stated as a range with specific minimum and maximum end points.

The biggest difference is the clarification that tolerances only apply when a fixed dimension is specified or when a maximum OR minimum is given. If a dimension is expressed as a range with a maximum AND a minimum, the field condition must be within that range.

Here are some examples of how construction tolerance could be applied (results may vary between agencies and inspectors):

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And check back here to learn more about the upcoming changes.

Jeromy G. Murphy, AIA, RAS

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