14 Sep Elevators and ADA Compliance
Most modern commercial buildings comply with accessibility guidelines. The standards were developed and put in place to prevent discrimination against people with disabilities. If the building is older than 25 years, or if it fails to meet specific requirements, it may be exempt. However, elevator code updates are printed every three years. If the requirements in your jurisdiction change, renovations and modifications to the elevator lobby and car may be needed.
Is ADA Compliance Necessary?
If your building has fewer than three occupant floors and each floor is less than 3000 square feet, then compliance may not be necessary. There are other considerations for compliance that override these fundamental facts. If there are medical offices or retail space on the second floor, an elevator is required. When modifications are needed for previously exempt buildings, the law states that an additional 20% must be spent on the path of travel supporting the altered area for public accommodation. This area may include an elevator.
Compliance standards state that at least one elevator must meet ADA requirements. The elevator may be a service elevator as long as the necessary elements are in the design. Features may include:
- Visual and verbal indicators for car availability, its travel direction and notification for arrival at the designated floor.
- Once the cab doors open, they must stay open for at least three seconds.
- Control buttons within the elevator car and in the lobby of each floor must be within reach of a wheelchair occupant.
- Two-way communication must be available and placed within 48 inches of the floor.
Technology has enabled travel speeds to increase and noise to decrease. In-cab communication is improving, and destination-dispatch reduces wait times. When integrating destination-dispatch, the buttons for floor selection are in the lobby. ADA guidelines are waiting for revised requirements for this technology. Contact us for modernization options, expert technical support and trained maintenance specialists-303-816-3011.