What is ADA Compliance? – Accessibility for All During Building Safety Month
May 21, 2020
Building Safety Month
This May, we honor Building Safety Month, an international campaign aimed at raising building safety awareness. For the last 40 years, this campaign acknowledges improvements in safe, sustainable, affordable, resilient, and accessible buildings and homes around the globe. Safety in the built environment is an essential component of maintaining public health and is vital to our communities’ well-being.
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is more than a building code; it’s a civil rights statute that prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in several sectors such as employment, transportation, public accommodations, communications, and access to state and local government programs and services. Moreover, ADA protects the civil rights of people with disabilities. In the engineering and construction sector, ADA Standards establish design requirements for the construction and alteration of sites and facilities.
ADA Site & Building Compliance
Section 12182 of the ADA (42 U.S.C. § 12182(b)(2)(A)(iv)) defines a failure to remove architectural barriers from an existing facility as an act of discrimination against patrons of the establishment with disabilities. S&ME has special expertise in working with property owners to identify and remove these barriers and improve accessibility and safety for all. To help clients meet their specific ADA compliance needs, our Planning + Design team assists with ADA Maintenance and Repair Programs for existing sites and facilities and in Remediation Design for new construction.
S&ME Healthcare Area Manager, George Huddleston, PE, LEED AP, based in our Orlando, FL office, tell us,
S&ME is a national leader in accessibility consulting. Our team of experts has evaluated and remediated over 300 hospital facilities and dozens of commercial, institutional, and municipal facilities across the country. We can tailor services to fit a client’s specific needs. It is also important to remember that the Americans with Disabilities Act is a civil rights statute, and our ADA compliance work highlights the importance of and need for safety for all in the built environment.
ADA Maintenance and Remediation Programs
S&ME also prepares remediation summaries to assist the property owner in prioritizing remedial work at existing sites and facilities. These evaluations include the type and severity of the deficiencies, cost for the remedial work, exposure, and phasing opportunities. Remediation plans also take into consideration the owner’s ability to self-perform portions of the work, if desired and make recommendations on items that require professional design consultation.
We have vast experience in ADA Design and have developed internal guidelines that we incorporate into each of our design projects. This translates into successfully constructed projects that minimize owner exposure down the road. Our services are performed in conjunction with the needs of the property owner, and in compliance with both state and federal ADA codes and laws.
ADA Plan Review
S&ME reviews civil engineering plans completed by others for compliance with pertinent accessibility codes. These reviews generally take place at various milestones throughout the design of a project.
Additional ADA related services include:
- Construction Administration
- Post-Construction Review
- Transition Plan Production
- Comprehensive Written and Illustrated Reports
- Defense Strategy Consultation
- Infrastructure Management
- Plan Review
- Quality Assurance
- Special Inspections
Sites and Facilities Served
S&ME has served many types of sites and facilities for numerous owners. We are skilled to provide ADA compliance consulting to the following:
- Commercial Buildings
- Community Centers
- Educational Sites and Facilities
- Financial Institutions
- Healthcare Sites and Facilities
- Light Industrial Sites and Manufacturing Facilities
- Local Government
- Malls and Shopping Centers
- Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs)
- Retail Buildings
- Storage Sites and Facilities
When Do You Need Assistance?
- When you are unclear if your property has violations and until each violation is remediated.
- In response to a formal complaint, inquiry, or lawsuit related to disabled access.
- When you’ve hired a professional for a traditional construction project.
- When questions arise related to accessibility.
For more information on our expertise and service abilities regarding ADA compliance, please contact George Huddleston, PE, LEED AP.