Business building construction: Rules to follow
There are a set of guidelines provided by the ADA that has to be followed in order to make sure that new buildings are constructed in a way that it is accessible. It is required for places of public accommodation as well as of commercial facilities.
Generally, elevators are not required in buildings under three stories or with fewer than 3,000 square feet per floor. However, if the building is a shopping center or mall; an office building; the professional office of a healthcare provider; a terminal; depot; or other public transit station or an airport passenger terminal, it should have an elevator so that the facilities are readily accessible to persons with disability.
In assembly areas such as stadiums, arenas, grandstands, wheelchair spaces and companion seats should be dispersed to all levels with an accessible route going to the space/seat. It should also not be located on a temporary platform or movable structure.
Medical care facilities that are specialized in treating conditions that affect mobility should disperse patient bedrooms throughout the building so that it is more accessible for the patients.
Detention and correctional facilities should have a minimum of 3% of the total number of cells to have mobility features.
These are just some of the things you have to consider when constructing new buildings. You should have CASp inspections ran to make sure no rules to be followed are overlooked.
CASp stands for Certified Access Specialist and it is an expert in the field of construction-related accessibility. They are licensed to inspect properties and conduct inspections. They can educate business owners about any compliance issues on their property and then help create a plan to fix those issues. Regardless of any outcome from the CASp inspection, the owner will be granted “qualified defendant” status and all of the legal benefits that come with it. The benefits include, being able to request a court stay to postpone legal proceedings and an early evaluation conference. In addition, a qualified defendant may be entitled to reduce minimum statutory damages from $4000 to $1000 per occasion that the plaintiff was denied access. A qualified defendant is someone who has had a CASp perform an inspection of the area with the violations and has issued a CASp inspection report to the business owner. The report should include a list of improvements that has to be made with a schedule of when it has to be accomplished which should be in a reasonable time frame.
What should you expect in a CASp inspection?
- A site survey by a CASp.
- A detailed report listing any accessibility findings
- Picture of all accessibility findings
- Advice on how to correct findings
- A numbered CASp certificate issued by the California Division of State Architects.
- Legal benefits
- An experienced professional that will walk you through the results of your inspection and answer any questions that you may have.
Have your property inspected by a CASp today to protect yourself from any accessibility related lawsuits. And to also make sure that your building is readily accessible to everyone especially to PWD.