Detectable Warnings (Part Two): Codes

Last month we discussed Detectable Warnings and how the code’s vague phrase “Hazardous Vehicular Area” creates uncertainty. The code defines “Vehicular Way,” but leaves architects, plan checkers and site inspectors to decide what is “hazardous.” Intent These little yellow bumps were developed to serve people who are blind or low-sighted. The bright color is intended […]

Detectable Warnings: Codes

Under the current 2016 California Building Code (CBC), the requirements for detectable warnings continue to be present. This is in light of the 2010 Standards for the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) having suspended the requirements and proposed guidelines for “public right-of-ways,” which limits the use of warnings. The state, with support from the disabled […]

Toeing the Line: Codes

It happened again. I recently got an email in which the sender wrote “tow the line.” Then, minutes later, someone asked me why the code has maximum toe clearance dimensions. Let’s clear up both toe problems once and for all. First and more importantly (bad grammar is so irksome), it’s “toe the line.” Don’t confuse […]

Learning from Accessible Play Areas: Codes

By Kerwin Lee, AIA Very few architects and designers get into designing play grounds. This is not a project scope that is presented to us often, unless it is part of a school or park. Even then, there is a learning curve on what it is all about.  There were no design criteria for play […]

Next Time You Design A House: Codes

This month we’re going to consider accessibility in housing. The ADA and CBC don’t directly apply to single-family homes, but you could easily argue that this locus of family and life needs more attention. After all, one of an architect’s jobs is to help clients anticipate their needs. Recent research has begun to illustrate the […]

Code Changes through Legislation: Codes

Changes to the Code come through many channels. We have our national code development process through the International Code Conference (ICC). Legislation created the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which is a Civil Rights Law. From the ADA, the basic original guidelines were written into the Act as Appendix 28, CFR Part 36.  A lot […]

ANSI A117 – Everything Old is New Again: Codes

Change is on the horizon for accessibility requirements. The ADA and the CBC (California Building Code) are both based on 1970’s studies that determined things like turning radius, clear space, and reach. It was good work, but the sample sizes were small, and some mobility devices—like scooters—didn’t exist. This column previously explored the history of […]

2017 and Beyond: Codes

As we look back on 2017 and what events had the most impact on codes – it was disasters. The wildfires in Northern and Southern California being the most recent disasters. This always sparks the discussion on what more can be done in the codes to prevent or lessen these types of events. It was […]