ANSI, International Building Code satisfy ADA

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  Q: Do American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standards satisfy Americans with Disability Act requirements?

A: Yes — as does the International Building Code (IBC). In fact, all three sets of standards are virtually interchangeable.

The building code and ANSI A117 (Accessible and Usable Buildings and Facilities) are developed and published by the International Code Council. The council has worked closely with the U.S. Access Board — the entity that ensures ADA standards are properly implemented — to develop specifications that building officials, plans examiners, inspectors, and designers can use to ensure facilities benefit all users, including those with disabilities.

As a result, many of the codes’ provisions synchronize.

“The 2010 ADA Standards match the format and many of the technical requirements in the 2003 A117.1,” says Kim Paarlberg, ICC senior staff architect and secretariat of the council’s Means of Egress/Accessibility code development committee. “The most obvious are configurations for single-occupant bathrooms and stairway handrails.”

Other examples: Sections 207.1 and 207.2 of the 2010 ADA Standards reference the 2000 and 2003 IBC for accessible means of egress and the scoping for cells in jails and seating in large assembly spaces.

For more information, check out:

Whatever author Jay Woodward writes is worth your time. He has the clearest and most logical approach to presenting the facts that I’ve ever heard. I have this manual and find it an excellent resource.

These resources should help you better understand the collaboration of the different codes with the Access Board for accessible new construction and retrofits.



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About the Blogger

Michele Ohmes

thumbnail image Michele S. Ohmes is an Americans with Disabilities Act specialist and wheelchair user who works with public works departments, facility managers, and contractors. Her design manual — ADA and Accessibility: Let's Get Practical — is available on CD-ROM through the American Public Works Association's Web site. Author's note: Michele & Associates does not render legal advice and has no enforcement authority regarding the ADA or other federal disability-rights legislation.