Most of you are probably aware that the new 2010 ADA requirements go into effect in just a few short months from now, March 15, 2012 … but do you know that the State of California has not yet updated the 2010 CBC to align with the new ADA requirements?
The California Building Standards Commission is currently working on amending the 2010 CBC to incorporate appropriate changes so that California’s code remains ‘at least as restrictive’ as the Federal ADA requirements, but they may not be in place by March 15, 2012. Should this occur, the design and construction community will be in more of a ‘Double Jeopardy’ than usual, requiring us to comply with requirements from two different sources that are not aligned, and without a clear guide as to which parts of the CBC and ADA are ‘more restrictive’ than the other.
Fortunately, in most cases the CBC is clearly more restrictive. The trick is in knowing the relatively few areas where the new 2010 ADA Standards are actually more restrictive. One clear example of this can be found in the new ADA requirements in Section 308.3 “Side Reach”. The old requirement (from both the 2010 CBC, and the old ADA) allowed side reach up to a 54” height. The new ADA requirement is more strict, a 48” height is all that will be allowed. This is a significant change, that will affect the placement of many wall-mounted building components.
More updates on the new ADA requirements to come…