If you’re planning a new commercial construction project, you are likely looking for a Houston design build team with experience and who will fit your aesthetics. However, another thing you should consider is making sure that your building is compliant not only with building codes, but the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations. This is a common issue that many commercial building owners face, so it’s important to choose a construction team who considers accessibility.
Why Consider Accessibility When Looking for Houston Design Build Firms?
So, why do you want to make sure your Houston design build firm will consider accessibility. First, and perhaps most obviously, it’s the law. Your business could face legal issues for ADA violations. This can include hefty settlements, fines, as well as the costs to correct the violation.
In addition, accessibility can help your business expand customer bases. Whether you’re a hotel developer or constructing a new retail space, it’s never a good idea to limit the number of people who will do business with you. However, if your building isn’t accessible, then you’re doing just that.
According to the CDC, 26% of American adults have some type of disability. Limiting access to your building means losing out on potentially a quarter or more of customers. Therefore, it’s important to consider accessibility during your Houston commercial construction planning and design process.
Common ADA Violations in Houston Commercial Construction
The ADA was signed into law in 1990, more than 30 years ago. Therefore, you may be thinking that there’s no way accessibility violations are a common occurrence. However, they actually are, with likely the majority of buildings not being fully compliant with ADA laws. Instead, you should work with a Houston design build team that understands the laws and will make sure to include them in your building.
One common violation that your Houston design build team will think about is accessibility at entrances and exits. Unfortunately, it’s extraordinarily common to find that many buildings are inaccessible to people with wheelchairs. This could be because there are only stairs with no ramps. Other times, ramps are too steep. Ramps can be a maximum of 8.33% in slope for ADA compliance. Commonly in design-bid-build projects, the ramp will be the right slope on the design, but between design and final inspections, the ramp becomes too steep. Working with a Houston design build team means everyone is on the same page to help prevent errors.
Restrooms are another source of many ADA violations for Houston commercial construction projects. Many different things can go wrong when it comes to accessible restrooms, as there are many requirements. For example, sink height can’t be more than 34 inches from the ground. Restrooms must also offer at least 60 inches of uninterrupted space. This helps with maneuverability for those in wheelchairs. There are a wide range of accessibility issues in even the newest buildings, so make sure you work with construction experts for accessible building design.
Houston Design Build from GRA – Gulf Coast Construction
At GRA – Gulf Coast Construction, we provide turnkey construction services in the Houston area. We’ve been offering high quality construction services since 1998 and have the skills and expertise you need for your commercial projects. We even have extensive experience in Houston LEED construction. Give us a call today at (713) 934-7797 to learn more and request a free consultation.