|Re: accessibility||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Lynn Nadeau (welcomeolympus.net)|
|Date: Fri, 10 Jul 1998 12:02:08 -0500|
Dear Paul, Separately I'll send you copies of 14 answers I received when I posted a similar query in April 1998. I found the responses very useful, both in consciousness-raising and in the nitty-gritty of how much does it cost to have an accessible upstairs. Here at RoseWind, in Port Townsend WA, we came to the following conclusions: a) Anybody could become mobility impaired. To make it not a priority means that you are deciding that every one of you would, if unable to do stairs, feel ok about not being able to access the rooms which are on the second floor. And that you'd be comfortable with that decision into the future, as guests and future residents might also appear who can't do stairs. Which is a decision you might make, but we were not willing to do that. b) Accessibility for a second floor costs quite a bit. Unless you have a steep site, with the possibility of ground-level access at each level, you need some sort of lift. A "wheelchair lift" is a lot less costly than an elevator, and it costs about $15-20,000 installed, plus your cost in framing the five-foot-square (or so) hoistway. (You can frame in the hoistway, and delay purchasing and installing the lift--- 5x5 isn't much to give up for that potential.) c) A second floor has other costs, compared to a one story building. The stairs themselves take up space, and it costs to build them (though if strategically placed they can provide storage beneath, and sitting space upon the stairs, if by a gathering place). As a building where people assemble, a second floor also kicks in the need for an additional fire stairway. And construction itself costs more when it's "up high" , offsetting savings you might think of in foundations, roofing, etc. d) We have a site on which a two-story building would be very attractive, but we also have space for a one-story common house. e) Given all of the above, despite our aesthetic preference for a two-story common house, we decided to go for a one-story. With a phase-one construction budget of about $150,000, it was too hard to sell the group on spending the extra money that a two-story would cost, vs what that money would buy on a ground floor. f) As an 'assembly' building we are coded A3 in Washington's building code, which means we need to comply with ADA requirements for entries and bathrooms. Even if your code doesn't hold you to it, consider the advantages of providing at least one ADA bathroom, and providing level or ramped access. Best, Lynn Nadeau at RoseWind Cohousing, Port Townsend WA 20 families, and our last lots are on the market NOW (they can be built single-family or multi-family, if the buyers speak their preferences NOW)
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