|ADA and similar planning for diverse needs||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Lynn Nadeau (welcomeolympus.net)|
|Date: Tue, 18 Jan 2000 14:12:40 -0700 (MST)|
Call your local planning and building department (the code-compliance folks), and they should be glad to copy off for you the several pages on bathrooms and entrances, etc. Architects also typically have books of this information. Essentials: Doorway width. 36" is ideal, 32" acceptable (check on 30"). (Here's one we overlooked at first:) Also needs a certain clearance to the side of the doorknob, so a wheelchair user can get in position to use the doorknob. Lavatory- needs a 5' diameter "turning circle" clear on the floor. Allowed to overlap (12" I think) with the door swing trajectory. Certain small overlap with toilet bowl and wash basin. Basically, this translates into a 6'x8' bathroom floor, if you have a toilet, wash basin, and in-swinging door. Grab bars in toilet corner. Additional requirements if you have a shower. Sink catalogues have listings of sinks which can be used with the required clearances for undersink space. The Kohler Farmington model is an example of a residential model (ie moderately priced) which can be used. Faucet handles can be the big "wrist-blade" type, but other right-angle type handles also qualify--- again, the plumbing manufacturers often have items coded for ADA compliance. Entries: Need level approach or acceptable ramping. At least one entry on our CH had to meet this criterion, but not all of them. Not that you mightn't want them all to comply. Other thoughts, while not necessarily prescribed by codes: Think of visual and hearing disabilities, as well as hearing disabilities. Avoid tripping hazards, for those with impaired vision, and also have enough light for those who need more, in general. For hearing, and for general purposes, put money and thought into acoustics, especially in the dining room. Consider built-in wiring for speakers, microphones, etc. Allergies are another consideration. We decided on a built-in vacuum system, for several reasons, including allergens. Choice of building and finishing materials has allergy impacts, too. Think too of people who are very tall or very short. A lower counter or island in the kitchen prep area. Step stools. Big heavy people-- some sturdy, broad, seating. More subtle yet, but a factor for many people, is the impact of sound and light. Avoid commercial refrigeration, which is often regretted for its noisiness in common houses. Consciously choose models of exhaust fans, heating fans, dimmer switches, fluorescent fixtures, and other items which give acceptable background noise levels. Timer switches are another item which can make such noise. (Can you tell, I am one who is really sensitive to this stuff? But it can be controlled-- my house is really quiet.) Think about light glare. Exterior fixtures should be installed and shaded in ways that keep the light going downward, and not shining in neighbors' eyes. Interior lights can also glare to neighbors, unless there is some shading or window shades. Thinking ahead on matters like this allows it to be handled in the initial construction, which is much easier than trying to retrofit solutions. Lynn Nadeau RoseWind Cohousing Port Townsend WA the "detail queen" of our on-going CH construction
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