WASHINGTON — New or remodel construction  projects for all government projects begun after March 15 must now comply with the 2010 American with Disibilities Act standards.

In commercial buildings, the ADA pertains primarily to areas open to the public. Changes to the regulations include:

• The side reach range of equipment in accessible areas has been reduced to be no higher than 48 inches (instead of 54 inches) and no lower than 15 inches (instead of 9 inches).

• Construction tolerances for dimensions of equipment (such as grab bars) stated as a range will be eliminated.

• In single-user toilet rooms, the water closet now must provide clearance for both a forward and a parallel approach and, in most instances, the lavatory cannot overlap the required clear space around water closets.

• Increased requirements for accessible routes within buildings

• More stringent slope requirements for clear floor space at accessible elements

"Compliance is good business. In addition to avoiding litigation, being proactive in enabling access for everyone builds a positive and welcoming brand image," said Kevin Hughes, vice president of Project and Development Services for Jones Lang LaSalle. The company has available a video which gives an overview of multi-site construction project management, including an ADA compliance project the firm performed on behalf of a client with more than 5,000 sites.

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