by Ikue Sone LEED AP
Event: New Accessibility Requirements in the 2008 NYC Building Code
Location: Center for Architecture, 06.25.09
Speaker: Keith Wen, RA — Acting Director of Code Development and Interpretation, NYC Department of Buildings
Organizers: NYC Department of Buildings; AIANY
Now that it is July 2009, the NYC 2008 Construction Codes have gone into effect along with new accessibility requirements. Keith Wen, RA, acting director of code development and interpretation at the NYC Department of Buildings, recently discussed the first significant overhaul of the regulations since Local Law 58/87 launched in 1987. Here are some key highlights:
· Entrances (BC 1105). All public entrances, including restricted entrances, must be 100% accessible.
· Platform Lifts (BC 1109.7). Both vertical and inclined platform lifts are not permitted in New Construction, except in performance areas in Group A; wheelchair spaces in assembly areas; private spaces with less than five occupants; within dwelling units; and in interior courtrooms.
· Elevators (BC 3002.4). Buildings with five stories or more in height must accommodate ambulance stretchers.
· Limited Use/Limited Application (LULA) Elevators (BC 1109.6). In New Construction, LULA can only be used in buildings of less than 10,000 square feet that serve fewer than three contiguous floors; where a wheelchair lift or a private residence elevator is permitted; or in houses of worship. The maximum rise of LULA elevators is limited to 25 feet.
· Toilet Rooms (BC 1109.2). Unisex toilet rooms are required in Assembly and Mercantile occupancies where the number of water closets is six or more, male and female combined.
· Unisex/Single User Toilet rooms (A117.1, Section 604). Lavatories cannot overlap clear floor space.
· Accessible Means of Egress (Section 1007). At least one Accessible Means of Egress is required in accessible spaces. At least two Accessible Means of Egress are required where there are two or more means of egress.
Ikue Sone, LEED AP, is an architectural designer at Helpern Architects.