Construction Specifier: Battling the Barricade

In the wake of any tragedy, society struggles collectively to process the loss. For some it is the loss of friends and loved ones, but for most it is our feelings of safety and trust in the overall goodness of our fellow man that are diminished or seemingly lost entirely. In their place, we are filled with an overwhelming desire to do something...

Keys and the ADA

Several people have asked me recently what the Americans with Disabilities Act says about keys. Although the ADA standards address operable parts of locks - like thumbturns, keypads, turn-buttons, and of course, knobs and levers, keys are not covered by the ADA...

By |2016-07-20T10:56:48-04:00March 28th, 2016|Accessibility, Locks & Keys|2 Comments

WWYD? Toggle Buttons

This lock function is one of several applications that may meet the technical requirements of the accessibility standards, but in reality are difficult to operate by people with certain types of disabilities. Have any of you had experience with AHJs allowing or not allowing this function?

By |2016-03-10T13:51:17-05:00March 10th, 2016|Accessibility, Locks & Keys, WWYD?|22 Comments

Mounting Height Alert

Just when I think I've run out of questions and potential pitfalls, one shows up in my inbox. A while back I wrote an article for Doors & Hardware, addressing the required mounting height for operable hardware. The model codes and accessibility standards require operable hardware to be mounted between 34 inches and 48 inches above the floor. I noted in the article that some states have adopted different requirements for mounting heights...

By |2018-09-13T23:18:03-04:00January 26th, 2016|Accessibility, Electrified Hardware, Locks & Keys|17 Comments

Guide to the ADA Standards – Chapter 4

Last year I posted a link to a guide on the US Access Board's website, which helps to explain the ADA Standards. Initially, the online guide only covered Chapters 1-3. The Access Board recently added Chapter 4 to the guide (found here), which is the chapter covering Accessible Routes - including Doors, Doorways, and Gates...

By |2016-10-19T01:17:01-04:00August 3rd, 2015|Accessibility|3 Comments

WW: I See U

This Wordless Wednesday photo from John Gant of Allegion ties in with Monday's post about viewer locations. I've never seen a requirement for 3 viewers in a hotel room door, so my guess is that one of the viewers was originally installed at the wrong location and a third was added to solve the problem...

By |2015-07-01T00:37:11-04:00July 1st, 2015|Accessibility, Wordless Wednesday|8 Comments

Viewer / Peephole Location

Whenever something is not specifically addressed in the model codes or national standards, I'm bound to get questions on it, and viewer height is one of those things. ICC A117.1 - Accessible and Usable Buildings and Facilities and the 2010 ADA Standards do not include a specific mounting height for the viewer...

By |2017-05-30T16:36:53-04:00June 29th, 2015|Accessibility|6 Comments

Decoded: Screen Doors and Doors in a Series (July 2015)

Screen doors are sometimes used in commercial or institutional occupancies, where air transfer through the opening is desired. One example of this would be a door leading from a commercial kitchen to the exterior. In some areas of the country where the climate is temperate, this is a common application which consists of two doors in the same opening, one inswinging and one outswinging. It can be very difficult for people with certain disabilities...

By |2015-08-28T10:05:51-04:00May 14th, 2015|Accessibility, Articles|5 Comments

NASFM: Classroom Door Security and Locking Hardware

The National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM) has posted a document on their website which offers that support, by providing guidance on the use of classroom door security and locking hardware. The 6-page document includes a suggested classroom door checklist, with code references for each item on the list...

Decoded: 2015 IBC Roundtable

If you are a member of the New England Chapter of DHI I hope you already know about this upcoming class, but in case you didn't get the memo...I will be teaching a code class next week along with Jeff Batick, Greg DeGirolamo, Paul Goldense, and Jim White.  This class will be available for other DHI chapters to teach, as long as there are a few members who can act as facilitators.  If you're interested in hosting the class, drop me an email and I'll get you in touch with the right person at DHI.  We are using the 2015 IBC for next week's class, but it could be taught using other editions of the IBC if necessary.  The class is worth 9 DHI CEP points, with 4 additional points for the facilitators.

By |2015-03-02T21:27:29-05:00March 2nd, 2015|Accessibility, Fire Doors, Means of Egress, News|0 Comments

6 Accessibility Changes to Watch Out For (November 2014)

The 2010 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Standards for Accessible Design went into effect in March of 2012, but there are several requirements that continue to surprise architects and specifiers as well as door and hardware suppliers. These issues can be costly to resolve if they’re discovered after the doors and hardware are on-site, so it’s important to stay current on the requirements...

Decoded: Fair Housing Act (October 2014)

A common misconception is that the Fair Housing Act applies only to federally-funded housing projects, but according to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, “The Fair Housing Act requires all ‘covered multifamily dwellings’ designed and constructed for first occupancy after March 13, 1991 to be accessible to and usable by people with disabilities. Covered multifamily dwellings are all dwelling units in buildings containing four or more units with one or more elevators, and all ground floor units in buildings containing four or more units, without an elevator.”

By |2018-06-12T10:37:39-04:00August 10th, 2014|Accessibility, Articles|1 Comment

See you next week?

In just a few days I'll be heading to Dallas for CoNEXTions 2014 - the DHI annual conference.  As I mentioned before, I'll be teaching COR140 - Using Codes and Standards Monday-Wednesday, and in late-breaking news, I'll be teaching the CE1401 Codes and Standards Update on Friday (6/27) from 1:30-4:00 p.m.  CE1401 is an online code update, but I'm going to talk about some of the recent changes live and in person.  This class is being offered for FREE as part of the conference registration (it is normally $250 for members/$350 for non-members).

By |2016-12-09T10:43:35-05:00June 19th, 2014|Accessibility, Fire Doors, Means of Egress|4 Comments

Flush Bottom Rail Alternative

I saw this application the other day, while I was taking photos for an upcoming article in Construction Specifier. The article covers several accessibility topics, including the requirement for a 10-inch smooth surface at the bottom of the push side of manual doors...

By |2014-05-31T16:15:27-04:00May 27th, 2014|Accessibility|14 Comments

Ramp It Up

As I stood outside the warehouse I noticed that everyone who went in or out of the exit (which was not the main entrance), had something to say about the "ramp." This exit would clearly not be considered accessible, but it was even difficult for able-bodied visitors to use...

By |2014-05-23T22:05:55-04:00May 13th, 2014|Accessibility, Means of Egress|9 Comments


Last week I read a blog post called, "Excuse me, but your slip is showing," from Constructive Thoughts, the blog of Sheldon Wolfe.  I'm a sucker for a well-researched article on a code-related topic, so I sent Sheldon an email asking if I could reference his post here.  Sheldon told me to have at it, but also said that it wasn't very satisfying for him to write this type of article - where you research every angle and end up without a useful conclusion.

By |2017-11-11T17:30:04-05:00May 6th, 2014|Accessibility, Gasketing & Thresholds|9 Comments
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