How to Make Sure ADA Elevator Requirements Are Met

Vision Home ElevatorsInstalling an elevator in a building or modernizing an existing one can be a large task. That being said, it is crucial that certain codes and regulations be followed. For example, when considering elevator shaft dimensions, ADA rules can be easily overlooked. First of all, what are ADA codes? “ADA” stands for the Americans With Disabilities Act, and it aims to make buildings accessible and safe for those who are disabled. Let us help you learn which ADA guidelines elevators must adhere to.

ADA Elevator Dimensions and Standards: When Do They Apply? – Fortunately for small businesses and office buildings, ADA guidelines are not required to be followed if the building is both under three stories tall and has an area per floor of less than 3,000 square feet. If a building exceeds these dimensions, then all elevators must meet ADA guidelines.

Guidelines for ADA-Compliant Lifts – The ADA guidelines are extensive and complex; however, we have broken down each requirement for fast and easy reference. Note that it is much easier to install an elevator that is ADA-approved than to modernize an existing one. ADA codes can be difficult to comply with for already existing elevators.

ADA Elevator Button Height – In order for elevator buttons to be ADA code-compliant, they must be mounted at a height of 42 inches and must be at least 0.75 inches in diameter. Elevator buttons must also be properly illuminated at all times.

Braille Plates –In order for an elevator to be accessible by a blind person, there must be Braille plates next to the elevator buttons. According to ADA guidelines, elevators must have Braille plates next to all entrance jams.

Communication –As a safety feature, two-way communication in the elevator cab is a must. This communication could be used potentially by both blind and deaf people, so it must be both visually and tactilely accessible.

Floor-Level Signals– Each time the elevator car passes a level, it must make a beeping sound. This enables a blind person to count the floors as they pass. When the elevator car comes to a stop, a bell or a verbal announcement must alert the rider that the cab has reached its destination.

Wheelchair-Accessible Elevator Dimensions –According to the ADA, the elevator size must be large enough to hold a full-sized wheelchair and allow it to make a 360-degree turn while inside the cab. The minimum cab width must be 68 inches, and the minimum depth is 51 inches. You must allow for the proper elevator shaft dimensions for ADA compliance.

Door Sensors – Door sensors are required by the ADA. These sensors must re-open the elevator doors without making contact with the obstructing object or person.

Emergency Controls - As with most elevators, emergency controls are required inside the elevator cab. However, in order for the cab to be ADA-compliant, these controls must be no more than 55 inches above the floor.

ADA Elevator Handrail Requirements – Handrails are required in all ADA code compliant elevators. They must be 30 inches above the floor.

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