Q: Our pharmaceutical department is installing new shelving throughout their spaces. They want to raise the wall jack from a height of 9 inches off the floor to 45 inches off the floor. I would like to know if there is a standard on how high or low the wall jack can be installed. Our electricians say they can put an electrical outlet anywhere they want. I feel there has to be some type of standard.
A: You are right?well, almost. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ada) of 1990 is not a standard; it?s the law. The ada?s Accessibility Guidelines for Buildings and Facilities sets guidelines for accessibility to public places and commercial facilities by individuals with disabilities. These guidelines must be applied during the design, construction, and alteration of buildings and facilities to the extent required under the ada.
In Chapter 4, OAccessible Elements and Spaces: Scope and Technical Requirements,O Clause 4.2 addresses space allowance and reach ranges. Sub-clause 4.2.5, OForward Reach,O states that if the clear floor space allows only forward approach to an object, the maximum high forward reach allowed shall be 48 inches. The minimum low forward reach is 15 inches above the floor. The maximum level forward reach over an obstruction with knee space below is 25 inches. When the obstruction is less than 20 inches deep, the maximum high forward reach is 48 inches. When the obstruction projects 20 to 25 inches, the maximum high forward reach is 44 inches. So this would narrow the window to a worst-case minimum height of 15 inches above the finished floor and a worst-case maximum height of 48 inches above the finished floor, if the area being remodeled is required to be accessible to individuals with disabilities. Unless the project architect or client specifically instructs me otherwise, I always assume the requirement.
For more information, see www.ac cess-board.gov/bfdg/adaag.htm.
Donna Ballast is a communications analyst at the University of Texas at Austin and a bicsi registered communications distribution designer (rcdd). Questions can be sent to her at Cabling Installation & Maintenance or at PO Drawer 7580, the University of Texas, Austin, TX 78713; tel: (512) 471-0112, fax: (512) 471-8883, e-mail: email@example.com.