Accessible Design

Many existing buildings are not accessible, though current codes require that public institutions at least have a plan and schedule describing how they intend to reach this goal. In most cases this is not simply a case of building a ramp, because accessibility codes apply to entry, railings, doors, light switches, bathrooms, kitchens and even desks.

We begin an accessibility project with a thorough survey of the building, to evaluate exactly what needs to be done. In Massachusetts the accessibility part of the code is described in the Massachusetts Architectural Access Board (MAAB) regulations, and in other states it is usually governed by the Americans with Disabilities Act, (ADA.)

An accessibility upgrade should not entirely change the nature of a building, especially an historical building. Accessible ramps often look like an afterthought, and we design solutions that look like they belong with the project. At the Worthington Library, for example, we use the ramp to help create a courtyard in front of the building.

These projects can be funded by grants as well, and we are familiar the process of preparing drawings and specifications for grants. The Worthington Library design, for example, was funded by a Community Development Block Grant.

York Public Library architecture