Related Articles

 

State of Facilities in Higher Education - Private college and university leaders have a huge, often...

 

Flexibility First: Student Rec Center Planning, Design, and Construction - Inclusion of multipurpose space is only the beginning....

 

Setting the Stage for Acoustics First - Early acoustical theaters were just that— acoustic. The...

 

Object Lesson: Campus Project Planners Must Understand New Buildings Within Campus Context - Once completed, buildings are never viewed in isolation....

 

Top Ten Mistakes Made in Gymnasium Design and Construction - Learn from others' mistakes to avoid expensive retrofits...

 

The Greenest College Residence Hall in the World - Sustainable construction requires both foresight and the...

 

Scan Before You Replace: Non-Destructive Moisture Tests Provide Valuable Information for Roofing Professionals - Advanced imaging techniques provide crucial information for...

 

From Fixed to Flexible: Renovating Existing Spaces to Foster Collaborative Environments - In collaboration with designers at a technology, furniture,...

 

Johnson & Wales Breaks Ground on $40 Million Engineering and Science Center - Memories of one of the worst New England winters on record...

 

A Transformational Project: Converse College's Johnson Plaza - Many students arriving for the first time at Converse...

 

A Simple Facelift in the Restroom Can Save Money, Reduce Maintenance & Improve Your School's Image - Every business and organization today is looking for ways...

 

Campus Paving Projects - For anyone who makes purchases for colleges in these times...

 

Temporary Stand-Alone Facilities on Campus - When considering a major renovation, benefits of a...

 

UT Announces Construction of New Fitness Center - To further enhance campus life and students’ co-curricular...

 

Upgrading Campus History: Windows Provide Green Update to Older Structures - According to the United States Census Bureau, there are...

 

Construction and Planning: Look to Other Projects to Get Ideas for Your Own - Virtually every private college has a variation on the same...

 

BIM & Daylighting: The Ultimate Planning and Sustainability Duo - Construction has become increasingly complex, with the need...

 

Promoting Campus Safety and Sustainability through Solar Lighting - The typical sustainable campus solutions like low-carbon...

 

What To Expect When You're Expecting - Understanding the typical construction timeline can help...

 

Salem College Blends New Design with Historic Island of Architecture - If Elizabeth Oesterlein were to walk up to Salem College in...

 

Permeable Clay Pavers Solve Stormwater Issues, While Preserving Historic Character of College Campuses - No matter what your status is at a private college, from a...

 

Modern Acoustical Design: No Longer Forced to Choose Between Good Looks and Good Sound - Over the past decade, much of what was not generally known...

 

Reduce Residence Hall Noise with Acoustic Floor Underlayments - In multi-story residence halls, just as in private homes,...

 

Coordinating Exterior Aesthetics with Campus Architecture - Safety and aesthetic design confirms the campus demand for...

 

Windows and Doors Deliver Reliable Performance, Lasting Impressions - Universities across the nation are seeking ever-larger...

 

Web-enabled Cameras Help Construction Timeline - In the spring of 2011, Boston University embarked on...

 

Sustainability at Furman University: The Repurposed Shi Center - At Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina, the...

 

Construction and Planning - St. Thomas University’s Careful Planning and Meticulous...

 

Construction of an Indoor Athletic Training Facility - One of the newest facilities on campus has a very...

 

Cornell Implements First Solar Array to Expand Renewable Portfolio - 2MW Solar Farm Will Help Reach Carbon Neutrality: Cornell...

 

Archives > November 2013 > Modular Buildings: Protecting Campus Image and Ensuring ADA Guidelines

Modular Buildings: Protecting Campus Image and Ensuring ADA Guidelines

In the current financial environment, budget is paramount. Too many times the requirement for additional space arrives long before planning and funding for traditional construction can occur. As a result, space needs are often filled through using temporary or permanent modular buildings.

By: Ben Vizzi

The overall image of your establishment is directly related to the visual appeal of your facilities. That is why when using a modular building first impressions are so important. As you approach your new facility, the entrance should be strong, attractive and inviting. No matter how long a building will be in place, weak or temporary access is unsafe and uninviting.

Concrete access systems are part of the visual as well; site and code requirements must be met by these access systems, which need to welcome students and staff into the building. Luckily, there are preengineered modular precast systems available that are quick, easy and attractive. As an additional benefit, these systems can be relocated if the need arises.

ADA Guidelines and Temporary Structures
It has been over two decades since the United States Department of Justice enacted the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This monumental decision has touched us all and confirmed its vision time and time again. Though always improving with additions and revisions, the basic theme has never altered: Remove all barriers for all Americans.

This essential task has never been more important than today with an aging and diverse population that deserves safe and easy access to all facilities. When you add baby boomers to the mix, along with the many Americans that have special requirements, this becomes an enormous segment of our society. Thus, we can easily agree that planning for access without barriers is essential.

Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG) have been around for many years, and complying with these guidelines has become a regular part of every design, when campus planners are designing a new structure that will be available for public use. Unfortunately, this foresight was missing when many of our existing facilities were built, thus even today there are too many areas where barriers still exist.

Many of the buildings constructed prior to 1990 have been upgraded, updated, and retrofitted to meet the current requirements; however, many campus buildings remain inaccessible to some. This is a result of two factors: economics and logistics. Many older buildings have no space, due to their current layout, to accommodate a traditional access path. In short, unencumbered access may need to be accomplished by creative thinking. Remove the barriers in your mind and you may be able to remove the physical barriers. In other words, if a situation seems impossible to alter in order to provide access, consider changing the situation. Imagine the entire space as an empty area, and design your path of access as if you were creating a new building. This process often leads to a solution that not only provides access but is also aesthetically pleasing.

In addition, many privately owned buildings that are open to the public require expensive redesign in order to remove barriers, and the owners are sometimes not willing to incur the cost until it is required. This is economic reality; however, no matter the situationconstruction & planning by Ben Vizzi all responsible landlords of public accessible facilities should do everything in their power to ensure buildings are completely unrestricted. The same factors should apply to a temporary building. Regardless of your structure or the amount of time you anticipate occupying that structure, it should in all ways be approachable and accessible to everyone.

ADA Requirements for Short-term Spaces
This brings us to an area where there have typically been questions concerning the need for ADA requirements. Again, temporary buildings often turn into semi-permanent buildings. Even if the building is intended for short-time use and nothing more, campus leaders still must ensure safe and easy access for everyone. This access demand may arrive on the first day the facility is opened, so ADA access should be designed as part of all modular structures.

Of course, because campus aesthetics are critical, you want buildings and concrete assess systems that are visually pleasing-which lends a more permanent sense to the structure as well as filling the site requirements. Though professionally installed, pre-engineered modular precast systems are appreciated first for their ease of use and ease of transport, a carefully chosen product can also ensure that campus aesthetics are protected-thereby protecting your campus image.

When planning your next modular facility addition, always remember that the entire project is an extension of your image, so take careful consideration in your design for landscape and the approach to your building.

 

 

About The Author
Ben Vizzi

is the Lead ADA Exterior Access Code Specialist, with 18 years of experience, for Leesburg Concrete Company, Incorporated/Ramps, Steps & Rails. Ben's access analysis has provided many Public & Private Schools and Universities with creative and affordable access solutions. For attractive compliance examples, visit www.leesburgconcrete.com

 

 

PUPN Magazine is a trademark of Flaherty Media, LLC, copyright 2017. PUPN Magazine and all contents are properties of Flaherty Media, LLC.