The new 2013 California Building Code goes into effect in January 2014. As part 4 in a 6-month series on upcoming code changes, I’ll highlight some of the most important changes to the California Building Code before they become enforceable.
Generally, we’re looking at the accessible elements called into question during almost every tenant improvement and upgrade project.
In this segment, we’ll focus on disabled parking, striping, signage, access aisles and passenger loading zones, which are high on the list of elements that come into question during almost every tenant improvement and upgrade project.
The new 2013 CBC states:
1) Disabled Van parking spaces require that one in every six spaces must be a van parking space. Van parking is permitted to be grouped together in multi-story parking facilities.
NOTE: New vertical clearance requires a minimum of 98” from the ground to the lowest overhead obstruction through out the parking facility.
2) Disabled parking spaces are required to be a minimum 18 feet long but the difference is now in the parking space width. Standard parking is 9 feet wide and Van stall width is now 12 feet wide. Both types of disabled parking stalls can now provide only a 5-foot wide passenger side access aisle.
3) Access aisles must adjoin an accessible route, be 5-feet wide minimum, extend the full required length of parking stall, cannot overlap vehicular way and must provide a 1:48 or 2% max in all directions.
4) Parking space markings now require a minimum 36”x 36” white ISA on a blue background six inches max from the centerline of the parking space aligned at bottom of space.
5) Signs required to contain an ISA, Van Accessible and Minimum Fine $250 sign for Van stalls and an ISA and Minimum Fine $250 for the standard stall. If signs are pole mounted along the accessible route they must provide 80” minimum AFF. The signs must be reflective and 70 square inches.
6) When arranging disabled parking stalls, ensure that loading zone access to the accessible route does not force one who is disabled to travel behind any other vehicle other than their own. Wheel stops are now only required when the front end of the vehicle would encroach into the accessible route and reduce the path under 48”. The entrance warning tow-away signs must provide specific wording and include a reclaim name or phone number installed on the sign.
7) Passenger loading zones are now required to provide one accessible loading area for every 100 linear feet of loading area. That is a 1 to 5 ratio. Vehicle pull-up spaces must be 96 inches wide minimum and 20 feet long minimum. Access aisles cannot overlap the vehicular way and must provide an ISA and “Passenger Loading Zone Only” painted inside the loading area.
Keep in mind that disabled parking striping and signage are considered to be “readily achievable” to maintain because of the low cost to construct. Even if you’re not performing a tenant improvement project or remodel, it is highly recommended to restripe every other year and check that your signs are secure and high enough. If permits are being pulled, these accessible elements listed above will surely come into question.