Page 7 - CooperatorNews May 2021
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COOPERATORNEWS.COM  COOPERATORNEWS —  MAY 2021    7  WeatherTight is your    Commercial Roofing Specialist  Seamless  For many applications, a liquid,   single monolithic membrane covers   the entire roof, with no seams or   joints (the source of most leaks in   flat roofs).  Lightweight  Typically weighs around 50 lbs/sq   ft, versus 800 lbs for a built-up roof   and 100 lbs for ballasted single-ply   roofs.  Flexible  Polyurethane foam can be sprayed   onto virtually any surface, irregularly   shaped roofs and protrusions pose   no detriment to installation.  Sustainable  Foamed roofs require a minimum   of upkeep, create little waste and   feature an indefinite lifespan.  Every layer increases your bottom line!  The heating and AC loss you have been experiencing in your commercial   building can be significantly reduced with one of our energy saving   roofing systems! WeatherTight Systems’ completely air-tight roofing   systems seal in your building’s cool air and heat.  SPF (Spray Polyurethane Foam) roofing  TPO (Thermoplastic Polyolefin) roofing  MB (Modified Bitumen) roofing  EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Terpolymer) roofing  Flat Top or sloped Tile roofing  Metal Roofing Systems  HERE ARE THE STATS  We Offer the Following Services  For a   FREE   quote, call us at  (973) 890-7663  (New York/New Jersey).  Visit  cerns about meeting the needs of every-  one, including mildly to severely disabled   people. Something as simple as a cane or   walker would have access to any space from   a kitchen or bath to common areas such as   lobbies and hallways. In the early 1990s this   became a trend. It was the moment where   the design industry took on the moral and   ethical responsibility of this challenge. We   weren’t going to design just anything any-  more. It’s about ‘comfortable’ use. Form fol-  lows function. It is a commitment to meet   the needs of everyone.”  Enter the ADA  Universal Design is a movement—not a   federal statute or mandatory code. Th  e ADA,   on the other hand, is the law. Baron explains   that the Americans with Disabilities Act was   passed and signed into law in July 1990 by   then President George H.W. Bush. ADA com-  pliance enforcement followed, with failure to   meet the new requirements resulting in costly   legal action. Failing to make spaces and fa-  cilities accessible to those with disabilities was   considered discriminatory.    Of course, the tenets of Universal Design   incorporate the same principles and values   enshrined in the ADA—and according to Co-  hen, architects and designers integrate Uni-  versal Design and the ADA requirements all   the time. “We use codes as a guide for com-  UNIVERSAL...  continued from page 1  pliance with agencies having jurisdiction, but   make the process specifi c to the location and   client,” he says. “It is not a one-size-fi ts-all ap-  proach. We start by understanding the users   and asking questions about what they fi nd   most challenging. We talk to residents as well   as staff . Some of this happens by asking, and   some by observing.  “Th  e design process itself is interactive and   layered, and takes many factors into consid-  eration,” Cohen continues, “including things   like spatial clearances and mobility impedi-  ments. Ease of navigating the space; diff er-  entiating between public, private, service and   emergency egress, and fi nding direction; an   understanding of the varied characteristics   and abilities of users’ mobility, sensory, cogni-  tive, as well as what is familiar to them; appro-  priate selections of fl ooring fi nishes, lighting,   surface fi nishes on ceilings, walls, fl oors, and   transaction surfaces to avoid glare, slippery   fl oor surfaces. You also address acoustics and   palate, to provide balanced contrast in light/  dark, hue, and pattern. It’s also important to   address the things that aren’t as apparent as   disabilities, such as mental health issues and   cognitive issues, and to respond to neuro-  diversity.  Appropriate furniture  and selec-  tions to accommodate a range of sizes and   abilities—arms on chairs; seating height and   depth.”   Baron illustrates how ADA considerations   aff ect decisions about and the execution of   Universal Design projects. “Th  ere are codes   that determine how space must function to   meet the needs of the mobility impaired,” he   says, “and co-ops and condos must be careful   that they are adhering to those codes. For in-  stance, you have a front entrance to a building.   Th  ere are code requirements for ramps; doors   must open outward, and there are mandatory   heights for handles, as well as requirements   for the width of the doors, which must be at   least 36 inches to accommodate wheelchairs.   Stairs may also be an issue for the mobility im-  paired. For people with vision impairments,   there are signs in braille. For the hearing im-  paired, everything is visual.”   For older buildings built long before the   ADA was even a concept, there may be some   wiggle room, Baron says. “It should be noted   that some buildings are grandfathered in—  but if and when they redesign their public ar-  eas, they need to be careful about what choices   they make, since an architectural change to   the building may trigger ADA compliance re-  quirements. Th  at can be very expensive.”  Cost vs. Compliance  Baron points out that while many older   buildings are grandfathered in under the ADA   and therefore not mandated to comply with   the Act’s specifi cations, even if they wanted to   update their spaces, the cost of doing so may   be prohibitive. Th  is is particularly true for   smaller prewar co-ops and condos, and those   whose residents are on fi xed incomes.   Th  ese communities, says Baron, “normally   function pretty well, so I suggest they avoid   triggering ADA requirements. Co-ops and   condos don’t want to trigger the costs involved   or lose their entire lobby to a ramp, so we’ll of-  ten look for another ingress/egress option, or   perhaps recommend a collapsible ramp. My   advice is to be ‘conservative’  in  remodeling   your space in ways that might trigger ADA   requirements.”  By contrast, Baron continues, buildings   with  more  services  may  be  able  to  make   meaningful updates without necessarily in-  curring exorbitant expenses. “For example, if   you have services like a concierge desk, when   you’re building a  new desk or replacing an   existing one, it might be designed as a dual-  level surface with a 42-inch-high surface for   standing individuals and a 30-inch-high sur-  face for individuals using wheelchairs. Th  is is   where  ADA  compliance  and  Universal  De-  sign meet.”  Cohen reiterates that “the ADA was ini-  tiated as a civil rights act, not as a prescrip-  tion of dimensional code requirements” and   stresses that understanding the users of a   space and what they want and need is what is   most important. He points to New York City’s   Inclusive Design Guidelines, which the city’s   Department of Design and Construction   publishes in collaboration with the Center for   Inclusive Design & Environmental Access at   the State University of New York (SUNY) Buf-  falo is “an outstanding example of a document   that meshes an understanding of accessibility   codes with the nuances of how diff erently-  abled users make use of spaces and facilities,”   from those with mobility challenges to those   continued on page 8 

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