Our accessibility consultants are constantly on the lookout for improvements in product design that will make it easier for our clients to comply with accessibility criteria. As manufacturers become more familiar with accessibility requirements under applicable federal, state, and local regulations and building codes, a number of innovative, accessible products have emerged to make compliance simpler and more stylish.
Here are just a few examples of accessible products that we have been recommending recently…
Geberit: In-wall Toilet Remote Flush Button
Geberit’s line of in-wall carriers provides a sleek and modern look that is being sought after by designers of many of our high end projects. However, as with most in-wall tanks, the manual flush controls are centered above the toilet bowl, placing them out of compliance with the accessibility requirements of the Fair Housing Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and many building codes that require water closet flush valves to be located on the open side of the fixture. Geberit has solved this problem by providing the option of installing a pneumatic remote flush button, which can be provided anywhere within 66 inches of the tank, enabling designers to locate the flush control within accessible reach. These pneumatic flush buttons are available in a wide variety of styles, allowing them to blend seamlessly with the desired aesthetic.
Bathtubs for Pets®: “ADA” Dog Wash Tub
As the demand for tenant amenities increases, we have been seeing pet wash rooms in many of our multifamily projects. Although accessibility laws and codes do not specifically address dog wash tubs, they are still required to be accessible. Recently, several manufacturers have developed models that comply fully with applicable accessibility regulations and building codes. One example is Bathtubs for Pets’ “ADA” tub. The height and depth of the tub place all controls within reach and the knee clearance below allows residents who use a wheelchair to pull underneath the tub, allowing better access while washing their pet.
McGuire: ProWrap™ Pipes
Where a front approach with knee and toe clearance is required at a sink (e.g., accessible lavatories), pipes must be fully insulated or covered to protect against contact with users’ legs. At wall-hung lavatories, this is typically achieved by installing an insulated sleeve over the pipes. These sleeves can be less than attractive and often slip over time, creating an unsafe and noncompliant condition. To address this issue, McGuire has developed a line of prewrapped pipes with a PVC resin cover, providing seamless pipe protection for a variety of plumbing configurations.
Written by Theresa D’Andrea, Accessibility Consultant