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Accessibility 2019-01-25T18:16:53+00:00

Our goal is to help better our client’s overall approach to accessibility. We help ensure that problems identified during the design phase or during construction are resolved with a clear and consistent understanding of not only the rules, but also the rules as they apply to the client’s intent and needs.

 Our accessibility consulting services include:

Design Principles provides architectural plan review services for compliance with prevailing federal, state, and municipal accessibility laws.  Our firm includes Registered Accessibility Specialists for the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR).  As TDLR representatives, we review construction documents for compliance with the Texas Accessibility Standards (TAS).  However, our services are not limited to the Texas or the state level generally; as we can also review documents for compliance with city ordinances, model codes, and the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) when necessary.  Our review process is structured to ensure complete, accurate, and balanced interpretations of the law.   Upon review completion, we provide our clients with a comprehensive compliance report.

Our reports will, first, describe the type of construction under consideration and identify the rules of application as listed in the prevailing code and/or standards.   Areas of non-compliance will then be identified by listing the specific rule being violated and providing comments specifically explaining the nature of the violation.   The report will also inform the client of areas where compliance will necessary when the construction documents do not specifically address them.

Upon report completion, our Specialist will forward the report and any other required forms to state and local authorities in accordance with their respective rules and bylaws.

Design Principles also provides post-construction site inspections.  Inspections ensure the compliance of new construction and remodel work with prevailing accessibility laws such as the Texas Accessibility Standards (TAS).  After our inspection, we provide our clients with an inspection report identifying any deficiencies.

Similar to our Architectural Plan Review Reports, the Inspection Report will, first, describe the type of construction under consideration and identify the rules of application as listed in the prevailing code and/or standards.   Areas of non-compliance will then be identified by listing the specific rule being violated and providing comments specifically explaining the nature of the violation.   This report will also include photographs of specific items found to be in violation.

Upon report completion, our Specialist will forward the report and any other required forms to state and local authorities in accordance with their respective rules and bylaws.

We believe that there should be continuity between reviews and inspections.  However, our priority is to ensure that accessibility compliance is achieved on-site.  With that, we strive to maintain continuity by identifying unaddressed areas during plan review in an effort to prevent violations in the field.

Design Principles can provide preliminary compliance reviews during early design development to help minimize costly redesigns due to an unconsidered or misinterpreted accessibility requirement.  This service is especially useful to designers of prototypical buildings, where minimizing implementation costs is critical.  Preliminary compliance reviews can save time and money while improving implementation strategies.

With this service, our clients are given resolutions to problems, alternate solutions, and alerts to potential conflicts or liabilities.  This service can include Accessibility Code Comparisons to identify the most restrictive requirements governing a project.

Design Principles can provide clients with code comparison reports that identify the most restrictive rules from model codes or city ordinances.  Although most codes share a common mission to ensure access to facilities, their approach often varies depending on the issue.  As a result, it is common to have multiple prevailing codes with similar rules that vary in their restrictiveness.  Some codes will defer to the rulings of another.  Some municipalities have accessibility rules unique to them.

At times, architects and designers may wish to meet the most restrictive requirements to ensure compliance in all cases.  However, there are times when compliance with the most restrictive rule is not required or practical.   An Accessibility Code Comparison Report gives the architect or designer the tools needed to determine and balance worst-case scenarios with the alternatives.   This service is often bundled with our Preliminary Plan Review services.

Design Principles provides accessibility consultation services to owners, developers, institutions, contractors, architects, and engineers.  This service helps educate our clients on accessibility matters as they pertain to specific projects.  Our method of presentation is strictly based on the client’s needs.  We can conduct formal classroom presentations and seminars, attend office and site meetings, participate in design charrettes, or hold private tutorials.  Our goal with this service is to make sure the client understands the accessibility constraints that may affect their design concepts and implementation programs.

This service is provided at an hourly rate.  However, a fixed fee can be negotiated when a more comprehensive service extension is required.  Depending on the level of service needed, a retainer may be required.

Accessibility requirements and procedures vary from state to state and city to city.  Design Principles can research the governing accessibility codes and ordinances for any municipality in the United States.   Our due diligence packages not only identify codes and ordinances but also informs our clients of accessibility specific procedures, plan submission and site inspection requirements, governmental contacts, fees, etc.

We can also retrieve information on new accessibility equipment, systems, and components that may be a beneficial enhancement to the accessibility of a project or an alternative solution to a difficult accessibility problem.  However, our accessibility research is simply an information retrieval service that is flexible and tailored to the client’s needs.

This service is provided at an hourly rate.  However, a fixed fee can be negotiated when a more comprehensive service extension is required.  Depending on the level of service needed, a retainer may be required.

Design Principles provides site and facility assessment services to property owners, property managers, realtors, institutions, and buyers.  Our Specialists inspect the existing property and identify all areas of non-compliance in accordance with current Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG), American National Standard Institute (ANSI)model codes, state codes (when applicable, i.e. TAS), and local codes (when applicable).  This information is then compiled into a comprehensive report that can be used to assess the cost of future remodels or potential liabilities.  It can also help potential buyers assess the cost and/or risk factors involved with acquiring a particular property.  Commercial chains are especially vulnerable to liabilities when accessibility issues are not properly addressed during remodel campaigns.  This service enables them to make good design decisions up front, reduce costly post-construction revisions, and minimize the risk of lawsuits.

This service is provided at an hourly rate for small projects.  Larger projects are contracted at a negotiated fixed rate.  In either case, a retainer will be required to begin work.

With our risk management service, we identify the client’s exposure to liabilities as it relates to compliance with prevailing accessibility laws, assess their level of exposure, and develop strategies and procedures that reduce or eliminate their liability.

Owners with inventories of aged structures, institutions, large facilities, and organizations benefit from this service, as they are made aware of the potential negative impacts to their business.  This service enables them to properly implement risk management practices that can minimize the risk of accessibility lawsuits.

Design Principles will soon be offering training services to our clients.  This will be an interactive program geared toward attaining a clear understanding of not only the laws, but the intent of the laws.  The setting will be informal, and audience participation will be highly encouraged.  Everyone’s experience in dealing with accessibility – from their point-of-view – will to make it an enjoyable and informative experience for all.

We are looking forward to this program.  Check back with us for more details.

ACCESSIBILITY RESOURCES

Below are all of the forms that are needed to process your project for compliance with the Texas Accessibility Standards (TAS).

New clients please download and complete our service agreement and send it with your drawings and other required documents. With exception of the DP Service Agreement, all of the forms listed can be retrieved for the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation at http://www.license.state.tx.us/ab/abforms.htm

DP Form 00  Design Principles Service Agreement (23KB download)

Form 005AB, Project Registration revised 10/08 (70KB download)

Form 006AB, Lease Evaluation (11KB download)

Form 012AB, State Lease Registration (12KB download)

Form 013EAB, Variance Application  – revised 7/09 (35KB download)

Form 022AB, Project File Request Form revised 03/07 (63KB download)

Form 029AB, Inspection Response Form revised 03/07 (67KB download)

Form 030AB, State Lease Inspection Response Form (7KB download)

Form 037AB, Project Status Update Form revised 12/08 (59 KB download)

Form 041AB, Request for Inspection revised 6/10 (27 KB download)

Form 042AB, Proof of Submission Form revised 9/09 (32 KB download)

Form 043AB, Owner Agent Designation (28 KB download)

Form 044AB, Proof of Inspection Form (28 KB download)

Form 045AB, Special Registration Form revised 7/09 (31 KB download)

Form 046AB, Notice of Substantial Compliance Request (28 KB download)

Accessibility Resources

GET IN TOUCH

For more information, please go to Accessibility FAQ, download our Online Brochure, or Contact Us.