Historical building accessibility

Historical building accessibility

Postby ccforus » Tue Jun 26, 2018 4:34 pm

I have a question for coach/my cse fellas-

in 8-601 of CHBC, it saz "The CHBC shall apply to every qualified historical building or property that is required to provide access to persons with disabilities.

Provisions of this chapter do not apply to new construction or reconstruction/replicas of historical buildings.
Where provisions of this chapter apply to alteration of qualified historical buildings or properties, alteration is defined in California Building Code (CBC), Chapter 2, Definitions and Abbreviations. 202 – A. Alter or Alteration."

in 8-201 of CHBC, the "alteration" is defined as "A modification to a qualified historical building or property that affects the usability of the building or property, or part thereof. Alterations include, but are not limited to, remodeling, renovation, rehabilitation, reconstruction, historical restoration, changes or rearrangement of the structural parts or elements, and changes or rearrangements in the plan configuration of walls and full-height partitions."

Does that mean for any type of remodeling of an qualified historical building, the accessibility provisions have to be met? For instance what if the scope of work is just to do tenant improvement of one unit (redo floor finishes, add light fixtures and etc.) in a historical condo building. Does the owner of this unit have to address the accessibility issue for the whole building?

Any feedback will be appreciated. Thanks everyone.
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Re: Historical building accessibility

Postby testingtesting » Tue Jun 26, 2018 5:51 pm

Speaking from a general standpoint, if the accessibility modification takes away from the historical nature of the project than it can be exempt.

Extreme Examples:
Adding ramps to The El Castillo in Chichen Itza would desultory the historical significance
Adding a lift to the Farnsworth house would destroy the historical significance/aesthetic.

Welcome any corrections- I am about to take the test and would like to know, too.
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Re: Historical building accessibility

Postby eroati » Wed Jun 27, 2018 12:04 pm

I think it's important to review the Intent of the code, under Section 8-101.2: "CHBC is intended to provide solutions for the preservation of qualified historical buildings or properties, to promote sustainability, to provide access for persons with disabilities, to provide a cost-effective approach to preservation, and to provide for the reasonable safety of the occupants or users."

While safety and access are important, so is the preservation of the integrity of the building. So for a small TI, I doubt the plan reviewer would make you install a ramp, enforced by the local or state reviewers. Section 8-602 .2 allows "Alternative provisions. If the historical significance or character-defining features are threatened, alternative provisions for access may be applied...". So if the historical significance is threatened, then it would be allowed to provide accessible route to the rear or side of the building. There is lots of loose language in the code which would allow the plan reviewer to make a determination on a case-by-case basis, within reason.

If a major interior remodel was occurring on a 2-story historic house museum, then to follow the code you'd have to provide a ramp or elevator in the rear or side of the building to provide access to the 2nd floor. For the exam, I would guess that a project scenario with a remodel of a historic building, what would be reasonable to provide for accessibility? (not something that threatens the historical integrity). Hope this helps!
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Re: Historical building accessibility

Postby ccforus » Fri Jun 29, 2018 4:47 pm

Thanks guys. I guess my question is, if adding ramp and/or accessible elevator at the backside of building does not sabotage the historical value of this "condo" building, Does the owner of this one particular condo doing minor remodeling work in his/her own unit have to do and pay for all of those for the whole building?
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