REMOVAL OF ARCHITECTURAL BARRIERS IN EXISTING MULTI-TENANT
Administrative Rule Adopted by Bureau Pursuant to Rule-Making
The State Building Code requires that architectural barriers be removed in
existing buildings in conjunction with alteration work to the extent that up to
25% of the construction cost be allocated towards their removal. This
requirement will typically require improvements outside the area of a tenant
improvement, requiring coordination between the tenant designer/contractor and
the building management/owner that is more efficiently accomplished for the
building as a whole rather than on a tenant-by-tenant basis. For this reason, it
is desirable to develop a process that all- a one-time building survey to
identify existing architectural barriers and a subsequent improvement plan that
can be implemented over a reasonable period of time.
All parties will benefit from such a process. The building management/owner
will be able to identify cost with certainty, the disabled community will
benefit from having architectural barriers removed on a systematic and
prioritized basis, and all parties will benefit from a streamlined permit
It should be noted that the Department of Justice in their administration of
the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), a federal law now in effect that also
addresses the removal of architectural barriers in existing buildings,
recommends the same approach.
Allow an alternate process for the removal of architectural barriers in
existing multi-tenant buildings that is equivalent to that required by the State
Building Code and is generally compatible with the ADA.
The Building owner agrees to the following:
Letter of Participation (LOP). Provide a letter to the Bureau of
Buildings agreeing to participate and abide by the process.
Building Survey (BS). Commission a Building Survey to identify existing
Improvement Plan (IP) . Develop an Improvement Plan and the schedule to
remove architectural barriers based on established priorities.
Submittal of Plan. Within 120 days, submit to the Bureau of Buildings the
Building Survey and Improvement Plan for review and approval.
Implementation Agreement (IA) . Within 45 days, enter into a written
agreement with the Bureau of Buildings to implement the Improvement
The Bureau of Buildings agrees to the following:
Building Permits. Issue all building permits pending the Implementation
Agreement without regard to the removal of architectural barriers outside the
area of work.
Review Improvement Plan. Within 10 days from receiving the Improvement
Plan from the owner, review the plan with the City/County Disabilities
Coordinator and prepare written comments for the owner.
Priority. In determining which accessible elements to provide, give
priority to those elements that provide the greatest access, in the following
a) Accessible parking;
b) An accessible entrance;
c) An accessible route, first to all primary functions of the building and
secondly, to other tenant areas;
d) At least one accessible rest roan for each sex or a single unisex rest
roam, where such facilities are provided;
e) Accessible public telephones, where provided;
f) Accessible drinking fountains, where provided;
g) When possible, additional accessible elements such as visual fire
Due Consideration. In determining the extent of barrier removal and
timelines for implementation, give consideration to the building use and the
financial resources of the building owner.
Implementation Agreement. Within 45 days from receiving the IP from the
mer, enter into a written agreement with them regarding their implementation
Record keeping and Enforcement. Maintain appropriate records; track
progress of Improvement and Implementation Plans; if necessary, take
appropriate enforcement action.
Provide permit applicant with information packet that explains process.
Provide explanation and assistance as needed.
NOTE: This process is
intended for multi-tenant buildings. There may be an occasion when this
process is appropriate for single tenant buildings. In such cases, the plans
examiner is to obtain the approval of the chief Plans Examiner before
Review LOP and upon approval, finalize permit review and issue building
permit. Staple copy of LOP to each set of plans.
Send LOP to Plan Review Manager
Forward IP to Plan Review Manager
Plan Review Manger (or his/her designee)
Track submittal timing of IP and if necessary, take appropriate
Within 10 days after submittal review IP with City/County Disabilities
Coordinator and if necessary, provide written comments to building
If necessary, resolve disagreement between the City and the building
owner through the Building Code Board of Appeals.
Within 45 days, develop written IA with the building
Maintain appropriate records. Provide copy of IA to PAC.
Track that the IP is maintained on schedule and if necessary, take
appropriate enforcement action.
Develop guidelines to assist building owners with what generally will be
considered reasonable barrier removal.
Filed by Bureau of Development Services for inclusion in PPD September 29,
Originally published as Bureau of Buildings Procedure No. B-6-12 dated June