Do you know your ADA compliance & LEED entrance flooring requirements?

ADA Compliance

Passed by Congress in 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is the nation’s first comprehensive civil rights law addressing the needs of people with disabilities, prohibiting discrimination in employment, public services, public accommodations, and telecommunications. The 2010 American Disability Act standards for State and local government facilities, public accommodations, and commercial facilities required them to be readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities. The specific sections within ADA that refer to entrance flooring are Sections 302 and 303. To ensure that a wheelchair or walker will not become wedged into the opening, Section 302.3 defines the requirements for opening dimensions stating that openings in the floor must be a half inch or less with the long dimension in the direction of traffic. A quality manufacturer will have this specification designed into your systems.

The change-in-level requirements removes any potential for tripping and allows the smooth transitions for wheelchairs and walkers from one surface to the next.  Section 303 defines the requirements for change in level, stating: Any change in level of ¼ inch may be vertical. Changes in level between ¼ and ½ inch shall be beveled with a slope not steeper than 1 to 2.  In layman terms, it means a ¼ inch change from one surface to the other is acceptable without any accommodations. If my change in level is greater than ¼ inch, a slope is required.

Many Entrance Floor Mats are available with a ½ inch or less profile. These products may be surface mounted with a beveled frame and comply with ADA. There are some options for a ¼ inch mat, but there is minimal capacity to retain dirt within a ¼ inch system.  Given the variety of choices of products with a ½ inch profile, it is highly recommended to avoid the ¼ inch systems.  A system that has a profile greater than ½ inch must be recessed.

These considerations go a long way to meet all building user needs and promoting their health and wellbeing.

Sustainable Design

Twenty years ago, the green building movement began with a simple mission: promote sustainability in the building and construction industries. Today, a new market is emerging that calls for buildings that promote human health. This is a major focus of the USGBC LEED certification program. Particle pollution, the matter released into the air from burning fossil fuels, and soot containing millions of tiny particles become air borne and head deep into our lungs.  Introducing an entrance flooring system is one way to  decrease the incidence of harmful particles into the air of a building.

In the LEED Indoor Air Quality credit category, the Enhanced Indoor Air Quality credit is intended to promote occupants’ comfort, well-being, and productivity by improving indoor air quality. According to the requirement, an Entryway System should be installed in mechanically ventilated spaces, naturally ventilated spaces and mixed-modes systems to improve occupant indoor air quality.

The Entryway Systems should be permanent and at least 10 feet (3 meters) long installed in the primary direction of travel to capture dirt and particulates entering the building at regularly used exterior entrances. Acceptable entryway systems include permanently installed grates, grilles, slotted systems that allow for cleaning underneath, rollout mats, and any other materials manufactured as entryway systems with equivalent or better performance. All should be maintained on a weekly basis. Many building owners prefer a permanently installed system to reduce trip hazards.

Note that while LEED only requires 10 feet, capturing 52% of the dirt from entering a building, to maximize performance, 18 feet is recommended to capture 90% of the dirt, soil and debris.  

Nystrom provides all the products you need to ensure your entrance flooring meets both ADA Code and is LEED certified.

About Nystrom

Since 1948, Nystrom has been the go-to manufacturer of specialty building products offering a wide range of floor, roof, wall, ceiling and stair access products that create safer, more accessible buildings. Nystrom is also proud to offer hassle-free services like access to technical experts, REVIT tools for BIM, HPDs for LEED v43-part specifications and AIA continuing education courses.

Nystrom partners with BSD SpecLinkMasterSpec and BIMsmith for specification tools and are proud members of AIA, CSI, LBC, Sustainable Minds, HPDC and USGBC. Many Nystrom products meet the following standards: ADA, ASTM, Florida-Approved, FM Approved, IBC, IFC, Intertek Warnock Hersey, Miami-Dade Approved, NFPA, NYCBC, OSHA & UL.