While many of us are fortunate to have the physical ability to move around the workplace with ease, the reality is that this isn’t the case for thousands of working professionals. In fact, 20% of Americans have a functional disability that affects their ability to walk, see, climb stairs, or hear audible alerts. Access to these buildings isn’t just about legal compliance, it’s about making a building truly functional and enjoyable for everyone who uses it. For this reason, it’s essential that designs for commercial buildings make accessibility a priority. Here are some great features to include, from a leading specialist in commercial architecture in NJ.
Outside the Building
Accessibility starts outside your building with features that include designated parking spaces (additional width for maneuverability), ramp curb features with a slope of less than 1:20, bright lighting and clear, bold signage, and a wide main door that is opened automatically by sensors or a secondary door if the main door is not disability-friendly (for example, revolving doors).
Inside the Building
Accessibility features inside a building are as much about removing potential barriers as it is about creating disability-friendly features. For example, steps should be avoided wherever possible and ramps or lifts installed where steps can’t be avoided. Corridors, reception areas and offices should be open with wide lanes for traffic flow, and deliveries should be kept to designated spaces to not impede the walkways.
If your building uses queuing systems or intercoms, ensure that these systems are doubled up to ensure that information can be communicated in different mediums. For example, an audio-based intercom should be accompanied by a digital sign that displays the information simultaneously.
Washrooms are another important feature that need to be disability-friendly. Grab-bars and lower-level wash basins should be present in at least one washroom, and this should be a larger space to accommodate wheelchairs and other equipment. The corridor and doorway to the washrooms should be wide enough to comfortably accommodate a wheelchair.
In designing the color palette for your office space, try to create a contrast between walls, floors and doorways to make them more visible and clear to all users of the space. Signage should also use bold, contrasting colors to make them easy to read.
Commercial Building Design in New Jersey
The New Jersey architectural firm of Seth A. Leeb offers full-service solutions for commercial building design projects in the New Jersey area. With 20 years of experience in the commercial architecture industry in restaurant, hospitality, office and dental office design, we can provide the expertise, skills and innovative thinking you need to create a workplace that fits your vision and embodies your brand. For more information on working with us or to find out more about commercial architectural design in NJ or to speak to medical office architect, please contact us today or visit our website at https://leeb-architecture.com/