Architecture & Design

When constructing new building facilities or altering existing facilities, architects and designers must follow the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design. These design standards include general design requirements for building and site elements such as parking, accessible routes, ramps, and elevators. If you do not find what you are looking for, call or email us.

Below are sample ADA questions from architects.


Does the staff toilet room in a workplace have to be accessible?


Yes, in new construction the staff toilet room needs to be accessible. Toilet rooms are considered common use areas like breakrooms and locker rooms, so they are required to be accessible. 

staff only sign

Architecture & Design Frequently Asked Questions

  • Yes, the door can swing into the maneuvering space, but not into the space required at a fixture.

  • Not necessarily. The maneuvering clearances specified applies to doors that are not automatic or power-assisted. Where automatic doors and gates remain open in the power-off condition, maneuvering clearances shall not be required.

  • If that date is on or after March 15, 2012, then new construction and alterations must comply with the 2010 Standards.  If that date is on or after September 15, 2010, and before March 15, 2012, then new construction and alterations must comply with either the 1991 or the 2010 Standards.

    For businesses that are covered under title III, the compliance date for the 2010 ADA Standards for new construction and alterations is determined by:

    the date the last application for a building permit or permit extension is certified to be complete by a State, county, or local government;

    the date the last application for a building permit or permit extension is received by a State, county, or local government, where the government does not certify the completion of applications; or

    the start date of physical construction or alteration, if no permit is required. 

  • No. In general, "level" means having a slope no greater than 1:48 (2%) in any direction.

  • Yes. Table 224.3 specifies the number of accessible sleeping rooms with a roll-in shower that must be  provided. For example, a new 150-room hotel must have a total of seven accessible rooms, two of those rooms must have roll-in showers.

  • Yes. Entrances, doors, and doorways providing user passage into and within guestrooms must be accessible.  This is required for all guestrooms including those guestrooms not required to have mobility features.  Showers and sauna doors in guest rooms not required to provide mobility features do not have to be accessible.

  • Although parking is calculated on a per-lot basis, it can be located in a different location if equivalent or greater accessibility, in terms of distance to an accessible entrance, fees, and convenience is ensured. For example, while site constraints may prohibit the location of a large parking lot adjacent to an accessible entrance, the required number of accessible spaces might be installed at the entrance to provide more convenient access.

  • Means of egress shall comply with section 1003.2.13 of the International Building Code (2000 edition and 2001 Supplement) or section 1007 of the International Building Code (2003 edition) (incorporated by reference, see "Referenced Standards" in Chapter 1).


    Where means of egress are permitted by local building or life safety codes to share a common path of egress travel, accessible means of egress shall be permitted to share a common path of egress travel.


    Areas of refuge shall not be required in detention and correctional facilities.

  • Five percent of the portable toilets in a cluster are required to be accessible, each accessible toilet must satisfy to the requirements for toilet rooms. 

  • Individuals have the right to file complaints against a business (Title III entities) with the Department of Justice.  Complaints may be sent by e-mail or mail. Email:

    U.S. Department of Justice
    Civil Rights Division
    Disability Rights Section - NYAV
    950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
    Washington, D.C. 20530

    The most important part of filing a Title III complaint whether you write a letter or use the complaint form is ensuring that you provide the Department of Justice with the following information:

    Your full name, address, email, the telephone numbers where we can reach you during the day and evening, and the name of the party discriminated against (if known);

    The name and address of the business, organization, institution, or person that you believe has discriminated;

    A brief description of the acts of discrimination, the dates they occurred, and the names of individuals involved;

    Other information that you believe necessary to support your complaint, including copies of relevant documents (not originals); and

    To ensure that all necessary information is provided, an individual may use this ADA Title II complaint form (, which can be used for any Title II or III ADA complaint.  Additional advice and instructions for filing a Title III complaint can be found at:

    Private individuals may also bring lawsuits in which they can obtain court orders to stop discrimination. Individuals may also file complaints with the Attorney General, who is authorized to bring lawsuits in cases of general public importance or where a "pattern or practice" of discrimination is alleged. In these cases, the Attorney General may seek monetary damages and civil penalties. Civil penalties may not exceed $55,000 for a first violation or $110,000 for any subsequent violation.