Curb Ramp Upper Landings:
Notice! A 36-inch by 36-inch landing at the top of a curb ramp, which is allowed by the Texas Accessibility Standards, is not code-compliant.
The 2021 IBC contains many important changes, specifically adopting the 2017 edition of the ICC A117.1 Accessible and Usable Buildings and Facilities as the accessible technical standard.
Regarding curb ramps, the 2010 ADA, ABA, and 2012 TAS (Texas Accessibility Standards) all harmonize regarding the requirement for a landing at the top of the curb ramp and the length of the landing at the top of the curb ramp (36 inches minimum) (Figure 406.4). The UFAS (1984), ABA, and 2012 TAS all require the width of the sloped curb ramp surface (36 inches minimum). The 2010 ADA, ABA, and 2012 TAS required the slope of the curb ramp flares (1:10 maximum allowed except in alterations where the landing length is less than 36 inches, then 1:12 maximum is required).
The 2017 edition of the ICC A117.1 standard, the PROWAG (Public Rights of Way Accessibility Guidelines), and the UFAS (1984) agree with each other and differ from those standards noted in the above paragraph by requiring a 48-inch minimum landing length at the top of the sloped curb ramp (Figure 406.2(A)). The 2017 ICC A117.1 and proposed PROWAG require a 48-inch minimum width for the sloped ramp surface. According to the 2017 ICC A117.1, where the landing is constrained, such as at the back-of-sidewalk or building, the landing length must be 60 inches minimum (Figure 406.2(B)).
Design professionals of new commercial construction projects in Texas must realize that because the 2021 IBC adopted the 2017 edition of the ICC A117.1, the latest A117.1 must be followed in all areas where the requirements are more stringent than the 2012 TAS. The local authority may not review or inspect these new requirements. Additionally, not all RAS (Registered Accessibility Specialists) may know these greater requirements, leaving the project vulnerable to legal action.