7 Ways to Make Commercial Buildings More Accessible
Trying to make your commercial buildings easily accessible for all is a goal worth pursuing. However, it is not exactly easy to see it through. In order to offer some help, we’ve prepared a list of the seven ways to make commercial buildings more accessible.
The Right Approach to Parking
The first step in your efforts to make commercial buildings more accessible should be centered on parking. You see, purely legally speaking, you need to have at least one accessible parking space for every twenty-five “standard” parking spots. An interesting thing to note is that you don’t necessarily have to have them available on-site. You can rent or lease an off-site lot if it is sufficiently close to your commercial building. However, what, exactly, makes for “accessible” parking to begin with? First, the parking slot needs to have an easily available and accessible entrance into the building. Then, you also need to take into account that an accessible parking slot typically needs to be a bit more spacious than normal. You want to provide enough space to maneuver no matter the difficulties the person using the parking space has to endure.
Indoor Mapping Helps
The next thing to do in order to make commercial business buildings more accessible is to provide the proper indoor mapping. Now, note that this is expressed in two different ways. First, of course, there’s mapping out the accessible portions of the commercial buildings in order to make it easier for people who require the added accessibility to get around properly. With complete knowledge of what’s where they can plan out the most optimal route for them and reach their destination without difficulty. The second part is choosing the right medium. Nowadays, accessible phones are relatively common, so posting the map on your company’s site is a pretty good choice. Just make sure to check whether your site is properly accessible. Especially if you are a landlord, since becoming a commercial landlord requires paying close attention to such details.
The Inclusion of Curb Cuts and Ramps
The most basic effort to make commercial buildings more accessible is adding ramps and curb cuts. Both are meant to make it a lot easier to actually gain access to a building and move around in it. These elements should also be present throughout the property rather than just only in the building itself. An excellent example of this would be the aforementioned parking. If there are no curb cuts and ramps between the parking spot and the entrance to the building, then you can hardly claim to have provided accessible parking! Besides, as moving experts from getmovedtoday.com like to point out, curb cuts and ramps are extremely practical building design additions that make lots of services easier to provide. Wheeling in furniture is a lot easier than hauling it up the stairs! So, it is in everyone’s best interest to make these accessibility additions to commercial buildings.
The Usefulness of Automatic Doors
A large part of improving accessibility is simply making things a bit easier for everyone. And, if you want to manage your commercial property well, you need to push for this in every way possible. One of the simplest improvements to make in this regard is adding automatic doors to your commercial building. People who need a wheelchair will not need to put themselves in an awkward position just to open a door. And people with vision problems will have less to worry about when entering the building, too.
Proper Use of Signage
We have already mentioned the need for proper mapping in commercial buildings if you want to make them more accessible. While posting the information online where anyone can get it is a great option, there is one thing that needs to back it up for best effects: signs. Of course, you need to be careful with their placement and make, too. First, you need to make sure they are of sufficient size, placed in an easily visible location, and, for more accessibility, that they have braille on them, too. This makes it somewhat difficult to hit all of the points at once. After all, ideally, signs would be located overhead. But you need them within easy reach on the wall for people who need access to braille.
Bathroom Accessibility Concerns
Another thing you need to consider when making your commercial buildings more accessible is the bathrooms. It is not always simple for people suffering from certain conditions to use ‘ordinary’ bathrooms. Even just trying to maneuver a wheelchair in one would be unwieldy, if not completely impossible, if the bathroom in question is not large enough. So, there are several things you can do to improve the situation. First, make sure the bathrooms are big enough. Second, opt for stalls that provide easy access and can be used by everyone. Finally, remember to lean into the signage advice and provide a small sign with brail next to the door describing the bathroom’s layout. It may not help too much, but it will be reassuring for those who need it.
The Use of Elevators
The final way to make commercial buildings more accessible is rather simple: elevators. Admittedly, this is not a simple project if the building doesn’t already have elevators installed. However, oftentimes, they are the only possible solution for getting between different floors of a building for people who require more accessible buildings. If you are planning to open or expand your office and hire more people, including employees who may need such features, it is only wise to consider these things ahead of time. If your current commercial buildings do not have elevators, it may be best to look into finding an office in a new one. After all, even if you own the building, installing an elevator would be an expensive project. Not to mention a highly disruptive one.
We hope our guide on the seven ways to make commercial buildings more accessible will be helpful to your project! As long as you put in enough effort, you’ll be able to ensure that everyone can use your commercial buildings properly.