The law requires that offices be accessible to all and it is clear that Doctors are more likely to have patients with physical limitations than a typical tenant. Therefore, when planning to lease medical space, it must be demonstrated early on by the use of “Fit-Study” that the appropriate clearances can be achieved. You don’t want to end up after an exhaustive search for the perfect location with a disaster on your hands since, larger toilets, clearances and wheelchair access to exam rooms cannot accommodated per The Americans with Disability Act (ADA). The Ives Architecture Studio working closely with brokers who specialize in healthcare spaces understand that medical spaces often have longer leases due to the high initial construction costs and difficulties in relocating.  Some of the older spaces have a myriad of ADA violations. We have found that Building Inspectors hold medical offices to a higher standard in providing accessible facilities and have gone so far as to demand renovations on newly constructed medical offices due to fine points in the Building Code. This affects not only the floor plan but the vertical dimensions of sinks and counters.  So, it’s better to have an experienced healthcare architect involved in your project from the beginning. Make sure a “Fit-Study is prepared before you sign on the dotted line so that you will confirm that ADA requirements are met.

Written by

Joel Ives

Joel Ives is the founding partner of The Ives Architecture Studio. He has over 30 years of architectural and urban planning experience in the New York metropolitan area

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