I've working on a project and we are trying to integrate a Stramp into the project a'la OMA (see photo) 

However per the ADA handrails must be provided on both side of the ramp. I'm not sure how they were able to do this. Is there a provision which allows exceptions if alternate routes are provided. I've also attaching a snip of the pectinate ADA codes Thnx for any help. 

Nov 14, 17 1:21 pm

That is why you are making the big bucks, to figure this part out.

Nov 14, 17 1:29 pm

What big bucks ha


Clue: is that a ramp?

Nov 14, 17 1:48 pm
Non Sequitur

yeah, there is likely a real ramp, c/w compliant handrails as well as a lift just out of the picture frame.

I looked at the plans there isn't one I don't think this is actually coded compliant, not sure how they got away with this. Maybe it was a provision in an older code.

Non Sequitur

It's probably listed as seating and not stair/ramp. It this was a stair case, would it not need centre handrails spaced 2m O.C... or something like that?

Clue: how steep is a ramp?

ADA requires 1:12 this looks to be about that. 1:20 does not require a rail.


let me take a moment from all the current fires that are burning and direct my attention to yours....

Nov 14, 17 1:55 pm
Non Sequitur


Well thank you for taking time away from fighting fires to post on my thread......???


^No prob. I was thinking 50% shoot form the hip 50% social media/ entertainment aspect

Haha all good I don't know if this really has a good answer

One would need to be in a municipality where one can con an official to go along with that.

Nov 14, 17 2:59 pm

We have a similar ramp in the river walk here in Chicago, not a place to bribe building code folks, maybe a governor or alderman.

Yea I have seen a lot of exterior stramps that don't have hand rails. Really nice project. I wonder if there are exceptions since it is landscape?

The OMA project opened in 2003 I believe I wonder if the code has been updated since then


I can't post it, but I'm looking at "28 CFR Part 36 Revised as of July 1, 1994 Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability by Public Accommodations and in Commercial Facilities" and it says exactly the same as your image, they got a pass.....

the ADA Standards came out in 2010

JLC-1, The standards that cover titles II and III were revised and updated in 2010. They are often the standards that are followed for projects and the web page, that you reference, has the link to the current regulations that take effect March 15th 2011.


so, before 2010 it was free for all? you might want to seek legal counsel before answering.

No not free for all but the current standards came out in 2010 and for the most part replace previous regulations put out by the DOJ in response to the Americans With Disabilities Act. When congress passed the ADA the regulations that are used to enforce it did not come out until some time after the ADA was first passed in 1990, in 1991-1992 the first set of regulations came out and in 1999 the current set of regulations were started and enacted under Obama. Regulations regarding federal projects and or federally funded projects did exist before the ADA in the Code of Federal Regulations.

Also the Fair Housing Act had provisions for persons with disabilities, those standards are the guidelines were established in 1991 and the 1998 FHA design manual came out after and is often the preferred FHA safe harbor when combined with ANSI 2003.


it does not replace, it just updates - if you come down from there you could read both and see for yourself.


maybe it's not part of an accessible route? and there is another ramp hiding somewhere out of the picture?

Nov 14, 17 3:00 pm

no, there isn't; and that ramp doesn't comply with ada. Code enforcement oversight? or starchitect exemption syndrome?

It was 2003 and maybe one of the first stramps, either the code has changed or they got a pass

The adjacent (to ramp) surface is less than x inches drop...maybe there is an allowance for that in some places. (If one greases the right someone(s). And they get all googly eyed with Rem.

Nov 14, 17 3:10 pm

This sounds to be the most likely scenario, I hadn't thought about looking at the "x" amount of drop off from the ramp.

I would think a surface would need to address level changes in code compliant ways if the surface is part of the public way.

If one squints the subject surface resembles a hill side.

Nov 14, 17 3:44 pm

certainly a ramp, but its not an ADA ramp. could be a skateboard ramp for all i know

Nov 14, 17 3:49 pm

will likely be


Its NOT a ramp! Walking surfaces can have a slope of 1:20.  

Nov 14, 17 4:34 pm

Could be, hard to tell from the picture


"ramp seating, a terrain for student gathering that combines vertical circulation and a handicapped ramp in one form"

Nov 14, 17 4:48 pm

I dunno, looks like it's slopes 3 steps.  Say each rise is 7"...that's a 21" transition.  The run of the ramp doesn't look long enough for a 1:20. 

Nov 14, 17 4:51 pm

It’s two steps bro- and what if they are 6” steps?


The second ramp from the bottom is 3


Second ramp from the bottom clearly has a longer run.

As this whole "not a ramp" argument is contingent on the "sloping floor" having a slope of not more than 1:20 ... you'd think that one of you would be able to reach out to one of the 33 archinect members that are also listed as current students at IIT and convince them to take a tape measure and clear it up for everyone.


yup- sloped surface vs ramp fixes the ramp handrail issue, and looking at the photo, it looks like the stairs are ok, with all the required egress capacity within 30" of the handrail, no intermediate handrail would be required. The landings on the sides of the stair would certainly be deep enough...It must have been a joy explaining how that sloped surface doesn't require a guardrail because of no 30" side drop occurs within 36"of the sloped surface, and also how no one will ever try to use it as a stair, where the 4" min riser height is violated...

Nov 14, 17 10:58 pm

Then why they call it handicappex


Can't edit on the phone, why they call it handicapped ramp? See
architects rendering with labels



Nov 19, 17 12:11 am

do we really need to put people at the risk of breaking bones just to stroke some architect's ego. (yes)

Nov 19, 17 10:57 pm

Block this user

Are you sure you want to block this user and hide all related comments throughout the site?

  • ×Search in: