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Is it a building or not?

Discussion in 'Commercial Building Codes' started by ADAguy, Dec 20, 2019.

  1. georgia plans exam

    georgia plans exam Silver Member

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    BTW, I was being facetious. I agree with JCraver, this is ridiculous. You just can't regulate everything.

    GPE
     
  2. ADAguy

    ADAguy Registered User

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    You can't but that doesn't mean that certain uses won't attract suer's.
    As to height, these are (+) 12' above the turf beneath, on a school site.
     
  3. Yikes

    Yikes Gold Member

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    You are asking whether solar panels are a "building" but in context, you are really asking an accessibility question for solar panels. Here in California, the Division of the State Architect has created a detailed policy regarding when and where solar installations trigger accessibility requirements at their facilities (especially schools):
    here: https://www.dgs.ca.gov/-/media/Divisions/DSA/Publications/interpretations_of_regs/IR_11B-9_12-12-13.pdf?la=en&hash=E8305D5E9A2C700FAFCA2547D2640EA9D63B0A31

    Here's some excerpts:

    4B - Unrestricted Access with No Change in Use - If access to the area
    below the PV system is not physically restricted and there is no proposed change
    of use of the area below the elevated PV system components:

    a. The area below the elevated PV system components must be accessible
    consistent with the CBC accessibility provisions applicable to the current use
    of that area... For example, if the area beneath the PV system elevated components is being used as an outdoor lunch area, scoping provisions for dining surfaces in 11B-226 and technical provisions for dining surfaces in 11B-902 will apply.

    b. If the current use of the area below the elevated PV system components
    requires that area to be on an accessible route, one shall be provided.

    c. The project, including incidental work to implement a) and b) above, is not
    an alteration that would trigger path of travel upgrades... California Building Code §11B-202.4 Path of travel requirements in alterations, additions and structural repairs. Exceptions: 7. “Projects consisting only of . . . electrical work not involving the placement of switches or receptacles . . . shall not be required to comply with 11B-202.4 unless they affect the usability of the building or facility.”

    d. When located on sloping ground (running slope exceeds 5%) the area below
    the elevated PV system components need not be made accessible.​


     
    #23 Yikes, Jan 3, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2020
  4. ADAguy

    ADAguy Registered User

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    At issue is the willingness of providers to offer them for free to school districts but don't want to pay for required ADA site compliance requirements when they are used as "shade" structures too.
     
  5. JCraver

    JCraver Sawhorse

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    They don't want to pay (rightfully) because they're not shade structures, they're solar panels. There are no "ADA site compliance requirements" because, again, they're solar panels.
     
  6. ADAguy

    ADAguy Registered User

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    until use is made of the shade for lunch, lectures, install of low bleachers, etc.
     
  7. JCraver

    JCraver Sawhorse

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    Look at it this way:

    Your school gets free solar panels, saves a dollar or two on the energy bills, maybe a teacher gets a dollar or two raise, and maybe a shovel or two of coal doesn't get burned. Everybody's happy, kumbaya.

    OR: Your school gets offered free solar panels, the government gets in the middle and throws a bunch of BS at the offerer of said panels, which cost more money than they had to spend on the free system, so the offer goes away and they go to a school a town or two away. Now your neighboring school is singing, but no dollar raise for your teacher, and another shovelful of coal goes through the power plant. So sad.

    I just think you're looking for a solution when there isn't a problem. Sometimes, it's OK to let things be.
     
  8. Mech

    Mech Registered User

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    If the provider is under no obligation to provide free panels, why expect them to provide free fencing?

    Don't install the solar panels; accessibility not required.

    Install the panels on a roof; accessibility not required.

    Grade the site to exceed 5% slope, accessibility not required.

    At that time, accessibility would be required, but not before.
     
  9. tmurray

    tmurray Registered User

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    When does the violation occur? When the panels are installed or when the school employees start promoting the use of the space? My take would be the latter. Buildings cast shadows, do you make sure the east and west perimeters of the building are accessible because people may congregate in these shaded areas? Probably not. This means that the presence of the panels is not the trigger to require accessibility. It is when the use of the space is promoted as something more than it is currently. School administration needs to be aware that if they use this space for anything other than what it is used for today, there may be issues.
     
    Paul Sweet, JCraver and my250r11 like this.

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