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General Services Administration Adopts New ABA Standard



The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) announced it will incorporate a new accessibility standard at its over 7,100 leased locations to increase access to facilities designed, built, altered or leased with federal funds.


The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) announced it will incorporate a new accessibility standard at its over 7,100 leased locations to increase access to facilities designed, built, altered or leased with federal funds.

The new standards, which have taken effect, apply to all buildings that will be leased as a result of solicitations for offers on or after Feb. 7.

The new Architectural Barriers Act Accessibility Standard is a result of a recent evaluation by the U.S. Access Board of the various standards and its decision to merge them into a single standard for federal buildings.

The standard addresses access to joint-use areas, accessible routes to primary function areas, restrooms, and other space and elements.  GSA typically handles over one thousand leases in a year that will be affected and estimates in the next 10 years the new standard will encompass most of the leased inventory.

“GSA has been at the forefront of removing architectural barriers in our public buildings,” says David L. Winstead, Commissioner of GSA’s Public Buildings Service.  “By adopting the new standard in our leased facilities, we are demonstrating a continuous commitment to provide accessible facilities to federal agencies that use GSA as their workplace providers; as well as a responsibility to ensure public buildings remain accessible to the American public.”


GSA introduced the new standard last December to Washington, D.C., real estate companies at an industry roundtable. The real estate companies indicated this is a positive and realistic step for implementation in new leases, especially since the standard will require few modifications unless alterations are necessary under a new lease, according to GSA.  

GSA has recently created a checklist tool owners may use to evaluate their compliance with the new accessibility standard.




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  posted on 2/26/2007   Article Use Policy




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