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News release


New ADA Rules Now In Effect for Commercial Renovation and New Construction

Owners and operators of retail, hotel and other commercial properties are now required to be in full compliance with new ADA regulations, effective March 15, 2012

CHICAGO, March 20, 2012 – New Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations originally announced in 2010 officially took effect on March 15. Property owners across the country will now be required to meet these expanded regulations for renovation or construction projects, or risk ADA compliance lawsuits. To help owners and operators avoid the potentially millions of dollars in legal fees and civil penalties, the Jones Lang LaSalle Project and Development Services group, together with LCM Architects, a leading national architecture and design firm specializing in ADA-friendly design, offers an ADA compliance platform. This construction management program assists owners in achieving ADA compliance and is particularly focused on the needs of multi-site property portfolios.
The Jones Lang LaSalle and LCM program combines LCM’s comprehensive knowledge of the new requirements and the Jones Lang LaSalle network of more than 1,000 experienced construction management professionals. It addresses multi-site and campus ADA compliance through a program that includes amassing data about the facilities, and providing portfolio-wide construction management services. The platform enables project managers to share blueprints, documentation and best practices easily across multiple locations. For a retail or hotel chain with hundreds or thousands of similar locations, the ability to generate consistently accurate real-time status reporting for every location is critical to litigation avoidance.
“Compliance is good business. In addition to avoiding litigation, being proactive in enabling access for everyone builds a positive and welcoming brand image,” says Kevin Hughes, vice president of Project and Development Services. “Jones Lang LaSalle has helped hundreds of companies across all product sectors to navigate these changes to ADA regulations and successfully minimize disruption to the operations of hotels, banks and retail environments while delivering cost savings.”
In this video, Hughes gives an overview of multi-site construction project management, including an ADA compliance project the firm performed on behalf of a client with more than 5,000 sites.
What’s New
The ADA is a complex law that has not previously had any major refinements since it was signed into law in 1990. In the past, charges of non-compliance have led to a number of lawsuits, which have led to fines and civil penalties when plaintiffs were successful.
Properties for which construction was completed before March 15, 2012 fall under the safe harbor provision and are considered to be in compliance as long as they meet the original standard. Conversely, projects for which renovation or construction is completed after the cut-off date will be required to comply with the new rules immediately.
Some of the significant changes to existing regulations include:
  • The side reach range of equipment in accessible areas has been reduced to be no higher than 48 inches (instead of 54 inches) and no lower than 15 inches (instead of 9 inches).
  • Construction tolerances for dimensions of equipment (such as grab bars) stated as a range will be eliminated.
  • In single-user toilet rooms, the water closet now must provide clearance for both a forward and a parallel approach and, in most instances, the lavatory cannot overlap the required clear space around water closets.
  • Increased requirements for accessible routes within buildings
  • More stringent slope requirements for clear floor space at accessible elements
  • Each pool must have its own wheelchair lift—one moveable lift for multiple pools in a facility is no longer acceptable. (A statement from the Department of Justice has extended this requirement by 60 days.)
In commercial buildings, the ADA applies mainly to areas open to the public. In the past, ADA lawsuits have centered mainly on retail, restaurant and hospitality chains, since these are organizations with many locations that often share similar or identical designs. A non-compliance issue at one location is likely to be repeated at many locations, greatly magnifying the potential liability. 
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Jones Lang LaSalle’s Project and Development Services (PDS) group employs 1,100 project managers throughout the Americas, who conducted 2,300 projects valued at $10.9 billion in 2010. PDS offers a range of services to corporations, real estate owners, healthcare organizations and public sector entities. Capabilities include management of new construction, renovations and expansions; development services; interior fit-out assignments; energy retrofits; LEED assessments and certification; multi-site program management; brand strategy rollouts; and other services.
About LCM Architects
LCM Architects (LCM) was established in 1996. The firm serves public and private clients on a wide-range of project types including: corporate, higher education, healthcare, research and teaching laboratories, and manufacturing facilities. LCM also consults locally and nationally on compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Fair Housing Act (FHA), and other accessibility laws. This expertise has contributed to the firm’s success in the programming and design of spaces for people with disabilities. LCM’s Accessibility Services include Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Fair Housing Act (FHA) training and consultation; architectural plan review; barrier removal consultation; facility survey, reports & consultation; and Title II / Section 504 ADA Transition Planning.
About Jones Lang LaSalle
Jones Lang LaSalle (NYSE:JLL) is a financial and professional services firm specializing in real estate. The firm offers integrated services delivered by expert teams worldwide to clients seeking increased value by owning, occupying or investing in real estate. With 2011 global revenue of $3.6 billion, Jones Lang LaSalle serves clients in 70 countries from more than 1,000 locations worldwide, including 200 corporate offices.  The firm is an industry leader in property and corporate facility management services, with a portfolio of approximately 2.1 billion square feet worldwide. LaSalle Investment Management, the company’s investment management business, is one of the world’s largest and most diverse in real estate with $47.7 billion of assets under management. For further information, please visit our website,