PVA Magazine: Visitability – A Growing Trend

By Mark Lichter, AIA, PVA Architecture

Accessibility laws and codes have certainly helped increase access to many different building types. Generally, new public buildings must have a minimum level of accessibility in order to meet Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines and applicable building codes. Multifamily housing projects (apartments and condominiums) are required to conform to the accessible design standards of the Fair Housing Act (FHA) guidelines as well as building codes.

However, one type of structure remains largely unaffected by mandatory accessibility requirements: single-family housing.

Precise definitions vary, but for the purposes of this article, single-family housing is a type of residential structure designed to include one, two, or three dwelling units. Multifamily housing (covered by FHA accessibility guidelines) conversely is four or more residential units grouped together. Single-family housing generally includes detached houses, duplexes/triplexes, townhouses, and row houses. Units typically have separate access to the outside and do not share plumbing and heating equipment. Read more at pvamag.com.