The 73rd Texas Legislature amended the Architectural Barriers Act (Article 9102 of the Texas Civil Statutes) to require “commercial” facilities (as defined by the ADA) that are constructed, substantially renovated, modified or altered to comply with the state Architectural Barriers Act.
Article 9102 of the Texas Civil Statutes requires any construction project (new construction or alterations and additions that are over $50,000 in construction costs to be submitted to the state for review of compliance with the Texas Accessibility Standards (TAS) Once a review has been done, the project must also be physically inspected for compliance upon completion of the project, a RAS must be contacted within 30 days of completion to perform the inspection, the inspection must take place within a years time.
When submitting a project, in most cases they are done by the architects. However, compliance is ultimately the responsibility of the building or facility owner/owners, the safest approach is to work together with the architect or design firm to ensure the project is properly submitted and filed with the state. At Accessibility Today we can register these with the state for you with the proper forms submitted along with the plans.
Any additions to an existing building are regarded as an alteration, however, the interior work of the project falls under New Construction standards. Each space or element added to an existing facility is required to fully comply with both the state and federal accessibility standards, regardless of the construction costs involved. (Only projects over $50,000 in construction costs are required to be submitted for review and inspection under the Texas State Laws) If under $50K they are not required but must however be fully compliant.
Since the Texas Standards have been approved by the federal government, it is recommended that all architects working on projects in any building use the Texas Standards as their guidelines, rather than the federal standards. Compliance with state standards ensures substantial compliance with the federal standards, but the reverse is not true.
Upon completion of a construction project, the project is required to be physically inspected for compliance to the state standards. If a project is inspected and found to be in non-compliance the person with overall responsibility is given a certain amount of time to correct all items and provide verification (in writing) that items have been corrected. If compliance cannot be achieved within the specified time, the file is required by State law to be returned to the TDLR enforcement division. Failure to respond may result in a set amount of fines per day, per violation by the state agency until compliance is provided.
The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation enforces compliance with Article 9102 of the Texas Civil Statutes (the Texas Architectural Barriers Act) and its design
standard (TAS) http://www.license.state.tx.us/ab/ab.htm
David Christensen Registered Accessibility Specialist
P.O. Box 1757
Roanoke, Tx 76262