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无障碍设计如何改变社会生活?第1张图片

© Hufton + Crow. ImageStaircases such as this one, in ZHA's Dominion Office Building, are beautiful design elements but can pose challenges to those with limited mobility.

为什么建筑师们仍在讨论残疾人的需求?
Why Do Architects Still Struggle with Disability Requirements

由专筑网邢子,李韧编译

这篇文章最初发表在《Common Edge》,题目是“为什么在《美国残障法案(ADA)》通过28年后,建筑师们仍在讨论残疾人的需求”。

最近乔治·赫伯特·沃克·布什(George H.W. Bush)总统的去世引发了人们对其实行的立法成就的评估,其中包括涉及范围广泛的《美国残疾人法》,这是一项于1990年签署成为法律的民权法案。该项法律包括在建筑物中考虑为残疾人提供便利等问题。在接下来的几十年里,ADA已经对美国建筑环境的设计和施工产生了重大影响。为了衡量ADA的影响,探究其演变方式、常见误区以及它在促进社会公平方面产生的作用,我与Steven Winter Associates无障碍服务领域的高级副总裁兼常务董事Peter Stratton进行了对话,他曾与其他建筑师等相关人员共同从事ADA设计标准的应用。我1996年至2006年在康涅狄格州的Winter firm工作,Stratton是我的同事。


Michael J Crosbie(下文称为MJC):在大约30年前,ADA签署成为法律。在这之前您对建筑环境中的无障碍有什么看法?

Peter Stratton(下文称为PS):尽管联邦残疾人法在ADA颁布之前就已经存在,但它们并不适用于我们国家社区中许多重要的建筑,例如那些对公众开放的建筑。产生的结果是许多残疾人被排除在社区生活之外,因为他们无法进入这些电影院、餐馆、杂货店以及私立学校。使用这些设施并非完全不可能,但也并不方便。想象一下,如果你要去电影院,就必须要经过一段楼梯才能到达入口,此外,一旦你进入了大楼还要考虑一下楼里没有你可以使用的卫生间,诸如此类的问题还有很多。

This article was originally published on Common Edge as " Why Architects Still Struggle With Disability Requirements 28 Years After Passage of the ADA".
The recent death of President George H.W. Bush occasioned assessments of his administration’s legislative achievements, one of which was the far-ranging Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a civil rights act signed into law in 1990. The law included accommodations for people with disabilities in buildings. In the ensuing decades the ADA has had a significant impact on the design and construction of the built environment in the U.S. To gauge the impact of ADA, how it has evolved, common misconceptions about ADA, and its role in promoting social equity in architecture, I spoke with Peter Stratton, Senior Vice President and Managing Director of Accessibility Services at Steven Winter Associates, who works with architects and others in the construction industry on the application of the ADA design standards. (I worked at the Connecticut-based Winter firm between 1996 and 2006; Stratton was a colleague.)

Michael J Crosbie: The ADA was signed into law almost three decades ago. What is your perspective on accessibility in the built environment before ADA?  
Peter Stratton: Although Federal disability laws existed before the ADA, they didn’t apply to many of the buildings that are such an important part of our communities across the country: privately owned buildings open to the public, primarily. As a result, people with many types of disabilities were shut out of community life because they were unable to enter and maneuver through inaccessible movie theaters, restaurants, grocery stores, private schools. Access to these facilities was challenging, if not impossible. Imagine going to a movie theater and having to be carried into the building because the entrance was accessible only by a flight of steps. Then, once you’re in the building, think about having to use the bathroom, but there isn’t one that you can enter or move around in.

无障碍设计如何改变社会生活?第2张图片

Courtesy of Reuters

MJC:这些标准如何变化?

PS:最初的ADA参考了1991年制定的无障碍设施指引。但问题是,无障碍设施指引的发展速度远不如建筑规范所引用的技术标准快,因此这就成为了过时的标准。无障碍设施指引后来被2010年《ADA Standards for Accessible Design》所取代,新标准与其他无障碍客观标准更加协调,其中包括现行《国际建筑规范》所参考的《ICC A117.1 Standard for Accessible and Usable Buildings and Facilities》。如今使用的2010年ADA标准与当前的研究和应用同步。

MJC:ADA如何使建筑更加无障碍?它最大的影响是什么?

PS:通过将建筑无障碍纳入联邦法律,ADA为数百万美国人提供了机会,使他们成为我们社区的重要并富有创造性的组成部分。在影响方面,它与《1988年公平住房法修正案》共同协力使多户型住房成为了可能。但是人们被限制在家里,因为公共空间仍然难以进入,尤其对于一些残疾人来说,在外面工作或参观非常困难。当ADA成为法律并且技术标准生效,那么残疾人就可以出门活动,大部分的建筑环境变得更加通畅。ADA将公共空间与私人空间连接起来,这种连接对社区的运作至关重要,它让残疾人的世界变得更大。公共领域也会受益于残疾人,因为他们现在能够参与到更多的社会环境中。更加开放的公共领域也为残疾人提供了工作机会,它减少了残疾人对公共援助的依赖,因为残疾人现在可以成为社区中有生产力的成员。这些ADA的涟漪效应说明了它对于人们生活的改变方式与结果。

MJC: How have standards evolved?
PS: The original ADA referenced technical accessibility guidelines established in 1991. The problem was that the accessibility guidelines didn’t advance as quickly as technical standards referenced by building codes, so they became an outdated standard. The accessibility guidelines were replaced by the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design, which are more harmonized with other objective measures of accessibility, including the ICC A117.1 Standard for Accessible and Usable Buildings and Facilities, which are referenced by the current International Building Code. Now, the 2010 ADA Standards are up to date with current research and applications.

MJC: How has the ADA made architecture more accessible? What has been its biggest impact?
PS: By making access to buildings a federal law, the ADA opened up the opportunity for millions of Americans to become an important and productive part of our communities. In terms of making the biggest impact, it worked in tandem with the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988, which made multifamily housing accessible. But people were confined to their homes because the public sphere remained inaccessible—it was very difficult for people with some disabilities to work or visit outside the home. Once the ADA became law and the technical standards came into effect, you as a person with a disability could leave your home and much of the built environment became accessible. The ADA connected public space to private space—a connection that’s vital for the functioning of community. It made the physical world so much bigger for people with disabilities. The public realm consequently benefited from the buying power of people with disabilities who could now engage the marketplace in ways that they couldn’t before. A more accessible public realm opened up work opportunities for people with disabilities. It lessened the reliance of people with disabilities on public assistance, because they could now be productive members of the community. These are the ripple effects of the ADA and how it has changed people’s lives.

无障碍设计如何改变社会生活?第3张图片

Courtesy of Reuters

MJC:与建筑师、承包商以及开发商合作时候,你听到过哪些对ADA的评论?

PS:我经常听到的评论是一座建筑如果几乎达标,那么它就应当符合标准。但是建筑不应该“几乎”符合,它要么符合,要么不符合,除了标准中明确规定的内容之外,没有任何回旋的余地。例如,如果浴室设施的位置差了一英寸,建筑师、承包商或开发人员想知道偏差是多少,对偏差的容忍度是多少?但公差在2010年标准允许的范围内有明确定义,任何高于或低于该范围的设施都不符合标准,因此,要么符合,要么不符合。这是最大的意见。另一种常见的评论是现在没有技术标准来进行规范。根据建筑物的用途,有几个标准,比如ADA、ANSI 117.1和FHA,但是各州的标准可能有所不同。不同的标准适用于不同的建筑类型,并由不同的机构颁布,如住房和城市发展部或司法部。我们有意将这些不同的标准进行协调,但还没有做到这一点。

MJC:谁负责在建筑环境中执行ADA?


PS:ADA通过投诉来执行。例如,司法部或其他组织可能会调查投诉,如果认为有必要,就可能会提起诉讼。但是当前没有ADA警察、没有ADA认证、没有真正的监控,只有测试而已。

MJC:建筑师对ADA标准最常见的误解是什么?

PS:最常见的误解是,遵守当地建筑规范及无障碍标准的要求就足以满足ADA的要求。准则和ADA对无障碍设施的设计和建造规定是互相排斥的,必须分开考虑。所以建筑有可能符合当地法规,但不符合ADA。许多建筑师、承包商和开发人员并没有意识到这一点。

MJC:设计师在应用2010年ADA无障碍设计标准时所犯的最大错误是什么?

PS:设计师最大的错误就是他们只关注技术需求,而不理解“范围”的界定。范围是无障碍的必需的内容,技术需求只是说明了如何满足无障碍。范围是“什么”,技术是“怎样”,必须理解并正确应用范围标准。例如,设计师可能会对有技术要求的建筑入口进行无障碍设计,但他们不理解的是,其实建筑的大部分入口都应该有着无障碍设计。

MJC: Working with architects, builders, and developers, what are some of the criticisms of ADA that you’ve heard?
PS: The criticism I’ve heard most often is that a building should be deemed compliant because it almost hits the mark. But, a building can’t be “almost” compliant—it either meets ADA or it doesn’t—there is no leeway or tolerance other than that which is specifically addressed in the standards. For example, if the location of a bathroom fixture is off by an inch, architects, contractors, or developers want to know what the leeway is, what’s the tolerance for variance? But the tolerance is established by the range permitted by the 2010 Standards; anything above or below the range is not compliant—it either meets the standard or it doesn’t. That’s the biggest complaint. Another common criticism is that there isn’t one technical standard for compliance. Depending on the building’s use, there are several: ADA, ANSI 117.1, and FHA standards, which can vary from state to state. Different standards respond to different building types and are promulgated by different agencies, such as the Department of Housing and Urban Development or the Department of Justice. There is an intention to shift to harmonizing these different standards, but we’re not quite there yet.

MJC: Who’s responsible for enforcing the ADA in the built environment?
PS: The ADA is enforced by complaint. For example, the Department of Justice or other groups may investigate complaints and might file a lawsuit if it’s deemed necessary. But there are no ADA police, there’s no ADA certification, no real monitoring, other than compliance testing.

MJC: What’s the most common misunderstanding of the ADA standards by architects?
PS: The most common misunderstanding is that compliance with the requirements of the local building code and its accessibility standards is enough to satisfy the ADA requirements. The accessible design and construction requirement of the code and of the ADA are mutually exclusive and must be considered separately. So it’s possible for a building to be in compliance with the local code, but not in compliance with ADA. Many architects, contractors, and developers don’t realize this.  

MJC: What’s the biggest mistake that designers make in applying the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design?
PS: One of the biggest mistakes made by designers is that they focus on the technical requirements without understanding the “scoping” provisions. Scoping is what is required to be accessible; the technical requirements state how accessibility is to be met. Scoping is the “what,” technical is the “how.” The scoping criteria must be understood and correctly applied. For example, designers might apply the technical requirements for an accessible building entrance to one entrance, without understanding that the scoping provision requires the application of the technical requirements to 60 percent of the building’s entrances.

无障碍设计如何改变社会生活?第4张图片

© Micael Löfgren

MJC:是否有证据显示,实践者已经采纳ADA?

PS:在过去的五年里,我们已经看到了公众对实施标准的极大关注。在此之前,业主严重依赖建筑师来实现ADA标准,并请设计专业人员来回应符合与否。他们现在开始明白这不能完全依赖建筑师来实现,建筑师无论如何都不想承担是否符合标准的责任。设计团队已经认识到ADA顾问和设计团队中的其他顾问一样重要。符合ADA可以继续推动项目建设过程,例如,ADA顾问可能在设计开发审查项目,随后进行工程,这可能会改变结果,从而违背ADA标准。当设计在项目的生命周期中发生变化时,应该继续对其进行检查。每个设计决策都应该在设计和施工的所有阶段进行审查。对通常不参与设计过程的承包商的培训常常也有帮助,这样他们就能理解场地变化导致建筑不符合标准的原因。ADA顾问通常是为了帮助设计师达到符合要求,他们不仅能发现不符合规定的地方,还会提出解决问题的方法,这样更容易达到标准。

MJC:在这样的背景下,建筑师如何才能成为建筑环境中的社会公平捍卫者?

PS:对于建筑师来说,理解无障碍设计和施工对每个人都非常重要,这不仅仅是对残疾人。我可能没有残疾,但是我的孩子或者父母可能有,这对我也会有影响。它也对可能暂时残疾的人产生影响,就像人们经常发生骨折或受伤的情况一样。这种无障碍设计可以使建筑环境更公平、更有意义,如果建筑师真的去关注这一点,而不是将其视为一种负担,那么就可以强调ADA是帮助无障碍建筑实现的总体社会目标的重要部分。  

MJC: Have you seen evidence that the ADA has been embraced by practitioners?
PS: We’ve seen a significant and substantial concern for compliance over the last five years. Before then, owners relied heavily on architects to achieve ADA compliance, citing the design professionals as responsible for compliance. Owners now understand that they can’t rely entirely on architects to achieve compliance; architects don’t want the responsibility of compliance anyway. Design teams have learned that an ADA consultant is just as important as other consultants on the design team. And ADA compliance continues to drive the project through the construction process. For example, an ADA consultant might review a project after design development, but then the project goes through value engineering—which might change spacing and clearances that compromise ADA compliance. As the design changes through the life of a project it should continue to be reviewed for compliance. Every design decision should be examined during all phases of design and construction. Training for contractors–who are usually not involved in the design process—is often helpful so that they understand how field changes might make a building noncompliant. ADA consultants are typically solutions-driven to help designers achieve compliance. They don’t just identify non-compliant issues, but suggest how to remedy issues identified so that compliance can be achieved.

MJC: In the context of ADA, how can architects be champions for social equity in the built environment?
PS: It’s important for architects to understand the meaningful impact that accessible design and construction has on everyone—not just on people with disabilities. I might not have a disability, but my child does, or my parent does—and that has an impact on me as well. It also makes a difference for people who might be temporarily disabled, as is often the case with people with broken bones or injuries. If architects focus on that—that access can make the built environment more equitable and thus more meaningful– instead of seeing it as a regulatory burden, it can highlight the ADA as part of an overarching social goal that accessible architecture can help achieve.         

无障碍设计如何改变社会生活?第5张图片

© Micael Löfgren

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