Share on:

Request A Quote

Blog

Exploring Elan Tiles: Aesthetic Yet Durable Tactile Walking Surface Indicators

24th May 2024

Tactile walking surface indicators, or TWSI, play a crucial role in ensuring safety for pedestrians with vision loss or impairments. As per the accessibility codes in Canada like AODA, NBC, ISO, and CSA B651, it is mandatory to install TWSI's like truncated domes or directional bars in various public spaces like sidewalks, transit platforms, building entrances, parking lots, etc. In our quest to offer the highest quality code-compliant TWSI solutions, we at Tactile Solution Canada are excited to explore the benefits of Elan Tiles - an elegant porcelain tactile system.

 

Introducing Elan Tiles

 

Elan Tiles has redefined the standards for functionally aesthetic TWSI's in Canada. Manufactured by a leading tactile solutions brand, Elan Tiles leverages the finest raw materials to craft durable yet aesthetically pleasing truncated domes and directional bars. The use of premium porcelain stoneware construction allows Elan Tiles to withstand the harshest indoor and outdoor environments while maintaining their sleek, modern appearance for many years.

 

Surpassing Rigid Quality Standards

 

Elan Tiles undergo extensive testing to verify their slip resistance, durability, and performance over extended usage. All Elan TWSI products meet the EN 14411 standard, designating them as "Porcelain Stoneware." This ensures the tiles can withstand heavy foot traffic experienced in mass transit stations, airports, malls, and other commercial spaces. Their slip-resistant R11 finish makes Elan Tiles a safe option for both interior and exterior sites experiencing all weather conditions throughout Canada.

 

Aesthetic Versatility

 

Available in neutral modern colors like Cultured Grey, Vogue Black, and Sandstone, Elan Tiles harmoniously blend into any indoor or outdoor design scheme. Their subtle tactile features and minimal color contrast guarantee code compliance as per AODA and CSA B651 standards. This allows Elan TWSI's to be incorporated tastefully across a wide range of commercial projects without sacrificing functionality or accessibility. Whether placing them at transit stations, office building entrances, or curb ramps - Elan Tiles empowers architects and designers to create safe yet visually appealing path-marking systems.

 

Indoor Applications

 

With their proven durability and aesthetic versatility, Elan Tiles have become the TWSI of choice for numerous indoor commercial projects across Canada:

  • Transit Hubs: Meticulously installed Elan truncated dome tiles guide thousands of passengers seamlessly across indoor platforms and walkways at major Canadian transit stations daily. Their low-maintenance porcelain stoneware construction withstands the rigorous footfall.

  • Retail Spaces: Leading shopping malls have opted for Elan TWSI to mark accessible routes between stores, food courts, and amenities. The tiles absorb heavy traffic while enhancing the modern interior decor.

  • Office Buildings: Many GTA office towers feature Elan directional bar systems near building entrances, lobbies, elevator banks, and staircases to assist pedestrians in emergency evacuations.

  • Convention Centers: Elan Tiles helps navigate safely large indoor crowds attending events at venues like Metro Toronto Convention Centre and Vancouver Convention Centre.

  • Universities: Educational institutions across Canada installed Elan TWSI's within campus buildings to comply with accessibility mandates and assist students.

 

Outdoor Applications

 

As one of the few porcelain stoneware tactile brands suitable for outdoor use, Elan Tiles are also a popular choice for numerous exterior sites in Canada:

  • Bus & Railway Stations: Their corrosion and weather resistance makes Elan TWSI's ideal for open-air platforms experiencing all climatic conditions.

  • Curb Ramps: Durable Elan tiles provide slip-free traction and warning cues along sidewalks connecting roads and parking lots across cities.

  • Parks & Public Spaces: Many civic corridors, promenades, and squares use Elan TWSI's near fountains, seating areas, and transition points.

  • Stadiums: Major sports venues opt for Elan tiles along exterior walkways, entrance stairs, and pickup/drop-off zones frequented by large crowds.

  • Theme Parks: For enhanced accessibility, entertainment destinations install Elan truncated domes and directional bars across their outdoor paths.

 

Simplified Installation & Maintenance

 

Setting Elan Tiles is as effortless as any regular floor or wall tile system. Contractors can mechanically fasten or adhesive bond the tiles as per project requirements - either as a surface-applied system or cast-in-place during new flooring installations. Elan TWSI's require negligible maintenance over time. Occasional sweeping/mopping suffices as their non-porous glazed surface resists stains, dirt accumulation and freeze-thaw damage. Additionally, protective sealants ensure sustained visibility of Elan tiles even under footfall exceeding 1.5 million cycles as per EN ISO 10545-7 guidelines.

 

Elan Tile Specifications

 

To summarize, here are the key specifications of Elan Tiles TWSI systems:

  • Material: Premium-grade porcelain stoneware

  • Slip-Resistance: R11 (highest rating) as per DIN 51130 & AS 4586 standards

  • Finish: Non-porous glazed surface

  • Colors: Cultured Grey, Vogue Black, Sandstone

  • Compliance: EN 14411 (porcelain stoneware) & accessibility codes

  • Usage: Interior & exterior paths, stairs & platforms

  • Maintenance: Minimal cleaning required

  • Warranty: 5-Year product warranty

 

The New Standard in TWSI's

 

With their uniquely durable yet elegant design suited for high-traffic indoor-outdoor applications, Elan Tiles has emerged as the new standard-bearers in the Canadian tactile solutions industry. Offering unparalleled slip-resistance, low maintenance, and accessibility compliance, Elan TWSIs ensure safe navigation for diverse populations. As a leading supply chain partner, Tactile Solution Canada is committed to providing innovative solutions like Elan Tiles that empower builders, designers, and site managers to prioritize inclusion across infrastructure projects in pan-Canada.

 

We hope this detailed blog explored the various advantages of opting for Elan Tiles as an attractive yet hard-wearing TWSI system for both indoor and outdoor use. Their unique porcelain stoneware construction combines slip safety, aesthetic versatility, and longevity. Feel free to get in touch with our tactile experts or request a quote to discuss the diverse Elan Tile options, meeting all your interior or exterior TWSI requirements with ease and certified code compliance.

Read More Read less

How to Ensure Stair Tread Safety in Condos and Apartment Buildings

24th May 2024

Safe indoor staircases give residents of condominiums and apartments peace of mind. Appropriate detectable solutions play a crucial role in achieving code-mandated stair safety while facilitating easy navigation.” - Tactile Solution Canada

 

With tens of thousands of people inhabiting multi-story condo and apartment structures across Canada’s urban landscape, ensuring stairwell safety remains a responsibility high on building managers’ priority list. Nevertheless, tackling this challenge demands adopting proactive, standardized measures as per the diverse codes and regulations enforced nationwide for accessibility compliance. By thoughtfully choosing appropriate detectable warning systems and stair nosing solutions, facilities achieve a secure environment benefitting residents of all abilities long-term.

 

In this detailed blog, we explore best practices and code-compliant options for condo and apartment stair tread safety upgrades critical in multi-residential buildings. The article aims to encourage property owners and managers to prioritize life-essential precautions through informative guidelines and hands-on solution selection assistance. Let us begin our discussion by first understanding that the key code requirements are mandatory indoors.

 

Understanding Code Requirements

 

Canada’s National Building Code and provincial building statutes outline strict stipulations that high-density residences must fulfill regarding stairways and common corridors. Some important provisions enlisted are:

  • Stair tread edges and landings must incorporate luminance demarcations visible in darkness per National Building Code Part 3 provisions.

  • Tactile Walking Surface Indicators and stair nosing in compliance with ISO 23599-1:2012 dimensions should be installed as per codes like A117.1 for detectable pathfinding.

  • Photoluminescent signage with Braille text is mandated at stair entry points as per NBC Emergency Lighting clauses to assist evacuation.

  • Materials used for luminance solutions should withstand rigorous durability testing and retain performance even after thorough cleaning cycles.

 

With resident safety the utmost priority, failing to adopt code-compliant solutions exposes building owners to hefty non-compliance fines or, worse, liability in preventing potential mishaps.

 

Evaluating Suitable Indoor Stair Tactile Options

 

When upgrading aging condo and apartment staircases, the following detectable solutions best address indoor codes and usage demands:

  1. Ecoglo Stair Edge Nosing: With a durable 15+ year lifespan, these surface-applied and cast-in-place nosing strips ably meet ISO 23599-1 profiles and integrated photoluminescence for navigation in darkness.

  2. ArmorTile Tactile: The industry’s most extensive cast detectable dome made from diamond-hard vitrified polymer composite deliver resilient visibility and conformance to NBC flooring stipulations at competitive rates.

  3. AccessTile FR Polymer Tiles: Engineered to eliminate future replacement through chemical and abrasion resistance, AccessTile plates simplify fire resistance, safety, and accessibility at lower costs compared to poured tiles.

  4. EON Rubber Tiles: Durable and flexible rubber-made detectable warnings adhesive-bond to stair tread edges of all substrate materials conveniently.

 

Proper Implementation & Inspection Practices

 

Correct installation as per included manuals by certified installers is pivotal for longevity and safety purposes:

  • Grind non-slip treads lightly and scrupulously clean the bonding area of any sealers, moisture, or debris.

  • Apply specified epoxy/acrylic adhesive zig-zag along the back in thin, even coats using applicable tools.

  • Affix nosings with consistent gaps and alignment respecting codes.

  • Allow sufficient curing time before use as per drying windows.

 

With regards to ongoing inspections:

  • Conduct detailed annual checks verifying secure bonding, luminance output, and general condition.

  • Maintain diligent records of all works undertaken for future compliance reviews.

  • Communicate policies for repairs of any deteriorated sections immediately.

 

Additional Considerations for Staircases

 

Besides mandatory code alignment, some vital factors also require examination for condominium and apartment applications:

  • Population Load Calculations: Available egress capacity must exceed the maximum potential building occupancy for emergency preparedness.

  • Materials Impact Resistance: Detectables should withstand impacts from daily use without breakage to uphold continuous tactile guidance longevity.

  • Cleaning Resilience: Solutions need cleaning chemical tolerance to facilitate routine maintenance and luminosity retention as per code standards.

  • Installation Disruption: Impacts on resident transit and waste disposal necessitate consideration to streamline changeover processes.

  • Inspection Cycles: Periodic checks and maintenance schedules uphold compliant accessibility for residents' safety long-term.

 

Continued Accessibility is a Shared Obligation

 

As building managers responsible for resident wellbeing and code compliance, certain best practices can foster a culture of care:

  • Train staff to be accessibility aware and politely assist any tenants upon request.

  • Educate owners and tenants with signs about designated paths of travel to limit floor obstructions.

  • Keep exits, landings, and paths free of any clutter, snow, ice, or moisture at all times.

  • Consult an accessibility auditor annually to proactively identify upgrades leveraging evolving standards.

 

With compassion and collective effort, multi-unit buildings can seamlessly uphold safe mobility for increasingly aging populations and those with disabilities. Our objective is to empower communities through principled stair accessibility regimes.

 

Selecting the Ideal Solution

 

When modernizing stair infrastructure, choosing a system combining code prowess with enduring, low-maintenance performance grants building administrators assurance in fulfilling resident safety obligations sustainably over the coming decades. Our meticulously engineered, rigorously tested Ecoglo, AccessTile, Advantage Tile, Elan, Eon, and ArmorTile solutions exemplify this philosophy. Their internationally renowned photoluminosity, dependability, and affordable pricing inspire complete confidence for condominium and apartment upgrades. Contact us to transform indoor accessibility.

 

Summing It Up

 

Accessibility should cease being an afterthought and instead, factor centrally into multi-residential infrastructure planning and management protocols right from initial conceptualization. Code-driven, scientifically-backed stair safety solutions, and regular inspections constitute the minimum bar to clear.

 

Prioritizing stairwell safety upgrades through strategic, compliant, detectable solutions provides multi-residential facilities invaluable returns on investment. Not only do property managers achieve mandatory code adherence, residents of all abilities confidently access common areas independently. By thoughtfully analyzing staircase usage demands and selecting solutions that meet codes yet are tailored for each project scope by a reputed supplier, building administrators ensure residents' wellbeing for years to come. We hope these insights help fortify stair navigation independence and emergency preparedness in the long term.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Here are answers to some commonly asked queries regarding stair safety upgrades:

 

Q. What type of tactiles provide the most accessibility benefits for residents?

Guidance and attention combo patterns deliver safe navigation assistance as per CNIB best practices.

 

Q. How often should tactiles be replaced preventively?

Every 10-15 years on average, depending on material and installation location as per maintenance plans.

 

Q. Can self-luminous tape replace tiles for overlay jobs?

While affordable, the tape may not meet longevity requirements on indoor stairs subjected to heavy usage and abrasion. The best advice is to use stair-edge nosing in concordance with stair tactile.

 

Q. How is Ecoglo stair nosing installed on balcony edges?

By carefully scouring the substrate for adhesion and fastening with approved anchors suitable for edge material as per manufacturer specifications.

Read More Read less

Replaceable Cast in Place Tactile Tiles: Everything You Need to Know in 2024

17th May 2024

"Accessibility should be at the core of all design - not an afterthought."

 

As the new year dawns, facilities managers, contractors, and urban designers face mounting pressures to futureproof built spaces for generations ahead. Accessibility anchors this vision through inclusive infrastructure, empowering all individuals, regardless of ability, to participate fully in civic life. Meanwhile, stewarding public dollars responsibly demands optimized asset longevity through design foresight and upkeep simplicity.

 

Here, we explore how replaceable cast-in-place tactile tiles answer these imperatives, outlining their benefits, applications, and projected impact on the accessibility landscape in 2024 and beyond. Delving into technical capabilities and recommended best practices, this comprehensive guide equips readers to seamlessly incorporate this innovation into new construction and renovations while upholding safety, compliance, and cost-effectiveness goals.

 

Reimagining Tactile Tile Architecture

 

Since its inception, tactile tiles alerting visually impaired pedestrians to hazardous edges have evolved steadily. However, drawbacks like fragility, irregular spacing from styles, and installation/refixing disruptions hindered continuity. Meanwhile, permanent cast-in-place variants complicated targeted repairs.

 

Today, replaceable cast-in-place tiles resolve these issues through a game-changing design allowing modular sections interfacing identically with surrounding concrete for an imperceptible seamless walking surface. Their removable, reusable quality facilitates selective replacement alone as needed without disturbing intact areas, minimizing interference and costs.

 

When set in wet concrete during initial pouring according to code-compliant layouts, replaceable tiles integrate endlessly for optimum durability, slip resistance, and legal defensibility. Yet, each segment detaches easily for repair, refurbishment, or model upgrades according to evolving regulations without compromising earlier installed tiles. This breakthrough regenerates infrastructure to serve expanding populations accessibly for generations.

 

Applications and Code Compliance

 

Compliant replaceable tactile tiles find applications wherever accessible routes guide individuals daily:

 

  • Curb ramps and pedestrian crossings

  • Rail platforms and boarding areas

  • Transit centers and interchanges

  • Office and institutional concourses

  • Shopping malls and pedestrian retail

  • University quads and educational zones

  • Performance venues and assembly areas

  • Parks and cultural trail networks

 

Designed to outperform both surface-applied and permanent cast tile predecessors, replacements meet rigorous ASTM, CSA, and NBC testing standards for:

 

  • Slip-resistance (ASTM C1028, D2047)

  • Compressive strength (ASTM C109, C39)

  • Freeze-thaw resilience (ASTM C666)

  • Stain resistance (ASTM D523, C1353)

  • Flame spread (ASTM E84, CAN/ULC S102)

  • UV degradation (ASTM G155)

 

Resilience withstands climate extremes while retaining detectable ribs for safe mobility even in harsh conditions, ensuring unhindered accessibility and compliance through unpredictable Canadian seasons.

 

Benefits of Replaceable Cast-In-Place Tactile Tiles

 

1. Modular Replaceability

 

Individual tile removal/replacement simplifies repairs, avoids entire resurfacing, and prolongs asset lifespans cost-effectively through targeted refurbishment.

 

2. Easily Upgradable

 

Removable segments facilitate seamless code-driven improvements without disturbing intact areas as standards evolve, futureproofing routes sustainably.

 

3. Uniform Spacing

 

Configured segments interface identically with surrounding poured concrete for smooth, seamless, detectable walking surfaces meeting dimensional compliance criteria. 

 

4. Imperceptible Repairs

 

Replacement segments blend indistinguishably with existing tiles and substrate, avoiding accessibility compromises from piecemeal repairs of older solutions.

 

5. Legal Defensibility

 

Surpassing testing requirements bolsters due diligence protection as updates harmonize routes proactively with advancing regulations.

 

6. Targeted Renewal

 

Isolating affected locations expedites select replacements, minimizing disruption from typical full resurfacing projects.

 

7. Simplified Repairs

 

Bolted segments uncouple for ergonomic repair versus jackhammer demolition of conventional cast tiles, reducing labor.

 

8. Aesthetic Versatility

 

Replacement segments come in designer tones to blend into infrastructure décor while fulfilling visibility/contrast demands.

 

9. Energy Efficiency

 

Through responsible stewardship, the embodied energy offset from modular repairs versus full replacements fosters sustainability goals.

 

Optimizing Installation and Maintenance

 

Commitment to protocol underpins the inherent advantages of replaceable tiles. These guidelines establish compliant integration and upkeep:

 

  • Substrate Preparation

  • Clean, abrade for adhesion as needed, and allow curing as specified by the manufacturer

  • Installation

  • Embed segments securely according to approved layouts, fastening bolts fully

  • Maintenance

  • Regular cleaning restores texture definition and quarterly inspections identify damage

  • Replacement

  • Extract bolts, extract/reinsert adjoining tiles, re-embed segment neatly

  • Code Monitoring

  • Factor regulatory updates into management plans through proactive pilot replacements

  • Recordkeeping

  • Document actions, dates for auditing, plus potential warranty/litigation needs

 

Embracing this modular innovation supports visionary urban infrastructure through design versatility, compliant routes empowering all, and optimized resource stewardship, serving communities sustainably for generations ahead. Our technical experts assist with specialized applications - speak to us for comprehensive project recommendations.

 

Installing Replaceable Cast in Place Tactile Tiles

 

Proper installation is critical to deriving long-term performance from replaceable cast-in-place detectable warning tiles. Recommended procedures usually involve:

 

  • Surface Preparation: Ensure substrate is clean, dry, free of contaminants before pouring. Make sure forms are properly set.

  • Anchoring System: Some systems are embedded before pouring, while others use injection after setting. Follow manufacturer instructions carefully.

  • Tile Placement: Use guidelines to maintain consistent dome spacing and field layout as concrete is poured. Brace until set.

  • Finishing: Smooth and level concrete to substrate grade after pour. Cure properly before allowing foot traffic.

  • Sealing: Apply clear sealant to protect the tile and coating. Reapply periodically for exterior or heavy-use areas.

  • Inspection: Ensure domes are uniformly installed before project acceptance. Address any irregularities immediately.

 

Proper installation results in a long-lasting, fully compliant, detectable warning surface. Seek manufacturer expertise for complex custom layouts.

 

Maintenance of Replaceable Cast In Place Tiles

 

Periodic maintenance keeps replaceable cast-in-place tiles performing as intended over their lifetime. Recommended procedures include:

 

  • Sweep regularly to prevent dirt/debris buildup that may impact slip resistance

  • Use water/mild cleaner and soft brush to remove stains, debris

  • Inspect annually for wear and damage. Replace single tiles as needed

  • Reapply sealant every 3-5 years for exterior/heavy-use areas

  • Record maintenance for warranty purposes

  • Follow manufacturer guidelines for replacing tiles or the entire field

  • Train cleaning staff on proper techniques

 

By adhering to basic cleaning and regular inspections, the upfront investment can be protected and tiles will serve accessibility needs for many years. This minimizes future replacement costs.

 

Additional Considerations for 2024 and Beyond

 

Anticipating continuing population growth and urban densification trends, the industry foresees rising deployments of replaceable cast-in-place tiles in the medium term:

 

Mass Transit Hubs

Optimizing passenger flow safely through high-traffic concourses and platforms

 

Mixed Use Developments

Harmonizing accessibility within diverse programs seamlessly through modularity

 

Adaptive Reuse Projects

Futureproofing embodied carbon of retrofitted structures through renewability

 

Green Infrastructure

Leveraging reusability for reduced material consumption aligning with sustainability priorities

 

Tall Building Evacuations

Bolstering egress preparedness through proactive code-driven nosing/signage refreshes

 

Dementia Friendly Spaces

Clarifying wayfinding intuitively for cognitive impairment through high-contrast detectable tiles

 

Virtual/Augmented Route finding

Integrating tactile segments seamlessly with multisensory technologies for independent mobility

 

As climate resilience, inclusive design, and optimized investments anchor community building, replaceable cast-in-place tactiles prove instrumental in shaping thriving, resilient, and welcoming public realms for all.

 

The Wrap

 

As codes and standards continue evolving to improve safety and independence for persons with disabilities, the use of compliant detectable warning tactile products like replaceable cast in place tiles will remain essential. Their combination of durability, accessibility, code compliance, replacement flexibility, and overall value make them an ideal solution for most construction projects across Canada.

 

Contractors can be confident they are providing fully accessible, long-lasting spaces when opting for high-quality manufacturers and strict adherence to best practices for installation and maintenance. Let Tactile Solution Canada be your trusted resource for the right replaceable, detectable warning tile system for your next project.

Read More Read less

A Comprehensive Guide on Wayfinding Tactile for Visually Impaired

17th May 2024

"Safety and independence go hand in hand for people with vision loss. Thoughtfully designed wayfinding tactiles foster confidence, dignity, and autonomy for the blind or partially sighted community to navigate public spaces freely." - Thomas Schwartz

 

In today's world, where accessibility and inclusion have become fundamental human rights, providing adequate wayfinding assistance to the visually impaired community is of the utmost importance. As Canada moves closer to realizing its vision of becoming a fully inclusive society by 2040, installing code-compliant tactile wayfinding systems assumes greater significance with each passing year.

 

This comprehensive guide aims to be your one-stop resource on tactile wayfinding indicators. We will explore the need, codes, applications, design best practices, products available, and more to help you choose and implement the optimal solution for your indoor or outdoor navigation needs. Let's get started!

 

Understanding the Need

 

Canada is home to over 1.8 million people with some form of vision loss. For those who are blind or have low vision, navigating unfamiliar public spaces independently poses immense challenges. The lack of accessible wayfinding severely limits their mobility and independence.

 

Thoughtfully designed tactile indicators provide reliable navigational cues that allow visually impaired individuals to orient within buildings and outdoors confidently using their long white canes or remaining sense of touch. By tracing guidance paths between key decision points, they can reach their desired destinations efficiently and autonomously.

 

Key Accessibility Codes

 

When designing or upgrading wayfinding systems, it is imperative to adhere to established accessibility standards and regulations. The primary codes governing tactile installations in Canada include:

 

  • Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) - Mandates accessibility standards for customer service, information and communications, employment, transportation, and built environment.

  • National Building Code of Canada (NBC) - Specifies technical requirements related to building safety including provisions for accessibility features.

  • CSA B651-18 - Accessible Design for the Built Environment standard. Provides technical specifications for detectable warning surfaces and directional surfaces.

  • Ontario Building Code (OBC) - Accessibility requirements as per the AODA are incorporated into the Ontario building code.

 

Ensuring solutions meet the above compulsory standards is crucial for compliance and safety purposes. Our experts can advise on nuanced code specifications during design phases.

 

Optimal Applications

 

Tactile wayfinding indicators have diverse indoor and outdoor applications where orientation assistance is needed. Some of the top use cases include:

 

  • Transit stations, terminals and platforms

  • Shopping malls, plazas and concourses

  • University and college campuses

  • Museums, libraries, cultural centers

  • Hospitals, medical centers

  • Office towers and lobbies

  • Airports, train stations

  • Sidewalks, crosswalks, intersections

  • Parks, trails, recreational areas

  • Government buildings

  • Convention centers, arenas

 

Proactively incorporating guidance paths elevates these public and institutional facilities to the highest levels of inclusivity and accessibility for all.

 

Design Best Practices

 

For maximum usability, wayfinding systems must be logically planned, adhering to recognized accessibility standards and specifications. Some key success factors include:

 

Guidance Path Layout

 

  • Minimum 610mm wide cleared paths between decision points.

  • Clear directional arrows integrated at turns.

  • Ensure paths correlate with building layout for intuitiveness.

  • Distinct textures differentiate egress paths.

 

Material Selection

 

  • Hard-wearing for heavy outdoor use (porcelain, metal etc).

  • Appropriate for indoor/outdoor conditions and code-compliant.

  • Contrasting color from the surrounding surface.

  • Slip-resistant, durably bonded, and maintains luster.

 

Placement

 

  • Integrate at the start of guidance runs and decision points.

  • Align with the centerline of cleared paths of travel.

  • Continue full width through intersections or turns.

 

Testing

 

  • Conduct user testing of mock-ups to refine the design.

  • Ensure flow aligns with pedestrian traffic patterns.

 

Our experienced team can review your designs, conduct inspections, and provide recommendations to optimize accessibility.

 

Tactile Wayfinding Products

 

Once the design phase is complete, it's time to choose the right products. Here are some of the leading code-compliant options available:

 

1. AccessTile

 

A premium polymer tile system with unique replaceable precut modular features for easy future upgrades. Engineered for longevity with complex geometric patterns for clarity. Ideal for high-traffic indoor and outdoor applications.

 

2. Advantage Systems

 

Features stainless steel, porcelain and other metal tiles in multiple pattern options. Highly durable for demanding outdoor use like plazas or heavy-footfall areas. Blends seamlessly into both modern and classic aesthetics.

 

3. EonTile

 

Made from durable rubber polymers, this flexible tile system conforms to any surface for a seamless finish. Chemical resistant for indoor solutions requiring cleanability like medical or commercial use.

 

4. ElanTile

 

A state-of-the-art porcelain tile boasts superior technical specifications. A sleek aesthetic lends to uniform indoor or facade applications while providing uncompromised performance.

 

5. Ecoglo

 

Photoluminescent strips, stair nosings, and directional markers visible in the darkness. Non-slip and maintenance-free for continuous guidance along egress routes during emergencies. Ideal complement to primary systems.

 

We stock all leading brands and can facilitate product draws, specification sheets, and samples to evaluate options best suited to your unique project needs and budget.

 

Implementation Considerations

 

To ensure longevity and code compliance of the installed system, certain implementation best practices must be followed:

  • Surface Preparation

Thoroughly clean and prepare the mounting surface per manufacturer instructions. For outdoor applications, self-leveling polymers can even be used for bonding.

  • Installation

Use preset layout templates and specialized tools. Follow the supplied instructions precisely, paying attention to alignment and spacing. Allow adequate time for adhesives to fully cure.

  • Inspections

Conduct regular periodic checks as per the code cycle. Maintain aesthetic quality, and repair damages on priority for safety. Replace deteriorated tactiles immediately as they become due for upgrades.

  • Testing

Re-evaluate system performance involving users with vision impairments after installation or major repairs. Refine as required based on feedback.

  • Record Keeping

Document all project details, dates, inspectors name for audits and long-term maintenance planning. Update drawings as modifications occur.

 

Way Forward!

 

Canada envisions a barrier-free society where no one faces accessibility-related obstacles in their daily lives. As key stakeholders in this mission, we must prioritize inclusive design best practices right from the conceptualization stage of public and private infrastructure.

 

Proactively incorporating thoughtfully designed tactile wayfinding aids future proofs structures to accommodate diverse navigation needs from the very beginning. It fosters autonomy, dignity and participation for all members of the community including those with vision loss or disabilities.

 

So, the next time you embark on planning architectural upgrades or new builds, ensure tactile systems factor centrally into your accessibility protocol. Our experts are always available to guide you throughout the process to deliver optimally navigable results. Let's move together towards an accessible future for every Canadian.

 

We hope you found this comprehensive guide helpful in understanding the what, why and how of tackling wayfinding challenges through tactical solutions. Please feel free to contact us for any other accessibility related queries.

Read More Read less

Why Photoluminescent Stair Nosing is Paramount for Indoor Facilities

10th May 2024

"In darkness, one's sense of sight fails, yet touch endures. Photoluminescent stair nosings empower continued safe movement through this relied upon sense." - Tactile Solution Canada

 

Indoor spaces such as office towers, hospitals, schools, arenas, stadiums, and malls experience regular power interruptions due to grid failures, planned maintenance shutdowns, or unexpected electrical glitches. In such low or no light conditions, traditional non-illuminated features become invisible hazards. Stairs, being one of the most essential circulation components, demand reliable visibility solutions to uphold the life safety of all individuals, including those with disabilities.

 

In this blog, we delve into why photoluminescent stair nosings have become an imperative code-mandated fixture for indoor facilities across Canada. We explore evacuation best practices and nosing installation guidelines to illuminate continued protected egress. The article also features technical details and benefits of Ecoglo - our premium range of glow-in-the-dark stair nosings trusted for dependable emergency preparedness.

 

Understanding the Importance of Code Compliance

 

Indoor facility design is guided by comprehensive construction codes issued nationally through the National Building Code of Canada (NBC) and provincially through regional statutes. With regards to stairwell evacuation, some stringent guidelines mandated are:

  • Stair tread edges of all interior stairs must be marked permanently by luminous elements visible in total darkness for a minimum of 60 minutes after power failure as per NBC 3.4.5.1.

  • Markings should extend the full length of the step edged in a non-slippery uniform manner not less than 50mm wide for safety and visibility.

  • Materials used must retain luminance even after multiple usages and cleaning without fading below a minimum 80 lux intensity at 1m viewing distance as established through rigorous testing.

  • Installation is as per manufacturer instructions to secure long-term bonding and prevent debonding from usage stresses.

 

Failing to incorporate a code-compliant solution exposes responsible parties to heavy pecuniary penalties or legal ramifications in the case of stair accidents during emergencies.

 

Benefits of Photoluminescent Stair Nosings

 

In darkness caused by power outages, egress routes illuminated by glow-in-the-dark stair nosings facilitate evacuations through several advantages:

  • Safe Navigation: Continuous tactile markings along full tread edges provide crucial guidance through stairs.

  • No Auxiliary Power: Photoluminescence leverages ambient lighting to charge pigments, rendering nosings self-illuminating sans electricity overhead.

  • Superior Visibility: Uniform glow-along-nosing prevents confusion over gaps that may have uncertain stair configurations.

  • Compliant Longevity: Ceramic reinforced nosings last 10-15 years through rigorous durability while fulfilling regulatory illumination requirements.

  • Energy Independence: Not relying on active lighting permits major energy savings by shutting off main luminaires during emergencies.

  • Exceeds Codes: Products like Ecoglo nosings surpass the minimum 80 lux luminance, maintaining over 150 lux for over hours post charging.

 

Thus, photoluminescent stair nosings ably facilitate building evacuations in total darkness through touch alone, guaranteeing all individuals , including mobility impaired groups, safely exit harm's way.

 

Prioritizing Life Safety

 

Beyond mandatory regulations, responsible entities must ensure ongoing life safety through prudent operational protocols:

  • Regular Inspections: Monthly inspections verify luminosity and bonding integrity, addressing issues immediately.

  • Proactive Maintenance: Quarterly deep cleaning safely restores pigment energy storage and luminance output.

  • Compliance Training: Annual staff orientation reinforces safe egress procedures leveraging nosing guidance.

  • Code updates: Monitor building code amendments and upgrade installations accordingly on periodic review.

  • Recordkeeping: Maintain replacement and testing records for auditing facilities upon code inspections.

  • Drills: Conduct unannounced evacuation drills biannually to comprehensively assess total egress effectiveness.

 

Integrating these best practices alongside photoluminescent stair nosings equips indoor spaces for optimal emergency preparedness and a safe, compliant built environment catering to diverse communities.

 

Why Consider Ecoglo Stair Nosings?

 

Ecoglo stair edge nosings from Tactile Solution Canada rank among the most rigorously tested and code-compliant options available. Here's a snapshot of the advantages:

  • Utmost Durability: Corrosion/abrasion-proof aluminum securely bonds to provide unmatched 15+ years of longevity, outlasting economy brands.

  • Surpasses Regulations: Independent lab certifications validate glow intensity exceeding NBC standards by a wide margin, delivering luminosity for hours post-charging during normal lux charging.

  • Weather Resistance: Impervious to Canadian storms and sub-zero temperatures for trouble-free indoor or sheltered outdoor applications.

  • Uniform Radiance: Textured non-slip surfaces combined with molecularly bonded pigments distribute glow evenly without dim spots for clear step delineation.

  • Multiple Fastening Options: Screw or glue variants give flexibility for substrate compatibility, be it concrete, wood, or sheet steel.

  • Sleek Aesthetics: Neat edge profiles accentuate stair infrastructure, enhancing the décor appeal of any facility.

 

When lives are at stake, investing in brand-proven solutions yields unmatched peace of mind. For the highest standards in stair safety at affordable rates, Ecoglo Nosings aptly serves facilities of all scales.

 

Proper Installation: A Complete Guide

 

While a simple glue down or screw fastening process, correctly installing Ecoglo stair nosings governs long-lasting performance. Recommended procedures include:

  • Cleaning the substrate rigorously to remove any grime, moisture, or sealers that may inhibit bonding.

  • Scuffing glossy, non-porous surfaces like tile or sealed concrete lightly with 80-grit sandpaper for a better adhesion profile.

  • Quality epoxy/urethane adhesive is applied in a thin zig-zag pattern along the back of the nosing, keeping edges bare for fastening.

  • Positioning nosing straight and flush against the stair edge, then tapping gently with a rubber mallet for full surface contact and bedding.

  • Fastening with appropriate anchor pins through pre-drilled holes at intervals for added strength on high-traffic stairs.

  • Curing fully as per the temperature-dependent time stated on the adhesive can, which may take from 12-24 hours.

  • Periodically inspect installations annually and replace units showing damage or detachment immediately via the same removal/refixing process.

 

Commitment to these protocols enables Ecoglo nosings and their substrates bond robustly to uphold evacuation functions sustainably indoors for years ahead.

 

Summing It Up

 

In summary, Ecoglo stair nosings represent a proven indispensable component indoors. Their scientific self-illumination, backed by stringent testing and compliant installation, bestows uninterrupted egress functionality even during the darkest scenarios for ultimate evacuation preparedness and occupant protection indoors. Contact Tactile Solution Canada as your go-to partner for stair nosing and other code-compliant tactile solutions according to your facility's needs.

Read More Read less

Best Practices for The Application and Removal of Surface Applied Tactile Tiles

10th May 2024

"Proper preparation and maintenance are important pillars for compliant tactile solutions to serve communities smoothly for years ahead." - Tactile Solution Canada

 

Surface-applied tactile tiles are a popular choice for renovating existing structures to bring them up to accessibility standards in a cost-effective manner. Whether for wayfinding or hazard warning purposes, their quick installation process has made them a facilities manager's favorite. However, what truly decides their multi-year functionality is upholding best practices right from substrate preparation to periodic upkeep.

 

In this insightful blog post, we will discuss guidelines endorsed by various codes and standards bodies regarding compliant application and judicious removal of peel-and-stick or adhesive-fixed tactile tiles. By understanding these principles, contractors and property managers can extend product lifespans while fulfilling mandatory safety and compliance objectives throughout usage cycles. So, let's delve deeper!

 

Substrate Preparation: Foundation for Long-lasting Bond

 

Correct preparation of the existing surface forms the critical foundation for peel-and-stick tactiles to remain robustly adhered over time. As per industry recommendations:

  • Inspect for cracks, bulges, or friability and repair imperfections using appropriate filler or leveler.

  • Sweep and vacuum to remove all loose debris, dirt, and contaminants that may interfere with bonding.

  • For outdoor applications prone to moisture, conduct additional cleaning with a suitable degreasing solvent to strip any residues.

  • Lightly scuff non-porous substrates like tile and polished concrete using 80-grit sandpaper for better adhesion profile.

  • Priming may be necessary for non-porous, dense materials as per manufacturer specifications.

  • Allow the surface to completely dry before proceeding with tactile installation, as dampness hinders bond formation.

 

These preparatory steps play a key role in ensuring adhesive-mounted tactiles remain optimally secured long-term through weather variations and heavy traffic loads. Permanent solutions demand long-lasting bonding for continued accessibility.

 

Proper Surface Applied Tactile Installation

 

Once substrates attain adequate preparation, place tactiles as outlined:

  • Use site plans/drawings for standardized dome/bar spacing that is compliant with applicable codes.

  • Use manufacturer-recommended adhesive for a more durable bond.

  • Remove the release liner and position the tactile unit. Consider tile curvature for corners.

  • Ensure adhesive full-surface contact, applying gentle pressure from the center outwards.

  • Periodically recheck alignment and bond during adhesive cure time. Adjust as needed.

  • Consider joints between tactile tiles to be imperceptible for a uniform walking surface.

  • Seal exposed edges of any filler used beneath tiles to avoid dirt entrapment.

  • Restrict traffic until adhesive fully establishes bond strength, usually within 24 hours as per type.

 

By following these protocols, contractors fulfill essential accessibility safety functions while warranting tile installations last through intended use cycles. The proper initial application forms the base for a tactile system's longevity.

 

Periodic Maintenance Extends Surface Tile Longevity

 

Regular maintenance cannot be over emphasized for peel-and-stick tiles to serve communities dependably over time. Suggested best practices are:

  • Inspect substrates and tactiles annually or as conditions dictate for any debonding, wearing, or damage.

  • Address issues immediately to prevent accessibility and safety compromises. Replace impaired tactiles.

  • Clean with non-abrasive detergent to remove algae, grime, and pollutant buildup obscuring dome clarity.

  • Scrubbing may be prudent for stubborn deposits without harming tile finishes as per manufacturer guidelines.

  • Seal cracks and holes in adjacent surfaces to prevent water infiltration underneath tactiles.

  • Record all refurbishment activities diligently for eventual compliance auditing and due diligence.

 

Consistent upkeep shields tactile polymers or rubber compounds from premature weathering, sustaining their distinctive textures for longevity. Compliant maintenance sustains inclusive built environments long-term.

 

Best Practices for Surface Applied Tactile Removal & Replacement

 

While peel-and-stick tiles simplify installation, their judicious removal and replacement require equal diligence to avoid substrate damage compromising new bonding:

  • Heat tiles minimally using a hot air gun to soften the underlying adhesive before attempting to peel it off.

  • Scrape away residual glue patiently using plastic spatulas or solvent-safe glue removers without harming the substrate itself.

  • Sand substrates sparingly only if needed to level uneven adhesive remnants, being cautious of polished finishes.

  • Clean and prepare tile bonding surfaces as per original/new product specifications before reapplication.

  • Replace tiles expeditiously to avoid leaving hazardous voids or trip points in essential walking routes.

  • Properly discard old tiles as per environmental compliance and install new tiles matching adjacent layout, spacing, and alignment.

 

Conforming to these best removal practices enables the reuse of bonding surfaces for seamless integration of replacement tactiles as accessibility components near usage end-of-life.

 

Keeping Pace with Evolving Regulations

 

As codes progress and new research shapes product standards, some additional recommendations are also prudent:

  • Monitor accessibility guidelines issued by provincial or municipal bodies for any coverage/location revisions.

  • Upgrade tactile installations promptly to reinforce inclusive safety wherever regulations expand the scope.

  • Consider switching to harsh-climate optimized options for outdoor receptacles to severe weather if the original tiles show early wear.

  • Plan refreshes incorporating modernized tactile patterns, configurations, or materials have proven highly effective through recent clinical findings.

  • Maintain purchase and installation records for reporting to authorities upon compliance evaluation requests.

 

Staying abreast of evolving regulations through resources like webinars and industry periodicals helps building managers update tactile solutions proactively, ensuring infrastructure accessibility keeps pace with community needs.

 

In Conclusion

 

Surface-applied tactiles have transformed accessibility retrofits with their simplicity and affordability. However, their design lifespans hinge on adhering to best practices shared in this article. From substrate preparation to removal and periodic upkeep protocols endorsed by codes, the following guidance ensures these vital safety components sustain protected spaces dependably as intended for years to come. Committing to excellence in application and maintenance empowers property owners and contractors to steward inclusive facilities responsibly well into the future. Our team of technical experts remains on standby to assist with any phase of your tactile projects.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Q: What is the expected lifespan of surface-applied tactile tiles?

A: High-quality peel-and-stick tactiles certified to rigorous standards can last 10-15 years with proper care and regular maintenance. Budget options may only survive 5 years on average depending on site conditions and traffic loads. Promptly replacing failing units helps extend the system's overall lifespan.

 

Q: Are there any preparations needed before installing tactile tiles outdoors?

A: For outdoor use, ensure surfaces are clean, dry, and free of all contaminants before tactile application. Additionally, prime non-porous substrates as directed. Opt for weather-resistant tile types rated for UV exposure, de-icing salts, moisture, and temperature fluctuations in external environments.

 

Q: Can older adhesive residues on substrates be reused for new tile bonding?

A: No, completely remove adhesive leftovers from previous tactile installations. Even traces prevent achieving optimum bond strength between new tiles and reconditioned surfaces, compromising longevity. Thoroughly preparing the base is critical for lasting performance.

 

Q: How often should tactile tiles be inspected for maintenance?

A: Tactiles in heavy traffic areas must be inspected at minimum every 6 months and low traffic locations annually. More frequent checks may be necessary depending on site conditions, especially outdoors. Problems like degradation, debonding or loss of dome clarity compromise accessibility and compliance if not addressed immediately.

 

Q: What are some signs indicating tiles need replacement?

A: Look out for cracking, debonding, worn or faded domes/bars which have lost tactile definition over time. Tiles showing these failure signs can no longer fulfill their essential function and must be replaced to uphold accessibility standards and safety expectations.

Read More Read less

Surface Applied Vs Cast-in-place Tactile: What are the Key Differences

3rd May 2024

As accessibility regulations evolve to prioritize universal design for everyone, tactile walking surface indicators (TWSI) play an indispensable role in promoting safe, independent mobility. When upgrading infrastructure to meet standards, contractors often grapple with selecting the ideal tactile tile installation method. However, surface applied versus cast-in-place systems offer distinct benefits that should guide such critical choices.

 

As the leading supplier of tactile warning domes and guidance bars in Canada, we're frequently asked about the differences between surface-applied and cast-in-place tactile installation methods. In this detailed blog, we'll break down the key differences to help contractors, landscapers, architects, and building managers make the right choice for their unique project needs.

 

What are Tactile Surfaces?

 

Before comparing the two installation methods, let's briefly explain what tactile surfaces are and why they are essential accessibility features mandated by codes across Canada.

 

Tactile surfaces feature textured domes, bars, or other patterns that can be detected underfoot or with a cane. They serve two crucial purposes - as warning indicators to alert pedestrians of upcoming trip hazards like stairs or drop-offs and as directional cues to safely guide users along designated pathways.

 

The need for detectable surfaces dates back to post-war efforts facilitating veterans' integration. Since then, breakthroughs like Miyake's 1965 tactile textured blocks have revolutionized accessibility globally. Today, organizations like CSA and ISO harmonize international compliance criteria, guiding code-compliant material selections and installation best practices that match unique infrastructure demands.

 

As per accessibility regulations like the Accessible Canada Act and Ontario's Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, tactile surfaces are required in outdoor paths of travel and certain indoor areas to enhance safe mobility for Canadians with vision loss or other disabilities.

 

Cast-in-Place Tactiles

 

Cast-in-place tactile installation involves embedding the tactile tiles directly into wet concrete during new construction. Some key aspects:

 

  • New Construction: Ideal for projects where fresh concrete is being poured, like sidewalks, parking lots, plazas, etc. Seamlessly integrates tactile.

  • Permanence: Concrete cures and hardens firmly anchoring tactile, withstanding even heavy loads and machinery.

  • Durability: Properly installed, can last 15+ years without replacement, and is perfect for high-traffic areas.

  • Aesthetics: Tactile blend flush into the walking surface for a seamless appearance.

  • Materials: Durable metals, porcelain, and polymers designed for concrete embedding.

 

While more labor-intensive than surface applied, cast-in-place ensures code compliance and accessibility for decades when done right. It's overwhelmingly the preferred method for outdoor paths, transit platforms, and other locations experiencing relentless footfall.

 

Surface Applied Tactiles

 

As an alternative to cast-in-place, surface applied tactiles are bonded onto existing hard surfaces like concrete, asphalt or pavers using adhesives and mechanical fasteners.

  • Retrofitting: Enables upgrading paths/buildings without demolition, ideal for indoor/low-traffic areas.

  • Speed: Can be installed in hours versus days for cast-in-place during fresh concrete curing.

  • Cost: More affordable solution than excavating/pouring new concrete.

  • Replaceability: Individual tiles can be removed/replaced as needed over time.

  • Versatility: Can be used on almost any stable substrate material indoors/out.

  • Materials: Durable polymers, rubber, and metals designed for adhesive/screw bonding.

 

While less permanent, surface applied tactiles provide a cost-effective solution to achieve compliance through retrofitting or for temporary applications. Proper adhesive selection and installation is critical.

 

Durability Comparison

 

One major differentiator is durability - how long tactiles will withstand environmental factors and high foot traffic before needing replacement.

 

Cast-in-Place:

When installed to specifications, it can easily last 10-15+ years without issues, even withstanding extreme loads in the busiest areas. Concrete protects tiles.

 

Surface Applied:

Bond strength depends on substrate, adhesive and workmanship quality. In ideal conditions may last 15-20 years, but high traffic can cause premature failure if not commercial grade. Periodic inspections needed. Surface exposure leaves tiles vulnerable.

 

For locations with heavy usage patterns, cast-in-place is overwhelmingly recommended for its proven longevity and ability to maintain accessibility compliance. But surface applied is sufficient for low-traffic entrances and less demanding applications.

 

Cost Comparison

Let's look at the cost factors contractors should consider for each option:

 

Cast-in-Place:

  • Excavation/disposal of existing surface

  • Formwork/bracket installation

  • Fresh concrete material and labor costs

  • Longer project timelines

 

Surface Applied:

  • Lower material costs for tactile

  • Minimal surface prep is needed

  • Quick installation vs cast-in-place

  • Potential future replacement costs

 

While the up-front budget tends to be higher for cast-in-place tactile, the long-term accessibility is ensured for decades without further expenses. Surface applied tactile have a lower initial sticker price but periodic replacement must be anticipated over the years. Overall lifetime costs generally balance out between the methods.

 

Standards Compliance

 

Both installation types can comply with accessibility legislation when engineered, installed, and maintained appropriately according to manufacturer specifications and industry best practices. Some key points:

 

  • Tactile must be spaced and sized as per provincial/national codes for visual/tactile detectability

  • Dome height must meet ISO 23599 2021 minimum standard of 1.5mm

  • Clear dimensional tolerances reduction wear/consistency

  • Adhesive/substrate bond strength tested to withstand weathering

  • Installers certified by manufacturers for warranty validity

 

With the right products selected and quality workmanship, either method enables compliance. However, cast-in-place eliminates human error and settles concerns for consistent long-term conformance regardless of future maintenance quality.

 

Ideal Applications

To summarize the most suitable placements for each installation type:

 

Cast-in-Place Tactile:

  • New construction sidewalks/ramps

  • Transit platforms and stations

  • Outdoor paths of major hospitals/campuses

  • High foot traffic bridges, concourses

  • Areas accessible by maintenance vehicles

 

Surface Applied Tactile:

  • Retrofitting/renovating existing surfaces

  • Temporary pathways or secondary routes

  • Low traffic residential entrances

  • Indoor areas away from carts/equipment

  • Elevator lobbies, corridors, washrooms

 

As the accessibility experts, we can advise on the optimal solution tailored to any unique site requirements and budget considerations.

 

Our Compliant Tactile Solutions

 

Here are some examples of solutions offered that are compliant with all Canadian codes:

 

Cast-in-Place:

 

Surface Applied:

 

We also offer photoluminescent signage, stair edge nosing and detectable directional bars for enhanced perceptibility. Browse our products or reach out to discuss your upcoming project needs.

 

Closing It Out

 

In closing, both surface applied and cast-in-place tactile installation methods have merits depending on the unique site factors. We carefully evaluate each project to recommend the long-term optimal compliant solution balancing functionality, aesthetics, and total costs. Upgrading accessibility is a team effort, and we're here to guide you every step of the way.

Partner with tactile industry professionals like Tactile Solution Canada to remain confident your solutions will satisfy codes now and for generations of pedestrians to come.

Read More Read less

Understanding the Increasing Needs of Fire Resistant Tactile in High-Rise Buildings

3rd May 2024

With urban populations concentrating in ever-taller buildings, ensuring life safety is paramount. As an industry expert, we believe this trend raises the stakes on empowering mobility for all citizens, regardless of ability, through strategically located tactile systems.

 

In this in-depth piece, we investigate fire codes driving the demand for intumescent tactile. We also explore solutions meeting these vital performance standards to help contractors and managers upgrade safety in high rise buildings smoothly and cost-effectively.

 

Fire Regulations for Tall Structures

 

Several codes govern fire protection in Canadian high-rises:

  • National Building Code (NBC) Part 3 stipulates retrofitting existing floors over 23m tall with detection, suppression, and compartmentalization measures.

  • Ontario's Building Code mandates addressing life safety on balconies over 6m high and containing fires within singular units.

  • National Fire Code Part 6 specifies self-luminous exit path markings for no-power egress guidance critical to persons with disabilities.

 

These protect occupants lacking mobility or with impairments hindering evacuation independently. Tactiles linked to fire alarm annunciation help navigate each floor safely.

 

Standards for Intumescent Materials

 

Key criteria dictate tactile performance in blazes:

  • UL 213 and ASTM E84 detail required flame spread/smoke development ratings of Class A or higher.

  • CAN/ULC-S109 sets temperature rise limits below 135°C for non-metallic flooring under fire conditions.

  • ANSI A117.1 mandates 0.6-1.3mm minimum dome heights post 25 fire tests for perceptibility.

 

To satisfy codes, tactile inserts must intumesce upon heat exposure, forming an insulating char and maintaining essential texture/contrast. Only compliant options ensure safe accessibility.

 

Evaluating Tactile System Options

 

When upgrading high-rises, consider intumescent qualities and other criteria:

 

1. Material Durability:

Chemical intumescence protects tiles long-term against deterioration or wear under canes/footfall.

 

2. Temperature Resistance:

Tiles must withstand 2750C for 30 minutes minimum per codes like CAN/ULC-S135.

 

3. Code Compliance:

Solutions must self-extinguish, preventing lateral flame spread as per codes using criteria like NRC 10738 Flooring Radiant Panel testing.

 

4. Cost-Effectiveness:

Lifecycle expense matters, especially for large downtown towers spanning millions of square feet.

 

5. Aesthetic Integration:

Textured char camouflaging is ideal for concealing tiles post-fire while still guiding evacuees tactilely.

 

Given these performance benchmarks, a few top intumescent tactile options suitable for high-rises include:

 

Future-Proof Your Buildings and Protect Lives with the Ultimate Fire-Resistant Tactile Solution

 

When it comes to building safety, nothing should be left to chance. As contractors responsible for people's well-being, you need to assure peace of mind that your flooring withstands any hazards.

 

Now, allow us to introduce Access Tile Fire Resistant Tactiles - cutting-edge tactile indicators that far surpass expectations. Backed by our proprietary FIRESENTRY-XTM composite, they certify the highest ULC fire standards.

 

Specially designed for interior applications over 7 floors as compulsory by the codes, Access Tile FR simplifies code compliance. And with features like:

  • Super tough FIRESENTRY-XTM construction for maximum lifespan

  • Easy installation in minutes without disruption

  • Meets all Canadian accessibility mandates

  • 5-year manufacturer's warranty

 

You get ultimate durability AND budget-friendliness. Imagine saving thousands normally spent on expensive replacements down the line.

Here are the basics:

 

  • Truly surface-applied for minimal prep on concrete

  • 6 sizes and 3 colors to customize any design

  • Beveled edges for a seamless appearance

  • Slip, wear and corrosion-resistant

 

Don't risk your reputation or client relationships. Access Tile FR safeguards occupants and minimizes your liability for decades.

 

Evacuating Tall Structures Safely

 

Several factors influence egress from high-rises:

  • NBC specifies a maximum 45-second travel time to exit on any typical floor based on occupancy loads and floor areas.

  • Codes provide guidance on corridor widths, exit sign locations, stairwell pressurization, and more to streamline evacuation flows.

  • Annunciated fire alarm pull stations are mandated in NBC3.2.4.19 for immediate mustering and route guidance via strobes.

  • Pathway markings must be visible even sans power as per NBC3.4.5.1 requirements to navigate stairs safely.

 

Given these tight evacuation parameters, reliably compliant intumescent tactiles play a pivotal life-safety role through:

  • Warning occupants of drop level changes along egress routes tactilely

  • Guiding able and disabled evacuees unerringly along the safest stairwells

  • Serving as a backup navigation system, should electrical exit signs fail due to a fire

 

Life Safety Benefits of Fire-Resistant Tactiles

 

Fire-resistant tactiles bring multiple advantages specifically important for tall structures compared to non-rated alternatives:

 

Robust Material Performance

 

Engineered polymer materials and metals like stainless steel offer more robust construction than blended rubbers or concrete based tactiles to maintain strength at elevated temperatures preventing dislodgement. This ensures durable evacuation path delineation during fiery emergencies.

 

No Falling Debris Hazards

 

Non-rated tiles may deteriorate rapidly under extreme heat, releasing debris that can cause slips or falling object injuries to evacuate people. Fire-resistive tactiles result in cleaner landings devoid of such risks, keeping floors obstacle-free.

 

Indistinguishable Tracking

 

Textures of top-grade fire-rated tactiles retain a detectable dynamic feel even when hot, allowing navigating evacuees to maintain orientation and grip without confusion through smoke-filled stairwells. Vision impairment warrants such seamless wayfinding continuity.

 

Adhesion Assurance

 

Rigorously tested adhesives with matching ratings ensure fire rated tactiles don't dislodge from floors and landings during a blaze retaining evacuation path delineation for longest possible safe tenures.

 

Emergency Wayfinding

 

In smoky conditions when vision may fail but touch perseveres, fireproof tactiles mark accessible pathways in concordance with photoluminescent stair nosing and exit signs empowering independent evacuation journeys for people with disabilities, including reduced mobility and cognition.

 

Specifying Fire-Safe Tactiles

 

When upgrading high-rises, consulting with accessibility experts ensures selecting code-compliant, future-proofed solutions aligned with your building's evacuation protocols, occupancy levels , and aesthetics preferences long-term. Request a complimentary needs assessment today.

 

We hope this in-depth analysis has equipped you to confidently choose intumescent tactile products matching your structure's stringent life-safety needs. Partner with us to implement barrier-free upgrades effortlessly throughout your high-rise portfolio. Safety deserves nothing less.

 

Let’s install tactile systems promoting safe, independent mobility for all equally - even during emergencies.

Read More Read less

How TWSI like Truncated Domes and Wayfinding Bars work in Concordance

26th Apr 2024

"Together, truncated domes and guidance bars act as 'eyes guiding the visionless' creating a safe, navigable and inclusive built environment for all."


Tactile walking surface indicators (TWSI) like truncated domes and wayfinding bars are indispensable accessibility features that work hand in hand to enhance safety, navigation, and mobility for visually impaired citizens as well as the aging population across Canada. As per the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), the National Building Code of Canada (NBC), and other regional codes, the installation of these detectable surfaces is mandatory in certain areas. But how exactly do these tactile cues function synergistically to aid smooth, unrestricted mobility? Let's delve deeper.

 


Evolution of truncated domes and guidance bars


Over the decades, these tactile surfaces have witnessed revolutionary advancements that not only strengthened their inherent abilities but also brought them in perfect concordance for users' benefit. What began as simple textured blocks inspired by Braille morphed into smart solutions leveraging cutting-edge materials and digital technologies. Some key milestones that advanced their compatible designs include:


    • The genesis of tactile paving in 1965 Japan marked truncated domes' debut as standalone warning cues at hazards. Soon, detectable bars appeared to guide pedestrian paths through complex urban scapes (1970s).


    • Standardization efforts via ISO and codes established uniform meanings, sizes, and placement patterns, ensuring consistent multilingual comprehension globally.


    • New slip-resistant composites like polymers and metals facilitated outdoor deployments with unparalleled durability against freeze-thaw cycles.


    • Distinct profile variations differentiated the purposes of domes, denoting 'Caution' from elongated 'Follow this way' bars accordingly.


    • Digital upgrades allow conducting location data and audible maps to augment traditional tactile wayfinding for optimum accessibility.

 


Complementary functions for inclusive pedestrian mobility


The key to truncated domes and guidance bars' success lies in their thoughtfully complementary functions that work in perfect harmony. Some examples:


    • Domes placed at curb ramp transitions, stairs, and platform edges alert users of potential hazards requiring evaluation through distinct grid-like textures.


    • Bars installed ahead guide pedestrians safely to cross roads or board transit following continuous parallel ribs' direction.


    • The experience of first encountering domes cues users to switch to an exploratory cautionary mode before proceeding under the bars' intuitive guidance.


    • Color contrasts like tactile yellow for domes against other contrasting bars aids instant visual identification at a glance.


    • Placements see domes bookending walkways that continue within using bars, thus complementing each other's roles seamlessly.


So in essence, while domes signal potential danger upcoming, bars orient users along designated accessible routes through decision points marked by domes - a perfect illustration of 'obstacles avoided, destination achieved' working together.

 


Ensuring compliance through code-certified indoor solutions


As Tactile Solution Canada's business caters to unique indoor and outdoor tactile needs, understanding the specific challenges and code mandates indoors is crucial. Some noteworthy points:


    • National Building Code of Canada and AODA require TWSI at stairs, escalators, elevators and certain areas for wayfinding within premises open to public.


    • For high contact areas like arenas and malls, only heavy-duty certified materials ensuring longevity under relentless daily footfall are recommended.


    • Solutions must be rigorously tested and certified by agencies like CSA to meet all relevant standards for properties like slip-resistance, dimensional stability, weather resistance, etc.


    • Fire-resistant models like AccessTile's Surface Applied Tactile compositely bond to diverse substrates, simplifying retrofits.


    • Advantage's self-adhesive single domes and bars are easily DIY installed for floor-to-ceiling accessibility upgrades and renovations.


    • EonTile's versatility lets durable rubber tiles seamlessly upgrade any indoor flooring surface while complementing interior design aesthetics.


    • Ecoglo's photoluminescent products provide dual-benefit of emergency illumination and guidance as mandated by codes.


By adhering to all code guidelines for material certification, product sizes, and compliant placement patterns, these solutions deliver optimal indoor wayfinding experiences.

 


Guiding effortless navigation with tactical tactile combinations


When installed tactfully in pre-determined yet creative patterns, truncated domes and guidance bars together can facilitate intuitive orientation like none other. Some such effective combinations include:


    • Grids of domes at entry transitions that branch into linear bars denoting pathways and cross corridors.


    • Circular dome arcs with radial bars emanating at intervals for easy circular walking within open areas.


    • Sequential columns of single domes placed between parallel dual bars to demarcate lengthy corridors.


    • Intermittent single domes inserted along single directional bars to reaffirm orientation periodically.


    • Distinct parallel double bars bordering walkways for clear demarcation from other functional surfaces.


Apart from compliant placements, choosing reliable materials proven to withstand high contact is equally important for combinations' longevity. Tactile Solution providers like us employ only rigorously tested premium options for safety-critical applications.


Wrapping It Up


In a nutshell, tactile walking surface indicators perform at their best when installed judiciously in pre-determined yet creative combinations. By understanding their distinct but complementary roles through the lens of evolution and codes, architects, designers, and contractors can now effortlessly incorporate compliant yet ingenious tactile patterns, enhancing universal accessibility, safety, and experience for communities. Tactile Solution Canada remains your one-stop destination offering an exhaustive catalogue of AODA compliant indoor and outdoor solutions that work in perfect concordance.


Frequently Asked Questions


    1. What are the key differences between truncated domes and guidance bars?


Truncated domes are raised bumps used as warning cues to indicate hazards or potential dangers ahead. Guidance bars feature elongated flat ridges that run parallel to indicate the direction of accessible paths. While domes signal "caution," bars provide intuitive wayfinding.


    2. Which codes mandate the installation of tactile surfaces?


The key codes requiring tactile surfaces include the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), National Building Code of Canada (NBC), and regional municipality standards. They specify placement locations and material performance criteria for tactile products to comply.


    3. Which areas indoors require tactile solutions?


As per NBC and AODA, code-compliant tactiles must be installed at stairs, escalators, elevators, and certain indoor areas for wayfinding within facilities open to public use like malls, arenas, institutional buildings, etc.


    4. How can existing indoor floors be tactilely upgraded?


Many compliant tactile systems are specially engineered to securely bond to a wide variety of indoor flooring substrates. Fire-resistant and self-adhesive models facilitate seamless accessibility retrofits with minimal disruptions.


    5. What patterns are considered for tactile combinations?


Strategic patterns like grids, circles, linear columns, and intermittent inserts tactfully combine truncated domes and guidance bars. They facilitate intuitive navigation through decision points for the vision impaired within buildings and public spaces.

Read More Read less

Expert Tips for Minimizing Tripping Hazards in Crowded Indoor Areas

26th Apr 2024

"Safety should never be compromised for the sake of convenience or aesthetics. Your facility's accessibility is of utmost importance."

 

Ensuring safe accessibility during peak traffic volumes presents unique indoor environment challenges. As per the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act and the National Building Code of Canada, facility managers bear the onus to furnish consistent hazard detection and guidance cues mitigating potential trip and fall risks. Let's explore proactive risk minimization strategies leveraging code-certified solutions tailored for heavily used indoor locales.

 

Comprehending Heightened Trip Risks in Busy Spaces


Certain areas like concourses, food courts, and transit hubs witness phenomenal indoor pedestrian densities daily. Under such conditions, trip and fall accidents tend to escalate owing to:


    • Obstructed visibility amid jampacked foot traffic impeding hazard identification.


    • Worn-out or damaged flooring going unnoticed under relentless pounding.


    • Distracted walking while multi-tasking, like eating/texting, increases contact mishaps.

 

 

Addressing Code Compliance through High-Durability Solutions


National codes strictly mandate mitigating tripping risks through permanent TWSI installations. Some options tailored for intensive usage include:


    • Surface applied or cast-in-place Ecoglo stair nosings along full stair tread edges - As mandated by NBC clearly demarcate risky zones even in zero visibility conditions.


    • Advantage cast metal domes - Durable, slip-resistant warning for level changes as per CSA B651. These Cast metal plates withstand millions of footfalls without fading in subway stations and concourses.


    • Access Tile replaceable polymer tiles at floor junctions or elevator entrances - Reliably guides mobility aid users per AODA and ISO 23599. AccessTile endure 10-15 years of pounding before targeted replacement in busy zones.


    • Armor Tile paver systems for marking recessed walkway edges - Durable guidance in busy areas, according to OBC.


    • Eon Tile rubber guidance indicators along main circulation paths - Flexible, chemical-proof navigation aids meeting international codes. These tiles absorb shocks and resist abrasions, suiting dynamic indoor passenger flows.


    • Elan porcelain tactile indicators for interior designer applications - Slip-proof directional markers enhancing aesthetics as per ISO. It also lends aesthetics that match transit plazas while cementing integrity against scruffs.

 


Optimizing Placement Patterns as per Usage Volumes


Strategic TWSI positioning aids early detection before contact:


    • Grid patterned domes at 10m intervals upon entering areas prone to jostling.


    • Wayfinding ribs in waiting concourses aid orientation when vision impaired among swarms.


    • Detection cues mark pinch-points prone to bottlenecking, like turnstiles every 3m for advisory alertness.


    • Intermittent ribbing along lengthy routes prevents distraction induced veering off accessible paths.

 

 

Considerations for High Traffic Volumes


In convention centers, retail malls, and similar crowded environments, additional accessibility precautions are warranted. Some smart strategies include:


    • Spacing indicators closer (max. 2-3 feet) - Allowing quick identification even during shoulder-to-shoulder movement as per NFPA standards.


    • Installing robust durable Armor Tile systems - Withstanding heavy footfall with a low risk of surface wear, as proven through ASTM testing methods.


    • Selecting metal Advantage domes/bars - Durably handling intensive use without potential breakage issues as suggested by CSA standards.


    • Implementing photoluminescent signs - Guiding foot traffic flows to prevent bottlenecks or blockages as per ISO standards protocols.


    • Deploying crowd control signage/barricades - Safely partitioning high density spaces according to life safety codes for unhindered navigation.


    • Training staff on tripping hazard mitigation - Achieving extra eyes on the ground to promptly address issues as recommended by OSHA guidelines.

 


Mastering Routine Deep Cleaning Practices


Regular deep cleans restore textures critical for navigation underfoot:


    • Schedule quarterly deep scrubs removing accumulations obscuring cues amid traffic congestion.


    • Use non-abrasive detergents to gently wipe away debris compromise without degrading material properties.


    • Inspect bond integrity post-cleaning, repairing de-bonded sections promptly to maintain slip resistance.

 


Establishing Preventative SWEEP Inspections


SWEEP inspections detect potential issues before contact occurs:


    • S - Scrutinize high usage zones weekly; others bi-weekly


    • W - Wear assessment for replacement considering 5-7 years in busiest locales


    • E - Examine bond strength through Gentle probing of edges annually


    • E - Evaluate visual clarity from all angles; replace faded/damaged units promptly


    • P - Perform proactive maintenance factoring seasonal variations; address urgencies immediately

 


Facilitating Safe, Unencumbered Indoor Flows


Together, the above techniques keep the TWSI network optimally functional for safe navigation underfoot, complemented by:


    • Installing movable crowd control barriers amid escalating indoor pedestrian volumes.


    • Temporary evacuation plans factoring facility shutdowns due to unforeseen maintenance or planned events.


    • Conduct table-top emergency response drills to assess communication effectiveness annually.

 


Before You Go


In summary, the above multi-pronged approach centered on careful product selection, strategic placements, routine deep cleans, preventative inspections, and calibrated response drills empowers facilities to reliably safeguard indoor accessibility consistently. Leveraging expertise from accessibility solution partners like Tactile Solution Canada streamlines hazard minimization customized to unique building operational needs. 


Our code-certified, rigorously tested solutions facilitate unhindered circulation optimized for safety. Don't hesitate to consult our indoor & outdoor accessibility advisors for aid in the selection, installation, or maintenance of TWSI networks essential for keeping busy indoor locales optimally navigable for all patrons.
 

Read More Read less