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How TWSI Installation Improve Sidewalk Accessibility for All

11th Mar 2024

Improving sidewalk accessibility through the proper installation of Tactile Walking Surface Indicators (TWSI) is crucial for fostering inclusive communities in Canada. As the population grows and evolves, creating universally accessible pedestrian routes is more important than ever.

 

Understanding the Need for Tactile Solutions

 

Over 2 million people in Canada have some form of serious vision loss. Navigating busy public spaces presents considerable challenges for the blind or visually impaired, who rely heavily on other senses like hearing and touch for wayfinding and hazard detection.

 

While advanced technologies like assistive apps and devices have improved independence, the outdoor environment still poses difficulties due to its ever-changing nature. Continual foot traffic, street furniture placement, and uneven surfaces make sidewalks difficult to traverse safely without clear tactile cues.

 

The Role of TWSI in Accessible Design

 

Tactile Walking Surface Indicators, commonly known as detectable warning tiles or panels, play a vital yet overlooked role in universal design. Consisting of distinctive patterns underfoot, they alert pedestrians visually impaired of impending hazards or directional changes ahead.

TWSI serves multiple purposes as per international accessibility standards:

 

  • Warning Tactile: Indicates potential dangers like drop-offs or street crossings with a coarse dome pattern.

  • Guidance Tactile: Features aligned bars to direct flows of travel along accessible routes in a linear way.

  • Integrated Tactile: Combines warning and guidance functions for optimal wayfinding.

 

By providing tangible sensory feedback, TWSI bridges the gap between independent navigation and environmental obstacles for those with low or no vision. They mark a crucial first step in building welcoming, inclusive spaces for people of all abilities.

 

Key Codes and Regulations for TWSI in Canada

 

To standardize detectable surfaces nationwide, Canada has implemented robust accessibility legislation governing TWSI design and placement:

 

  • The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) mandates the incorporation of TWSI wherever pedestrian routes intersect vehicle zones.

  • CSA B651-18: Specifies dimensional and technical requirements like dome height, spacing embedded depth, slope, etc.

  • Ontario Building Code (OBC): References AODA compliance for all new construction and redevelopment projects.

  • National Building Code of Canada (NBC): Sets guidelines for emergency egress paths and accessible elements.

 

Adhering to applicable codes ensures TWSI provides consistent sensory cues adhering to dimensional tolerances tested to be detectable underfoot. It also eliminates potential liabilities from non-compliance.

 

Best Practices for TWSI Installation

 

Some key strategies Tactile Solution Canada recommends contractors follow for optimal TWSI installation:

 

  • Use surfaces matching surrounding paving materials for uniformity.

  • Ensure slopes do not exceed max. 1:50 cross-fall and 1:20 running slope as per AODA.

  • Embed products flush within 1/32" as per manufacturers' instructions.

  • Apply detectable widths extending full ramp/landing as required by codes.

  • Use recommended adhesives like epoxy for permanent bonding.

  • Inspect the cured adhesive bond thoroughly before permitting use.

  • Consider life-cycle costs with durable, slip-resistant polymers or metals.

  • Maintain minimum clearances around protruding objects as per AODA.

 

Adhering to these best practices results in seamless, long-lasting TWSI that enhances safety and independence for all sidewalk users.

 

Common Compliance Issues to Avoid

 

Frequently encountered code violations undermine the effectiveness of TWSI and endanger pedestrian safety:

 

  • Improper surface slopes exceeding maximum ratios.

  • Truncated domes are not distinct/raised enough to be detectable underfoot.

  • Inadequate dimensional tolerances like oversizing domes.

  • Incomplete installation omitting required detectable widths.

  • Unsuitable adhesives lead to premature failure and hazards.

  • Defective bonding allows water accumulation and falls.

  • Ramps missing necessary detectable top/bottom landings as per code.

 

Following manufacturers' directions and diligent workmanship eliminates such compliance gaps. Tactile Solution Canada offers expert project support to ensure solid, long-lasting installations.

 

Choosing Durable, Code-Compliant TWSI Systems

 

When upgrading sidewalk accessibility, specifying certified TWSI products matched to site conditions and traffic loads is paramount. Some top options available from Tactile Solution Canada include:

 

  • ArmorTile Cast-in-place & Surface Applied Systems: High-performing diamond-hard vitrified polymer composites for extreme use areas.

  • AccessTile Replaceable Cast-in-place and Surface Applied Tiles: Easy maintenance of engineered polymer tiles in multiple textures.

  • AdvantageOne Domes & Bars: Precision-molded/poured metal indicators lasting decades underfoot.

  • EonTile Flexible Rubber Tiles: User-friendly rubber tiles suitable for indoor/outdoor use.

  • ElanTile Porcelain Tactile: Ultra-durable glazed porcelain, minimizing future repair/replacement costs.

 

All solutions undergo rigorous testing to surpass AODA, CSA B651, and IFC compliance standards for optimum maneuverability, color contrast, and weather resistance.

 

Maintaining Compliance Through Regular Assessment

 

While correct TWSI installation paves the path to accessibility initially, long-term usability depends on ongoing maintenance:

 

  • Inspect semi-annually for bonded joint integrity, bolting/anchoring, and surface wear under AODA audits.

  • Remove debris and grit build-up that may obscure tactile patterns with gentle scrubbing.

  • Assess for replacement needs due to vandalism, aging, and substrate failure triggering slip hazards.

  • Tighten any loose fasteners and refill anchoring voids with manufacturer-approved products.

  • Consider recoating painted surfaces or renewing deteriorated coatings as required.

 

Regular condition assessments and prompt remedial actions ensure that TWSI sustains its critical function of warning and guiding vulnerable sidewalk users safely along their journeys.

 

Improving Sidewalk Design for Future-Proof Accessibility

 

To future-proof investment in TWSI infrastructure, integrating accessibility proactively into design benefits communities long-term:

 

  • Incorporate input from advocacy groups representing people with disabilities early in planning.

  • Reference advisory design guidelines over minimum code standards for enhanced usability.

  • Allow sufficient clearances and slope transitions for mobility devices in higher foot traffic zones.

  • Consider amenities like benches and curb ramps meeting the latest universal design principles.

  • Select durable, low-maintenance paving and tactile materials suited to regional weather patterns.

  • Engage accessibility consultants verifying compliance and effectiveness of routing/wayfinding.

 

With thoughtful upfront consideration, TWSI fulfills its vital role in creating intuitive, welcoming spaces people of all abilities can confidently and independently explore.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Q. What is the lifespan of professionally installed TWSI?

A. Quality products from reputed manufacturers typically last 10-25 years under normal wear with proper care. High-traffic locations may require more frequent monitoring and renewals.

 

Q. How often should TWSI be inspected?

A. The AODA mandates biannual audits. Yet, inspecting TWSI during routine seasonal sidewalk maintenance helps catch small issues before they escalate into hazards.

 

Q. What types of TWSI are suitable for interior vs exterior use?

A. Rubber and porcelain TWSI hold up well in both environments. For outside, consider durable metal composites or epoxy concretes. Avoid materials sensitive to weathering without adequate sealants.

 

Q. How can existing non-compliant ramps/tiles be upgraded affordably?

A. Surface-applied systems allow retrofitting without major reconstruction. Certified products like AccessTile and EONTile click onto existing ground easily during closures, minimizing disruption.

 

Q. What adhesives does Tactile Solution Canada recommend for bonding TWSI?

A. We suggest rapid-setting, moisture-resistant epoxies rated for continuously wet surfaces. Our technical representatives can assist with adhesive selection based on site/climate specifics.

 

Ensuring pedestrian safety through code-compliant TWSI installation benefits people of all abilities. Tactile Solution Canada aims to foster inclusive communities one project at a time with expertise, service, and solutions you can trust. We hope you contact us soon to upgrade your sidewalk accessibility and contribute to a better living environment for all.


 

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Considering Tactile Options for High Rise-Buildings

11th Mar 2024

With urbanization and growing populations, high-rise buildings are increasingly becoming common infrastructure across major cities in Canada. As buildings get taller, ensuring accessibility for people with vision loss becomes more crucial yet challenging. High rise buildings pose unique accessibility requirements due to their scale and additional safety factors involved. While codes provide guidelines, choosing the right tactile solution requires an in-depth understanding of the needs and limitations.

 

In this blog, we will explore various tactile system options suitable for high-rise buildings and how they comply with Canadian codes. We will also discuss key considerations and best practices for creating fully accessible indoor environments in tall structures. By the end, you will have a comprehensive understanding of choosing the right solution according to your project needs.

 

Code Requirements for High-Rise Buildings in Canada

 

Before looking at tactile options, let's review some key accessibility requirements for high-rise buildings as per Canadian codes:

 

  • The Ontario Building Code (OBC) requires all buildings with 7 or more floors to have accessible design features like elevators, ramps, door widths, fire-resistant tactile tiles, etc.

  • Similarly, the Accessible Design for the Built Environment standard (ANSI A117.1), followed by many US states, requires accessible features in buildings with an occupancy of 1000 or more persons or buildings four or more stories high.

  • Guidelines for the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) also outline accessibility provisions needed in buildings over 2 floors tall based on the estimated number of occupants.

  • Tactile Walking Surface Indicators (TWSIs) are mandatory in indoor common-use areas like lobbies, corridors, and stairs in high rises as per ANSI, OBC, and CSA standards.

  • Per the National Building Code of Canada (NBC) and NBC Emergency Lighting provisions, photoluminescent exit signs with Braille signage are essential for wayfinding in an emergency.

  • Additional slip-resistant and visible products may be required on wet area flooring as per slip resistance standards.

 

So, in summary, accessibility features become increasingly important with building height, as per codes across North America, to safely evacuate people during emergencies. Let's explore tactile options that meet all these code requirements.

 

Evaluating Tactile System Options

 

When choosing a tactile solution for indoor use in high-rise buildings, some key factors to consider include:

 

  • Material Strength—For durability, the texture needs to withstand heavy foot traffic and cleaning chemicals over the years without deterioration. Materials like engineered polymers are suitable.

  • Slip Resistance—Indoor tactile surfaces, especially in entrance lobbies and around amenities, need an R-value of 10 or more per the ANSI A137.1 standard to prevent slips on wet surfaces.

  • Emergency Evacuation - Tactiles and wayfinding signs must be visible during power outages to evacuate occupied areas safely, per NBC codes. Photoluminescent materials are ideal.

  • Ease of Maintenance - Solutions requiring less maintenance over time are preferable to minimize disruption and costs for facilities managers.

  • Cost Effectiveness - Initial and lifecycle costs are important factors for return on investment, especially in large installations spanning multiple floors.

  • Code Compliance - Solutions must meet all TWSI sizing, spacing, and contrast requirements of codes like OBC, A117.1, etc.

 

Given these criteria, the top options suitable for high rises include:

 

1. Engineered Polymer Floor Plates:

 

Modern polymer composite plates from AccessTile offer the benefits of stable dimensional properties, corrosion resistance, and maintenance-free surfaces. Engineered formulas ensure compliance with codes through rigorous testing. While polymer solutions have lower upfront costs, iron and porcelain options have greater longevity benefits for high rises.

 

3. Glued-Down Surface Strips:

 

Prefabricated polymer detectable warning strips can be adhered directly over finished flooring substrates in corridors, stairs, or landings through contact cement. They are suitable for residential towers and smaller commercial buildings. However, most codes don't allow peel-and-stick applications in high-traffic commercial spaces.

 

4. Photoluminescent Exit Path Markings:

 

Emergency signage with proprietary glowing pigments effectively light the way out even during power outages. When equipped with tactile letters, they actively contribute to evacuation of people with disabilities. Signs can adhere or be surface mounted based on location needs.

 

5. Slip-Resistant Stair Nosings:

 

Ecoglo aluminum stair nosings improve traction on stair treads and meet code minimum dimensions. Nosing strips integrate photoluminescence for safer nighttime evacuation from stairs.

 

Additional Considerations for High-Rise Implementation

 

Aside from code compliance, some additional factors warrant attention for high rise tactile implementations:

 

  • Emergency Preparedness: Tactile solutions need to withstand maximum building load or population capacity as per fire and evacuation plans.

  • Fall Zone Protection: Avoid surface-applied tactiles in areas over 2 floors high as per ANSI standards to prevent falls in case of de-bonding.

  • Aesthetic Integration: Porcelain and groutable cast tiles integrate seamlessly with modern flooring, while polymer options come in multiple hues.

  • Lead Times: Larger projects may require specialist fabrication or tooling with longer lead times for compliance.

  • Installation Disruption: Consider cleanup requirements and potential passenger inconvenience during overlay installations.

  • Maintenance Plans: Outline policies for periodic inspections, repairs, or touch-ups to maintain accessibility over the years.

  • Access Ramps: Address ramp-to-tactile transitions as per sloped surface provisions to avoid tripping hazards.

  • Signage Placement: Locate exit path markings and interior signs per the code-recommended mounting heights for ease of recognition.

 

Taking these aspects into account will result in a code-compliant, future-proofed indoor tactile solution aligned with your building's long-term operation and safety needs.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Here are some commonly asked questions about tactile solutions for high-rise buildings:

 

Q. What is the usable lifespan of different tactile materials in high-traffic indoor applications?

Engineered polymers would last 15-20 years on average with minimal maintenance. Expect touch-ups or replacements as part of periodic maintenance plans.

 

Q. Can self-adhesive tiles be used instead of inset panels for overlay jobs?

While glue-down strips are inexpensive for renovation, most codes don't permit peel-and-stick surfaces in high-usage commercial areas like office towers due to the risk of de-bonding over time.

 

Q. Which tactile pattern is suitable for transitions between floors?

Combination directional/attention dome patterns help safely guide visually impaired people across level changes per A117.1 guidelines. Consider cast/modular systems for the seamless tiled interface.

 

Q. What evacuation signage is required in areas lacking emergency lighting?

Photoluminescent exit signs or floor markings that provide direction to exits even in no-light conditions per NBC. Braille labels further assist people with vision loss as per code.

 

Q. How often should tactile be inspected in high rises?

Annual inspections are prudent to identify repairs, with more frequent checks after major renovations. Keep maintenance records and address issues promptly to ensure uninterrupted accessibility.

 

We hope this in-depth blog has provided useful insights into considering the right tactile solution for your indoor high-rise building project while meeting all code and safety requirements. Choosing a durable, code-compliant system aligned with your specific needs will ensure long-term accessibility. Please get in touch with Tactile Solution Canada if you need any other information or have additional questions.


 

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Selecting the Proper Tactile for Indoor vs Outdoor Needs

1st Mar 2024

When it comes to accessibility, one size does not fit all. As experts in tactile solutions, we at Tactile Solution Canada understand the unique demands various indoor and outdoor applications place on navigational aids. This comprehensive guide delves deeper into choosing code-compliant tactile products optimized for their intended settings.

 

Indoors or outdoors, the overarching goal remains the same - fostering safe, intuitive accessibility for all. Nevertheless, mother nature and demanding foot traffic take their toll over time if not properly addressed. Outdoor elements ravage while indoor interference abounds. Let's explore strategic considerations for empowering accessibility sustainably through appropriate specifications.

 

Prioritizing Indoor Aesthetics

 

While safety remains paramount indoors, wayfinding tactile solutions must complement interior aesthetics over extended lifecycles:

 

  • Style: Contemporary tiles integrate tactility seamlessly with flooring styles spanning decades of trends.

  • Material: Porcelain and stainless steel suit the elegance of offices and retail without appearing "institutional."

  • Colors: Neutral greys and blacks accent interiors subtly versus the signature safety yellow of exteriors.

  • Longevity: Hard-wearing polymer composites and rubber withstand foot traffic without visible wear for 15+ years.

 

Elan porcelain tactiles and rubber-based Eon tiles maintain the dignity of design matched with enduring functionality indoors.

 

Differing Applications Considered

 

Specialist indoor applications necessitate solutions optimized accordingly:

 

  • Stairs: Anti-slip Ecoglo stair nosings paired with visual/tactile truncated domes at landings identifiers safely guide stair ascent/descent in any lighting condition.

  • Signage: Photoluminescent exit signs and tactile lettering enable wayfinding/schedule accessibility for those with low vision or blindness.

  • Transit: Heavy-duty metal tiles withstand transit facility footfall intensity without damage.

  • Lobbies: Porcelain Elan tiles suit contemporary commercial interior aesthetics alongside code compliance.

 

Proper care in product selection optimizes universal accessibility sustainably.

 

Special Considerations for Moist Environments

 

Areas prone to puddle spills demand moisture resistance for longevity:

 

  • Porcelain Tile: Nonporous glazed surfaces repel water and exempt sealing requirements of other materials. Tolerates intermittent flooding/pooling.

  • Stainless Steel: Naturally resistant to moisture infiltration or deterioration without applied sealants/coatings.

 

Always follow manufacturer cleaning/maintenance guides matching individual product specifications.

 

Code Compliant Tactile Solutions for Indoor Public Spaces

 

For indoor spaces, these are some ideal code-compliant tactile systems:

 

1. Elan Tile Porcelain System

 

Elan Tile porcelain tactile suits indoor applications with aesthetic needs. Products include:

 

  • Elan Porcelain Attention Domes: Warning indicators about potential hazards. Color contrasted for high visibility.

  • Elan Porcelain Wayfinding Bars: Visual and tactile arrows for path navigation. Available in different sizes.

 

2. Access Tile Tactile System

 

Access Tile offers indoor solutions like:

 

  • Single Embedded Domes/Bars: Individual tactile domes or bars drilled into existing floors. No demolition is needed.

  • Surface-Applied Tactile Tiles: Polymer tiles applied on floors with adhesive. Easy to install and replace.

  • Fire-Rated Tactile Tiles: Meets fire code for stairs, lobbies, and corridors. Compulsory in buildings with more than 7 floors.

 

3. Eon Tile Rubber Tactiles

 

Eon Tile flexible rubber tactile suits a variety of indoor applications:

 

  • Surface-Applied Attention Domes: Alert pedestrians about upcoming drop-offs or hazards through texture.

  • Surface-Applied Wayfinding Bars: Provides directional cues to guide users to destinations.

 

Code Compliant Tactile Solutions for Outdoor Public Spaces

 

Here are some top compliant tactile systems available in Canada for outdoor settings:

 

1. Armor Tile Tactile System

 

Armor Tile offers durable ADA, CSA, ISO, and OBC-compliant tactile solutions for outdoor spaces. Key products include:

 

  • Cast-In-Place Concrete Tiles: Embedded in fresh concrete for pedestrian crossings, plazas, etc. Highly durable and withstands heavy loads. 

  • Surface-Applied Polymer Tiles: Applied on existing surfaces using adhesive. Ideal for retrofit projects. Available in standard and fire-rated options. 

  • Replaceable Metal Tiles: Interlocking metal tiles installed on compacted gravel or hard surfaces for pedestrian routes.

 

2. Advantage Tactile Systems

 

This robust tactile system suits high-traffic outdoor applications. Products include:

 

  • Cast Iron Tiles: Heavy-duty cast iron tiles installed in concrete for high footfall areas. Withstand snow plows and construction vehicles. 

  • Premier metal Tiles: Cast iron tiles with unique designs and patterns for aesthetic appeal. Ensure safety with style. 

  • Stainless Steel Plates: Single stainless-steel plates installed into concrete. Optionally available with decorative patterns.

 

3. Access Tile Tactile System

 

Access Tile offers lightweight polymer-based systems. Products suitable for outdoors:

 

  • Cast-In-Place Tactile Tiles: Lightweight tiles installed in fresh concrete. Non-slip textures enhance traction. 

  • Surface-Applied Tactile Tiles: Applied on existing surfaces with adhesive. Ideal for renovation projects.

 

Maximizing Durability with Materials

 

Selecting optimized materials outlasts standards, minimizing replacements:

 

Outdoors:

  • Concrete > 15 years apx

  • Cast Aluminum > 20 years apx

  • Cast Iron > 20 years apx

 

Indoors:

  • Porcelain > 20 years apx

  • Stainless Steel > 30 years apx

  • Rigid Polymer Composites > 25 years apx

  • Rubber > 15 years apx

 

Reputable manufacturers warrant quality, expertise, and solution lifecycles through ongoing support.

 

Installation Variables

 

Application methods influence lifespan:

 

  • Surface-Applied Indoors: Bonding strength maintains tiles over time versus demountable options.

  • Cast Installations: Integral installation shields tiles from vandalism and abrasion versus surface bonding susceptible to degrading.

  • New Construction: Casting tiles within structural concrete maximizes the longevity of new builds.

  • Renovations: Surface application retrofits accessibility onto existing structures cost-effectively vs demolition.

 

Understanding each product/substrate compatibility guards against premature failures from improper installation.

 

Maintenance is Key

 

Periodic inspection and basic cleaning uphold accessibility standards:

 

  • Inspect Quarterly: Note degrading slip-resistance and truncation reduction requiring refurbishment.

  • Sweep Weekly: Avoid accumulation, obscuring textures, and staining finishes.

  • Spot-Clean: An annual deeper cleaning restores a like-new appearance without damage.

  • Replace as Needed: Proactively replace approaching end-of-service-life indicators under warranties.

  • Contractors: Available for specialized needs like restoration and preventative replacements.

 

Diligent care safeguards user safety and building liability long-term.

 

Does this help clarify critical variables for outdoor versus indoor tactile suitability? Connect with our experts regarding questions on your project-specific needs. Partnerships promoting accessibility serve all communities graciously.

 

FAQs

 

Q1: What indoor/outdoor tactiles require similar maintenance?

A: While outdoor tiles demand more robust materials, basic cleaning/inspection intervals align indoors/outdoors for general maintenance of code-compliant tactile.

 

Q2: Can outdoor tactiles be used indoors?

A: Typically, no, as outdoor tiles focus on weather resistance over aesthetics/comfort. Some rigid composite outdoor tiles may suffice indoors if matching load ratings. Consult manufacturers.

 

Q3: What's the service life of indoor polymer composites?

A: Quality polymer composite tactile tiles last 15-20 years indoors on average with proper installation and maintenance. High-use zones may require refreshing every 10+ years.

 

Q4: How often should post-installation inspections occur?

A: Recommended intervals are monthly for heavy-use areas, quarterly for average traffic zones, or annually for low-usage spaces to catch needs early for remediation.

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6 Things You Need to Know About Photoluminescent Exit Signs

1st Mar 2024

Emergency egress is one of the most important aspects of building safety. Whether it is navigating your way out during a scheduled fire drill or escaping in the event of an actual emergency, clearly visible exit signage plays a pivotal role. Yet, not all exit signs are created equally. Traditional incandescent and LED exit signs have minimal drawbacks like maintenance requirements and unreliable performance during power outages. This is where photoluminescent exit signs shine as the optimal solution.

 

Made with advanced luminous materials, photoluminescent exit signs provide reliable emergency guidance without any external power source. They are becoming increasingly popular for both new construction and retrofit applications across Canada. As a premier supplier of Canadian-made, code-compliant tactile and accessibility solutions, we want building owners and managers to be well-informed about the benefits of these innovative signs. 

 

How Photoluminescent Exit Signs Work?

 

Photoluminescent exit signs utilize a technology called photoluminescence to continuously glow even without power. Their secret lies in a special phosphorescent pigment, usually zinc sulfide, applied over the sign surface. When this pigment absorbs visible or UV light during the day, electrons inside the material get elevated to a higher energy state. Once the illumination source disappears at night, the electrons gradually decay back to their normal position, releasing the stored photons in the process.

 

Detailed guide: How Do Photoluminescent Exit Signs Work? A Science Explainer

 

This phenomenon provides exit signs with the ability to glow brightly for extended hours after a brief exposure to light. Studies show that Ecoglo signs, our premium photoluminescent brand, can retain up to 90% of initial luminance through multiple charge-discharge cycles, ensuring high visibility even after hours of darkness. No replacement batteries or electricity is required for operation, making these signs a reliable egress solution in any emergency scenario.

 

Six key things you need to know about photoluminescent exit signs

 

1. No Maintenance Requirements

 

Unlike traditional exit signs with electrical components, photoluminescent exit signs are completely self-sustaining - they require no external power source or battery backup. Their luminous pigments are charged by fluorescent lamps or natural daylight and continue glowing in darkness for several hours, providing reliable guidance even during prolonged power outages.

 

The best part is that they are maintenance-free. There are no electrical components like lamps or batteries to replace on a scheduled basis. Building management does not have to allocate time and money for routine maintenance inspections. Photoluminescent exit signs are also more durable and have a longer lifespan compared to LED or incandescent exit signs. With proper charging, the same sign can last for many years with no operational costs.

 

2. Code Compliant for New & Existing Buildings

 

All exit signs installed in Canadian buildings are required to meet national and provincial codes like NBCC, OBESPA, AODA, ISO, etc. Photoluminescent exit signs meet and exceed these codes without any challenge. They are suitable for new construction projects and retrofitting of existing buildings.

 

Section 1024 of the National Building Code of Canada mandates the installation of photoluminescent exit path markings, including signs. UL 924 certification guarantees code compliance. So, opting for photoluminescent signs satisfies all regulatory requirements for accessible and evacuation routes. It allows effortless compliance, saving design and installation hassles.

 

3. Always Active Guidance

 

Unlike traditional exit signs that rely on switches and backup power, photoluminescent signage glows automatically without any activation in low or no light conditions. The luminous pigments provide instant, consistent illumination during emergencies for continuous guidance.

 

Even if there is a total power outage, these signs shine brightly right away without delay. Their glow penetrates smoke effectively for maximum visibility during evacuation. Photoluminescent exit signage eliminates the risk of signs failing to illuminate due to switch malfunctions or drained batteries. People can count on them for uninterrupted emergency egress.

 

4. Enhanced Visibility & Wayfinding

 

The low-glare, evenly glowing surface of photoluminescent signs provides optimal contrast and legibility compared to LED exit signs. Their illumination is cast in all directions without shadows for visibility from long distances and varied viewing angles.

 

Additionally, photoluminescent exit signs can incorporate wayfinding information beyond just "EXIT" markings. Features like directional arrows and coded zone identification help people navigate complex buildings speedily during emergencies. They reduce confusion risks compared to basic exit signs. The path markings provide clear, continuous guidance from start to finish of any evacuation route.

 

5. Attractive yet Cost-Effective

 

The most compelling argument in favor of photoluminescent signs is their extremely competitive pricing and high return on investment. With simple self-charging mechanics, they eliminate periodic maintenance and replacement costs of traditional signs over the long run.

 

Their refined, modern aesthetics also integrate seamlessly into any interior design without looking out of place. So whether retrofitting or new construction, building owners gain form and function benefits at reasonable prices. Additionally, several Canadian government incentive programs promote the adoption of luminous emergency signage for accessibility upgrades.

 

6. Meeting Unique Requirements of Challenging Environments

 

Certain structures like arenas, convention centers, stadiums, or airports hosting massive daily footfalls present unique signage challenges. Traditional options may struggle with heavy-duty or rapid recharging needs in such high-traffic locales. Ecoglo signs, however, have undergone strenuous testing to prove resilience against over 10 million foot strikes with negligible fade in luminance.

 

Their photoluminescent pigment also recharges exceptionally fast with just 30 minutes of typical daily indoor lighting. This enables maintaining regulated glow levels through consistently high exposure-discharge cycles, even in ultra-busy facilities. Ecoglo signs emerge as a one-solution answer for diverse conditional requirements across all project types and locations.

 

The Wrap

 

It is important to work with an experienced local supplier accustomed to all applicable codes in your area. We offer code-compliant, high-performance products preferred by authorities across Canada. Our signs enhance facilities and operations while meeting budgets - contact us to start your risk-free evaluation.

 

Employing code-compliant, innovative exit signage from a credible local supplier safeguards people and peacefully satisfies regulatory compliance requirements. Contact us today to help you make the switch to reliable, cost-effective photoluminescent solutions that match your facility's needs and budget. Our experts handle everything from sign selection to installation support services.

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Guiding Safe Evacuation with Tactile and Photoluminescent Signage

23rd Feb 2024

Ensuring accessible egress routes during emergencies is paramount. This blog discusses how code-compliant signage helps guide all occupants, especially those with disabilities, to safety in evacuations.

 

Canada's Rigorous Accessibility Standards

 

As an inclusive nation, Canada enforces stringent accessibility laws through the National Building Code (NBC) and provincial building codes. These regulations mandate universally accessible evacuation routes to protect human life above all.

 

NBC Chapter 3 thoroughly outlines exit sign requirements to aid visibility-impaired individuals effectively. Besides conventional exit signs, it explicitly requires:

 

  • Photoluminescent signs are illuminated without any electrical power.

  • Tactile cues along entire exit paths denoting hazards or directional changes.

  • Sign placement considering vision and cognitive impairments as per universal design principles.

 

Failure to comply can result in hefty penalties or liability lawsuits if an incident occurs due to inadequate signage. It emphasizes the critical need for code-certified solutions.

 

Combining Tactile and Photoluminescent Solutions

 

Integrating tactile and photoluminescent systems creates optimally accessible egress routes. While tactile products, like truncated dome tiles, aid those with vision loss, photoluminescent signs benefit all during outages. Here are some synergistic solutions:

 

  • Ecoglo photoluminescent signs, tested to AODA/NBC, help non-disabled evacuate power outages safely.

  • AccessTile dome tiles and bars caution about exit pathway hazards even without visibility.

  • ArmorTile directional bars and domes safely guide disabled occupants along designated routes.

  • ElanTile's porcelain tiles with domes and bars withstand decades of use while exceeding tactile standards.

 

Partnering suppliers ensure that specifying code-certified products meets unique facility needs and foot traffic intensities.

 

Emergency Signage Installation Best Practices

 

Proper installation boosts signage lifespan and performance. Consider:

 

  • Mount photoluminescent signs 1.8-2.4m above the floor as per codes.

  • Fasten signs securely with tamper-proof hardware suitable for indoor/outdoor conditions.

  • Align tactile products flush along entire designated paths without gaps disrupting the flow.

  • Adhere to manufacturers' specified substrate preparation and placement guidance.

  • Use third-party inspectors post-install to ensure code compliance before occupancy.

 

Partnering with an experienced accessibility solutions provider streamlines compliant installations for hassle-free execution and adherence to prescribed techniques.

 

How Photoluminescent Signs Facilitate Safe Evacuation?

 

Photoluminescent exit signs provide critical illumination without electricity. Some key benefits:

 

  • Remain visible independently for 70+ hours after just 1 hour of 54 lux light exposure.

  • Store and gradually emit ambient light using day-charging technology to guide evacuations safely during emergencies like power outages caused by fires.

  • Exceed code specifications for luminance levels and glow-duration, outperforming battery-powered options over the long run.

  • Weatherproof, corrosion-resistant designs make them suitable for both indoor and outdoor use without covers or additional protections.

  • The lower total cost of ownership versus traditional LED exit signs needing frequent battery replacements.

 

Their unparalleled reliability and minimum maintenance requirements aid quick, orderly evacuations from all facilities.

 

Tactile Systems Enhance Accessible Navigation

 

Properly placed tactile systems are invaluable accessibility aids, particularly during emergencies:

 

  • Truncated dome tiles serve as critical hazard indicators, like notifying abrupt floor changes.

  • Parallel bar textures safely delineate designated evacuation paths for disabled individuals.

  • Canes cannot detect subtle cues like directional arrows, making tactility imperative for guiding visually impaired evacuees.

  • Raised tiles provide orientation even in total darkness when vision is obscured by smoke during emergencies.

  • Regularly inspect and promptly replace aging, damaged tactile solutions to maintain unobstructed navigation.

 

Investing in code-compliant signage reassures evacuation preparedness for people with disabilities.

 

Recommended Tactile and Photoluminescent Brands

 

Some top manufacturers supplying synergistic solutions for safe, inclusive evacuation guidance include:

 

  • Ecoglo - Premium photoluminescent exit signs, stairs, and path markers independently tested to AODA and NBC standards.

  • AccessTile - Advanced polymer composite truncated domes and directional bars for cast or surface applications.

  • ArmorTile - Heavy-duty detectable warning tactile tiles engineered to withstand decades of use.

  • ElanTile - High-end porcelain tactile indicators combining elegance with exceptional longevity.

  • AdvantageOne - Specialized metal domes and bars meeting compliance needs of large infrastructure projects.

 

Consult accessibility experts to specify ideal products aligning with your facilities' unique spatial requirements and foot traffic volumes.

Proactively implementing code-certified signage reassures dependable evacuation from unforeseen emergencies for people of all abilities. Tactile Solution Canada is committed to supplying trusted, rigorously tested solutions for effortless compliance.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Q. What signage is required along exit routes?

A. Each exit level needs illuminated EXIT signs and directional indicators as per NBC/OBC. Photoluminescent exit signs must glow for a minimum of 60 minutes without power as well.

 

Q. How can facilities affordably upgrade aging signage?

A. Outsource specialized inspections to experts and replace non-compliant solutions. Also, work with suppliers offering installation, budget plans, and preventative maintenance contracts.

 

Q. Are the same requirements mandated for interiors and exteriors?

A. While NBC/OBC guidelines differ slightly, photoluminescent signs certified to applicable codes can be safely used indoors or outdoors without additional coverings due to weatherproof, durable, luminous pigments.

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Best Practices for Maintaining Compliance in Indoor Environments

23rd Feb 2024

Ensuring accessibility compliance of indoor spaces is crucial, but maintaining it over the long run requires diligent effort. While proper selection of code-compliant tactile solutions from the outset helps achieve accessibility, consistent upkeep is equally important for continued safe navigation. This blog outlines best practices for facilities managers, contractors, and building owners to reliably sustain accessibility standards indoors through regular maintenance routines.

 

Understanding Key Indoor Accessibility Regulations

 

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) and Ontario Building Code (OBC) mandate that public spaces be barrier-free for all individuals. Tactile walking surface indicators (TWSIs), like truncated dome tiles, caution drop-offs while parallel bars delineate designated paths. Proper placement, as per the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) B651, helps the visually impaired orient independently.

 

Regular post-occupancy assessments verify adherence. Non-compliance can result in hefty penalties or liability lawsuits if someone gets injured. It is thus prudent to proactively maintain installed solutions and promptly address defects. Renew tactile beforehand rather than reacting to non-compliance notices.

 

Developing Comprehensive Inspection Protocols

 

The first step is having standardized inspection checklists capturing all essential tactile product details as per applicable codes. Inspect dome height, bond integrity, visual clarity, alignment, cleanliness, and signage legibility regularly based on traffic volumes. High-usage areas need monthly checking, while low-traffic zones can be biannual.

 

Record observations with dated images for documenting remedial work quality over time. Note defective locations, annual replacement areas, and solutions nearing lifespan's end. Community audits provide user feedback. Partnering inspection experts ensures comprehensive, consistent audits adhering to prescribed procedures.

 

Selecting Durable, Compliant Indoor Tactile Solutions

 

When selecting initial or replacement solutions, choose products rated for 10-15 years of durability under typical indoor conditions. Consider application, surface material, aesthetics, and costs.

 

Popular Options:

 

  • Porcelain tiles withstand decades of use but require proper bonding to the floors.

  • Composite polymer tiles balance compliance, longevity, and affordability for most spaces.

  • Rubber tiles suit healthcare and transit centers experiencing footfall 24/7.

  • Cast iron/metal tiles embed permanently into new concrete for 20+ year lifespans.

 

Choose surface-applied or embeddable variants and truncated dome, parallel bar, or combined textures suiting the specific environment's designated hazardous areas and routes according to codes.

 

Partner with expert tactile suppliers to advise on ideal solutions meeting your unique building needs and traffic intensities. Their technical support aids in correct specification and installation for ongoing accessibility.

 

Developing Comprehensive Maintenance Routines

 

With accessibility-critical tactile infrastructure implemented, the focus shifts to establishing maintenance best practices sustaining compliance long-term:

 

  • Schedule semi-annual deep cleaning of all tactile tiles and replace severely soiled units.

  • Inspect post renovation/construction to verify tactiles weren't disturbed or need realignment.

  • Conduct post-event walkthroughs after major gatherings/functions.

  • Review biannual condition assessments and proactively replace aging solutions before failure.

  • Note remedial repairs from periodic inspections and address them promptly.

  • Outsource annual specialty audits measuring dome height to experts.

  • Train cleaning/maintenance staff in tactile product care and notifying upcoming replacements.

 

Partnering supplier maintenance agreements provides turnkey support encompassing everything from periodic inspection to material supply for ad-hoc repairs and scheduled replacements. This guarantees continued accessibility over decades.

 

Addressing Common Challenges

 

Accessibility compliance maintenance faces occasional hurdles. Proper protocols overcome such challenges:

 

  • Budget constraints: Prioritize high-footfall zones and leverage community audits/supplier relationships for cost-effective solutions.

  • Staffing issues: Outsource specialized tasks temporarily or upskill in-house teams through accessibility certification courses.<b>Renovations: Specify tactile relocation/replacement plans well in advance and inspect pre/post-occupancy.

  • Damage from events: Enhance maintenance post large public programs to restore tactile promptly.

 

When proactively addressing such compliance maintenance roadblocks through collaborative partnerships, facilities reliably protect accessibility achievements for all.

 

Facilitating Emergency Upgrades

 

Prepare contingency plans addressing urgent code issues efficiently:

 

  • Stock maintenance inventory of common tactile products

  • Secure emergency funding/services pre-approval

  • Assign trained staff to oversee immediate corrections

  • Comply with accessibility legislation timelines for corrections

 

Proactively mitigating compliance risks future-proofs the user experience and minimizes legal liabilities.

 

Tactile Solutions from Tactile Solution Canada

 

As a trusted accessibility solutions provider, Tactile Solution Canada offers various indoor tactile product options suitable for both new construction and renovated facilities across Canada:

 

  • AccessTile Replaceable and ArmorTile Cast-In-Place polymer composite tiles balance strength, customization, and cost-effectiveness for most indoor applications.

  • Porcelain ElanTile adds aesthetic elegance to commercial lobbies while exceeding durability standards.

  • AccessTile Fire-rated composite systems satisfy strict codes for exit pathways, vestibules, and lobbies which is compulsory to install on buildings with 7 or more floors.

  • Rubber EonTile suits office buildings and apartment buildings experiencing intense footfall.

  • Cast iron/metal plates guarantee 20+ year lifespans when embeddable into concrete floors.

 

Backed by technical expertise, the company can advise on ideal tactile solutions for your facility, specify them as per unique criteria, and provide maintenance support to optimize accessibility in the long term.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Q. How often should indoor tactile be replaced?

A. Quality indoor tactile tiles typically last 10-15 years. Those in heavy traffic zones may need replacing every 5-8 years. Semi-annual inspections help assess product condition and proactively schedule replacements.

 

Q. What maintenance is required for indoor tactile?

A. Routine semi-annual deep cleaning removes accumulated dirt, debris, or residues. Inspect post any floor work to ensure tactile weren't disturbed. Promptly address defects from periodic inspections.

 

Q. How can budget constraints be overcome?

A. Prioritize high-traffic areas and leverage community audits. Outsource specialized inspection/auditing tasks temporarily. Partner with suppliers experienced in cost-effective compliance solutions.

 

Sustaining indoor accessibility requires diligent, proactive efforts. By developing comprehensive inspection-maintenance protocols and tapping resources from experts, facilities can reliably maintain compliance for all users over the long run. Tactile Solution Canada assists contractors in achieving this goal every step of the way.

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Integrating Code-Compliant Tactile and Technology to Enhance Building Accessibility

16th Feb 2024

In today's fast-paced world, accessibility and inclusion have become paramount for the design of public and private built environments. With rising advocacy, various levels of government in Canada have enacted comprehensive accessibility legislation to ensure buildings and exterior spaces are barrier-free for people of all abilities. As a leading Canadian provider of code-compliant tactile solutions, we at Tactile Solution Canada recognize the importance of continually evolving our offerings to meet the dynamic needs of architects, designers, and end-users.

 

This blog explores innovative ways to amplify accessibility through thoughtful integration of tactile technology and innovative assisted navigation systems. We discuss the latest options available to enhance wayfinding via multiple sensory modalities like touch, vision, and hearing. The goal is to create intuitive, welcoming built environments that empower independent mobility for diverse communities through multi-sensory guidance.

 

Considering Human Factors in Design

 

Before diving into specific solutions, it is prudent to discuss human-centric design principles. As per AODA and the National Building Code of Canada (NBC), facilities must consider diverse physical, sensory, and cognitive abilities during planning and construction. A holistic, user-focused approach involves deeply understanding how various limitations and needs shape navigation behaviors.

 

For example, vision impairment necessitates highly contrasting, distinguishable tactile textures for hazard detection and directional cues. Subtle cues may go unnoticed. Similarly, some learning or cognitive disabilities benefit from supplementary audio instructions paired with visual/tactile wayfinding. Designing with diverse human factors in mind leads to more intuitive, inclusive spaces nurturing dignity and participation for all.

 

Leveraging Code-Compliant Tactile Solutions

 

Standard tactile walking surface indicators (TWSIs) like truncated domes and wayfinding bars per CSA B651 remain the cornerstone of accessible design and continue enhancing safety under the AODA. Some innovative options now available include:

 

  • Porcelain tactile tiles offer aesthetic elegance with durability for demanding environments.

  • Photoluminescent (PL) stair nosings and exit path markings visible in emergencies per NFPA 101.

  • Rigid polymer and rubber domes/bars cuttable to custom contours for unique architectural features.

  • Friction-enhanced, anti-slip surfaces upgrading safety on stairs/ramps as per IFC.

 

Proper specification and installation as per manufacturer guidelines ensure longevity and accessibility compliance throughout a facility's lifecycle. Periodic inspection maintains the continuity of circulation paths.

 

Augmenting Wayfinding with Assistive Technologies

 

While tactile remains the universal standard, complementary technologies now aid navigation for those preferring multi-sensory modalities:

 

  • Indoor navigation apps integrating building Floor Plans, augmented reality (AR) overlays, and turn-by-turn voice instructions.

  • Bluetooth beacons paired with smartphone apps broadcasting location-specific audio describing nearby points of interest.

  • Smart glasses displaying AR directions/text on camera view for the visually impaired or those unable to look down at phones.

  • Echo locate apps utilizing echolocation by interpreting clicks or snaps bounced off surfaces as navigational cues similar to bats or dolphins.

  • Wearable vibrotactile systems providing navigation via patterns of vibrations on the wrist indicative of direction (left/right).

 

Public facilities are now experimenting with modular, scalable smart accessories discreetly installed and remotely managed via cloud-based monitoring for reliability. As battery/network technologies evolve, assistive possibilities continue expanding.

 

Integrating Tactile with Assisted Technologies

 

Fully leveraging both sensory modalities optimizes wayfinding support. Some integration strategies are:

 

  • Augmenting traditional tactile TWSIs with embedded RFID or QR codes enabling AR/audio overlays activated by smartphones for those preferring multi-sensory navigation.

  • Installing beacons near points of interest, triggering AR directions/labels on smart glasses worn by visitors with low or no vision.

  • Strategically pairing vibrotactile bracelets or smartwatches providing directional feedback with building app routes plotted atop floor plans for indoor navigation.

  • Integrating echolocation apps with distinctive acoustic textures on critical TWSIs uniquely identifiable solely by echo bounce patterns.

  • Deploying Bluetooth beacons near large Braille/text displays on interactive directories for broadcasting descriptions to nearby visually impaired audiences.

 

Seamless coordination of multiple guidance methods leads to enhanced accessibility and welcomes diverse navigation styles under one inclusive built experience. The future of wayfinding lies in such harmonized sensory integration.

 

Closing Out 

 

In summary, thoughtful integration of tactile technologies and assisted navigation elevates accessibility. A holistic, user-focused approach nurtures inclusive, intuitive circulation for diverse communities. Tactile Solution Canada remains committed to pioneering innovative, code-compliant tactile solutions that enable independence and dignity for all. Please reach out should you require guidance on accessibility upgrades leveraging the synergies of code-compliant tactile.

 

FAQs about Tactile and Technology Integration

 

Q. Are assistive technologies dependable for critical applications as code-mandated TWSIs?

A. While rapidly evolving, most assisted technologies remain supplementary rather than replacements for universal tactile standards. TWSIs engineered for rigorous durability ensure fail-safe compliance. Complementary tech aids should not compromise safety.

 

Q. How can outdoor navigation be augmented via integration?

A. Beacons paired with directional vibrotactile systems or echolocation apps aid outdoor mobility. Porcelain tactiles endure demanding situation. AR overlaying critical infrastructure improves the accessibility of large public sites with sparse navigation options.

 

Q. Is tech integration challenging for older buildings?

A: Retrofitting assisted tech into legacy structures presents unique challenges, but many solutions exist. For instance, RFID/beacon modules are discreetly mounted on existing TWSIs without impeding detectability. Outdoor apps augment circulation paths on site maps without facility upgrades. With creative planning, enhanced wayfinding benefits all.

 

Q. How does integration impact code compliance?

A. Integration should never compromise compliance with accessibility standards. Tactile cues meeting rigors of CSA B651, IFC, NBC, etc., serve as a baseline. Assisted options provide supplementary support without replacing or jeopardizing the fail-safe universality of standardized tactile indicators as mandated. Creative solutions optimize multi-sensory guidance under compliance.

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Replacing Stair Tactile Safely and Compliantly: A 101 Guide!

16th Feb 2024

As building codes evolve, many property owners and managers periodically need to upgrade their stair tactile for continued safety and accessibility compliance. This comprehensive 101 guide will share the best practices for safely removing outdated tactile solutions and replacing them with code-compliant options from Tactile Solutions Canada.
 

Why Replace Stair Tactile?

 

Regular replacement ensures:

 

  • Safety: Old tiles can lose slip resistance or visibility over time, increasing fall risks. 

  • Compliance: Evolving codes like AODA necessitate upgrades to current standards for legal protection.

  • Longevity: New tactile last decades versus patch repairs on failing installations.

  • Sustainability: Proactive replacement minimizes costly retrofits and hinders accessibility later.

  • Aesthetics: Modern tactiles match contemporary interior/exterior design aesthetics.

 

Projecting accessibility needs, facilities budget tactile life-cycles alongside other significant components. Replacing aged tiles guarantees continued safe mobility for all.

 

Safety During Removal & Installation

 

It is essential to prioritize the safety of workers and building occupants during replacement projects: 

 

  • Restrict Stair Access: Barricade stairs undergoing work must avoid falls into the site.

  • Personal Protective Equipment: Hard hats, steel-toed boots, gloves, and eye protection minimize risks.

  • Fall Protection Equipment: Harnesses tether workers to stable anchors for elevated tasks.

  • Slip Guards: Apply slip-resistant tape to stair edges lacking code-compliant nosing.

  • Signage: Warn about temporary slip/trip hazards and guide occupants to alternate routes.

  • Dust Control: Contains fine debris from cutting/grinding to prevent inhalation hazards.

 

Thorough planning and precautions enable smooth, secure upgrades benefitting future stair users for decades.

 

Removing Old Tactiles

 

Proper removal prevents damage to substrates:

 

  • Cast-in Stair Tactiles: Use an angle grinder and masonry blade to cut inserts flush along the perimeter.

  • Surface-Bonded Tactiles: Score substrate adhesive lines with a circular saw, heat gun, or solvents before lifting inserts intact.

  • Stair Nosings: Drill out or cut bonds between old nosings and treads/risers for gentle removal.

  • Clean Residue: Completely remove glue and dust with solvents or abrasives to ensure strong bonds for new tactiles.

  • Inspect Substrate: Check for cracks and delamination requiring patching before relacing tactile.

 

Neat, tidy removal readies surface for code-compliant replacements, adhering securely for long service life.

 

Selecting New Tactile Solutions

 

Choosing replacements involves considering the following:

 

  • Application: Stair tactile, stair nosing, or both

  • Location: Indoor, outdoor, or both

  • Material: Metal, polymer, porcelain for durability

  • Installation Method: Cast-in or surface-applied

  • Standards: AODA, NBC, CSA B651, IFC for accessibility, sustainability

  • Warranties: Longevity assurances

 

Tactile Solution Canada offers a wide selection of indoor/outdoor, cast/surface tactile, and stair nosings in numerous durable materials to suit all project needs.

Consult product information and installation guides, ensuring upgrades meet the latest codes and pass rigorous testing qualifications. Proper specification leads to smooth installations.

 

Installing Replacement Tactiles

 

Refer to manufacturer specifications and these general guidelines:

 

Cast Installation:

 

  • Prepare formwork and pour concrete substrate.

  • Set impregnated wood stakes along pouring lines at proper depths.

  • Place tactile into wet concrete, tapping around the perimeter until flush.

  • Allow curing, then strip forms and inspect for gaps and voids requiring patching.

 

Surface Application:

 

  • Clean and dry the substrate thoroughly.

  • Apply adhesive in a zigzag pattern, leaving 1/8” gaps at the edges.

  • Firmly press tactile into place aligned along stakes or strings.

  • Drill and set anchors for stability on sloped substrates prone to shifting.

  • Inspect bonding after full curing and fill gaps less than 1/32”.

 

Proper installation results in securely adhered tactile meeting code and ensures long-lasting slip resistance, guidance, and detectability.

 

Post-Installation Inspection

 

After allowing full curing, conduct thorough inspections:

 

  • Bonding: Check the entire tactile perimeter for secure adhesion

  • Level: Ensure flush mounting without height variations

  • Gaps: Fill any openings less than 1/32” to prevent debris traps

  • Alignment: Maintain uniform staggered joint spacing along the stair

  • Visibility: Inspect retro-reflectivity and luminance of stair nosings

  • Slip Resistance: Test non-slip properties are retained

  • Compliance: Verify specifications meet referenced accessibility standards

 

Document inspections. Address any deviations immediately under warranty. Periodic inspections keep tactile functioning optimally throughout their service life. With diligent planning, safety procedures, and proper methods outlined here, upgrading aging stair tactile is simple yet impactful for continued code compliance and accessibility long into the future.

 

FAQs

 

Q. How long does stair tactile replacement take?

A. Project timelines vary by size, but for average residential staircases, expect 3-5 hours for removal and installation if conducted after hours to minimize disturbances. Larger commercial projects may take days to weeks.

 

Q. What if the substrate is unsuitable?

A. If concrete is deteriorated, primer and bonding agents may restore soundness. Otherwise, replacement may be necessary. Consult with manufacturers about compatible repair options.

 

Q. How do I dispose of old tactile?

A: Most tactile contain recyclable metals and plastics. Consult local regulations, but construction waste facilities or metal recyclers usually accept them. Avoid landfilling wherever possible.

 

Q. When should tactile be replaced?

A4: Ideally, every 10-15 years, or sooner if tactile show signs of wear, loss of slip-resistance, or UV damage compromising visibility. Stair inspections catch failures early for timely, safety-focused upgrades.

 

Why Choose Tactile Solution Canada?

 

As the trusted accessibility tactile provider in Canada, Tactile Solution Canada can ensure your stair replacement project meets all code requirements through expertise, quality products like Ecoglo stair nosings, and comprehensive pre/post-job guidance. Convenient scheduling, warranty assurances, and expertise deliver seamless, compliant projects. Consult Tactile Solution Canada today for all your stair accessibility needs!

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Selecting the Ideal Code-Compliant Tactile Solutions for Arenas and Stadiums

9th Feb 2024

As facilities experience phenomenal daily footfall, meeting accessibility compliance through optimal tactile products in arenas and stadiums necessitates specialized consideration. 

 

As suppliers of code-compliant accessibility solutions nationwide, we at Tactile Solution Canada recognize the immense pedestrian volumes endured daily by arenas and stadiums. Accommodating sold-out crowds and unrelenting footfall demands robust tactics to ensure their safety. This blog comprehensively delves into considering the ideal heavy-duty tactile solutions enabling inclusive navigation within such infrastructure.

 

Tactile Needs in Arenas & Stadiums

 

As per provincial and national codes, all high-traffic public infrastructure necessitate Tactile Walking Surface Indicators (TWSIs) like directional cones and truncated domes. Their raised textures guide safe, independent movement for pedestrians with visual impairments. Daily, arenas/stadiums experience footfall exceeding most destinations, amplified by emergency evacuation requirements. Standard polymer TWSI longevity halves under such strain, jeopardizing accessibility and safety code compliance.

 

Arenas and stadiums accommodate enormous spectators during events alongside operational staff throughout their busy schedules. Tactile solutions play pivotal roles in:

 

  • Hazard Identification: Truncated dome tactile caution about platform drops or stairs at concourses, seating areas, etc.

  • Wayfinding Assistance: Direction bars guide safe movement amid dense crowds towards amenities like restrooms and concourses through crowded areas.

  • Emergency Evacuation Support: Exit signage including Ecoglo exit signs, ensures prompt evacuation, especially in poorly lit conditions, complying with standards.

  • Stair Edge Nosing: Non-slip photoluminescent stair nosings provide visibility and slip resistance in aisles or during emergencies.

 

High footfall translates to intensive abrasion, necessitating durable products that fulfill codes over decades of unimaginable usage.

 

Considerations for Arena & Stadium Tactile Products

 

Several factors require evaluation when choosing tactile solutions for these exceptional high-traffic locales:

 

  • Durability: Tactiles here must withstand relentless abrasion for 10-25+ years, necessitating cast metal or porcelain ideally rather than polymers.
  • Heavy Duty Tactile Solutions: Products rated and verified for intense footfall volumes ensure safety consistently amid maximum usage.
  • Standards Compliance: Solutions conform to NBC and AODA codes for slip-resistance, retro-reflection, colours, characters, etc.
  • Texture & Pattern: Truncated domes are cautious, while bars guide movement fluently via preferred textures and orientation.
  • Custom Dimensions: Standard sizes seldom suffice necessitating inventory stocking or fabricating custom-cut tactiles.
  • Fixing Method: Surface-bonding or cast-in-place embedment for new builds/retrofits suiting the surrounding surfaces.

 

Let's examine optimal tactile solutions matching these crucial specifications.

 

Specifying Durable Materials 

 

Quality TWSI withstands intensive abrasion, which is unavoidable in arenas/stadiums. Evaluating material durability remains pivotal:

 

  • Stainless Steel: Impervious to environmental damage with eternal slip resistance.

  • Porcelain: Temperature/impact-resistant clay resists degradation better than other materials.

  • Cast Iron: Unmatched compressive strength endures unimaginable dynamic/static loads unscathed.

  • Specialty Polymers: Reinforced composites combining mechanical integrity with corrosion-proofing surpass standard polymer longevity multi-fold.

  • Durable Rubber: Heavy-duty and flexible rubber made to last with full code compliance.

 

Durable Tactile Options Available at Tactile Solution Canada for Heavy Traffic Areas

 

  • AccessTile Replaceable Cast-In-Place System: Engineered polymer tiles that last decades withstand high loads with ease of replacement when embedded in concrete.
  • ArmorTile Cast Iron Tactile System: Exceptionally durable cast iron plates can bear unparalleled static/dynamic loads with slip-resistant texture for astounding longevity.
  • Advantage Tactile Systems: Precision-crafted cast stainless steel domes and bars resist corrosion and maintain aesthetics while effortlessly handling immense footfall volumes.
  • Elan Porcelain Tactile Indicator: Made from premium natural materials, these stately aesthetic tiles surpass many in hardness, durability, and resilience against damage.
  • Ecoglo Directional Signage Photoluminescent Exit Signs and Stair Nosing: Signs provide egress guidance in darkness vital for safety for extended lifecycles and high visibility, while stair nosing prevents the slipping and tripping hazard. This signage helps occupants navigate safety during power outages, ensuring effective emergency evacuation.

 

Specialized code-compliant yet affordable tactile warning systems from suppliers like Tactile Solution Canada deliver accessible designs optimized for such stringent usage conditions.

 

Customization Needs for Sprawling Venues

 

Vast event venues often require tailoring tactile products as per unique floorplans. Capabilities like:

 

  • Custom Sizing: Non-standard space must be flexibly accommodated through customized sizes, shapes and tile cutting.

  • Cast-In-Place Tactile Wayfinding Plate: Complex graphics, logos or venues' insignia stamped into tiles enhance aesthetics and wayfinding.

  • Radial Disks & Custom Angles: Unique circular areas or angled intersections are navigated ergonomically through meticulously shaped tactile.

  • Multiple Texture Options: Combining dome textures or direction lines on disks aids complex routing alongside hazards.

  • Collaboration: Consultation aids in designing integrated solutions that harmonize tactile elements optimally within the surrounding décor.

 

Specialized suppliers possess expertise in fabricating innovative yet standards-compliant customized tactile products for sprawling venues, enhancing usability.

 

Additional Considerations for Optimal Implementation

 

Other aspects ensuring safe accessibility through such immense traffic include:

 

  • Periodic Replacements: Wear-monitoring and scheduled swaps prevent degradation, compromising slip resistance or visibility.

  • Maintenance Training: Crews comprehend gentle cleaning for tactile while immediately repairing minor damages.

  • Redundancy: Additional backup tactiles installed alongside main routes and critical junctions facilitate navigation if sections require maintenance or replacement.

  • Inspections: Access audits validate safety-compliant functionality amid intensifying degradation over decades of operations.

 

Professional stewardship maintains uninterrupted accessibility, safely serving all patrons even under relentless usage within these high-occupancy areas.

 

Installation and Stewardship

 

Whether cast-in during construction or surface-applied post-build, certified installers position TWSI precisely as per code. Owners proactively schedule replacement as texture erodes and uphold safety compliance throughout the infrastructure's lifespan.

 

Concluding Thoughts

 

While many tactile systems sufficing standard locales fail under such phenomenal usage, leveraging durable, heavy-duty solutions attains uninterrupted accessibility reliably. Specialized suppliers ensure this through expertise in code-compliant yet highly customized solutions for sprawling venues experiencing extraordinary footfall. Professional stewardship through vigilant maintenance practices moreover maintains unhindered safety.

 

Specifying industrial-strength TWSI from a specialist like Tactile Solution Canada furnishes assurance of welcoming all pedestrians safely for decades in arenas and stadiums. Contact us to enable fulfilling disability access mandates comprehensively within infrastructure of any scale.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Q. How long do tactile products last in arenas suffering crush crowds?

A. Heavy-duty cast metals or porcelain offer 15-25+ years, while specialized composites/polymers rated for such usage withstand 10-15 years before proactive replacement.

 

Q. Can a single tactile material suit all requirements?

A. No, each key application requires evaluating optimal materials per specific needs – stair nosings, signage, flooring, etc., require tailored solutions.

 

Q. How often should tactile undergo maintenance?

A. Annual inspections check for degradation, while minor repairs prevent compromising slip resistance or visibility. Tactiles continue functioning safely through attentive maintenance.

 

Q. How often should TWSI proactive replacement occur generally?

A. Replace tactiles before 30% texture loss to preserve slip-resistance and performance as per codes. Consider replacement every 7-10 years for busiest infrastructure.

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How Architects and Designers Can Ensure Compliance in New Buildings

9th Feb 2024

As accessibility and compliance thought leaders responsible for shaping our shared living and working spaces, we have a profound duty to envision facilities serving people of all abilities with equal dignity. Nevertheless, proactively implementing accessibility presents complex challenges amid tight deadlines and budgets.

 

Through innovative planning and leveraging strategic tactile solutions, we can rise above such constraints to construct environments fostering inclusion from day one. By cultivating partnerships with tactile experts and drawing upon emerging technologies, we gain powerful tools to meet this generational responsibility with distinction.

 

Let's explore how fostering a culture of accessibility and code compliance across our practices helps surmount obstacles toward the higher purpose of communities for all. With careful consideration of regulations, user perspectives, legacy stewardship needs, and specialized tactile products, full compliance is eminently achievable.

 

Understanding Key Regulations

 

Complying with provincial and federal accessibility codes is non-negotiable. Some key legislations include:

 

  • Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA): Applicable to all buildings across Ontario, it prescribes structural and policy requirements.

  • National Building Code of Canada (NBC): Establishes minimum provisions guiding construction uniformly nationwide. References CSA Group technical specifications.

  • Canadian Standards Association (CSA) B651: Specifies technical guidelines for detectable warning products and pathfinding surfaces (PWSIs).

 

Early planning with accessibility consultants ensures barrier-free design aligned with the above mandates. Experts advise strategic, code-guided solutions optimizing safety and independent navigation.

 

Adopting Universal Design Principles

 

Future-proof buildings by integrating inclusive design from the foundation. Universal Design (UD) addresses diverse needs through multiple accessible means. Principles include:

 

  • Equitable use of all indoor/outdoor elements, amenities, and circulation routes.

  • Simple, intuitive wayfinding through compliant PWSIs like surface-applied tactile tiles from market leaders like Armor Tile and Access Tile.

  • Comfortable maneuverability facilitated by dimensional criteria for passageways, stairs, and parking facilities.

  • Easy-to-grasp information through visual/tactile signage and emergency communication devices.

 

Leverage UD to serve intergenerational communities seamlessly for decades ahead with minimal later retrofitting expenses.

 

Assessing Current Site Conditions

 

For redevelopments, audit existing accessibility through expert inspections identifying:

 

  • Pathway widths, clearance envelopes, sign placements, and element usability.

  • Compliance gaps necessitate remedies during new construction works.

 

Such audits inform strategic scoping and prioritization, maximizing early impacts cost-effectively. User perspectives offer nuanced understanding through "Access Audits."

 

Specifying Code-Compliant Tactile Solutions

 

Rely on solutions strictly fulfilling all regulations below:

 

1. Truncated Domes

 

Hazard-warning truncated domes embedded in concrete/flooring per CSA B651 dimensional criteria alert visually impaired pedestrians. Discuss proven polymer and rubber thresholds from top manufacturers.

 

2. Stair Tactiles

 

Continuous detectable and anti-slip stair edge nosing along stairways/escalators provide critical guidance. Consider photoluminescent options like Ecoglo, approved for superior visibility in dark conditions, enhancing evacuations.

 

3. Exit Signage

 

Invest in UL-listed, photoluminescent exit signs and path markings with outstanding longevity against UV from Ecoglo Exit Signs.

 

4. Wayfinding Tiles

 

Rigorously specify durable, surface-applied tactile tiles adhered onto finished paths from reputed brands to guide visual navigation safely indoors and outdoors. Consider Armor Tile and Access Tile systems.

 

Project Documentation

 

Retain installation manuals, specifications, drawings, and inspection records, verifying accessibility compliance for possible future auditing needs.

 

Adopting these verifiable solutions reassures accessibility through any life-cycle changes amid code updates. Consulting tactile solution specialists bolster designs comprehensively.

 

Engaging Community Members

 

Include advocacy groups representing persons with disabilities in reviewing proposed designs, leveraging lived experiences to identify less obvious issues and enhance outcomes respectfully potentially. Build goodwill, fostering ownership of shared public resources long-term.

 

Prioritizing Access Elements

 

Focus accessibility implementation first at:

 

  • Main entrances/building ingress-egress points.

  • Vertical circulation integrating appropriate call buttons, lifts, ramps, and tactile elevator maps.

  • Washrooms are essential facilities.

  • Multi-use common areas serving diverse programs.

  • Comprehensive signage/wayfinding guiding intuitive movement.

  • Hazard detection through strategic tactile warning tile implementation.

 

This delivers universal access impacts promptly through the highest traffic circulation routes serving most occupants initially.

 

Leveraging Building Information Modeling

 

Building Information Modeling (BIM) streamlines new construction documentation substantiating accessibility. Models combine virtual 3D designs with vital data, facilitating collaboration across stakeholders through a shared digital conceptualization and improving standardization.

Key BIM benefits include:

 

  • Real-time design adjustments pinpointing potential non-compliances.

  • Material quantity take-offs simplifying purchasing and inspections.

  • Clash detections averting unforeseen spatial conflicts.

  • Automatically generated layouts/drawings, reducing documentation errors.

  • Seamless coordination across specialties like mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and structure.

 

Adopting BIM facilitates design excellence and construction coordination, optimizing accessibility from project kick-off. Tactile solution specialists effectively integrate product data-enriching models.

 

Maintaining Accessibility Through Vigilant Stewardship

 

True accessibility demands ongoing diligence through:

 

  • Scheduled preventative inspections verifying enduring compliance by certified experts.

  • Capital forecasting anticipating element life-cycles and projected upgrades/replacements.

  • Mechanisms encouraging ongoing stakeholder input further refining provisions.

  • Recurring staff education upholding accessibility as an institutional value across departments.

  • Potential third-party auditing to remain accountable to ever-evolving best practices.

 

Continuous commitment maintains facilities welcoming all residents and visitors respectfully through evolving needs.

 

In Summary

 

By embracing inclusive design best practices from day one with assistance from tactile specialists, you can construct facilities serving diverse populations with equal dignity and pride. Please contact Tactile Solution Canada today if you'd like to discuss strategically implementing code-compliant solutions optimizing accessibility and usability for your next project. We're always here to support creating communities for all.

 

Frequently Asked Questions:

 

Q: How can small alterations still advance inclusion?

A: Low-cost solutions like enhanced signage, lever door handles, and high color/visual contrast details maximize access impacts cost-effectively for existing sites.

 

Q: What recourses exist if budgets constrain full code compliance?

A: Discuss staged solutions with accessibility consultants to maintain safe passageways amid upgrades. Prioritize high-traffic elements, delivering prompt benefits.

 

Q: Who should oversee complex accessibility projects?

A: Certified accessibility/barrier-free design consultants specializing in relevant codes expertly scope, specify, review, and inspect new builds/retrofits, sustaining full compliance. Their expertise minimizes risk exposure.

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