Technical Infeasibility Exemptions

Defining Technical Infeasibility

An alteration of a building or a facility that has little likelihood of being accomplished because the existing structural conditions require the removal or alteration of a load- bearing member that is an essential part of the structural frame, or because other existing physical or site constraints prohibit modification or addition of elements, spaces or features that are in full and strict compliance with the minimum requirements for new construction and which are necessary to provide accessibility.

The Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines & Chapter 11B of the California Building Code provide for exemption from reaching complete compliance with the standards of accessibility they establish, applicable only in alterations. An exception granted under these provisions cannot apply to new construction. The those codes and laws require the university to maintain records of any exemptions granted through this process.

Exception for Infeasibility

In alteration work, if compliance with the ADA is technically infeasible, the alteration shall provide accessibility to the maximum extent feasible. Any elements or features of the building or facility that are being altered and can be made accessible shall be made accessible within the scope of the alteration.

Documenting Exemptions

Project Managers and Design Professionals supporting a project seeking exemption from the access requirements outlined above due to the technical infeasibility of compliance must download and complete the form following this explanation. Again, the form serves as:

  1. Documentation of the technical barrier(s) presented by complete compliance with applicable state and federal regulations,
  2. A description of the steps taken to achieve the maximum possible compliance with applicable state and federal regulations, and
  3. A description of any relevant  programmatic efforts to assure equivalent facilitation of University programs, services, and activities primarily located within the project area.

Completing the Form

Please keep the following in mind:

  • A project seeking exemption must complete Declarations of Technical Infeasibility for each feature of a project requiring exemption (i.e. a separate form for 1) a ramp with constrained run that must exceed maximum slope and 2) a second ramp that cannot be made compliant in slope due to weight restrictions when they are both part of the same project)
  • As this document demonstrates the technical restrictions limiting compliance, the project must contract with a qualified and licensed professional who will support the exemption request and list their licence type/number.
  • The completed form(s) must accompany project documentation at each stage of review, including all university and DSA project reviews.
  • If an exemption is requested without attaching this form, the Building Department will require a completed form before issuing construction permits.