Q: When will mandatory compliance with the new 2012 Texas Accessibility Standards (TAS) begin?
A: Here is the official release from the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation:
"Compliance with the 2012 TAS for new construction and alterations of all buildings and facilities subject to Chapter 469.003 is determined by:
• the date the last application for a building permit or permit extension is certified to be complete by a State, county, or local government;
• the date the last application for a building permit or permit extension is received by a State, county, or local government, where the government does not certify the completion of applications; or
• the start of physical construction or alteration, if no building permit is required.
If that date is on or after March 15, 2012, then new construction and alterations must comply with the 2012 TAS. If that date is on or after April 1, 1994, and before March 15, 2012, then new construction and alterations must comply with either the 1994 TAS or the 2012 TAS."
Q: What do I need to submit for project registration and plan review?
A: See the Plan Review page for complete instructions. You can also download our Plan Review Submittal Checklist to help assemble the submittal items.
Q: The construction value of my project is less than $50,000. Does this mean I don't have to comply with the Texas Architectural Barriers Act?
A: No. It simply means you don't have to register your project and have the subsequent review and inspection. Compliance must still be achieved regardless of the dollar amount. If you would like us to review and/or inspect your project anyway, call us for a quote. The results of either will not be filed with the state.
Q: How long will the plan review take?
A: 3-5 business days, depending on our current workload.
Q: What if construction has already started and the project was not submitted for plan review?
A: You will need to make the submittal to us as soon as possible.
Q: Are we required to provide proof of plan review approval to the local jurisdiction before they will issue our building permits?
A: It depends. If the local jurisdiction has enacted policy which requires proof of approval prior to permit issuance, then that is the case. However, the state requires only that you provide proof of project registration. The state does NOT require that you provide proof of plan approval to the local building authority.
Q: Is submitting to a Registered Accessibility Specialist the same as submitting to the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation?
A: Yes, in most cases you will not be required to make other submittals to the TDLR unless you contest the results through the procedures outlined by the Department.
Q: What if I disagree with the results of the review or inspection?
A: Please call us to discuss the specific details. You may also apply for a Variance to the TDLR, but check the qualifying instructions with the application before submitting. We are prohibited from offering opinions as to whether the variance might be approved.
Q: How do I get a building or facility inspected after construction?
A: See the Inspections page for complete details.
Q: As the Owner holding title to the property, what should I do if I want to designate a different Agent to act on my behalf?
A: If you previously designated an Agent using the prescribed form and wish to revoke that Agent's authorization, you will need to notify us of that fact in writing as soon as possible. If you want to designate a second Agent, you will need to fully complete and submit an additional Owner Agent Designation Form naming that person as an Agent.
Q: What does "EABPRJ" stand for?
A: EABPRJ is an acronym for Elimination of Architectural Barriers Project. This is typically followed by an "A" or "B" and then a seven-digit number. (Example: B1234567). This is the project number assigned by the Department when the project is officially registered.
Q: When will the inspection take place?
A: If we were pre-hired to provide the final inspection at the time the project was submitted to us, the final inspection will occur after the recorded construction completion date and before the one year anniversary of that date.
Q: Who is required to be present during the inspection?
A: The Owner, Owner's Agent, or any other party as an Owner Designee, must be present. For example, the Owner may simply designate the store manager. We must have that person complete a TDLR Proof of Inspection Form upon arrival on site.
Q: If the final inspection fee was prepaid to Texas Access at time of project submittal, and a Request for Inspection Form was not submitted after completion, will the inspection fee be canceled?
A: It depends. In the event that the final inspection fee was prepaid to Texas Access at time of the initial project submittal, and the inspection is not requested utilizing a Request for Inspection Form within the first anniversary of the RECORDED project completion date, the final inspection fee, in its entirety, may be forfeited by Rule (TDLR Administrative Rule 68.80(g)).
Q: I received a Notice of Inspection Due (NOID) from the TDLR informing me that an inspection is overdue. I've already paid for the inspection, so what do I do with the form?
A: If you, the Owner, or your previously designated Agent, has already pre-paid the inspection fee to a Registered Accessibility Specialist (RAS), then you will need to check the second statement on the form and write in the name of that Registered Accessibility Specialist. Be sure to complete all requested information and promptly return the form to TDLR within the time period specified on the form. Contact the RAS that was paid the inspection fee to ascertain the next steps.
Q: Can you make an interim inspection before construction is completed?
A: Yes, submit a transmittal letter to us with the pertinent project information and include a check for the interim inspection fee.
Note: In order for us to conduct an interim inspection, we must have been hired to do both the review and final inspection (company policy). We will make the inspection by comparing the approved documents with the work in progress. Results of the interim inspection are not required to be filed with the state. Our interim inspection fees are very reasonable and the extra service can pay off big-time at final inspection. Consider it insurance. The best time for the inspection is just prior to the pouring of concrete or prior to the issuance of the Certificate of Occupancy. We cannot conduct an interim inspection AFTER the C. of O. has been issued.
Q: If I own property or a building that houses one or more tenants where construction has occurred, and the tenant's design professional registered the project with the state, am I now responsible for arranging for the final inspection?
A: Yes. The Texas Architectural Barriers Act requires owners to shoulder the responsibility of obtaining the final inspection. Under current law, design professionals are required to register the project and have it reviewed and approved, but not arrange for the inspection. More and more design professionals are arranging for the final inspection at the time of project registration so that you don't have any surprises down the road.
Q: I am the property owner. I am responsible for the work of my tenants?
A: Yes. A common misconception is that owners are not responsible for tenant improvements, only site or building shell and core related work. The Texas Architectural Barriers Act places the responsibility of compliance with building and facility owners and does not exempt that responsibility for tenant work. Simply put, state law requires that building and facility owners are responsible for ALL relevant work that occurs on a site, or in a building, of which they hold legal title to.
Q: The Texas Accessibility Standards and the ADA are basically the same thing, right?
A: No, they are not the same. The Texas standards has received equivalency certification status from the Department of Justice, which simply means they meet or exceed the federal guidelines (ADAAG). They are not a substitute for federal law, however, compliance with the TAS constitutes Rebuttable Evidence of compliance with the federal standards.
Q: Can you mail us a brochure or printed information about Texas Access and the services you offer?
A: No. Our website serves as our brochure, however, you will find links throughout the site to documents that can be downloaded for print out.