Directories exist to direct people in an orderly fashion to the point or place they are trying to get to.
Most commercial office buildings depend on three different type of directories: building; floor; and suite. Each serves the same purpose, to direct people in an orderly fashion to the point or place they are trying to get to. These types of signs, unless they identify a specific room or space, are not covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
– Building Directory: A building directory has a comprehensive listing of the tenants and the suite or floor number that they occupy.
– Floor Directory: These are almost always located directly outside of an elevator or stairway. Sometimes they list the tenants and an arrow, others have the suite number.
– Suite Directory: A suite directory will have a suite number along with the name of the tenant. These must have braille to comply with the ADA standards.
Does a directory sign have to comply with ADA standards?
It depends on what type of directory sign it is. If the sign is a lobby or floor directory, it does not have to comply with the ADA standards. `If the sign is a suite indicator, it must comply with the ADA code relative to material, wording, pictographs and install height.
Does my directory sign have to be lit?
Not necessarily. We usually like to look to the hours that the building is open. If the building is locked down as of 530pm, lighting the sign might not be necessary. Also, the amount of ambient light in the lobby plays a big role in the viewability of the directory. If it’s dark, then it does make sense to backlight the directory. The ultimate test is to ensure that the tenants names can be read easily by visitors to the building.
Is there a standard size and shape to a directory sign?
No. These signs, whether lobby, floor or suite can be custom designed to fit the architecture of the building. They can include wood, metal, acrylic plastics and PVC (unless they identify a room or space, then they need to comply with ADA guidelines).