GSA Courthouse Management Group
Mechanical Lift Analysis
EXISTING CRITERIA, CODES, AND STANDARDS
Current performance criteria, provided by GSA and the Administrative Office of the U.S.
Courts (AOUSC), are inadequate to ensure that a mechanical lift installation will meet
industry minimum codes and standards. One of the major goals of this Analysis is to
identify and consolidate the most stringent agency requirements, and then generate
related performance criteria.
EXISTING AGENCY CRITERIA
The only directions currently given to the design A/E firm regarding function and
placement of mechanical lifts within the courtroom environment are the following from
GSA and AOUSC:
GSA publication PBS-100, Facilities Standards for the Public Building Service,
Chapter 9, November 2000 edition, states:
" It is GSA and judiciary policy that all Federal courtrooms have the lectern,
counsel tables, the witness box, and jury box accessible in the original design;
and the judge's bench, clerk's station, and other court personnel workstations
adaptable, regardless of local or state code.
Access to all raised areas in courtrooms requires lifts or permanent ramps. Since
lifts must be an integral part of the architecture of the courtroom, bench areas
will be designed to accommodate this equipment including structural slabs with a
shallow pit for the lift platform. GSA and the U.S. Courts prefer the use of
permanent lifts instead of ramps because they take less room, can be integrated
into the design of the room, and are not tripping hazards. (Lifts are allowed by
both UFAS and ADA.) "
AOUSC publication U.S. Courts Design Guide, Chapter 4, 1997 edition, makes
only general reference to the requirement for lifts at the jury box, witness box, and
judge's bench within the diagrams that illustrate standard courtroom floor plans.
(In the narrative information, Chapter 4 also mentions the option of using either
ramps or lifts at all courtroom functions.)
HDR Architecture, Inc.