Are you looking for a wheelchair ramp design that will work for your home or building? There are different options for common stationary ramps. If you intend to build a ramp yourself or are looking to buy a ramp, this article will explore some of the common ramp types and general wheelchair ramp design considerations.
Three of the common ramp types you’ll come across are straight, zigzag, and wrap. Each ramp design can serve a purpose, depending on the location and the wheelchair users involved.
Straight ramps are a relatively simple wheelchair ramp design and may be the best option if you want to build a ramp on your own. It’s also a common style for ramps you can buy. It’s a straight line that slopes upward from the ground to the landing and would usually feature handrails but some portable ramps and ramps that are of a mechanical design may be shorter and not have handrails. You may see straight ramps made out of almost any material but especially wood or metals like aluminum and steel. Track ramps are a common form of straight ramp.
Ramps that zigzag are also common. Why zigzag when you can form a straight line instead? Depending on the height of the destination, if the design is going to meet building codes, it can only be so steep. In order to have a slope that is reasonable and navigable for wheelchair users, the ramp is some cases might have to be incredibly long. This is not always possible given the size of the property involved. The solution? A long one that is basically folded up accordion style so it zigzags. They can slope gently and not take up that much space at the same time.
Those that wrap, run on a similar principle as those that zigzag. Instead of a design that runs in a straight line, it’s wrapped around and integrated onto the house or building for a more convenient, but also more stylish, design. Zigzag and wrap ramps can especially be spotted in wood and concrete. As concrete is more durable and lasts longer, you’ll see ramps in this material more often in public places.
General Ramp Design
In order to design a wheelchair ramp, you must build it according to code. This includes your local building codes as well as national standards created by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). These regulations apply to both public and private residences that have wheelchair ramps. You’ll need to adhere to the code for the proper slope and rise of the ramp design, the correct minimum width of the ramp, the size of the landings and transitions, and the use of and height of handrails. You can also look to the ADA Web site for free online wheelchair ramps designs to help you along with your design.
Consider the building and the space around it for the right wheelchair ramp design as well as its users. Straight, zigzag, and wrap ramps all serve a function and one of these designs may be perfect for your property.
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