For new construction and alterations beginning on or after March 15, 2012, a covered public or private entity must comply with the 2010 Standards for new construction and alterations.
If construction or alterations start before March 15, 2012, you have a choice of following the 1991 or 2010 Standards. If construction or alteration might not start before March 15, 2012 (e.g., for a new project that is in the design stage), it will be safest to use the 2010 Standards for that project.
You may want to consider the type of building and the types of alterations you contemplate before the compliance date. For example, an auditorium or theater with tiered seating have to follow less stringent requirements under the 2010 Standards (in most respects) than under the 1991 Standards. If you alter a single-user toilet room, in many cases the 2010 Standards would require increased floor space compared to the 1991 Standards.
During the transition, you can't choose to follow one standard for part of a building and another standard for another part. In other words, all alterations to a building during the transition (from March 15, 2011, to March 14, 2012) must follow the one standard you choose.
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