ADA Committee - Preferable Equipment and Furnishings

ADA Committee

Preferable Office Equipment and Furnishings

General Guidelines

1) Look for the least toxic, most healthful materials available for specific applications. 

2) Allow all new purchases of materials, furnishings, and equipment to air out (off gas) after unpacking, and before installation. A warm, sunny place is ideal. Do not air out in public areas! Consult the ADA Committee for more specific information. 

3) Wash or thoroughly wipe down new items whenever possible. Do this outdoors. Use unscented soap and water, vinegar and water, Basic H and water, or baking soda solution. 

4) Cluster equipment that will need additional ventilation after installation so that remote on/off switches, isolating barriers, and other arrangements can be most efficient. 

5) Place signage on building/room entrances stating the nature of the new item, the date placed, and its location.

Specific Guidelines

LCD-type monitors are preferable to VDT monitors. Note: the rear of VDT monitors should not be "pointed" at locations where people sit or stand.
Computers with metal casing are preferable to plastic.
New equipment, including cords and cables, will need to be aired for a few weeks away from the public.
See General Guidelines above. 

Printers/Fax Machines:
Inkjet types are best. Epson and Hewlett Packard are preferable over Canon brands. Avoid laser printers and fax machines utilizing toner. 

Wood Furniture:
Hardwoods or non-resinous softwoods are best. Avoid resinous woods such as pine and spruce. A water-based polyurethane finish is best. Avoid oil-based finishes. Avoid laminates, composite woods, chipboards, and plywood in furniture construction. 

Other Furniture:
Metal furnishings are preferable to plastic or foam. Hard, smooth plastic is preferable to soft, textured plastic. Avoid vinyl and PVC. 

Upholstery and Fabrics:
Avoid soft plastics, vinyl, PVC. Avoid fabric treatments such as anti-staining, moth repellents. Avoid leather. Nylon is ok. Cotton and other washable natural fabrics are best. 

Floor Coverings/Mats:
Avoid carpeting. Untreated natural fiber throw rugs are preferable. Washable is best. Avoid latex, rubber, and other non-fiber backings. Avoid anti-slip matting under rugs. Resinous, rubber, or plastic floor or welcome mats should be avoided. 

Shelving and Storage:
Metal is best. Avoid plastic unless it will be in a cool location away from the public. Cardboard is ok as long as the storage location is not humid. Wood is ok--see "Wood Furniture" 

Window Screens:
New screening should be aluminum mesh. You have to ask. Older screens should be replaced when needed with aluminum mesh. 

Avoid tube florescents. Compact florescents, incandescents, and full-spectrum lights are preferable. Metal, ceramic, or glass lamp fixtures are best. Avoid plastic or resinous fixtures. New cords often need to air out. See General Guidelines. Do not use candles or oil-type lamps. 

Metal construction is preferable. Avoid plastic and resins. Choose models that come apart for cleaning. 

Air Conditioners:
Portable free-standing models, or central systems with filtration are preferable to window units. Choose models that are easy to clean thoroughly around coils and condensation disposal areas. Clean coils before seasonal use, and monthly during season of use. Position so that cold air is not blowing across where the public must sit or stand. Note: Air conditioners should not be used in public areas without proper ventilation for office equipment such as copiers, fax, printers. 

Other Equipment:
Metal construction is preferable. Avoid plastics and resins especially around areas of the equipment that will heat during use, such as electronic components and engine housings. Furnaces and heaters should have sealed combustion chambers and exterior venting. Electric space heaters should be metal construction; if they have a fan, the fan should be accessible for cleaning.