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RULE §135.51Construction Requirements for an Existing Ambulatory Surgical Center

(a) Compliance.

  (1) A licensed ambulatory surgical center (ASC) which is licensed prior to the effective date of these rules is considered to be an existing licensed ASC and shall continue, at a minimum, to meet the licensing requirements under which it was originally licensed.

  (2) In lieu of meeting the requirements in paragraph (1) of this subsection, an existing licensed ASC may, instead, comply with National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 101, Life Safety Code 2003 Edition (NFPA 101), Chapter 21, Existing Ambulatory Health Care Occupancies. All documents published by NFPA as referenced in this section may be obtained by writing or calling the NFPA at the following address or telephone number: National Fire Protection Association, 1 Batterymarch Park, Quincy, Massachusetts 02269-9101 or (800) 344-3555.

(b) Remodeling and additions. All remodeling, renovations, additions and alterations to, or relocation of an existing ASC shall be done in accordance with the requirements for new construction in §135.52 of this title (relating to Construction Requirements for a New Ambulatory Surgical Center). When existing conditions make such changes impractical, the department may grant a conditional approval of minor deviations from the requirements of §135.52 of this title (relating to Construction Requirements for a New Ambulatory Surgical Center), if the intent of the requirements is met and if the care, safety, and welfare of patients will not be jeopardized. The operation of the ASC, accessibility of individuals with disabilities, and safety of the patients shall not be jeopardized by a condition(s) which is not in compliance with these sections.

  (1) Building equipment alterations or installations. Any alteration or any installation of new building equipment, such as mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire protection, or piped medical gas system, shall comply with the requirements for new construction and shall not be replaced, materially altered, or extended in an existing ASC until complete plans and specifications have been submitted to the department, and the department has reviewed and approved the plans and specifications in accordance with §135.54 of this title (relating to Preparation, Submittal, Review and Approval of Plans, and Retention of Records).

  (2) Minor remodeling or alterations. Minor remodeling or alterations within an existing ASC which do not involve alterations to load bearing members and partitions, change functional operation, affect fire safety, add or subtract services, or involve any of the major changes listed in paragraph (3) of this subsection are considered to be minor projects and require evaluation and approval by the department. An ASC shall submit a written request for evaluation, a brief description of the proposed changes, and sketches of the area being remodeled. Based on such submittal, the department shall evaluate and determine whether any additional submittals or inspections are required. The department shall notify the ASC of its decision.

  (3) Major remodeling or alterations. All remodeling or alterations which involve alterations to load bearing members or partitions, change functional operation, affect fire safety, or add or delete services are considered major projects. An ASC shall comply with this paragraph prior to beginning construction of major projects.

    (A) Submittal of plans. Plans shall be submitted in accordance with §135.54 of this title for all major remodeling or alterations.

    (B) Phasing of construction in existing facilities.

      (i) Projects involving alterations of or additions to existing buildings shall be programmed and phased so that on-site construction will minimize disruptions of existing functions.

      (ii) Access, exit access, and fire protection shall be maintained so that the safety of the occupants will not be jeopardized during construction.

      (iii) A noncombustible or limited combustible dust and vapor barrier shall be provided to separate areas undergoing demolition and construction from occupied areas. When a fire retardant plastic material is used for temporary daily usage, it shall be removed at the end of each day.

      (iv) The air inside the construction area shall be protected by mechanical filtration that recirculates inside the space or is exhausted directly to the exterior.

      (v) The area shall be properly ventilated and maintained. The area under construction shall have a negative air pressure differential to the adjoining areas and shall continue to operate as long as construction dust and odors are present.

      (vi) Temporary sound barriers shall be provided where intense, prolonged construction noises will disturb patients or staff in the occupied portions of the building.

(c) Previously licensed ASCs. A previously licensed ASC which has been vacated or used for other purposes shall comply with all the requirements for new construction contained in §135.52 of this title in order to be licensed.

Source Note: The provisions of this §135.51 adopted to be effective June 18, 2009, 34 TexReg 3948

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