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RULE §506.91Construction Requirements

(a) General. When local regulations are in effect and enforced governing the construction of a SCF, the SCF shall be constructed in accordance with the local regulations. An existing SCF may voluntarily comply with any of the following requirements.

(b) Existing special care facilities. In the absence of local regulations, an existing SCF shall comply with the following sections.

  (1) Compliance.

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

    (B) In lieu of meeting the requirements in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph, an existing licensed SCF may, instead, comply with National Fire Protection Association 101, Code for Safety to Life from Fire in Buildings and Structures, 2000 edition (NFPA 101), Chapter 33, Existing Residential Board and Care Facilities, or Chapter 19, Existing Health Care Occupancies. All documents published by NFPA as referenced in these rules may be obtained by writing or calling the NFPA, 1 Batterymarch Park, Quincy, MA 02169-7471, or (800) 344-3555.

  (2) Remodeling and additions. All remodeling, renovations, additions and alterations to or relocation of an existing SCF shall be done in accordance with the requirements for new construction in subsection (c) of this section. When existing conditions make such changes impractical, the department may grant a conditional approval of minor deviations from the requirements of subsection (c) of this section, if the intent of the requirements is met and if the care, safety and welfare of residents will not be jeopardized. The operation of the SCF, accessibility of individuals with disabilities, and safety of the residents shall not be compromised by a condition(s) that is not in compliance with this chapter.

    (A) 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 may not be replaced, materially altered, or extended in an existing SCF 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 §125.94 of this title (relating to Preparation, Submittal, Review and Approval of Plans).

    (B) Minor remodeling or alterations. Minor remodeling or alterations within an existing SCF 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 subparagraph of this paragraph are considered to be minor projects and require evaluation and approval by the department. An SCF shall submit a written request for evaluation, a brief description of the proposed changes, and sketches of the area being remodeled or altered. Based on such submittal, the department will evaluate and determine whether any additional submittals or inspections are required. The department will notify the SCF of its decision.

    (C) 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. A SCF shall comply with this subparagraph prior to beginning construction of major projects.

      (i) Submittal of plans. Plans shall be submitted in accordance with §125.94 of this title for all major remodeling or alterations.

      (ii) Phasing of construction in existing facilities. 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.

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

        (II) Construction, dust, objectionable fumes and vapor barriers shall be provided to separate areas undergoing demolition and construction from occupied areas.

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

  (3) Previously licensed SCF. A previously licensed SCF that has been vacated for 12 months or longer or used for other purposes shall comply with all the requirements for new construction contained in subsection (c) of this section in order to be licensed.

(c) Construction requirements for new SCFs.

  (1) SCF location. A SCF may be a distinct separate part of an existing hospital. It may occupy an entire separate independent structure, or it may be located within another building such as an office building or commercial building.

    (A) Accessibility to facility. The location of a proposed new SCF shall be easily accessible to service vehicles and fire protection apparatus.

    (B) Means of egress. A SCF shall have at least two exits remotely located in accordance with NFPA 101, §§,, and When a required means of egress from the SCF is through another portion of the building, that means of egress shall comply with the requirements of NFPA 101 which are applicable to the occupancy of the other building. Such means of egress shall be open, available, unlocked, unrestricted, and lighted at all times during the SCF hours of operation.

    (C) Hazardous locations.

      (i) Underground and above ground hazards. A new SCF or an addition(s) to an existing SCF shall not be constructed within 125 feet of a hazardous location or easement. Hazardous locations include underground liquid butane or propane, liquid petroleum or natural gas transmission lines, high-pressure lines, or under high voltage electrical lines.

      (ii) Fire hazards. A new SCF shall not be built within 300 feet of above ground or underground storage tanks containing liquid petroleum or other flammable liquids used in connection with a bulk plant, marine terminal, aircraft refueling, bottling plant of a liquefied petroleum gas installation, or near other hazardous or hazard producing areas.

      (iii) Health and safety hazards. A new SCF shall not be located in a building which, because of its location, physical condition, state of repair, or arrangement of facilities, would be determined hazardous to the health or safety of the resident.

    (D) Undesirable locations.

      (i) Nuisance producing sites. A new SCF shall not be located near nuisance producing sites such as industrial sites, feed lots, sanitary landfills, or manufacturing plants which produce excessive noise or air pollution.

      (ii) Flood plains. Construction of a new SCF shall be avoided in designated flood plains. Where such is unavoidable, access and required SCF components shall be constructed at least one foot above the designated flood plain. This requirement also applies to new additions to an existing SCF or a portion of facility which has been licensed previously as a SCF, but which has been vacated or used for other purposes. This requirement does not apply to remodeling of an existing licensed SCF.

      (iii) Cemeteries. A new SCF shall not be located near a cemetery in a manner that allows direct views of the cemetery from resident rooms, dining area, living areas or front entry of the facility.

  (2) SCF site. The SCF site shall include paved roads, walkways, and parking in accordance with the requirements set out in this paragraph.

    (A) Paved roads and walkways.

      (i) Paved roads shall be provided within lot lines for access from public roads to the main entrance and to service entrances. Gravel-based roads are permitted in rural areas.

      (ii) Finished surface walkways shall be provided for pedestrians. When public transportation or walkways serve the site, finished surface walkways or paved roads shall extend from the public conveyance to the building entrance.

    (B) Parking.

      (i) Off street parking shall be provided at the minimum ratio of one space for each four resident beds, one space for each daytime staff member, and one visitor space for every four resident beds, or per local code, whichever is more stringent.

      (ii) Handicapped parking. Parking spaces for handicapped persons shall be provided in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, Public Law 101-336, 42 United States Code, Chapter 126, and Title 36 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 1191, Appendix A, Accessibility Guidelines for Buildings and Facilities.


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