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TITLE 19EDUCATION
PART 2TEXAS EDUCATION AGENCY
CHAPTER 61SCHOOL DISTRICTS
SUBCHAPTER CCCOMMISSIONER'S RULES CONCERNING SCHOOL FACILITIES
RULE §61.1036School Facilities Standards for Construction before November 1, 2021

  (7) Other space requirements should be developed from school district design criteria as required to meet educational program needs.

(e) Educational adequacy. A proposed new school facility or major space renovation of an existing school facility meets the conditions of educational adequacy if the design of the proposed project is based on the requirements of the school district's educational program, the educational specifications, and the student population that it serves.

(f) Construction quality.

  (1) Districts with existing building codes.

    (A) A school district located in an area that has adopted local construction codes shall comply with those codes (including building, fire, plumbing, mechanical, fuel gas, energy conservation, and electrical codes). The school district is not required to seek additional plan review of school facilities projects other than what is required by the local building authority. If the local building authority does not require a plan review, then a qualified, independent third party, not employed by the design architect or engineer, shall review the plans and specifications for compliance with the requirements of the adopted building code. The plan review shall examine compliance conditions for emergency egress, fire protection, structural integrity, life safety, plumbing, energy conservation, and mechanical and electrical design. The review shall be conducted prior to the commencement of construction and must be conducted by a qualified building code consultant or a third party architect or engineer. A qualified building code consultant is a person who maintains, as a minimum, a current certification from the ICC. Associated fees shall be the responsibility of the school district. The reviewer shall prepare a summary list of any conditions not in conformance with the provisions of the adopted building code and is required to send a copy to the school district, design architect, or engineer. The design architect or engineer shall revise the plans and specifications as necessary and certify code compliance to the district. The reviewer, in his or her reasonable judgment and with the approval of the local building authority, may allow a limited number of variances from the codes if such variances do not negatively affect the quality or safety of the facility. Any disputes shall be a matter for contract resolution.

    (B) For school facilities projects subject to these standards, and where not otherwise required by local code, fire alarm systems shall be provided. Fire alarm systems shall be designed and installed in accordance with applicable portions of the latest edition of the International Building Code (IBC) and International Fire Code (IFC).

    (C) As part of their school facilities projects and where not otherwise required by local code, school districts should consider providing automatic sprinkler systems for fire protection, fire suppression, and life safety. In absence of a local code, each automatic sprinkler system shall be installed in accordance with the latest edition of the IBC and IFC.

    (D) If the local building authority does not conduct reviews and inspections during the course of construction of the facility, then a qualified, independent third party, not employed by the design architect or engineer or contractor, should perform a reasonable number of reviews and inspections during the course of construction for compliance with the requirements of the adopted building code. The reviews and inspections should examine compliance conditions for emergency egress, fire protection, structural integrity, life safety, plumbing, energy conservation, and mechanical and electrical design. A qualified code inspector is a person who maintains, as a minimum, a current certification from the ICC as a combination commercial inspector and commercial energy inspector.

  (2) Districts without existing building codes.

    (A) A school district located in an area that has not adopted local building codes shall adopt and use the building code and related fire, plumbing, mechanical, fuel gas, and energy conservation codes from the latest edition of the family of International Codes as published by the ICC; and the National Electric Code as published by the NFPA. As an alternative, a school district may adopt the building code and related fire, plumbing, mechanical, fuel gas, and energy conservation codes as adopted by a nearby municipality or county. A qualified, independent third party, not employed by the design architect or engineer, shall review the plans and specifications for compliance with the requirements of the adopted building code. The plan review shall examine compliance conditions for emergency egress, fire protection, structural integrity, life safety, plumbing, energy conservation, and mechanical and electrical design. The review shall be conducted prior to the commencement of construction and must be conducted by a qualified building code consultant or a third party architect or engineer. A qualified building code consultant is a person who maintains, as a minimum, a current certification from the ICC. Associated fees shall be the responsibility of the school district. The reviewer shall prepare a summary list of any conditions not in conformance with the provisions of the adopted building code and is required to send a copy to the school district, design architect, or engineer. The design architect or engineer shall revise the plans and specifications as necessary and certify code compliance to the district. The reviewer, in his or her reasonable judgment, may allow a limited number of variances from the codes if such variances do not negatively affect the quality or safety of the facility. Any disputes shall be a matter for contract resolution.

    (B) For school facilities projects subject to these standards, fire alarm systems shall be provided. Fire alarm systems shall be designed and installed in accordance with applicable portions of the latest edition of the IBC and IFC.

    (C) As part of their school facilities projects, school districts should consider providing automatic sprinkler systems for fire protection, fire suppression, and life safety. Each automatic sprinkler system shall be installed in accordance with the latest edition of the IBC and IFC.

    (D) A qualified, independent third party, not employed by the design architect or engineer or contractor, should perform a reasonable number of reviews and inspections during the course of construction of the facility for compliance with the requirements of the adopted building code. The reviews and inspections should examine compliance conditions for emergency egress, fire protection, structural integrity, life safety, plumbing, energy conservation, and mechanical and electrical design. A qualified code inspector is a person who maintains, as a minimum, a current certification from the ICC as a combination commercial inspector and commercial energy inspector.

  (3) Special provisions for portable, modular buildings. Any portable, modular building capable of being relocated that is purchased or leased for use as a school facility by a school district, whether that building is manufactured off-site or constructed on-site, must comply with all provisions of this section. Effective September 1, 2007, the following additional provisions shall apply to any portable, modular building that is purchased or leased for use as a school facility by a school district.

    (A) A school district located in an area that has adopted local construction codes shall have the portable, modular building, including the construction of the foundation system and the erection and installation of the building on the foundation, inspected by the local building authority for compliance with the mandatory building codes or approved designs, plans, and specifications. The school district is not required to seek additional inspection of the portable, modular building other than what is required by the local building authority. If the local building authority does not perform inspections, then a qualified, independent third party, not employed by the design architect, engineer, contractor, or manufacturer, shall inspect the facility, including the construction of the foundation system and the erection and installation of the facility on the foundation, for compliance with the mandatory building codes or approved designs, plans, and specifications. The inspections shall be performed within 30 days of the completion of the construction, erection, and installation of the facility on the site, and the school district shall not occupy or use the facility until the independent third party makes a final determination that the facility is in compliance with all provisions of this section. For a manufactured portable, modular building that is an industrialized building as defined by the Texas Occupations Code, §1202.003, the factory inspection performed under the oversight of the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation shall suffice to determine compliance of the building envelope with the mandatory building codes or approved designs, plans, and specifications in lieu of an inspection by the local building authority or an independent third party for a portable, modular building constructed on or after January 1, 1986; however, an inspection of the construction of the foundation system and the erection and installation of the portable, modular building on the foundation shall still be performed.

    (B) A school district located in an area that has not adopted local building codes shall have the portable, modular building, including the construction of the foundation system and the erection and installation of the building on the foundation, inspected by a qualified, independent third party, not employed by the design architect, engineer, contractor, or manufacturer, for compliance with the mandatory building codes or approved designs, plans, and specifications. The inspections shall be performed within 30 days of the completion of the construction, erection, and installation of the facility on the site, and the school district shall not occupy or use the facility until the independent third party makes a final determination that the facility is in compliance with all provisions of this section. For a manufactured portable, modular building that is an industrialized building as defined by the Texas Occupations Code, §1202.003, the factory inspection performed under the oversight of the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation shall suffice to determine compliance of the building envelope with the mandatory building codes or approved designs, plans, and specifications in lieu of an inspection by an independent third party for a portable, modular building constructed on or after January 1, 1986; however, an inspection of the construction of the foundation system and the erection and installation of the portable, modular building on the foundation shall still be performed.

    (C) A qualified, independent third party inspector is a person who maintains, as a minimum, a current certification from the ICC as a combination commercial inspector and commercial energy inspector.

    (D) A school district that has purchased or leased a portable, modular building for use as a school facility on or after September 1, 2007, and before the effective date of this section, shall have the inspections required by this subsection performed within 60 days of the effective date of this section; any items of noncompliance identified during the inspections shall be brought into compliance by the school district within 90 days of the date of the inspections.

  (4) Other provisions.

    (A) For school facilities projects subject to these standards, an adequate technology, electrical, and communications infrastructure shall be provided. To ensure the adequacy of the infrastructure, the school district and the architect or engineer shall seek the input of the school district staff, including, but not limited to, the technology director, the library director, the program directors, the maintenance director, and the campus staff, in the planning and design of the infrastructure.

    (B) As part of their school facilities projects, school districts should consider the use of designs, methods, and materials that will reduce the potential for indoor air quality problems. School districts should consult with a qualified indoor air quality specialist during the design process to ensure that the potential for indoor air quality problems after construction and occupancy of a facility is minimized. School districts should use the voluntary indoor air quality guidelines adopted by the Texas Department of State Health Services under the Texas Health and Safety Code, Chapter 385. School districts should also use the "Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools" program administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

    (C) As part of their school facilities projects, school districts should consider the use of sustainable school designs. A sustainable design is a design that minimizes a facility's impact on the environment through energy and resource efficiency.

    (D) School district facilities shall comply with the "Texas Accessibility Standards" as promulgated under the Texas Government Code, Chapter 469, Elimination of Architectural Barriers, as prepared and administered by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation.

    (E) School district facilities shall comply with the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (Title I and Title II).

    (F) School district facilities shall comply with all other local, state, and federal requirements as applicable.


Source Note: The provisions of this §61.1036 adopted to be effective June 9, 2003, 28 TexReg 4420; amended to be effective September 24, 2008, 33 TexReg 8001; amended to be effective October 12, 2021, 46 TexReg 6915

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