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RULE §131.146Preparation, Submittal, Review and Approval of Plans, and Retention of Records

(a) General.

  (1) Facility owners or operators shall not begin construction of a new building, additions to, or renovations, or conversions of existing buildings until the department approves final construction documents.

  (2) Plans and specifications describing the construction of new buildings, and additions to, or renovations, and conversions of existing buildings shall be prepared by registered architects and/or licensed professional engineers and meet the requirements of this subchapter.

  (3) The names of spaces used in the functional program narrative, preliminary documents, final construction documents, and specifications shall be consistent with the names of the spaces used in this chapter.

  (4) The department shall notify the facility owner or operator of the result of its review of each type of submission discussed in this section.

  (5) The facility owner or operator shall respond to all department requests for additional information, including providing a plan of correction for deficiencies cited by the department.

  (6) Once final construction documents are approved, the facility owner or operator shall request inspections in accordance with §131.147 of this title (relating to Construction, Inspection, and Approval of Project).

  (7) When construction is delayed or put on hold for longer than one year from the plan approval or self-certification approval date, construction documents shall be resubmitted to the department for review and approval. The plans shall be accompanied by a new application for plan review and functional program narrative.

  (8) The facility owner or operator shall provide written notification to the department when a project has been placed on hold, canceled, or abandoned.

  (9) The department may close a project file after one year of assigning an application number to a project if the project has been placed on hold.

(b) Submission of projects and assignment of application number.

  (1) The facility owner, operator, or representative shall submit the following items to the department in care of the mailing or overnight delivery address that appears on the application for plan review:

    (A) a completed and signed application for plan review. The application for plan review may be obtained by calling the department or by visiting the department's website at www.dshs.state.tx.us/hfp;

    (B) a functional program narrative in accordance with subsection (d) of this section; and

    (C) final construction documents in accordance with subsection (f) of this section.

  (2) The cost of submitting documents/plans and specifications shall be borne by the sender.

  (3) Once the department has determined that the submission required in paragraph (1) of this subsection is complete, the department shall assign an application number to the project that shall be referenced on all documents and correspondence related to the project. Final construction documents shall be reviewed in the chronological order received.

  (4) All deficiencies noted in the final plan review shall be satisfactorily resolved before approval of project for construction will be granted.

  (5) Construction shall not begin until the facility owner or operator of the facility receives written notification from the department that the final construction documents have been approved.

(c) A facility owner, operator, or representative may request a feasibility conference. A feasibility conference is an informal meeting between a member of the department's architectural review group staff and the facility owner, operator, or representative to determine the feasibility of a project, for consultation and informational purposes, and to facilitate and establish understanding of compliance with the rules and codes.

  (1) A feasibility conference is not a substitute for plan review.

  (2) A facility owner, operator, or representative may schedule a feasibility conference by calling the department.

  (3) The facility owner, operator, or representative shall provide at the feasibility conference the items in subsection (b)(1)(A) - (C) of this section and a set of preliminary plans or final construction documents.

  (4) The facility owner, operator, or representative is responsible for recording conference notes and shall submit the notes to the department.

(d) The facility owner or operator shall submit a functional program narrative to the department with each new project in accordance with subsection (b)(1)(B) of this section. The functional program narrative shall be presented on facility letterhead, signed by facility administration, include the functional description of each space, and the following:

  (1) departmental relationships, number of patient stations, and other basic information relating to the fulfillment of the facility's objectives;

  (2) a description of each function to be performed, approximate space needed for these functions, occupants of the various spaces, projected occupant load, types of equipment required, interrelationship of various functions and spaces, and any special design features;

  (3) energy conservation measures, included in building, mechanical, and electrical designs;

  (4) a description of the type of asepsis control in diagnostic and treatment areas; and

  (5) the type of construction (existing or proposed) as stated in §20.1.6 of National Fire Protection Association 101, Life Safety Code, 2003 Edition (NFPA 101), published by the National Fire Protection Association. All documents published by the NFPA as referenced in this section may be obtained by writing or calling the NFPA at the following address and telephone number: 1 Batterymarch Park, Quincy, Massachusetts 02169-7471, (800) 344-3555.

(e) The department may request preliminary documents. If requested by the department, the submission shall consist of the items in subsection (b)(1)(A) - (C) of this section, preliminary plans, and outline specifications. The documents shall contain sufficient information to establish the project scope, description of functions to be performed, project location, required fire safety and exiting requirements, building construction type, compartmentation showing fire and smoke barriers, and the usage of all spaces, areas, and rooms on every floor level.

(f) Final construction documents and specifications shall be submitted to the department for review and approval before the start of construction. All final documents and specifications shall be appropriately sealed and signed by the project registered architect and professional engineer(s) licensed by the State of Texas.

  (1) The facility owner or operator shall submit to the department for review and approval the items in subsection (b)(1)(A) - (C) of this section (if not previously submitted with preliminary documents) and one set of final construction documents and specifications covering the construction of new buildings or alterations, additions, conversions, modernizations, or renovations to existing buildings.

  (2) Construction documents shall be well-prepared so that clear and distinct prints may be obtained, shall be accurately and adequately dimensioned, shall include all necessary explanatory notes, schedules, and legends, and shall be adequate for contract purposes. Compliance with model building codes and this chapter shall be indicated. The type of construction, as classified by National Fire Protection Association 220, Standard on Types of Building Construction, 1999 Edition, shall be provided for existing and new facilities. Final plans shall be drawn to a sufficiently large-scale to clearly illustrate the proposed design but not less than 1/8-inch equals 1 foot. All spaces shall be identified by usage (using the names of spaces used in this chapter) on all plans (architectural, fire safety, mechanical, electrical, etc.) submitted. Separate drawings shall be prepared for each of the following branches of work.

    (A) Architectural drawings shall include the following:

      (i) a map of the area within a 500 foot radius of the facility site shall be provided and any hazardous and undesirable location noted in §131.143(a) of this title (relating to Construction Requirements for a New Facility) shall be identified;

      (ii) site plan showing all new topography, newly established levels and grades, existing structures on the site (if any), new buildings and structures, roadways, parking, walks, easement, overhead or underground utilities or service lines, and the extent of the areas to be landscaped. All structures which are to be removed under the construction contract and improvements shall be shown. A general description of the immediate area surrounding the site shall be provided;

      (iii) plan of each floor and roof to include fire and smoke separation, means of egress, and identification of all spaces;

      (iv) schedules of doors, windows, and finishes;

      (v) elevations of each facade;

      (vi) sections through building; and


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