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RULE §553.63Construction and Initial Survey of Completed Construction

(a) Construction phase.

  (1) DADS Regulatory Services Division, Licensing and Credentialing Section must be notified in writing of construction start.

  (2) All construction must comply with minimum licensing requirements. It is the sponsor's responsibility to employ qualified personnel to prepare the contract documents for construction of a new facility or remodeling of an existing facility. Contract documents for additions and remodeling and for the construction of an entirely new facility must be prepared by an architect licensed by the Texas Board of Architectural Examiners. Drawings must bear the seal of the architect. Certain parts of contract documents including final plans, designs, and specifications concerning sheets and sections covering structural, electrical, mechanical, sanitary, and civil engineering must bear the seal of a professional engineer licensed by the Texas Board of Professional Engineers to operate in Texas or, the signature of a Responsible Managing Employee or Alarm Planning Superintendent licensed by the State Fire Marshal's Office as authorized by subsection (b)(12) and (15) of this section.

    (A) Remodeling is the construction, removal, or relocation of walls and partitions, the construction of foundations, floors, or ceiling-roof assemblies, or the expanding or altering of safety systems including sprinkler, fire alarm, and emergency systems.

    (B) General maintenance and repairs of existing material and equipment, repainting, applications of new floor, wall, or ceiling finishes, or similar projects are not included as remodeling, unless as a part of new construction. DADS must be provided flame spread documentation for new materials applied as finishes.

(b) Contract documents.

  (1) Site plan documents must include grade contours; streets with names; north arrow; fire hydrants; fire lanes; utilities, public or private; fences; unusual site conditions including ditches, low water levels, other buildings on-site; and indications of buildings five feet or less beyond site property lines.

  (2) Foundation plan documents must include general foundation design and details.

  (3) Floor plan documents must include room names, numbers, and usages; numbered doors including swing; windows; legend or clarification of wall types; dimensions; fixed equipment; plumbing fixtures; and kitchen basic layout; and identification of all smoke barrier walls from outside wall to outside wall or fire walls.

  (4) For both new construction and additions or remodeling to existing buildings, an overall plan of the entire building must be drawn or reduced to fit on an 8 1/2 inch by 11 inch sheet; submit two reduced plans for file record. See subsection (d)(3) of this section.

  (5) Schedules must include door materials, widths, types; window materials, sizes, types; room finishes; and special hardware.

  (6) Elevations and roof plan must include exterior elevations, including material note indications and any roof top equipment; roof slopes, drains, and gas piping, and interior elevations where needed for special conditions.

  (7) Details must include wall sections as needed (especially for special conditions); cabinet and built-in work; cross sections through buildings as needed; and miscellaneous details and enlargements as needed.

  (8) Building structure documents must include structural framing layout and details primarily for column, beam, joist, and structural frame building, roof framing layout if the layout cannot be adequately shown on a cross section; cross sections in quantity and detail to show sufficient structural design and structural details as necessary to assure adequate structural design, also calculated design loads.

  (9) Electrical documents must include electrical layout, including lights, convenience outlets, equipment outlets, switches, and other electrical outlets and devices; service, circuiting, distribution, and panel diagrams; exit light system with exit signs and emergency egress lighting; emergency electrical provisions including generators and panels; and similar systems including control panels, devices, and alarms; sizes and details sufficient to assure safe and properly operating systems; and a staff communication system.

  (10) Plumbing documents must include plumbing layout with pipe sizes and details sufficient to assure safe and properly operating systems, water systems, sanitary systems, gas systems, other systems normally considered under the scope of plumbing, fixtures, and provisions for combustion air supply.

  (11) Heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) documents must include sufficient details of HVAC systems and components to assure a safe and properly operating installation including, but not limited to, heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning layout, ducts, protection of duct inlets and outlets, combustion air, piping, exhausts, and duct smoke and/or fire dampers; and equipment types, sizes, and locations.

  (12) Fire sprinkler system plans and hydraulic calculations must be designed in accordance with and including all the required information on the plan, specified in NFPA 13, NFPA 13R, or NFPA 13D as applicable and the NFPA documents referenced therein, published by the National Fire Protection Association and signed by a Responsible Managing Employee, licensed by the State Fire Marshal's Office or bear the seal of a licensed professional engineer.

  (13) Other layouts, plans, or details as may be necessary for a clear understanding of the design and scope of the project; including plans covering private water or sewer systems must be reviewed by the local health or wastewater authority having jurisdiction. If no local authority, then the plans will be reviewed by DADS.

  (14) Specifications must include installation techniques, quality standards and/or manufacturers, references to specific codes and standards, design criteria, special equipment, hardware, painting, and any others as needed to amplify drawings and notes.

  (15) Detailed fire detection and alarm system working plans must be designed in accordance with the applicable sections of the National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code (NFPA 72) and the National Electric Code (NFPA 70) and signed by an Alarm Planning Superintendent licensed by the State Fire Marshal's Office or bear the seal of a licensed professional engineer.

(c) Initial survey of completed construction.

  (1) Upon completion of construction, including grounds and basic equipment and furnishings, an initial architectural inspection of the facility, including additions or remodeled areas, is required to be performed by DADS prior to occupancy. The completed construction must have the written approval from the local authorities having jurisdiction where the facility is located, including the fire marshal, health department, and building inspector.

  (2) The inspection described in paragraph (1) of this subsection may be obtained on an expedited basis by complying with §92.4(g) of this chapter (relating to License Fees).

  (3) After the completed construction has been surveyed by DADS and found acceptable, DADS Life Safety Code staff conveys the survey results to DADS Licensing and Credentialing Section as part of an applicant's license application. In the case of additions or remodeling of existing facilities, the applicant may be required to submit a revision or modification to an existing license. All building, grades, drives, and parking must essentially be 100 percent complete including basic furnishings and operational needs at the time of the initial visit for occupancy approval and licensing. A facility may accept up to three residents after it receives initial approval from DADS Life Safety Code staff but before the license is issued.

  (4) The following documents must be available to DADS surveyor at the time of the survey of the completed building:

    (A) written approval of local authorities as called for in paragraph (1) of this subsection;

    (B) record drawings of the fire detection and alarm system as installed, signed by an Alarm Planning Superintendent licensed by the State Fire Marshal's office or sealed by a licensed professional engineer, including a sequence of operation, the owner's manuals and the manufacturer's published instructions covering all system equipment, a signed copy of the State Fire Marshal's Office Fire Alarm Installation Certificate, and, for software-based systems, a record copy of the site-specific software excluding the system executive software or external programmer software in a non-volatile, non-erasable, non-rewritable memory;

    (C) documentation of materials used in the building which are required to have a specific limited fire or flame spread rating including special wall finishes or floor coverings, flame retardant curtains including cubicle curtains and rated ceilings. In the case of carpeting, the documentation must include a signed letter from the installer, verifying that the carpeting installed is named in the laboratory test document;

    (D) record drawings of the fire sprinkler system as installed, signed by a Responsible Managing Employee, licensed by the State Fire Marshal's Office or sealed by a licensed professional engineer, including the hydraulic calculations, alarm configuration, aboveground and underground Contractor's Material and Test Certificate, all literature and instructions provided by the manufacturer describing the proper operation and maintenance of all equipment and devices in accordance with NFPA 25, Standard for the Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems;

    (E) service contracts for maintenance and testing of alarm systems and sprinkler systems;

    (F) a copy of gas test results of the facility's gas lines from the meter;

    (G) a written statement from an architect or engineer stating that, from periodic onsite observation visits, the facility as constructed is, to the best of the architect's or engineer's knowledge and belief, in substantial compliance with the architect's or engineer's construction documents, the Life Safety Code, DADS licensure standards, and local codes; and

    (H) the contract documents specified in subsection (b) of this section.

(d) Nonapproval of new construction.

  (1) If, during the initial on-site survey of completed construction, the surveyor finds certain basic requirements not met, the surveyor may recommend to DADS Licensing and Credentialing Unit that the facility should not yet be licensed and approved for occupancy. The basic items that may trigger non-approval include:

    (A) construction which does not meet minimum code or licensure standards for basic requirements including corridors that are less than the required width, ceilings installed at less than the minimum seven-foot six-inch height, resident bedroom dimensions less than required, and other features which would disrupt or otherwise adversely affect the residents and staff if corrected after occupancy;

    (B) lack of written approval by local authorities having jurisdiction, including the fire marshal, health department, and building inspector;

    (C) fire protection systems not completely installed or not functioning properly, including, but not limited to, fire alarm systems, emergency power and lighting, and sprinkler systems;

    (D) required exits not all usable according to NFPA 101 requirements;

    (E) telephone not installed or not properly working;

    (F) sufficient basic furnishings, essential appliances, and equipment are not installed or not functioning; and

    (G) any other basic operational or safety feature which the surveyor, as the authority having jurisdiction, believes would preclude safe and normal occupancy by residents on that day.

  (2) If the surveyor encounters minor deficiencies, the surveyor may recommend approval of the facility's license based on an approved written plan of correction from the facility's administrator.

  (3) A facility must submit two copies of reduced size floor plans on an 8 1/2 inch by 11 inch sheet to DADS for DADS record and for the facility's use including an evacuation plan or fire alarm zone identification. The plan must contain basic legible information including scale, room usage names, actual bedroom numbers, doors, windows, and any other pertinent information.

Source Note: The provisions of this §553.63 adopted to be effective July 1, 1996, 21 TexReg 5335; amended to be effective August 1, 1998, 23 TexReg 7036; amended to be effective June 1, 2010, 35 TexReg 4471; amended to be effective January 6, 2014, 39 TexReg 90; transferred effective May 1, 2019, as published in the Texas Register April 12, 2019, 44 TexReg 1886

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