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RULE §510.122New Construction Requirements

(a) Facility location. Any proposed new facility shall be easily accessible to the community and to service vehicles such as delivery trucks, ambulances, and fire protection apparatus. No building may be converted for use as a facility which, because of its location, physical condition, state of repair, or arrangement of facilities, would be hazardous to the health and safety of the patients.

  (1) Hazardous locations.

    (A) Underground and above ground hazards. New facilities or additions to existing facilities shall not be built within 125 feet of right away/easement of hazardous locations including but not limited to underground liquid butane or propane, liquid petroleum or natural gas transmission lines, high pressure lines, and not under high voltage electrical lines.

    (B) Fire hazards. New facilities 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 plants.

  (2) Undesirable locations.

    (A) Nuisance producing sites. New facilities shall not be located near nuisance producing industrial sites, feed lots, sanitary landfills, or manufacturing plants producing excessive noise or air pollution.

    (B) Cemeteries. New facilities shall not be located near a cemetery in a manner that allows direct view of the cemetery from patient windows.

    (C) Flood plains. Construction of new facilities shall be avoided in designated flood plains. Where such is unavoidable, access and required functional facility components shall be constructed above the designated flood plain. This requirement also applies to new additions to existing facilities or portions of facilities which have been licensed previously as facilities but which have been vacated or used for purposes other than facilities. This requirement does not apply to remodeling of existing licensed facilities.

    (D) Airports. Construction of new facilities shall be avoided in close proximity to airports. When facilities are proposed to be located near airports, recommendations of the Texas Aviation Authority and the Federal Aviation Authority shall apply. A facility may not be constructed within a rectangular area formed by lines perpendicular to and two miles (10,560 feet) from each end of any runway and by lines parallel to and one-half mile (2,640 feet) from each side of any runway.

(b) Environmental considerations. Development of a facility site and facility construction shall be governed by state and local regulations and requirements with respect to the effect of noise and traffic on the community and the environmental impact on air and water.

(c) Facility site.

  (1) Paved roads and walkways. Paved roads shall be provided within the lot lines to provide access from public roads to the main entrance, entrances serving community activities, and to service entrances, including loading and unloading docks for delivery trucks. Finished surface walkways shall be provided for pedestrians.

  (2) Parking. Off-street parking shall be available for visitors, employees, and staff. Parking structures directly accessible from a facility shall be separated with two-hour fire rated noncombustible construction. When used as required means of egress for facility occupants, parking structures shall comply with National Fire Protection Association 88A, Standard for Parking Structures, 1998 edition. This requirement does not apply to freestanding parking structures. All documents published by National Fire Protection Association (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, P.O. Box 9101, Quincy, MA 02269-9101 or (800) 344-3555.

    (A) Number of parking places. In the absence of a formal parking study, one parking space shall be provided for each day shift employee plus one space for one and one-half patient beds. This ratio may be reduced in an area convenient to a public transportation system or to public parking facilities on the basis of a formal parking study. Parking shall be increased accordingly when the size of an existing facility is increased.

    (B) Additional parking. Additional parking shall be required to accommodate medical staff, outpatient and other services when such services are provided.

    (C) Delivery parking. Separate parking facilities shall be provided for delivery vehicles.

    (D) 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.

(d) Building design and construction requirements. Every building and every portion thereof shall be designed and constructed to sustain all dead and live loads in accordance with accepted engineering practices and standards and the local governing building codes. Where there is no local governing building code, one of the following codes shall be adhered to: Uniform Building Code, 1999 edition, published by the International Conference of Building Officials, 5360 Workman Mill Road, Whittier, California 90601, telephone (562) 699-0541; or the Standard Building Code, 1997 edition, published by the Southern Building Code Congress International, Inc., 900 Montclair Road, Birmingham, Alabama 35213-1206, telephone (205) 591-1853.

  (1) General architectural requirements. All new construction, including conversion of an existing building to a facility, establishing a separately licensed facility in a building with an existing licensed health care occupancy, and establishing a licensed facility in a nonhealth care occupancy shall comply with Chapter 18 of the National Fire Protection Association 101, Code for Safety to Life from Fire in Buildings and Structures, 2000 edition (NFPA 101), and subchapters F and G of this chapter (relating to Fire Prevention and Safety Requirements, and Physical Plant and Construction Requirements, respectively). The facility shall comply with the requirements of this paragraph and any specific architectural requirements for the particular unit or suite of the facility in accordance with §134.123 of this title (relating to Spatial Requirements for New Construction).

    (A) Special design provisions. Special provisions shall be made in the design of a facility in regions where local experience shows loss of life or extensive damage to buildings resulting from hurricanes, tornadoes, or floods.

    (B) Foundations. Foundations shall rest on natural solid bearing if satisfactory bearing is available. Proper soil-bearing values shall be established in accordance with recognized requirements. If solid bearing is not encountered at practical depths, the structure shall be supported on driven piles or drilled piers designed to support the intended load without detrimental settlement, except that one-story buildings may rest on a fill designed by a soils engineer. When engineered fill is used, site preparation and placement of fill shall be done under the direct full-time supervision of the soils engineer. The soils engineer shall issue a final report on the compacted fill operation and certification of compliance with the job specifications. All footings shall extend to a depth not less than one foot below the estimated maximum frost line.

    (C) Physical environment. A physical environment that protects the health and safety of patients, personnel, and the public shall be provided in each facility. The physical premises of the facility and those areas of the facility's physical structure that are used by the patients (including all stairwells, corridors, and passageways) shall meet the local building and fire safety codes and subchapters F and G of this chapter.

    (D) Construction type. A facility may occupy an entire building or a portion of a building, provided the facility portion of the building is separated from the rest of the building in accordance with subparagraph (E) of this paragraph and the entire building or the facility portion of the building complies with new construction requirements (type of construction permitted for facilities by NFPA 101, §18-1.6.2), and the entire building is protected with a fire sprinkler system conforming with requirements of National Fire Protection Association 13, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems, 1999 Edition (NFPA 13).

    (E) Separate buildings. Portions of a building divided horizontally with two-hour fire rated walls which are continuous (without offsets) from the foundation to above the roof shall be considered as a separate building. Communicating openings in the two-hour wall shall be limited to public spaces such as lobbies and corridors. All such openings shall be protected with self-closing one and one-half hour, Class B fire door assemblies.


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