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RULE §559.44Plans, Approvals, and Construction Procedures

At the option of the applicant, DADS will review plans for new buildings, additions, conversion of buildings not licensed by DADS, or remodeling of existing licensed facilities. DADS will, within 30 days, inform the applicant in writing of the results of the review. If the plans comply with DADS' architectural requirements, DADS may not subsequently change the architectural requirement applicable to the project unless the change is required by federal law or the applicant fails to complete the project within two years. DADS may grant a waiver of this two-year period for delays due to unusual circumstances. There is no time limit to complete a project, only a time limit for completing a project using requirements that have been revised after the project was reviewed.

  (1) Submittal of plans.

    (A) For review of plans, submit one copy of working drawings and specifications (contract documents) before construction begins. Documents must be in sufficient detail to interpret compliance with these standards and assure proper construction. Documents must be prepared according to accepted architectural practice and must include general construction, special conditions, and schedules.

    (B) Final copies of plans must have (in the reproduction process by which plans are reproduced) a title block that shows name of facility, person, or organization preparing the sheet, sheet numbers, facility address, and drawing date. Sheets and sections covering structural, electrical, mechanical, and sanitary engineering final plans, designs, and specifications must bear the seal of a registered professional engineer approved by the Texas Board of Professional Engineers to operate in Texas. Contract documents for additions, remodeling, and 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.

    (C) A final plan for a major addition to a facility must include a basic layout to scale of the entire building onto which the addition will connect. North direction must be shown. The entire basic layout usually can be to scale such as 1/16 inch per foot or 1/32 inch per foot for very large buildings.

    (D) Plans and specifications for conversions or remodeling must be complete for all parts and features involved.

    (E) The sponsor is responsible for employing qualified personnel to prepare the contract documents for construction. If the contract documents have errors or omissions to the extent that conformance with standards cannot be reasonably assured or determined, a revised set of documents for review may be requested.

    (F) The review of plans and specifications by DADS is based on general utility, the minimum licensing standards, and conformance of the Life Safety Code, NFPA 101, 2000 edition, and is not to be construed as all-inclusive approval of the structural, electrical, or mechanical components, nor does it include a review of building plans for compliance with the Texas Accessibility Standards as administered and enforced by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation.

    (G) Fees for plan review will be required in accordance with §98.22 of this title (relating to Plan Review Fees).

  (2) Contract documents.

    (A) Site plan documents must include:

      (i) grade contours;

      (ii) streets (with names);

      (iii) north arrow;

      (iv) fire hydrants;

      (v) fire lanes;

      (vi) utilities, public or private;

      (vii) fences; and

      (viii) unusual site conditions, such as:

        (I) ditches;

        (II) low water levels;

        (III) other buildings on-site; and

        (IV) indications of buildings five feet or less beyond site property lines.

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

    (C) Floor plan documents must include:

      (i) room names, numbers, and usages;

      (ii) doors (numbered), including swing;

      (iii) windows;

      (iv) legend or clarification of wall types;

      (v) dimensions;

      (vi) fixed equipment;

      (vii) plumbing fixtures;

      (viii) kitchen basic layout; and

      (ix) identification of all smoke barrier walls (outside wall to outside wall) or fire walls.

    (D) 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.

    (E) Schedules must include:

      (i) door materials, widths, and types;

      (ii) window materials, sizes, and types;

      (iii) room finishes; and

      (iv) special hardware.

    (F) Elevations and roof plan must include:

      (i) exterior elevations, including:

        (I) material note indications; and

        (II) any rooftop equipment;

      (ii) roof slopes;

      (iii) drains;

      (iv) gas piping, etc.; and

      (v) interior elevations where needed for special conditions.

    (G) Details must include:

      (i) wall sections as needed, especially for special conditions;

      (ii) cabinet and built-in work, basic design only;

      (iii) cross sections through buildings as needed; and

      (iv) miscellaneous details and enlargements as needed.

    (H) Building structure documents must include:

      (i) structural framing layout and details (primarily for column, beam, joist, and structural building);

      (ii) roof framing layout (when it cannot be adequately shown on cross section); and

      (iii) cross sections in quantity and detail to show sufficient structural design and structural details as necessary to assure adequate structural design and calculated design loads.

    (I) Electrical documents must include:

      (i) electrical layout, including lights, convenience outlets, equipment outlets, switches, and other electrical outlets and devices;

      (ii) service, circuiting, distribution, and panel diagrams;

      (iii) exit light system (exit signs and emergency egress lighting);

      (iv) emergency electrical provisions (such as generators and panels, if applicable);

      (v) staff communication system;

      (vi) fire alarm and similar systems (such as control panel, devices, and alarms); and

      (vii) sizes and details sufficient to assure safe and properly operating systems.

    (J) Plumbing documents must include:

      (i) plumbing layout with pipe sizes and details sufficient to assure safe and properly operating systems;

      (ii) water systems;

      (iii) sanitary systems;

      (iv) gas systems; and

      (v) other systems normally considered under the scope of plumbing, fixtures, and provisions for combustion air supply.

    (K) Heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning systems (HVAC) documents must include:

      (i) sufficient details of HVAC systems and components to assure a safe and properly operating installation, including 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

      (ii) equipment types, sizes, and locations.

    (L) If applicable, sprinkler system documents must include:

      (i) plans and details of NFPA designed systems;

      (ii) plans and details of partial systems provided only for hazardous areas; and

      (iii) electrical devices interconnected to the alarm system.

    (M) Specifications must include:

      (i) installation techniques;

      (ii) quality standards and/or manufacturers;

      (iii) references to specific codes and standards;

      (iv) design criteria;

      (v) special equipment;

      (vi) hardware;

      (vii) finishes; and

      (viii) any others as needed to amplify drawings and notes.

    (N) Other layout, 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 local health or wastewater authority having jurisdiction.

  (3) Construction phase.

    (A) DADS must be notified in writing before construction starts.

    (B) All construction not done in accordance with the completed plans and specifications as submitted for review and as modified in accordance with review requirements will require additional drawings if the change is significant.

  (4) Initial survey of completed construction.

    (A) Upon completion of construction, including grounds and basic equipment and furnishings, a final construction inspection (initial survey) of the facility must be performed by DADS before admitting clients. An initial architectural inspection will be scheduled after DADS receives a notarized licensure application, required fee, fire marshal approval, and a letter from an architect or engineer stating that to the best of their knowledge the facility meets the architectural requirements for licensure.

    (B) After the completed construction has been surveyed by DADS and found acceptable, this information will be forwarded to DADS' Regulatory Services Licensing and Credentialing Section as part of the information needed to issue a license to the facility. In the case of additions or remodeling of existing facilities, a revision or modification to an existing license may be necessary. The building, including basic furnishings and operational needs, grades, drives, and parking, must essentially be 100% complete at the time of this initial visit for occupancy approval and licensing. A facility may accept up to three clients between the time it receives initial approval from DADS and the time the license is issued.

    (C) The following documents must be available to DADS' architectural inspecting surveyor at the time of the survey of the completed building:

      (i) written approval of local authorities as required in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph;

      (ii) written certification of the fire alarm system by the installing agency (the Texas State Fire Marshal's Fire Alarm Installation Certificate);

      (iii) documentation of materials used in the building that 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), rated ceilings, etc., and, in the case of carpeting, a signed letter from the installer verifying that the carpeting installed is named in the laboratory test document;

      (iv) approval of the completed sprinkler system installation by the Texas Department of Insurance or designing engineer, including a copy of the material list and test certification;

      (v) service contracts for maintenance and testing of alarm systems, sprinkler systems, etc.;

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

      (vii) a written statement from an architect/engineer stating, to the best of his knowledge, the building was constructed in substantial compliance with the construction documents, the Life Safety Code, NFPA 101, 2000 edition, DADS licensure standards, and local codes; and

      (viii) any other such documentation as needed.

  (5) Nonapproval of new construction.

    (A) If, during the initial on-site survey of completed construction, the surveyor finds certain basic requirements not met, DADS may recommend the facility not be licensed and approved for occupancy. Such items may include the following:

      (i) substantial changes made during construction that were not submitted to DADS for review and that may require revised "as-built" drawings to cover the changes, including architectural, structural, mechanical, and electrical items as specified in paragraph (3)(B) of this section;

      (ii) construction that does not meet minimum code or licensure standards, such as corridors that are less than required width, ceilings installed at less than the minimum seven-foot, six-inch height, client bedroom dimensions less than required, and other such features that would disrupt or otherwise adversely affect the clients and staff if corrected after occupancy;

      (iii) no written approval by local authorities;

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

      (v) required exits not all usable according to Life Safety Code, NFPA 101, 2000 edition requirements;

      (vi) telephone not installed or not properly working;

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

      (viii) any other basic operational or safety feature that would preclude safe and normal occupancy by clients on that day.

    (B) If the surveyor encounters only minor deficiencies, licensure may be recommended based on an approved written plan of correction from the facility's administrator.

    (C) Copies of reduced-size floor plans on an 8 1/2-inch by 11-inch sheet must be submitted in duplicate to DADS for record or file use and for the facility's use for evacuation plan, fire alarm zone identification, etc. The plan must contain basic legible information such as scale, room usage names, actual bedroom numbers, doors, windows, and any other pertinent information.

Source Note: The provisions of this §559.44 adopted to be effective April 1, 2002, 27 TexReg 2250; amended to be effective April 1, 2007, 32 TexReg 1749; transferred effective January 15, 2021, as published in the Texas Register December 18, 2020, 45 TexReg 9249

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