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Office of Facilities Planning

Newsletter Update #3 – June 2000

If you would like to have this Update sent directly to you by e-mail,
please send your e-mail address to Joe Levy at jlevy@mail.nysed.gov

There are over 130 people on our e-mail list for this Newsletter. A few people have requested to have their e-mail addresses added and for one reason or another the address did not work. Please send it again if you could. Also, please provide feedback. Our purpose is to provide information which will help all Consultants and Facilities Planning provide a quick concise review of all projects. This will help the schools get their construction projects out to bid in a timely manner.

International Building Code:

New York State has started the official process to adopt the International Building Code. The final rules will also incorporate modifications for New York. Presently the Department of State is conducting public hearings at various locations around the state in order to meet their schedule to implement the code in January 2002. A program to provide training for building code officials is being planned during the year 2001. Training for architects and engineers has not been ruled out but you may want to begin looking into it now. The DOS web site is http://www.dos.state.ny.us/code/ls-codes.html . Take a look and start planning on it because...

Beginning in January 2002 it is most likely that projects submitted to Facilities Planning would be required to be designed utilizing the International Building Code in addition to the SED Manual of Planning Standards. The final rules adopted by DOS will set up how this would be implemented. Therefore, any project you are designing in 2001 which is to be submitted in 2002 will need to be designed with the IBC and not the NYS UFP&BC.

Fire Walls:

Under the NYS UFP&BC a fire wall is a masonry wall which completely subdivides a building into fire areas. Fire walls form a continuous fire and smoke barrier between fire areas from foundations to or through the roof. The removal or collapse of framing on one side of the fire wall shall not endanger the fire wall and the framing on the opposite side. The fire-resistance ratings of fire walls shall be the same as for party walls as set forth in section 770.6(c) of the code.

Where a building is constructed of two or more types of construction the fire-resistance rating of the fire wall shall be that required for the higher type of construction. Exterior wall openings located within 10 feet horizontally of the fire wall are required to be equipped with hour rated opening protectives in the fire area of the higher type of construction. See 704.3(b)(4) of the code.

Fire walls shall extend above the roof to form a parapet wall in conformity with the requirements of Table IV-770 of this code. Where a roof is of noncombustible construction having fire-resistance rating of at least 3/4 hour, a fire wall may terminate at the underside of the roof, provided that the junction of the wall and roof is made smoke-tight. Where a roof is of combustible construction or of noncombustible construction having a fire-resistance rating less than 3/4 hour, the fire wall may terminate at the underside of the roof, provided that the roof is protected with noncombustible construction of the same fire-resistance rating as the fire wall for a distance of at least 24 inches on each side of the fire wall.

If your existing or new construction exceeds the allowable fire area you may need a fire wall or an improved type of construction. Use the Code Review Checklist and it will help you determine your needs very easily.

Building Aid:

Any capital project requires proper authorization. For all districts except the Big Five, "proper authorization" is generally "voter approval." In certain instances, such as an emergency which requires a capital project for a permanent solution to an unanticipated problem, the Board of Education may pass a resolution making a determination that a capital project may be funded as an ordinary contingent expense. This has to be an instance whereby the health or safety of the occupants of the building is in danger unless the construction takes place rather quickly.

Definitions of various construction terms may be found on pages 16 through 20 of our document entitled, STATE BUILDING AID FOR PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICTS AND BOCES. This is on our website under the forms and publications section in PDF format (http://www.p12.nysed.gov/facplan/publicat/bldgaid.pdf ).

Please note that the $10,000 threshold is only for Building Aid eligibility. This amount refers to only contract costs and a project must total at least $10,000 in construction contract costs, exclusive of related incidental costs, in order to be eligible for Building Aid. Of course, there are other factors determining aid-ability such as the nature of the work, the type of building involved, the capacity of instructional facilities, ownership, and the district's Building Aid Ratio.

Facilities Planning has reviewed over 600 projects during April and May of this year. The staff has put in a large number of extra hours to complete this task, this is very similar to the number of extra hours put in by design firms who have provided this enormous task to us. Particularly notable is the weekends given up by our Mechanical Engineers who worked each weekend. As noted on the Facilities Planning Web Site, this effort helped reduce the review period to 6 weeks.

We are happy to hear from you. If you have a subject you would like addressed, feedback on the material you read, input or general comments, please send them to Joe Levy at jlevy@mail.nysed.gov .

We plan to address subject matter as discussed at our March 29, 2000 Workshop, common errors holding up reviews, solutions to repeat problems and any subject which will help the schools and consultants quickly and efficiently receive their project approvals.