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Office of Facilities Planning
Newsletter #92 – October 2007

Adoption of the 2007 Codes of New York State:

The NY State Department of State has formally announced the Adoption of the Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code (Uniform Code) and Energy Code updates in the October 3, 2007 edition of the State Register.  This includes the adoption of the 2007 Codes of New York State which updates the Uniform Code and State Energy Conservation Construction Code.

The transition period for the Uniform Code is October 3, 2007 to December 31, 2007.  The Uniform Code will become effective on January 1, 2008.  The Energy Code has no transition period; it is effective January 1, 2008.

Specific Titles of the Uniform Code include:

Existing Building Code of New York State - 2007 Edition (this is a NEW code for NYS),

Building Code of New York State - 2007 Edition,

Residential Code of New York State - 2007 Edition,

Fire Code of New York State - 2007 Edition,

Property Maintenance Code of New York State - 2007 Edition,

Plumbing Code of New York State - 2007 Edition,

Mechanical Code of New York State - 2007 Edition,

Fuel Gas Code of New York State - 2007 Edition,

Energy Conservation Construction Code of New York State - 2007 Edition.

For the purpose of determining which edition of the code applies to projects submitted for review to Facilities Planning; beginning January 1, 2008 all projects received for review will be required to be designed using the provisions of the 2007 Codes of New York State.  During the transition period designers will have the option of using either the current 2003 code editions in their entirety or the newly adopted 2007 editions in their entirety.  Designers cannot "mix and match” editions of the two versions of the Uniform Code.

And please be aware that code references have all been updated.  Newer versions of reference materials such as the NFPA volumes and ANSI A117.1 are current and updated to more recent updates for all design work.

Hardware Specifications:

Facilities Planning seems to be receiving more and more hardware specifications that are not identifying locking devices.  Please recognize what your hardware consultant is adding to the hardware specification.  Panic and exit devices are appropriate hardware labels for exit doors, but we need to increase everyone’s awareness when addressing the remaining doors.  The remaining locking devices must identify the function of the lock.  Listing “classroom function”, “security classroom function”, “passage function”, “privacy function” or “storeroom function” with each device would appropriately let us know what we can expect will be installed.  Listing the lock as “locking”, “locking hardware” or “security” will not satisfy our need to verify the requirement for most doors to classrooms, storerooms, offices, and similar spaces when they are located in corridor doors.  The hardware number is not helpful to our review, nor do we have the available time to research and look these up for every project.    

Annual Visual Inspections:

The fall is here and many school districts are preparing to begin their Annual Visual Inspections (AVI).  The AVI is part of the Rescue Regulations of October 7, 1999.  (See Section 155.4(b)(2) of the Commissioner’s Regulations.)  The AVI is required for every occupied public school building to maintain the safety of school buildings and the welfare of their occupants.  The AVI is required to be completed by November 15th and reported to Facilities Planning by January 15th, 2008.  We will be providing additional information for reporting the AVIs in the near future.  Reporting will be similar to last year.

The purpose of the AVI is to provide visual re-inspection of the components of the Building Condition Survey (BCS) for changes that may have occurred, and to review and update the safety ratings of the BCS if needed.

The AVI is required to be conducted by a team composed of at least three people.  The first must be a person certified by the Department of State as a code enforcement official, or in the case of the City of New York, a person certified by the New York City Building Department as a local code enforcement official.  The second person is the district Director of Facilities or his or her designee.  The third person shall be a member of the health and safety committee required pursuant to subdivision 155.4(d) of this same regulation.  The three people on the team cannot be one or two people with multiple qualifications or titles.

If an annual visual inspection results in a determination that the building may have a deficiency that would result in a violation of the Safety Rating System within 155.4(c) of this regulation, for which the safety rating of the building is unsatisfactory or unsafe/unhealthful, the district must retain a licensed architect or engineer to perform a detailed inspection and develop a corrective action plan.

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Please continue to send in your comments and requests.  If you have a subject you would like addressed, feedback on the material you read, input or general comments we are happy to hear from you.