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Office of Facilities Planning
Newsletter #28 – June 2002


Getting to Know us Better:

Meet Liz Freund - our newest architect - she started last September. Originally from Long Island, Liz moved upstate a decade ago. (An RPI graduate, guess she missed the bitter cold winters and had to come back!) She may be a new name for some of you since she worked for 6 days and then left on 9/11 for 6 weeks to serve in the Coast Guard Reserve on Staten Island.

She has also joined the ranks of many women in the country, and is participating in the 9/11 mini-baby boom; her first baby is due July 28th, the day before her own birthday! As a result Liz has been reviewing the lighter weight projects so don't be offended if a couple of big projects are skipped, the rest of the staff is taking care of them.

Liz and her husband Rich live in Clifton Park with an adorable miniature dachshund (Xena) a parrot (Toni) and many tanks of tropical fish. She enjoys bird watching, gardening and misses the ocean breezes.

Change Orders - Again!

It is apparent that in the current climate of construction relationships change orders are quite often generated through the Construction Manager hired by school districts. This relationship in no way relieves the architect or engineer of record from their legal responsibility of assuring that the change orders meet SED requirements. We have often repeated the requirements and ask that you refresh your memory by checking our web site at

http://www.p12.nysed.gov/facplan/articles/D01_change_orders.html or reviewing previous articles in Newsletters 8, 10, 18, 24, and 26 at http://www.p12.nysed.gov/facplan/NewsLetters.htm.

An item that is not being provided for many change orders is the SED 15-digit project control number. This MUST be provided and must be correct. Some Construction Managers have had personal telephone calls requesting them to correct this oversight for us, but have not done so to date. We would also appreciate if the SED number was typed in bold or larger print so that we can find it easily. On some company forms the number is hidden and often it is smaller or stamped on. We have discussed sending change orders back to the districts when this happens and that would surely do a disservice to your clients.

Again, please send us only one copy of your change order. They are posted on our web site when received. You will find them under the title Proj. Status & Reports, then Capital Construction Project Change Order Status. We also post the date of approval on the same web site. If the change order is not on the web site it has not been received by SED. If you have a question regarding a change order that has been received but has not yet been approved, you should call the architect or engineer at SED who has reviewed the project. Most change orders are up-to-date but there is a slight backlog of change orders to be reviewed at this time.

Final Building Project Reports:

We are no longer sending the Final Building Project Report booklets with the project approval packets. As with all of our other forms, these booklets are available at our web site at


Using the International Building Code:

In Newsletter #25 from March 2002 we notified everyone that the International Building Code has been adopted for NY State. See http://www.p12.nysed.gov/facplan/Newsletter/Newsletter_25.html on our web site. The family of IBC codes will still be referred to as the Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code. The "official names" of the individual books will be "Building Code of New York State", "Mechanical Code of New York State", "Fire Code of New York State", etc. If you have not ordered your new codebooks you can place an order from the IBC web site at http://shop.iccsafe.org/codes/state-and-local-codes/new-york-state.html.

For the next six months we are going to add a section to every Newsletter that will highlight an item of importance that is different from our current building code requirements. The first and most important item is the Manual of Planning Standards (MPS). The MPS is a more restrictive book of standards derived from Regents Rules, Section 14.1 (Appendix D) and Commissioner’s Regulations, Title 8, NYCRR, Part 155 (Appendix D). The MPS is still required to be applied to every building project submitted to SED for approval. There are no items in the MPS that we are planning to change. Please note that if the Building Code, Mechanical Code or Fire Code of New York State requires something that is more restrictive, it does take precedence over the MPS and must be incorporated into your design documents.

The easiest change from our existing building code to the Building Code of New York State will be the Occupancy Classification. The previous classification "C5.5" will be "E," with the "E" standing for "education." However, you have to be sure you are applying the "E" classification to the proper educational level. Universities or educational institutions above grade 12 will be the same occupancy classification as business, not education. Pre-kindergarten will depend on the age, number of children in the program and if they stay at the facility overnight. This particular age group might fit into the institutional occupancy as day-care or institution.

In addition to Building Areas, Fire Areas, Sprinklers and other changes, the IBC requires a significant amount of design data to be included with the submission whether it pertains to the design or not. Seismic is the best example. We will provide more information on what will be required for these in the future.

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

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.