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Office of Facilities Planning
Newsletter #33 – November 2002


Get to Know us Better:

Some of you already know John O’Donnell. John joined the State Education Department in 1978, coming from private industry, to work in the Child Nutrition Programs. In 1989 he transferred to the State Aid unit hoping to broaden his knowledge in the financial end of Education. (Boy, What a trip!) He recently transferred to Facilities Planning from the State Aid unit where he was primarily responsible for Building Aid since 1994. Prior to 1994, he was responsible for various other state-aided programs.

John lives in the marvelous hills of Rennselaer County with his wife Fran and all the creatures of nature. He enjoys doing major and minor projects around their house (some take years to complete) as well as enjoying the Grand kids.

Your Building Permit

SED Building Permits are approved for bidding projects up to two years after the date of issuance. After the project has been bid they remain in effect during the construction period, and as extended by this office.

To extend the bid date beyond two years of a permit date, a new Building Permit must be issued by Facilities Planning. Therefore you must request an extension for each specific Building Permit number. The new date of issuance will be indicated on the new permit.

Required submission documents for an extension of a Building Permit are one copy of each of the following:

  1. Drawings and specifications or a CD of the contract documents, as they will go out to bid. The first file on the CD must be an index or key file coordinating drawing names, specification sections, and addenda numbers keyed to the file names. Provide all files in jpeg or PDF format unless approved otherwise,
  2. A statement indicating what building code the design used, Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code or the Building Code of New York State,
  3. A signed and sealed statement of "no changes", or "addenda" with copies, noting changes to the original submission documents,
  4. A completed copy of the latest Code Compliance Checklist, (form FP-CCC 7/2002 at this printing). Submit the front page and any pages with pages with addend items.

Remember that all correspondence and submission items must be labeled with the 15 digit SED project number, district name, and building name.

Using the International Building Code

Exit requirements for a school, Educational Group E, follows sections 1003 through 1006 in the Building Code of New York State (BCNYS). Additional miscellaneous and assembly exit requirements follow in sections 1007 and 1008. A copy of the 2000 IBC Handbook has detailed information and diagrams that will help to understand exit requirements.

The standard exit requirements are clear concerning occupant load. Normal classroom loads are 20 square feet per person. Shops, vocational rooms and we feel science, art, home careers, and similar rooms, can all be calculated at 50 square feet per person when the rooms do not have normal desk seating areas. Further requirements are set up for posting of occupant loads in assembly spaces, egress convergence, fixed seat spaces, and exiting multiple and mezzanine levels.

The means of egress requirements are lengthy and detailed. New terms are used and old terms are well defined and outlined. These sections will need a greater amount of attention. You will find the requirements for exit signs, exit lighting, accessible route, doors, locks/hardware, and stairways. The exit path, exits, and exit discharge are each accommodated in sections 1004 through 1006. The handbook diagrams are needed to explain what the "common path of exit travel" is. The code definition does not come close to explaining. Normal corridor fire ratings are 1-hour and if the building has a full sprinkler system no fire rating for corridors is necessary except where the Manual of Planning Standards (MPS) has a more restrictive fire rating requirement.

Exiting requirements for assembly spaces are specified in section 1008. Assembly spaces include the auditorium, gymnasium, swimming pool, lecture hall (LGI), library, skating rink, and cafeteria. Again, maximum occupancy signs must be specified. As always, be particularly aware that the MPS does have more restrictive requirements that must be applied in S106. Also, assembly space exit widths are much greater in S104-2. Compare BCNYS section 1003.2.2.3, which requires cumulative-combining of exit/occupant loads of corridors and exit doors shared by classrooms and assembly spaces, with these MPS sections. We feel that the MPS requirements for extra doors for assembly spaces, with the necessity of the same number of doors in the corridors and lobbies, may alleviate the cumulative-combining requirements in many instances. However be careful, the exits must be adequate to satisfy both the MPS and BCNYS requirements. It is possible either one of these might be more restrictive in these instances. You MUST follow whichever one is more restrictive.

If you would like to have this Newsletter 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.