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Office of Facilities Planning
Newsletter #35 – January 2003

Get to Know us Better

Carl Thurnau came to the State Education Department in 1996 after 10 years with the New York State Office of General Services. He became the Coordinator of Facilities Planning, Management Services, and Transportation in 1998.

In addition to his busy SED workload, Carl is kept very busy with his family, wife Beth, the attorney who keeps him in line, and four kids going in all directions. Kari is a junior at Boston University, Megan is a freshman at Colorado-Fort Collins (great skiing!), Abby started Kindergarten this year, and Carl (the 5th!) will start kindergarten next year. Suffice it to say Carl is not currently looking at early retirement options!!

His hobbies are skiing, scuba diving, hunting, fishing, and camping. Don’t look for him for the middle two weeks in March because he gave Beth two tickets to Ireland for Christmas and so far, she says she is taking him with her.

Change Order Certification Information

Please provide the required information for the SED Change Order Certification. Many districts, A/Es, and CMs have had them returned to them. The required information should provide enough to show the modifications and/or deleted construction are code compliant. Provide drawings, especially if they are referred to in the change order. Explanations need to be descriptive enough to verify why it is necessary. Simply stating the work is "requested by the owner" may be interpreted as not part of the scope and could be labeled as "no aid" to the school district. An explanation of value engineering is sufficient when reasonable descriptions are provided.

Electric Latch Retraction

Since issuing our bulletin addressing Building Access Control Devices on 9/24/02 in which we discussed our disapproval of Electromagnetic Locking Devices, we have been made aware of an additional device that can be approved. The "Electric Latch Retraction" device can be installed in the factory or retrofit into certain standard "mechanical" panic exit devices. We are aware of three common manufacturers whose hardware provides these devices.

This device is placed inside a standard panic device in place of the cylinder. The device operates mechanically when pressure is applied, but is remotely locked or unlocked. Since the device is mechanically operated when pressure is applied it assures the proven exiting performance we require.

Any projects or change orders submitted to SED for approval that utilize this device must specify it as an "Electric Latch Retraction device". The information provided must provide the manufacturers specification with a description of the sequence of operation of the device and the sequence of operation of any other devices used in conjunction with this device, such as card readers or cameras. Additionally, a wiring diagram of all the equipment involved will be required.

Again, electromagnetic locking devices are not appropriate for school buildings. We hereby advise all districts which may already have such systems installed that they must be deactivated at all times that the building is occupied. Facilities Planning does not approve of this system. The use of an electrically operated strike system or electric latch retraction device, both with panic bars to assure proven exiting performance, meets the intent of all building codes and provides controlled entry.

Using the International Building Code

It is surprising to talk to designers who are not aware of Appendix K in our new Building Code of New York State. Appendix K is Chapters K1 through K12. These requirements are titled "Rehabilitation of Existing Structures". Chapter 34, "Existing Structures", is only applicable where directed by Appendix K.

The Chapters 1 – 12 address the work to be done, i.e.; repairs, renovations, alterations, reconstruction, change of occupancy, additions, historic buildings, and relocated buildings. You need to read Chapter K3 first to classify which category your scope of work fits into. There are very specific parameters set up for describing renovations, alterations, and reconstruction. Each increases the degree of upgrade for code compliance you will be required to provide. The result of this is you must let us know what you are doing and applying in your documents through the Code Compliance Checklist. If you have multiple applications then this must be provided on the drawings.

All of these Chapters have independent requirements that may differ from the other requirements for new construction. There are references stating when to refer to the requirements for new construction. As a result, Appendix K will stand up as a code by itself when the construction work is within an existing building.

An Index of our Newsletters is available on our web site at http://www.p12.nysed.gov/facplan/NewsLetters.htm.

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.