Office of Facilities Planning
Newsletter #52 – June 2004

Great News:

There is no longer a "backlog" of work at Facilities Planning. With the exception of Energy Performance projects, the review time for projects is less than eight weeks again. As a result of our implementation of new procedures and the additional staff we hired this past November the time projects wait for review by our architects and engineers has reduced significantly.

The reduction also includes the receipt of most forms and other required information. Since the implementation of our new procedures we have been assigning review numbers to projects immediately on receipt here in our office. We are presently holding over twenty projects from review until sufficient documents are received to be able to begin our review. Districts can contact their SED Project Manager if their project has not been reviewed and is here at SED for more than four weeks.

Executive Summary Reminder:

Beginning July 1, 2004, every capital construction project submitted for approval will be required to provide a copy of the executive summary of their five-year Capital Facilities Plan. Projects received on or after July 1 that do not include the executive summary will not be reviewed and will not be eligible for a building permit. Please see our web site at:

Competitive Bidding:

Are you providing construction documents that provide your client with competitive bids? Is there a possibility you may be providing specifications that might be considered exclusionary? You’re thinking, "Why won’t the Facilities Planning people stop talking about this already?" Or maybe you’re thinking, "My client wants what he wants, who am I to argue the point?" If that’s the case, you may want to add, "Can I get sued over this specification?"

By now everyone has seen the proper equivalency / or equal clause. You may not "get around" this by having a deduct alternate that provides for an equivalent product in lieu of a specific product. Remember, equivalent is pre-bid, substitution is post-contract. For further information on this fine point see:

If you specify standardized items, equipment, or material, you must follow the requirements for standardization authorized by Section 103, subdivision 5 of the General Municipal Law. (See Examine these requirements very carefully. Before passing a resolution of the school board for standardization of anything have the school districts attorney review and approve the language. This recommendation is for the protection of both the school district and the architect/engineer. This recommendation is the same for purchase contracts of materials or equipment for construction.

A final note: What you submit to SED for review and approval is the official bid set. After you submit a project to SED, any changes – ANY – must be submitted to us. Even if it is just to add the bid date information. If the project has not been reviewed, you may replace the documents. If it has been picked up off the shelf for review, any change must be in the form of an addendum, sealed of course. We will be looking very closely at hardware and the issue of challenges that have been coming up recently.

Project With Multiple Buildings:

In Newsletter #7 we provided a "List of suggestions to speed up reviews". We would like to request everyone keep this list in mind when preparing documents for submission to Facilities Planning. Recently we noticed two of the items in this list should be detailed further.

Within a set of drawings for multiple buildings, complete the drawings of the first building including the plans, elevations, sections, ceilings and schedules, then the drawings of the second building, the third, etc. Provide common wall, door, window and other details either up front or at the end. Bind all the drawings for one building together, Architectural, Mechanical, Plumbing, and Electric. If you bind more than one building together be sure to bind drawings for one building, then the second, then the third, etc.

Provide a list of drawings on your first drawing sheet. Write the "real name" of each sheet to let us know what is on each drawing. We will see all the drawings listed for each building before going on to the next building.

Face-to-Face Review Appointments:

The Face-to-Face review announcement is on our website at Scroll down and make your appointment if your project is qualified. We will be make appointments for any project that is qualified.

It is imperative that the A/E firms assure that the documents submitted for face-to-face reviews are 100% bid ready. This process was intended to make the process quicker. Incomplete documents cause a double review and waste everyone’s time.

Please remember to e-mail a copy of your Code Compliance Checklist to Barbara at the time you are submitting your request.

An Index of our Newsletters is available on our web site at

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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.