Office of Facilities Planning
Newsletter #60 – February 2005 

 

Quick Approval of Projects - Forms:

Facilities Planning has many forms and it seems we have inundated school districts and designers with them.  Each form is designed with its purpose in mind.  What is not apparent to some users of the forms is how useful the forms actually can be.  Those people who fill out our forms and send them in without complying with requirements of the form often find their administrative paperwork is not complete or their documents have many architectural or engineering comments.  Those people who closely read the forms and understand what they are filling out have their administrative paperwork approved within days and the project entirely approved in quick order.  This is most likely the difference between waiting two or more months for your SED approval.  Presently the expected review period is six weeks or less. 

Here are some tips for completing Facilities Planning’s forms. 

Form FP-CL ( 6/2003) - Checklist for Application for Building Permit and Examination and Approval of Final Plans and Specifications:

(Long Name, easy form.)  This form simply reminds everyone of the administrative forms and letters SED requires the district and their professionals to complete.  Do you know how many people check these items off on the form and don’t do them?  The answer is … way too many. 

The best part about this form is most of the information is very specific.  Such as, Regarding Asbestos: - submit separate letter, as noted… and the form tells you exactly what to write on the letter.  We get 20% of these letters without the information that is specifically requested. 

Form FP-EEB 7/2002 - Evaluation of Existing Building:

Some projects are submitted to our office with non-conformance items checked on the evaluation of existing building form.  All of these items are required to be corrected immediately by the district or within the project.  The project cannot be approved without planning and completing the correction of these nonconformities immediately. 

To assist us in expediting your review, it would be helpful to address where the non-conformance is and how you have addressed the non-conformance under this project.  Any serious code deficiencies or life safety issues will delay your project being approved and may result in the certificate of occupancy of the building being revoked and a temporary certificate issued.  We will not accept a letter from the A/E stating the non-conformance issues will be addressed at a later date. 

Form FP-CCC 5/2003 - Code Compliance Checklist:

(We feel as if we should refer to this as the “dreaded” Code Compliance Checklist)  Understanding code requirements is the key to this form.  Leaving blank information or not submitting required information implies that the designer did not read the code requirements. 

When filling out the A/E Contact Information on page 1:

On the code compliance form where the A/E contact is requested, we would appreciate the name of the design professional who is familiar and responsible for the project rather than an office person who fills out the forms.  When our staff calls to review comments with you, having the responsible person on the phone to discuss code questions allows the review to progress more quickly than speaking to someone who really is not familiar with the entire project.  We know your time is valuable as well as ours and we would like to help you get your projects approved as quickly as possible. 

Please fill out the Energy Conservation Code Checklist:

Recently we have been receiving several projects for review either without the energy conservation code checklist, or with the form not completed.  As a reminder, this form needs all information filled in; including the zone and glazing percentage used as a basis for your design.  The form must be included, for example, if you are doing window/door replacements, or roof replacements.  All new construction must conform to the energy code, which requires submission of the form.  If you are using com-check, please attach a copy of it with your submission.  Please remember, this form is required for ALL ROOF WORK. 

Similarly, if you want your review to be approved quickly, never send your addenda to the SED Project Manager.  ALWAYS send your addenda to the SED architect or engineer who requested it from you.  As noted in previous Newsletters, this single item may add weeks to your review due to the sheer volume of paperwork received in this office.

 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.