Office of Facilities Planning
Newsletter #69November 2005


Substantial Completion form, FP-CSC 4/2005:

This is our second request; please download the NEW updated Certificate of Substantial Completion form.  It is on our web site forms page at


We have updated the regulatory references, the code references, and added Special Inspections.  The old form is no longer acceptable.  Please dispose of previous versions of this form.  The date on this form is on the top left of both pages and reads 04/2005.


AIA forms for completion are not acceptable.  You must submit the SED CSC form before we will allow the building to be occupied.

Energy Conservation

Fall is in the air along with threats of higher heating bills this winter.  If you are a school with a steam heating system, it is a good time to do a steam trap survey and check for leaking steam traps.  These notorious heat wasters are located at all steam using devices such as unit ventilators, radiators, heat exchangers, and in crawl spaces, boiler rooms etc.  Instruments are readily available to test steam traps including ultrasonic testers and temperature probes.  Training is required to properly use these instruments.  Keeping good records is essential.  Outside contractors are also available to perform steam trap surveys.  The manufacturers of steam traps offer extensive information as well as plant maintenance magazines and organizations. 

For more information see the following article on steam traps on web page

Environmentally Sensitive Products for Schools

The State Education and State Finance laws were recently amended in relation to the procurement and use of environmentally sensitive cleaning and maintenance products in New York State elementary and secondary schools (Education Law 409-I and Finance Law 163-b).   Under these amendments, schools will be required to buy such products on their own or through centralized state purchasing contracts.  The intent of the law is to reduce “…exposures of children and school district staff to potentially harmful chemicals and substances used in the cleaning and maintenance of schools.”  The effective date of these laws is September 1, 2006.   The following school facilities are covered by this new rule:

§       Public and nonpublic elementary and secondary schools

§       City school districts

§       BOCES

§       Special act school districts

§       Private and parochial schools

§       Charter schools

§       Approved private schools for the education of students with disabilities

In accordance with the law, the following agencies are working together to develop guidance materials and specifications, including sample lists for purchasing cleaning and maintenance products: the State Education Department (SED); State Office of General Services (OGS); State Department of Health (DOH); State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC); and the State Department of Labor (DOL).  OGS is responsible for establishing State contracts for schools to purchase such cleaning and maintenance products.  We are working with the OGS Procurement Services Group to develop a State contract for environmentally sensitive cleaning products.  The above noted agencies are also working to gather information on this topic and will seek input from interested parties.

The law stipulates that schools “shall follow such guidelines, specifications, and sample lists when purchasing cleaning and maintenance products for use in the facilities.”  We anticipate having the guidance prepared by the summer of 2006.  The State Education Department and the State Office of General Services will disseminate these guidance materials to all schools covered by this rule once they have been completed.  Technical assistance will also be available from the above noted State agencies to support schools in implementing this rule.

Please feel free to contact either Laura Sahr (, or Kurt Larson  ( with any questions on this new law.

Change Orders:

Our staff here at Facilities Planning receives voluminous quantities of change orders every week.  Every change order must be logged into the computer, reviewed by an Architect, Engineer, sometimes both, and occasionally with our Project Managers.  After review the approval is entered into the computer.  This is time consuming and our staff has limited resources.

We need your help.  Please be diligent to add the SED Project number on your change orders.  Increasing numbers of change orders do not have the project number on them.  The absence of the project number consumes time and causes everyone delay.  Our only recourse is to return these change orders to the school district.

Additionally, we again ask that everyone provide the specific information requested in Part Two of the Change Order Certification.  The lack of a detailed description and specific reason for each item on the change order has caused countless delays for the School Districts and Facilities Planning.  Entering “discovered condition” or “requested by owner” are not considered specific reasons without additional information.

Please help us by completing change orders to meet the requirements requested. 

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.