Facilities Planning

Newsletter 72 – February 2006

Get to Know us Better:

We are pleased to introduce Dan Lim who joined the engineering staff recently.  Previously Dan has worked as a consulting engineer for, well let’s say, about 15 years.  He obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, B.C., and a Diploma in Meteorology from McGill University.   Dan never became a weather forecaster, but he still wonders today, what if…

He and Elaine, his wife of, oh let’s say, about 10 years, their newish 4-year son Caiden, dog Abby, cat Boo, 4 horses, 1 pony, 4 sheep (3 pregnant-don’t go there), three goats, and 4 bunnies, all live up in the hilltowns behind Thacher Park.

Dan pretty much doesn’t do a whole lot after he gets home but feed the critters.  When he has time, Dan likes to horseback ride, motorcycle (when its running), fix vehicles, build outbuildings, split wood, ski, bike, go to farm shows, and spend time with the family.


Building Condition Survey Reminder:

The Building Condition Surveys were due to be submitted to Facilities Planning through the “Online Submission Form” by January 15, 2006.  For those school districts that have missed this date please provide the submission as soon as possible. 

Vehicle Lifts:

Previously, we had two Newsletter articles concerning Vehicle Lifts in Newsletters #57 and #59.  The Department of State Division of Code Enforcement and Administration has issued a Technical Bulletin including automotive (vehicle) lifts.  This should help clarify that Chapter 30 of the Building Code of NY State additionally applies to automotive and vehicle lifts.  It is available on their web site at: http://www.dos.state.ny.us/code/pdf/elevconveyautoliftTB.pdf External Link Icon PDF Image Icon

In our first Article we had been made aware of vehicle lifts that were being installed in bus garages at school districts where the lift did not meet the nationally recognized standard required in the Building Code of NY State.  This standard is ALI ALCTV-98, Standard for Automotive Lifts-Safety Requirements for the Construction, Testing and Validation.  In the second article we provided the Automotive Lift Institute web site address where there is a list of approved lifts.  Since that time Stenhoj Lifts (being installed by Total Tool) has had some of their lifts approved by ALI, including those sizes required for buses.  They went through a great deal of turmoil to reassure school districts the tests were completed.

When specifying a vehicle lift, be assured that you check every lift model by a manufacturer for the certification by ALI to be sure the lift model you specify meets the ALI ALCTV-98 Standard.  Some manufactures have some, but not all, of their lifts models approved.  The approval of one lift model by a manufacturer does not designate all lift models by that manufacturer are approved.

Health Concern from High Intensity Metal Halide and Mercury Vapor Lighting:

The FDA has provided a notice to schools and other indoor, all-purpose facilities where light bulbs are subject to damage.  There is a possibility that broken and unshielded high intensity metal halide and mercury vapor light bulbs can cause eye and skin injuries, particularly in school gymnasiums.  To prevent these incidents from recurring, the FDA recommends the following where the light bulbs may be broken:

  • Replacement of open or wire grid fixtures with enclosed fixtures, and/or
  • Replacement of non-self extinguishing “R” type high intensity metal halide and mercury vapor light bulbs used in open or wire grid fixtures with self-extinguishing “T” type light bulbs.

The SED Manual of Planning Standards requires each lamp or its fixture to be equipped with a shield adequate to protect against and absorb ultraviolet radiation if the lamp were to break or become defective for these types of fixtures (S803-1f).  Additionally, the 2005 National Electrical Code also addresses high intensity metal halide and mercury vapor light bulbs installed in newly constructed or renovated indoor sports or all-purpose facilities.  Because the bulbs in such areas are subject to physical damage, they must be installed in fixtures that are fully enclosed by a lens of glass or plastic to protect the bulb from breakage.  The best way to reduce the risk of burns is to use fully-enclosed fixtures or self-extinguishing “T” type mercury vapor light bulbs in facilities where the public can be exposed to the ultraviolet (UV) radiation from a broken bulb.


Please see the full FDA article on their web site at http://www.fda.gov/cdrh/radhlth/urburns.html External Link Icon.  Take particular notice about the part where more than 100 people were exposed to short-wave UV radiation from a broken mercury vapor light bulb at a high school gymnasium.  Eighteen people went to the hospital with severe eye and skin burns.  Personnel investigating the event confirmed that a broken, non self-extinguishing "R" type metal halide bulb caused the injuries.

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.

Last Updated: May 23, 2014