Facilities Planning

Newsletter 75 – May 2006

Get to Know us Better:

Tony Frandino, Jr. joined Facilities Planning in April.  He previously practiced architecture in the private sector for over 23 years.  Tony studied architecture at Orange County Community College and Syracuse University.  A registered architect for over 18 years, Tony also has experience in real estate development and general contracting.  Most recently he was the project architect on housing projects in Albany, Buffalo and Rochester.

Tony lives in East Greenbush with his wife Jennifer and their two sons, Tony, 7, and Chris, 5.  After the little league, the leggos, the match-boxes and the “honey-do list” he tries to make time for other interests which include biking, skiing, sailing, guitar, fishing and swimming.  Tony excelled in swimming at OCCC and MW High School and goes to the “Y” every week to do a “few laps”.

Face to Face Reviews:

We have encountered difficulties in the implementation of the face to face review process.  The original intent of the process was to streamline the code review for those particularly complicated or complex projects involving new construction, additions, or reconstruction as defined by the state building code.  It is not a method to shorten the time before which a project will be reviewed, but designed to shorten the actual review by allowing the designer and reviewer to interact in order to discuss and understand the scope of the project.  Face to face reviews are set up at a future date estimated to be when the project would normally be reviewed under normal circumstances.  

We also cautioned consultants that designs must be complete so as not to waste the time and effort of all involved.  We are finding that this is not the case. 

Please be advised that we will immediately begin taking a closer look at all requests for face to face reviews.  Projects that are of normal complexity will not receive face to face reviews as it is not necessary and will not decrease the review and approval time. 

Districts that are scheduled for face to face reviews will be required to participate in the process by providing a district administrator at the review.  In this way, Districts will come to understand the complexity of the review and will be aware of the level of completeness in the documentation provided by their consultants. 

We hope that these changes continue to assist districts where it is truly necessary and beneficial to the process.  Remember, face to face reviews are not intended to reduce the waiting time prior to review.  Thank you for your cooperation.

Fire Alarm System Visual Notification Appliance Requirements:

If providing a design for a fire alarm system within an existing building, please keep in mind that we are looking for two items that some designers are not providing. 

First, when an existing fire alarm system is upgraded or replaced, or a new fire alarm system is installed, the fire alarm system visual notification appliances shall be provided throughout the entire existing building in accordance with current code requirements.  This is the only way to assure the fire alarm system is compliant with all required standards.

Second, spacing criteria for visual notification appliances, in conjunction with candela ratings (effective intensity), are identified in NFPA 72 (1999 Edition) Section 4-4 and in ICC/ANSI A117.1 (1998 Edition) Section 702.3.  Various areas within a building have different requirements for candela ratings and spacing.  For example, 15 candela appliances may not be appropriate in large open spaces.  In order to assist us in determining whether proposed installations will comply with code, please provide design documents that clearly indicate candela ratings for all visual notification appliances.

Addendum Reminders:

Believe it or not, this is copied from Newsletter #51 of May 2004.  The Staff here at Facilities Planning again requests everyone to help us out by providing the requested information below.  You would be surprised how much time we expend when people are not providing the information requested.

As already reminded in Newsletter #s 2, 7, 8, 15 and 51, please send your addenda directly to the Architect or Engineer here at SED who performed your review. DO NOT send it to the SED Project Manager.  Sending Addenda to the Project Manager can cause a delay in the review of the addendum, therefore, causing a delay in your project approval.  Do not fax addenda that are more than 5 pages.  If faxed do not send a copy by mail.

We have been requesting everyone provide a list of what is changed with each addendum.  In Newsletter #7 we provided a list of suggestions for improvement that would speed up addendum approvals.  It seems worth repeating and is as follows:

  1. Check addenda carefully before sending them.  Be sure they are correct and complete.
  2. Write the review number on the addendum with the project title.
  3. Number all Addenda consistently and consecutively.  Dual number and letter designations should only be used to designate different contracts.
  4. On every addendum, list all previous addenda with the date each one was issued.
  5. Indicate what is being changed.  Highlight, circle or cloud the items changed or added on drawings.
  6. Put addendum items in the order of the drawings and specification sections.
  7. Use a drawing numbering convention that follows the existing drawing set so we know what drawings are altered or replaced.
  8. Send addendum information specific to individual design packages separately.  Please don't send two or more design packages for the school district in a single addendum.
  9. The first page of the Addendum should be sealed and signed as well as any drawings and sketches.  

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: June 16, 2009