Newsletter 95 – January 2008
Project backlog-- important notice
As you are probably aware, we have a significant workload this spring. Unfortunately, there are now over 1000 projects in the queue, the most we have ever had. We are implementing numerous methods to try to keep the workload from getting worse. Examples include elimination of travel and speaking engagements, presentations, or school visits beyond what have previously been agreed to, the postponement of continuing education for staff, the use of overtime, the expedited quick review process, site packages, etc. We are also completing a second round of trial electronic reviews to further understand the capabilities of the system. Look for this to be fully rolled out in the spring/summer with training sessions scheduled after the spring rush.
While we understand districts have many needs, please limit your expedited requests to those items that are truly critical for your school to continue to operate. Such items might be roof replacements, water, sewage, heating systems, fire alarm replacements, or asbestos, PCB's, or other hazardous materials etc. Please do not ask for acceleration of any projects that include athletic fields, artificial turf, press boxes, concession stands, storage facilities, and the like. They are simply not an appropriate priority at this time and the request will be denied.
In addition, expedited requests cannot be processed immediately unless they are a true emergency. We will attempt to approve non-emergency expedited projects in an 8 week turn around time in order to apply the bulk of our time to the end of the line where it belongs, to serve those districts who submitted projects earliest.
We appreciate all of your support and understanding and look forward to your continued cooperation. Thank you.
Final submission documents requirement: proof of authorization
A reminder that all final submissions now require proof of legal authorization to accompany the FP-F (Application for Examination and Approval of Final Plans and Specifications). For most projects, this means voter authorization and the proof would be a copy of the board resolution if a city district; or, if a non-city district, a copy of the actual language of the resolution which was placed before the voters at a special referendum and a copy of the vote tally; or a copy of a Popular Budget, and a copy of the SBM-1, if the approval occurred at the annual meeting.
In cases where board authorization is the only requirement (typically emergency projects), a copy of the board resolution and vote tally are required.
Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA)
Surveillance Requirement Reminder
At least once every six months a periodic visual surveillance must take place of all known and assumed asbestos containing building material (ACBM) in each building that is leased, owned, or otherwise used as a school building (Section 763.92(b)). The name of the person performing the surveillance, the date, and any changes noted in the condition of the asbestos must be recorded in the asbestos management plan.
A periodic surveillance may coincide with a triennial reinspection; however surveillance cannot be substituted for a triennial reinspection. The reason for this distinction is that the six month surveillance may be performed by anyone. This process is strictly visual in nature and does not involve touching the ACBM. On the other hand, a triennial reinspection may only be performed a New York State Certified Inspector/Management Planner. The reinspection is required to include a process whereby the inspector looks at and touches the ACBM to assess its condition.
For additional information on the AHERA rule, please see: www.epa.gov/asbestos/pubs/asbestos_in_schools.html
Fire Protection Rated Glazing
There appears to be much confusion about the requirements for fire protection rated glazing in schools. This article is not about the requirement for impact resistant glazing (see newsletter #73), it is an attempt to clarify what glazing materials can be used where, and when heat transmittance glazing (intumescent) , tested in accordance with ASTM E 119 is required.
The Building Code of New York State Section 715 contains the requirements for opening protectives.
Section 715.3.3 allows glazing in fire doors with 20 minute fire protection ratings to be exempt from the hose stream test. Glazing material in any other part of the door assembly, including transom lites and sidelites shall include the hose stream test.
Note: Most corridors in schools, as a result of the SED requirements for travel distance, are exit access corridors, which allow 20 minute opening protectives in fire partitions, and ¾ hour or greater opening protectives in doors to spaces requiring fire barriers (depending on wall rating). Stair enclosures are considered exit enclosures, which require 1 hour opening protectives.
Section 7188.8.131.52 Glazing in exit enclosure doors, requires glazing in excess of 100 sq. in. to be tested in accordance with ASTM E 119.
Section 715.4.7, Interior fire window assemblies shall be limited to use in wall assemblies with a maximum of 1 hour fire resistance rating in accordance with NFPA 257 and installed in accordance with NFPA 80.
Section 715.2, permits fire resistance rated glazing tested as part of a fire resistance rated wall assembly in accordance with ASTM E 119 to be exempt from the requirements of Section 715, Opening Protectives.
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