Facilities Planning

Required in new projects: Floodplain Info

Get to Know us Better:

Dean Malatino is a recent (and much appreciated) addition to the Office of Facilities Planning and Management Services, having joined our staff in June 2002. A professional engineer and certified energy manager, Dean spent fifteen years in the private sector as a mechanical design engineer. During the past five years, Dean worked exclusively on projects for the State Office of General Services. Dean looks forward to delving into State code requirements, as well as SED regulations, to improve and enhance the quality of New York State school construction projects.

A graduate of Bucknell University in Pennsylvania, Dean currently resides in Slingerlands, New York. He spends his free time going to the gym, working on his house, and enjoying his passion for the outdoors. Try not to call him during the month of November, because he's usually out hunting. (Run Bambi - Run!!!)

Up-to-date Forms:

It has been suggested that a note should be added to the Newsletter to remind all people submitting projects to SED that only the most up-to-date forms should be submitted. Therefore, please check our web site and download the latest versions of forms each month or each time you are submitting a project. That old form that is saved on you computer has very likely been replaced.


Building in Floodplains:

Floodplains are everywhere. They are most likely to be encountered where the land is open or flat. Most school sites are open and flat.

There are questions on the State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) Environmental Assessment Form that pertain to streams, ponds, lakes, bodies of water, run off, storm water retention, waterways, and floodplains. SEQR is a responsibility of the district at their local level. Floodplain management is a responsibility of the local municipality. School districts are subject to requirements of the local floodplain manager.

We have recently learned more about the requirements for floodplains. As a result of our discussions with the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) we are passing on the following information to school districts and designers. Article 36 of the NYS Consolidated Laws for Environmental Conservation, PARTICIPATION IN FLOOD INSURANCE PROGRAMS External Link Iconsection 36-0107.2, places the responsibility and jurisdiction for enforcement with the locality. SED cannot over ride local decisions or requirements for floodplains. We have also learned that only 22 localities do not participate in floodplain management. This is most likely because there are no floodplains in those communities. The responsibility of SED is to monitor and ensure floodplain management has been addressed when new or improved public school facilities are proposed. The proper answers to the SEQR questions are part of that process.

Recently we have become aware of sites in which design has not adequately considered the issues presented by floodplains. As a result, we will be requiring all projects submitted for review that have site construction, new buildings, or additions to buildings provide floodplain information. This information must be included in one of the two following methods with the preliminary phase submission to SED.

  1. If the floodplain is not located on district property show the nearest floodplain on 8 ½ by 11 paper, or larger if necessary, and at an appropriate scale. Show the district property on this floodplain plan. This must accompany a certification by the architect or engineer stating there is no floodplain on the district’s property.
  2. If the district property includes areas that are in the floodplain, provide an overlay of the floodplain information on the survey site plan. Include contours, elevations, projected 100-year flood elevations, and floodway boundaries. This must be accompanied by a copy of appropriate correspondence to the local authority for a floodplain permit.

Some submitted projects already include this plan. Projects submitted after February 1, 2003 will not be approved without indicating that proper floodplain management planning has been provided. In addition, we may be contacting designers of projects presently here at SED for review if we feel this is an issue during our review. If the district has severe problems and requires help, the DEC Bureau of Floodplain Management is available for consultation at (518) 402-8151. Floodplain maps are available through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Use the FEMA Flood Map Store on their web site at http://www.fema.gov External Link Icon. There is no cost, you can download the maps to your computer as needed.

Using the International Building Code:

Last week we concluded the review of our first large building that was designed utilizing the family of IBC codes, our new Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code. The project was well done except for one item that haunted the designer, the Manual of Planning Standards (MPS).

In this instance, the addition of a sprinkler system in many of the building areas created certain liberties in the BCNYS. We cannot stress enough that the MPS still applies and may over-ride these liberties. The Regulations of the Commissioner of Education and the MPS have basic requirements that cannot be overlooked. Exiting the building safely and quickly remains a major item of consideration. Everyone familiar with sections 155.4 through 155.8 of the Commissioner’s Regulations will know exiting is important to us. You can download the regulation from our web page at https://www.p12.nysed.gov/facplan/policy/8NYCRR155,5,15,00.html if you are not familiar with it.

The sprinkler system that is added to a new building area eliminates the fire rating for most corridor walls. Section 1004.2.4 in the BCNYS measures the distance of travel from the most remote location. The beginning point will be inside the rooms when the corridors are not rated. The measurement of distance of travel ends at a fire rated door or exit discharge to the exterior. Measuring the distance from inside the rooms may negate the extra distance gained with the addition of a sprinkler. The travel distance requirements for traveling to exterior doors or stair doors in S103-1c of the MPS still applies to facilitate quick exiting. Any point in any ground floor corridor must be within 150 feet along the line of travel to an exterior doorway. Any point in a corridor other than a ground floor corridor shall not exceed 120 feet along the line of travel to the stair enclosure of an exit stairway. The sprinkler, less fire ratings, and longer exit distances will not make exiting quicker.

The sprinkler system also allowed fire ratings to be eliminated and floor-to-floor openings to be introduced. Smoke control preventing smoke from traveling floor to floor and smoke zones for exiting in S109 of the MPS are still required.

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 2, 2014