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ENB-13.16 - Plan Review Procedure for Doctor's and Dentist's Office

Administrative Rule Adopted by Bureau Pursuant to Rule-Making Authority

Effective with the adoption of the new edition of the State Building Code on January 1, 1993 there will be new regulations pertaining to space used by doctors and dentists who, in the normal course of their practices, use procedures that cause one or more of their patients to be incapable of recognizing a fire emergency and subsequently exiting the building.
These regulations are intended to allow minor medical and dental procedures, commonly referred to as outpatient care or day surgery, in buildings other than hospitals.
These regulations are note retroactive for existing tenants. The regulations would only be required at the time of application for a building permit for a tenant improvement.
The regulations are separated into two categories:
I-1.2 (Building Code Occupancy Classification) for buildings other than hospitals in which medical or dental care is provided which may render a patient incapable of unassisted self-preservation when the aggregate total of such patients is more than 5 on any floor of a building.
I-1.3 (Building Code Occupancy Classification) for buildings other than hospitals in which medical or dental care is provided which may render a patient incapable of unassisted self-preservation when the aggregate total of such patients is at least one but not more than give on any floor of the building.
The regulation thresholds are based upon the number of patients who are potentially incapable of unassisted self-preservation at any given time on any one floor of a building. The following will be the plan review procedure used to determine the number of patients incapable of self-preservation.

A. All fire and life safety plans examiners are authorized to review building permit applications for B2, 1-1.2 and 1-1.3 occupancies.
B. Doctors and dentists have sole responsibility for making determination as to the capability of their patients to be able to respond unassisted to attain self-preservation in a fire emergency.

The plan examiner will:
1. Provide information packet* to permit applicant consisting of:
  • Explanatory memo on new code requirements affecting doctors/dentists.
  • Doctors/dentists questionnaire.
  • Sample building -/manager to tenant explanation.
  • Sample building owner/manager to tenant questionnaire.
2. Highlight the need for the Doctors/Dentists Questionnaire; Building Owner/Manager Questionnaire; architectural, mechanical and plumbing plans; permit valuations.
3. Request/review Doctors/Dentists Questionnaire; Building Owner/Manager Questionnaire if appropriate. Determine occupancy class.
4. Request building, mechanical and plumbing plans as appropriate. Set up building and mechanical permits.
5. Review plans in accordance with occupancy class.
6. Staple questionnaires to all sets of plans; clearly indicate on building permit and plans the occupancy class.
*Note: This information will be sent to all known building owners/managers of medical/dental buildings, to architectural firms who typically engage in this kind of work and to appropriate professional associations.

Considerable judgement needs to be utilized in the implementation of these code requirements. The range of covered medical/dental uses in terms of the quickness in which in-patients are able to recover and attain unassisted self-preservation is quite broad and not fully understood at this time. The staff is directed to be sensitive to this issue and the costs that the application of these regulations may have on existing buildings. Buildings heretofore that have been classified as B2 occupancies will not be required to undergo a change of occupancy as the result of tenant spaces being classified at I-1.2 or I-1.3. Further, in certain instances, it may be appropriate that occupancy separation requirements be reduced through the appeal process.

Filed by Bureau of Development Services for inclusion in PPD September 29, 2004.
Originally published as Bureau of Buildings Procedure No. B-6-13 dated September 1, 1992.

Table of Contents
ENB-13.01 - Charges for Photocopying Material for the Public
ENB-13.02 - Charges for Researching Documents for the Public
ENB-13.03 - Faxing Permit Applications & Permits
ENB-13.04 - Fee Refunds
ENB-13.06 - Code Hearing Complaints
ENB-13.07 - Construction Contractor Registration
ENB-13.08 - Handling of Under/Over Payment of Mail-in Permits
ENB-13.09 - Confidentiality of Complainants
ENB-13.10 - Approval of Permanent Electrical Power to One and Two Family Dwellings
ENB-13.12 - Inspection and Warrant Policy
ENB-13.13 - Service to Film Companies
ENB-13.14 - Plan Review for Amateur Radio Tower Antenna Structures
ENB-13.15 - Removal of Architectural Barriers in Existing Multi-Tenant Buildings
ENB-13.16 - Plan Review Procedure for Doctor's and Dentist's Office
ENB-13.17 - Residential Plumbing Plan Review and Field Issuance of Permits
ENB-13.18 - Standard for Granting Extensions to Correct Code Violations
ENB-13.19 - Sewer Repair Work Orders for 1 & 2 Family Dwellings
ENB-13.20 - Report on Program Improvements: Neighborhood Inspections and Code Enforcement
ENB-13.21 - Recurring Environmental Violation Enforcement Process and Fines
ENB-13.22 - Fee Waivers
ENB-13.23 - Permitting Original Art Murals