The physical plant requirements for each adult care home shall be applied as follows:
(1) New construction shall comply with the requirements of this Section.
(2) Except where otherwise specified, existing licensed facilities or portions of existing licensed facilities shall meet licensure and code requirements in effect at the time of construction, change in service or bed count, addition, renovation, or alteration; however in no case shall the requirements for any licensed facility where no addition or renovation has been made, be less than those requirements found in the 1971 “Minimum and Desired Standards and Regulations” for “Homes for the Aged and Infirm”, copies of which are available at the Division of Health Service Regulation, 701 Barbour Drive, Raleigh, North Carolina, 27603 at no cost;
(3) New additions, alterations, modifications and repairs shall meet the technical requirements of this Section;
(4) Effective July 1, 1987, resident bedrooms and resident services shall not be permitted on the second floor of any facility licensed for seven or more beds prior to April 1, 1984 and classified as two-story wood frame construction by the North Carolina State Building Code;
(5) Rules in this Section are minimum requirements and are not intended to prohibit buildings, systems or operational conditions that exceed minimum requirements;
(6) The bed capacity and services provided in a facility shall be in compliance with G.S. 131E, Article 9 regarding Certificate of Need. A facility shall be licensed for no more beds than the number for which required physical space and other required facilities are available;
(7) Equivalency: Alternate methods, procedures, design criteria and functional variations from the physical plant requirements shall be approved by the Division when the facility can effectively demonstrate that the intent of the physical plant requirements are met and that the variation does not reduce the safety or operational effectiveness of the facility; and
(8) Where rules, codes or standards have any conflict, the most stringent requirement shall apply and any conflicting requirement shall not apply.