The physical plant requirements for each family care home shall be applied as follows:
(1) New construction and existing buildings proposed for use as a Family Care Home shall comply with the requirements of this Section;
(2) Except where otherwise specified, existing licensed homes or portions of existing licensed homes 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 home, where no addition or renovation has been made, be less than those requirements found in the 1971 “Minimum and Desired Standards and Regulations” for “Family Care Homes”, 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 requirements of this Section;
(4) Rules contained in this Section are minimum requirements and are not intended to prohibit buildings, systems or operational conditions that exceed minimum requirements;
(5) Equivalency: Alternate methods, procedures, design criteria and functional variations from the physical plant requirements shall be approved by the Division when the home can effectively demonstrate to the Division’s satisfaction, that the intent of the physical plant requirements are met and that the variation does not reduce the safety or operational effectiveness of the home; and
(6) Where rules, codes or standards have any conflict, the most stringent requirement shall apply.