a. Classification of facilities.
1. A small facility is a building or buildings consisting of one or more floors
providing sleeping accommodations for 16 or fewer residents exclusive of “livein” houseparents, family or staff.
2. A large facility is a building or buildings consisting of one or more floors
providing sleeping accommodations for 17 or more residents exclusive of “livein” staff.
3. New construction is any construction work that began on or after January 6, 2014.
Converting an unlicensed building or unlicensed portion of a building to an
assisted living facility must meet the new construction requirements for the
proposed new use referenced in the Life Safety Code.
4. An existing facility is one that operated with a license as an assisted living facility
before January 6, 2014 and has not subsequently become unlicensed.
b. Applicability of requirements for construction and life safety.
1. All buildings or structures, new or existing, used as a licensed assisted living
facility must comply with these standards. Any exceptions are specifically
2. Existing buildings and structures that are converted to assisted living occupancy,
must not admit assisted living residents until all standards are met and DADS
grants approval for occupancy.
3. A licensed nursing facility or licensed hospital that meets the requirements of
Chapter 18, New Health Care Occupancies, or Chapter 19, Existing Health Care
Occupancies, of National Fire Protection Association 101 (NFPA 101), may be
considered as an assisted living occupancy without implementing additional fire
safety features as may be specified in this subchapter.
4. Buildings and structures must comply with the 2000 edition of NFPA 101, as
published by the National Fire Protection Association, Inc., as follows. For new
construction, DADS may authorize an assisted living facility to comply with later
editions of the code, in their entirety, when required by local building authorities.
A. All new Type A facilities and small Type B facilities must comply with
Chapter 32, New Residential Board and Care Occupancies.
B. All existing Type A facilities and small Type B facilities must comply
with Chapter 33, Existing Residential Board and Care Occupancies.
C. All new Type B large facilities must comply with Chapter 18. The
requirements of limited care, as defined by the NFPA 101, may be used.
D. All existing Type B large facilities must comply with Chapter 19. The
requirements of limited care, as defined by the NFPA 101, may be used.
E. All assisted living facilities must comply with other chapters, sections,
subsections, or paragraphs of the NFPA 101, including Chapter 1,
Administration; Chapter 2, Mandatory References; Chapter 3, Definitions;
Chapter 4, General; Chapter 5, Performance-Based Option; Chapter 6,
Classification of Occupancy and Hazard of Contents; Chapter 7, Means of
Egress; Chapter 8, Features of Fire Protection; Chapter 9, Building Service
and Fire Protection Equipment; and Chapter 10, Interior Finish, Contents,
and Furnishings, as they relate to Chapters 18, 19, 30, New Apartment
Buildings, 31, Existing Apartment Buildings, 32, and 33.
F. All assisted living facilities with buildings that contain living units with
independent cooking and bathroom facilities must comply with NFPA
101, Chapters 30, 31, 32, and 33.
5. New construction is subject to local codes. The description of the occupancy may
vary with local codes. In the absence of a local code, DADS requires compliance
with the fundamentals of the following codes:
A. the International Building Code, 2000 edition or later by the International
Code Council, relating to “I-1” Occupancy for Type A facilities and “I-2”
for Type B facilities;
B. the International Plumbing Code, 2000 edition by the International Code
council or the Uniform Plumbing Code, 2000 Edition;
C. the National Electrical Code as specified under NFPA 101; and
D. illumination systems must be designed and installed in accordance with
the Lighting Handbook of the Illuminatory Engineering Society (IES) of
North America, except as may be modified in this subchapter.
6. An existing building either occupied as an assisted living facility at the time of
initial inspection by DADS or converted to occupancy as an assisted living
facility must meet all local requirements pertaining to that building for that
occupancy. DADS will require the facility sponsor or licensee to submit evidence
that local requirements are satisfied. When local laws, codes or ordinances are
more stringent than these standards for assisted living, the more stringent
requirements will govern.
7. Buildings must be structurally sound with regard to actual or expected dead, live,
and wind loads according to applicable building codes.
8. The facility must comply with the accessibility requirements for individuals with
disabilities as referenced in the revised regulations for Title II and III (2010 ADA
Standards for Accessible Design) of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
at Title 42, United States Code, Chapter 126; federal regulations at Title 28, Code
of Federal Regulations, Part 35 and Part 36; Texas Accessibility Standards (TAS)
at Texas Government Code, Chapter 469; and Texas Department of Licensing and
Regulation (TDLR) rules at Title 16, Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 68. A
subject facility must register plans for new construction, substantial renovations,
modifications, and alterations with TDLR (Attn: Elimination of Architectural
Barriers Program) and comply with TAS.