At the option of the applicant, DADS reviews plans for new buildings, additions, conversion of
buildings not licensed by DADS, or remodeling of existing licensed facilities. DADS informs the
applicant of the results of the review within 30 days after receipt of the plans. If the plans comply
with DADS architectural requirements, DADS may not subsequently change the architectural
requirement applicable to the project unless the change is required by federal law or the applicant
fails to complete the project within a reasonable time.
1. Submittal of plans.
A. For review of plans, before construction is begun, the applicant must submit one
copy of contract documents including working drawings and specifications in
sufficient detail to interpret compliance with these standards and assure proper
construction by the general contractor or builder. Documents must be prepared
according to accepted architectural practice and must include general
construction, special conditions, and schedules.
B. Final copies of plans must have a title block showing name of facility, person, or
organization preparing the sheet, sheet numbers, facility address, and drawing
date. Sheets and sections covering structural, electrical, mechanical, and sanitary
engineering final plans, designs, and specifications must bear the seal of a
registered professional engineer licensed by the Texas Board of Professional
Engineers. Contract documents for additions, remodeling, and construction of an
entirely new facility must be prepared by an architect licensed by the Texas Board
of Architectural Examiners. Drawings must bear the seal of the architect.
C. A final plan for a major addition to a facility must include a basic layout to scale
of the entire building onto which the addition connects. North direction must be
shown. Usually the entire basic layout can be drawn to scale of 1/16 inch per foot
or 1/32 inch per foot for very large buildings.
D. Plans and specifications for conversions or remodeling must be complete for all
parts and features involved. DADS review is limited to the plans and
specifications for conversions or remodeling as submitted.87
E. The sponsor is responsible for employing qualified personnel to prepare the
contract documents for construction. If the contract documents have errors or
omissions to the extent that compliance with architectural and DADS licensing
standards cannot be reasonably assured or determined by DADS, DADS may
request a revised set of documents for review.
F. The review of plans and specifications by DADS is based on general utility, the
minimum licensing standards, and conformance of the Life Safety Code, and is
not to be construed as all-inclusive approval of the structural, electrical, or
mechanical components, nor does it include a review of building plans for
compliance with the Texas Accessibility Standards as administered and enforced
by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation.
G. Fees for plan review will be required in accordance with §92.4 of this chapter
(relating to License Fees).
2. Contract documents.
A. Site plan documents must include grade contours; streets with names; North
arrow; fire hydrants, fire lanes, utilities, public or private; fences; and unusual site
conditions, including ditches, low water levels, other buildings on-site, and
indications of buildings five feet or less beyond site property lines.
B. Foundation plan documents must include general foundation design and details.
C. Floor plan documents must include room names, numbers, and usages; numbered
doors including swing; windows; legend or clarification of wall types;
dimensions; fixed equipment; plumbing fixtures; kitchen basic layout; and
identification of all smoke barrier walls from outside wall to outside wall or fire
D. For both new construction and additions or remodeling to existing buildings, an
overall plan of the entire building must be drawn or reduced to fit on an 8 1/2 inch
by 11 inch sheet.
E. Schedules must include door materials, widths, and types; window materials,
sizes, and types; room finishes; and special hardware.
F. Elevations and roof plan must include exterior elevations, including material note
indications and any roof top equipment; roof slopes, drains, gas piping, and
interior elevations where needed for special conditions.
G. Details must include wall sections as needed, especially for special conditions;
cabinet and built-in work; cross sections through buildings as needed and
miscellaneous details and enlargements as needed.
H. Building structure documents must include structural framing layout and details
primarily for column, beam, joist, and structural building; roof framing layout if
the layout cannot be adequately shown on a cross section; and cross sections in
quantity and detail to show sufficient structural design and structural details as
necessary to assure adequate structural design and calculated design loads.
I. Electrical documents must include electrical layout, including lights, convenience
outlets, equipment outlets, switches, and other electrical outlets and devices;
service, circuiting, distribution, and panel diagrams; exit light system including
exit signs and emergency egress lighting; emergency electrical provisions
including generators and panels; staff communication system; fire alarm and
similar systems including control panel, devices, and alarms; and sizes and details
sufficient to assure safe and properly operating systems.
J. Plumbing documents must include plumbing layout with pipe sizes and details
sufficient to assure safe and properly operating systems, water systems, sanitary
systems, gas systems, and other systems normally considered under the scope of
plumbing, fixtures, and provisions for combustion air supply.
K. Heating, ventilating and air-conditioning systems (HVAC) documents must
include sufficient details of HVAC systems and components to assure a safe and
properly operating installation including, but not limited to, heating, ventilating,
and air-conditioning layout, ducts, protection of duct inlets and outlets,
combustion air, piping, exhausts, and duct smoke and/or fire dampers; and
equipment types, sizes, and locations.
L. Sprinkler system documents must include plans and details of NFPA designed
systems; plans and details of partial systems provided only for hazardous areas;
and electrical devices interconnected to the alarm system.
M. Specifications must include information about installation techniques; quality
standards and manufacturers; references to applicable codes and other standards
used for design; design criteria; special equipment; hardware; finishes; and any
other information DADS may need to interpret drawings and notes.
N. Other layout, plans, or details as may be necessary for a clear understanding of the
design and scope of the project, including plans covering private water or sewer
systems, must be reviewed by local health or wastewater authority having
jurisdiction where the facility is located.
3. Construction phase.
A. DADS must be notified in writing prior to construction start.
B. All construction not done to comply with the completed plans and specifications
as submitted for review and as modified in accordance with review requirements
will require additional drawings if the change is significant.
4. Initial survey of completed construction.
A. Upon completion of construction, including grounds and basic equipment and
furnishings, a final construction inspection or initial survey of the facility must be
performed by DADS prior to the facility admitting residents, unless DADS issues
a provisional license. An initial architectural inspection will be scheduled after
DADS receives a notarized licensure application, required fee, fire marshal
approval, and a letter from an architect or engineer stating that to the best of the
architect’s or engineer’s knowledge that the facility meets the architectural
requirements for a license.
B. After DADS surveys the completed construction and finds it acceptable, DADS
forwards the information to the Licensing and Credentialing Unit as part of the
applicant’s license application. In the case of additions or remodeling of existing
facilities, the applicant may be required to submit a revision or modification to an
existing license. All buildings, including basic furnishings and operational needs,
grades, drives, and parking must be 100 percent complete at the time of the initial
visit for occupancy approval and licensing. A facility may admit no more than
three residents after it receives initial approval from DADS but before a license is
issued, except if DADS issues one of the following licenses the facility may admit
more than three residents:
i. a provisional license in accordance with §92.20 of this chapter (relating to
Provisional License); or
ii. an initial license in accordance with §92.21 of this chapter (relating to
Initial License for a Type A or Type B Facility for an Applicant in Good
C. An applicant must make the following documents available to a DADS surveyor
at the time of the survey of the completed building:
i. written approval of local authorities as required by subparagraph (A) of
this paragraph;
ii. record drawings of the fire detection and alarm system as installed, signed
by an Alarm Planning Superintendent licensed by the State Fire Marshal’s
office or bearing the seal of a licensed professional engineer, including a
sequence of operation, the owner’s manuals, and the manufacturer’s
published instructions covering all system equipment;
iii. a signed copy of the State Fire Marshal’s Office Fire Alarm Installation
iv. for software-based fire alarm systems, a record copy of the site-specific
software, excluding the system executive software or external programmer
software in a non-volatile, non-erasable, non-rewritable memory;
v. documentation of materials used in the building which have a specific
limited fire or flame spread rating, including special wall finishes or floor
coverings, flame retardant curtains, including cubicle curtains, and rated
vi. a signed letter from the installer of carpeting verifying that the carpeting is
named in the laboratory test document;
vii. record drawings of the fire sprinkler system as installed, signed by a
Responsible Managing Employee licensed by the State Fire Marshal’s
Office, or bearing the seal of a licensed professional engineer, including
the hydraulic calculations, fire alarm configuration, aboveground and
underground Contractor’s Material and Test Certificate;
viii. all literature and instructions provided by the sprinkler system
manufacturer describing the proper operation and maintenance of all
equipment and devices in accordance with NFPA 25;
ix. service contracts for maintenance and testing of alarm systems, sprinkler
systems, and other systems;
x. a copy of a gas test results of the facility’s gas lines from the meter;
xi. a written statement from an architect or engineer stating that, from
periodic onsite observation visits, the facility as constructed is, to the best
of architect or engineer’s knowledge and belief, in substantial compliance
with the architect or engineer’s contract documents, the Life Safety Code,
DADS licensure standards, and local codes; and
xii. the contract documents described in paragraph (2) of this section.
5. Non-approval of new construction.
A. If, during the initial on-site survey of completed construction, the surveyor finds
certain basic requirements not met, DADS may recommend that the facility not be
licensed and approved for occupancy. The items that may trigger non-approval
i. substantial changes made during construction that were not submitted to
DADS for review and which may require revised “as-built” drawings to
cover the changes, including architectural, structural, mechanical, and
electrical items specified in paragraph (3)(B) of this section;
ii. construction that does not meet minimum Life Safety Code or DADS
licensure standards, including corridors that are less than required width,
ceilings installed at less than the minimum seven-foot six-inch height,
resident bedroom dimensions less than required, and other features which
would disrupt or otherwise adversely affect the residents and staff if
corrected after occupancy;
iii. lack of written approval by local authorities;
iv. fire protection systems, including fire alarm systems, emergency power
and lighting, and sprinkler systems, not completely installed or not
functioning properly;
v. required exits not all usable according to NFPA 101 requirements;
vi. telephones that are not installed or not properly working;
vii. sufficient basic furnishings, essential appliances, and equipment that are
not installed or not functioning; and
viii. any other basic operational or safety feature which would preclude safe
and normal occupancy by residents on that day.
B. If the surveyor encounters only minor deficiencies, licensure may be
recommended based on an approved written plan of correction from the facility’s
C. A facility must submit two copies of reduced size floor plans on an 8 1/2 inch by
11 inch sheet to DADS for DADS records and the facility’s use for evacuation
plans and fire alarm zone identification. The plan must contain basic legible
information including scale, room usage names, actual bedroom numbers, doors,
windows, and any other pertinent information.