Scott Waltz, Chief
Office of Plans and Construction
Division of Health Quality Assurance
Telephone: (850) 412-4485
The following is an overview of the purpose, functions, and processes of our office. Please use the embedded links in the text below for more information.
The Office Plans and Construction (OPC) is responsible for ensuring that hospitals, nursing homes, ambulatory surgical centers, and intermediate care facilities for the developmentally disabled (ICF/DD) are designed and built to be safe, functional, and in compliance with the Applicable Rules, Codes, and Standards regulating the physical plant of these facilities. All proposed construction of new facilities and any and all additions, modifications, renovations, or refurbishment of the site, building, equipment or systems of all existing facilities must be approved by OPC prior to commencing any construction activity. Involving OPC early in the design process of new facilities and large projects is strongly encouraged to avoid costly delays.
Our knowledgeable and experienced teams of architects and engineers are available to examine plans at various stages of development which include Schematic Design (Stage I) , Preliminary Design (Stage II) , Limited Early Construction Request , and Final Construction Documents (Stage III) . Only the review and approval of stage III documents and subsequent revisions are required, but facilities are recommended to submit plans for stage I and stage II reviews for all but small projects where the design team has a high level of confidence in the code compliance of the design. Approval of stage II documents is a pre-requisite for receiving approval of an early construction request. Additionally, a stage II approval allows the project to continue under the applicable codes and standards in effect at time of approval for up to 12 months prior to commencing construction. See Timeline for additional information regarding expected review response times.
The stage III documents, early construction requests, all subsequent addenda, change orders, field orders, and contractor letters altering the design must be Signed and Sealed by the design professional(s) of record and submitted for approval. Any deviation from the approved plans shall require written approval. Request for price proposals, which do not modify the design, will not be reviewed. Please see Plan Submission Process for instructions on submitting project documents for review. While it is permissible to submit schematic and preliminary drawings to this office using the plan submission process, it is customary and encouraged that an appointment be made for real time review consultation known as Stand-Up Reviews . Because of the time required and time commitments to other facilities, a Stand-Up Review cannot be made on construction documents except those for small projects.
Before any space or system is used for it’s intended purpose the completed construction must be surveyed and approved by OPC. Currently Surveys are performed at 80% completion (see 80% checklist) , 100% completion (see 100% checklist) , and follow-up surveys as needed to verify corrections of cited deficiencies. Some small projects do not require an 80% survey. Please Contact the OPC review team for guidance on which type initial survey is needed. Additionally, new facilities, new buildings, and projects that add licensed beds will require another survey by the Field Operations Life Safety Unit and Health Unit following OPC approval.
While most projects require submission for review, some very small projects with little or no impact to patient care areas may only require a Cursory Review and detached buildings that are used exclusively for out-patient services may be Exempt from OPC review requirements.
Please see Additional Resources for information relating fire incident reporting, system failures, storm damage guidelines, and other physical plant safety information.
Chapter 59A-26 , F.A.C. (ICF/DDs)
Chapter 69A-53 , F.A.C. (Uniform Fire Safety Standards for Hospitals and Nursing Homes)
Chapter 69A-38 , F.A.C. (Uniform Fire Safety Standards for Residential Facilities for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities)
Chapter 69A-3.012 , F.A.C. (Standards of the National Fire Protection Association and Other Standards Adopted)