Construction Documents – Content
Construction documents such as plans, specifications and equipment details are required to be reviewed before getting a permit to begin construction, under the Vermont Fire & Building Safety Code. Section 4(d) of the Code indicates “Plans required under this Code shall be drawn to scale, using customary inch-pound units and English language, and shall be sufficiently clear, comprehensive, detailed and legible when submitted to the AHJ so that, together with any accompanying specifications and data, the AHJ can readily determine whether or not the proposed building, addition, or alteration, and all proposed building equipment will conform to this Code".
The section is written to be performance based so that the information that is needed is clearly presented in an usable format, but not to create a burden by submitting non-related information. More specific requirements are listed in the code for plans for fire protection systems. NFPA 13, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems, 2002 edition, section 14.1.3, requires 44 specific points of information for sprinkler plans ranging from the basic occupancy classification of each space in the building to the details of the manufacturer, size and type of any backflow preventer. NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm Code, 2002 edition, section 126.96.36.199 requires specifications, shop drawings, battery calculations and notification device circuit drop calculations for fire alarm system plans. Further details are outlined in A188.8.131.52. For architects, engineers and related professionals who routinely sent in construction documents for review, be sure to check on the notes and comments you received from the AHJ on previous projects to make sure the required information is properly documented.