An architectural review is one of the processes that is necessary in order to receive license approval from the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) and must be completed for hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs), dialysis facilities (ESRDs), free standing emergency medical care facilities (FEMCs), and special care facilities.* The owner/operator may not begin construction of a new building, new addition, renovation, alteration, modification, or conversion of an existing building until the Department of State Health Services, Architectural Review Group, approves final construction and necessary documents. Please refer to 25 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) Chapter 117 – End Stage Renal Disease Facilities, Chapter 125 – Special Care Facilities, Chapter 131 – Freestanding Emergency Medical Care Facilities, Chapter 133 – Hospital Licensing, Chapter 134 – Psychiatric Hospitals and Crisis Stabilization Units, or Chapter 135 – Ambulatory Surgical Centers, as applicable.
*Submission of plans and specifications may be determined by the local regulating authority, see TAC §125.91.
Step I: APPLICATION FOR PLAN REVIEW
Complete and submit your application and the applicable fee to the DSHS Architectural Review Group. Fees are not refundable. If you are submitting plans for an ASC, ESRD or FEMC facility, a plan review fee is not due. Click here to download the Application for Plan Review. Word, 125KB or PDF, 133KB
Step II: SUBMIT CONSTRUCTION DOCUMENTS
Submit one complete set of construction documents/final plans and specifications to the DSHS for review and approval. All construction documents/final plans and specifications shall be appropriately sealed and signed by a registered architect and professional engineers that are licensed by the State of Texas. See TAC 117, 125, 131, 133, 134, or 135, as applicable, for detailed requirements. Options for special submittals include:
ALTERNATIVE SUBMITTAL – In-lieu-of submitting one complete set of construction documents/final plans and specifications for review and approval, the DSHS Architectural Review Group will accept one complete set of CD’s/DVD’s for these type of facilities:25 TAC, Chapter 117 – End Stage Renal Disease Facilities, Chapter 125 – Special Care Facilities, Chapter 131 – Freestanding Emergency Medical Care Facilities, Chapter 134 – Psychiatric Hospitals and Crisis Stabilization Units, and Chapter 135 – Ambulatory Surgical Centers.
Submittals for Hospitals-25 TAC, Chapter 133 may be provided on CD’s/DVD’s if the project is 15,000 square feet or less.
The CD’s/DVD’s must have a complete index page which includes page numbers as the first image. The CD’s/DVD’s shall be submitted in a hard case cover(s) with a label indicating the name of the facility and name of the project. The department may request hard copy documents for Life Safety Code plans or any other documents that are necessary for a complete review.
- Self-certification - Upon your request and at the discretion of the DSHS Architectural Review Group, , you may be allowed to submit a set of final construction documents and the Self-certification form attesting that plans and specifications are based upon and comply with the requirements of state licensing rules. Click here to download the Self-certification packet. Word, 157KB or PDF, 76KB
- Fast-track project –This is usually required for new hospitals or major new additions. At the discretion of the DSHS Architectural Review Group,, you may be allowed to submit the project documents in two or three separate packages, which will allow for the review of each package as it is received. This process will allow construction to begin as soon as DSHS issues approval of the initial package. Submittal of the package must be in accordance with 25 TAC Chapter 125, §125.94(e)(2), Chapter 133, §133.167(d)(2), Chapter 134, §134.127(d)(2), or Chapter 135, § 135.53(d)(2), accordingly. A fast-track project shall be requested in writing with a brief written description, including a narrative and construction timeline of the proposed project.
- Minor project - A project in a building that holds a current facility license issued by the DSHS and meets the specifications listed in 25 TAC Chapter 117, Chapter 125, Chapter 131, Chapter 133, Chapter 134, or Chapter 135, accordingly. A minor project shall be requested in writing with a brief written description, narrative of the proposed project, and floor plans which depict the areas of work. Minor project packages shall be submitted via mail or fax.
FEASIBILITY CONFERENCE (optional)
The facility owner/operator or representative may request a feasibility conference. A feasibility conference is an informal meeting between a member of the Department's Architectural Review Group staff and the facility owner/operator or representative to determine the feasibility of a project, for consultation and informational purposes, and to facilitate and establish understanding of compliance with the rules and codes. Call Architectural Review staff at 512/834-6649, to schedule a feasibility conference. Required items for the feasibility conference:
- Completed and signed Application for Plan Review, including required fee. Click here to download the Application for Plan Review. Word, 125KB or PDF, 133KB . Fees are determined by §133.26(c) or §134.26(c). Fees are not refundable. No plan review fee is due with an ASC or ESRD application.
- Functional program narrative. Must meet specifications in §125, §133.167, §134.127, or §135.53.
- At the feasibility conference, preliminary or design development plans for review and discussion.
The Department may request preliminary documents. If requested, the submission shall consist of:
- Completed and signed Application for Plan Review, including required fee. Click here to download the Application for Plan Review. Word, 125KB orPDF, 133KB. Fees are determined by §125.15, §133.26(c) or §134.26(c). Fees are not refundable. No plan review fee is due with an ASC application.
- Functional program narrative. Must meet specifications in §125.94(a)(3), §133.167, §134.127, or §135.53.
- Preliminary plans. Must meet specifications in §125.94(3), §133.167, §134.127, or §135.53.
- Outline specifications. Must meet specifications in §125.94(c)(1)(G), §133.167, §134.127 or §135.53.
Step III: CONSTRUCTION APPROVAL
Construction shall not commence until the Department has issued a letter granting approval to begin construction. The architect of record or the facility owner/operator shall provide written notification to the Department as to when construction will commence.
Step IV: REQUESTING AN INSPECTION
You must receive written notice from the Department indicating approval of the construction document/final plans before you are allowed to request any inspection. The architect of record or the facility owner/operator shall request an inspection by submitting, at least three weeks in advance of the requested inspection date, an Application for Inspection and the construction inspection fee in accordance with TAC 117, 125, 133, 134, or 135, as applicable, for each intermediate inspection, final inspection, and reinspection requested. Inspection requests by contractors will not be honored. No inspection fee is due with an ASC or ESRD Application for Inspection. Click here to download the Application for Inspection. Word, 69K or PDF, 38KB.
Step V: FINAL ARCHITECTURAL APPROVAL
Upon completion of the above items and submittal of all final approval documents, as required in §117, §125, §133.168, §134.128, or §135 , as applicable, the Department will issue written final approval of the architecture project. This completes the architectural review portion of the facility licensing process. The application for license for each facility and the required components is a separate process and must be completed before the license can be issued. To read about the facility license process, click on the facility type from the menu on the left-side of the page.
Architectural Power Point Presentation on Title 25 Chapter 133- Hospital Licensing Rules (effective June 21, 2007)
ARG REG Beds and Definitions Presentation (249KB Power Point)
ARG REG Pharmacy Presentation (107KB Power Point)
ARG REG Spatial & Const Presentation (564KB Power Point)
AIA Presentation (596KB Pdf)
Texas Department of State Health Services
Architectural Review Group (MC 2835 OR
MC 2003 if fees are included )
PO Box 149347
Austin, TX 78714-9347
PHYSICAL ADDRESS for feasibility conferences and over-night packages, plus other contact information.