Construction/Remodeling Plan Review for Health Care Facilities

The Department of Health Services (DHS) plan review submittals are required for the building, heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, and fire protection system projects for the following health care facilities:

  • Hospitals
  • Nursing homes
  • Facilities serving people with Developmental Disabilities (FDD)
  • Community-based residential facilities (CBRF)*
  • Hospice inpatient facilities
  • Other occupancies physically attached to a hospital, nursing home, CBRF, or hospice inpatient facility

*The Regulatory Authority For Health Care Construction Plan Review, P-00746 (PDF) outlines the scope of health care plan review provided by OPRI.

Pre-design meetings for all health care projects promote compliance with the appropriate codes, familiarize the design team with Wisconsin inspection processes, and establish communication. It is highly recommended that a pre-design meeting be established with all stakeholders early in the planning stages of any health care project.

NOTE: Unique systems not reviewed by DHS include: plumbing systems, private onsite waste treatment, elevators, boilers, and mechanical refrigeration systems. The Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) review these systems. Information is available on the DSPS Plan Review webpage.

OPRI Annual Report – 2017

The OPRI Annual Report 2017, P-01449 (PDF) includes information on project costs, life safety code citations and additional plan review related statistics.

Health Care Built Environment Conference

Health Care Built Environment (HCBE) conference presentations are available on the DQA Webcasts webpage.

OPRI News (last updated 5/2/18)

Community-Based Residential Facility Building Code Occupancy Classification

DHS CBRF licensing categories are based on size and classification as found under Wis. Admin. Code § DHS 83.04.

CBRF classification and size criteria:

(a) A CBRF for 5 to 8 residents is a small CBRF.

Regulated under Wis. Admin. Code § DHS 83.04 specific to the Uniform Dwelling Code and chs. SPS 320 to 325.

(b) A CBRF for 9 to 20 residents is a medium CBRF.

Regulated under Wis. Admin. Code § DHS 83.04 specific to chs. SPS 361 – 366 and adopted 2015 International Building Code (IBC).
Occupancy grouping R-4, I-1 or I-2 based on size and classification.

(c) A CBRF for 21 or more residents is a large CBRF.

Regulated under Wis. Admin. Code § DHS 83.04 specific to chs. SPS 361 – 366 and adopted 2015 IBC.
Occupancy grouping I-1 or I-2 based on size and classification.

CBRF occupancy grouping based on the 2015 adopted IBC:

  • CBRF serving 9 – 16 residents
    R-4 condition 1 license category AA
    R-4 condition 2 license category AS and ANA
  • CBRF serving 17 or more residents
    I-1 condition 1 license category AA
    I-1 condition 2 license category AS and ANA
    I-2 condition 1 license category CA, CS and CNA

Pre-Design Meetings Continue to Promote Project Success

Pre-design meetings for health care projects are structured to promote successful outcomes. The pre-design meeting, facilitated by OPRI representatives, brings together the owner/provider, designer(s), builder(s) as well as the local building and fire officials. The meeting addresses project scope, schedule, expectations, communications and responsibilities. Pre-design meetings for all the stakeholders are highly recommended for any health care project early in the planning stage. Reference the OPRI county maps found on the OPRI Plan Intake Staff and Plan Intake webpage to contact staff representatives and schedule the pre-design meeting.

Last Revised: February 26, 2019