State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO):
Examples of Activities Exempt from OPRHP Review

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Note: The following exemptions are taken from Appendix “A” of A Programmatic Agreement between the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) and the New York State Education Department. Wording has been modified where appropriate to make it more relevant to libraries. 

Definitions

"Replacement-in-kind" shall mean the removal of any element and the insertion of a new element with the same-material matching the same design, form, dimension, color and texture as that being replaced.

"Replacement” shall mean the removal of any element and the insertion of a new element with a material that is typically used per current practice in that location. (e.g. replacement of asphalted concrete rolled flooring with vinyl tile).

I. Site work

  • Repaving/resurfacing of existing paved areas, e.g., parking areas, sidewalks, where the proposed work does not exceed the depth of previous undisturbed soil.
  • Replacement of curbing.
  • Installation of lighting (including new underground conduit and conductors) and minor drainage work where no other new excavation work is needed.
  • New-installation of fencing on the condition that it is behind the building or not visible from the street.
  • Replacement-in-kind of exterior steps, platforms, stairs, ramps, and area ways.
  • Installation of exterior freestanding signage.
  • Replacement of site installed mechanical, electrical, and plumbing equipment (eg., an emergency generator or air cooled condenser) on the condition that no trim or architectural features are altered and that no ground disturbing work is proposed that will exceed the depth of previous undisturbed soil.
  • Installation of site mechanical, electrical, and plumbing equipment (eg.,an emergency generator or air cooled condenser) on the conditions that no trim or architectural features are altered and that it is behind the building or not visible from the street and that no ground disturbing work is proposed that will exceed the depth of previous undisturbed soil.
  • Replacement of in-ground utilities in existing utility trenches.
  • Excavation or other ground disturbance impacting areas only within a distance of 10 feet or less of the existing structure.

II. Exterior

  • Replacement of flat roofs, roof hatches, roof drains, and rooftop mechanical, electrical, and plumbing equipment.
  • Replacement-in-kind of the surface materials on pitched roofs.
  • Masonry cleaning and restoration work will be appropriate on the condition that it follows the guidelines in Preservation Briefs 1 and 2,[1, 2] and that drawings are submitted to OPRHP for review and approval.
  • Masonry repair and repointing on up to 50% of a building on the condition that it follows the guidelines in Preservation Brief 2.[2]
  • Replacement of non-original windows that were installed in the 1960s or later with windows that either match the configuration and proportions of historic windows, the current configuration, or have one-over-one sash. If the replacement windows have muntins, they should ideally be either true divided lights or a three part grid system which includes an interior, exterior, and a spacer bar. If this cannot be done, an exterior applied muntin is acceptable. However, muntins applied only to the interior or placed only between the double insulated glass panels are not acceptable.
  • Replacement-in-kind of window guards.
  • Replacement-in-kind of speakers and public address systems on the condition that no trim or architectural features are altered.
  • Installation or replacement of video surveillance cameras, fire alarm systems, and security systems on the condition that no trim or architectural features are altered.
  • Installation or replacement of exterior/security lighting on the condition that no trim or architectural features are altered and that the fixtures are not mounted directly to masonry.
  • Installation or replacement of lightning protection on the condition that no architectural features are altered.
  • Replacement of exterior door hardware.
  • Replacement-in-kind of non-decorative exterior hollow metal doors.
  • Repainting of exterior masonry.
  • Recaulking of exterior coping stones.
  • Replacement-in-kind of exterior coping stones.
  • Installation of new roof top mechanical, electrical, and plumbing equipment to Support interior curriculum revisions listed below, where not visible from the street at the primary facade.
  • Installation or replacement of exterior connections for sprinkler and standpipe
  • systems on the condition that no trim or architectural features are altered.

[1] Mack, Robert C. and Grimmer, Anne. Preservation Brief1: Assessing Cleaning and Water-Repellent Treatmentsfor Historic Masonry Buildings. Washington, D.C.: Technical Preservation Services, National Park Service, 2000.

[2] Mack, Robert C. and Speweik, Jolm. Preservation Brief 2: Repointing Mortar Joints in Historic Masonry Buildings. Washington, D.C.: Technical Preservation Services, National Park Service, 1998.

III. Interior

  • Replacement-in-kind of ceilings.
  • Installation or replacement of video surveillance cameras, fire alarm systems, and security systems on the condition that no trim or architectural features are altered.
  • Installation or replacement of public address systems, auditorium/gym sound, systems, assistive listening equipment, area of refuge communication equipment, and telephone (intercom) systems on the condition that no trim or architectural features are altered.
  • Installation or replacement of data (computer network, power) systems on the condition that no trim or architectural features are altered. Note that surface raceways may be included in this installation.
  • Installation or replacement of switchboards, motor control centers, panel boards, conductors and conduit, transformers, generators, and power receptacles with the condition that no trim or architectural features are altered or obscured.
  • Installation or replacement of sprinkler and standpipe systems on the condition that no trim or architectural features are altered. Note that exterior fire department connections must be visible and accessible to fire department personnel.
  • Replacement in kind of up to 40% of office base moldings per room.
  • Replacement in kind of up to 40% of interior room molding.
  • Replacement of toilet room fixtures; partitions; floor; wall or ceiling surfaces.
  • Replacement of plumbing fixtures, building wide.
  • Installation of moveable partition control systems.
  • Elevator retrofits.
  • Interior repainting
  • In order to meet patron needs it may be necessary to renovate interior spaces by either enlarging, reducing, or combining rooms to create new spaces such as computer centers, young adult areas or offices. Projects of this type, including interior mechanical, electric, and plumbing revisions to support the program shall be exempt from review if the existing spaces do not contain wood molding, hardwood flooring, plaster walls or other historic finishes. Work removing nonoriginal asbestos tile, vinyl floor tile, concrete floor, vinyl base, molding, gypsum partitions, hollow metal doors and frames, lay in acoustic tile ceilings, of sheetrock ceilings are exempt from review. Please note that there may be libraries that were constructed in twentieth century containing these materials originally.
  • Up to three rooms can be combined in a library building without review. Rooms that have existing wood molding (baseboards, window and door trim, and crown molding) shall be patched in kind with wood matching the existing profiles, materials and dimensions. Existing wood floors will be salvaged only if they can be sanded, refinished and match in elevations with surrounding surfaces. Should water damage be present, wood floors will be replaced with vinyl tile surface (carpeting in libraries). Doors, jambs, and trim facing a corridor must be retained and have the same appearance on the corridor side of the wall. If a door is no longer in use, it should be locked and retained. Ceiling height changes that do not block existing window openings will be appropriate. Drapery pockets are appropriate in cases where a window opening would would otherwise be blocked by a dropped ceiling.

 IV. Mechanical Systems, Electrical Systems, and Plumbing Systems

  • Installation and replacement of heating ventilation and cooling systems other than in original libraries on the condition that no trim or architectural features are altered. Note that ductwork visible in areas other than utilitarian basement areas should be reviewed by OPRHP.
  • Installation of backflow preventers, water mains, switch gear upgrades, new gas services, and other main utility upgrades. This includes gas pipe rims within the building and exterior runs where not visible from the street.
  • Installation and replacement of automatic HVAC control systems on the condition that no trim or architectural features are altered.
  • All other mechanical, electrical & plumbing work in boiler rooms, fan rooms, utility rooms, storage rooms and. custodial spaces on the condition that no trim or architectural features are altered.
  • Installation·or replacement of mechanical, plumbing, and electrical distribution equipment on the condition that no ·trim or architectural features are altered.
  • Note that penetrations greater than 6" in diameter through walls or floors or wall removal for pipe or duct removal/installation should be reviewed by OPRHP.

V. Health & Safety Hazards

  • Removal of asbestos containing materials CACM), e.g., floor tile, insulation, glazing putty, Lead based paint material, or PCB containing materials, e.g. , PCB containing Caulk.
  • Installation or replacement of emergency egress lighting systems and exiting signage with the condition that no trim or architectural features are altered.
  • Emergency removal or repair in kind of masonry cracks and/or falling masonry elements.
  • Removal of falling plaster walls and ceilings and replacement-in-kind or with gypsum board on the condition that no trim or architectural features are altered.
Last Updated: June 4, 2015 -- asm