In addition to meeting all applicable building codes and licensure regulations for adult care homes, the special care unit shall meet the following building requirements:
(1) Plans for new or renovated construction or conversion of existing building areas shall be submitted to the Construction Section of the Division of Health Service Regulation for review and approval.
(2) If the special care unit is a portion of a facility, it shall be separated from the rest of the building by closed doors.
(3) Unit exit doors may be locked only if the locking devices meet the requirements outlined in the N.C. State Building Code for special locking devices.
(4) Where exit doors are not locked, a system of security monitoring shall be provided.
(5) The unit shall be located so that other residents, staff and visitors do not have to routinely pass through the unit to reach other areas of the building.
(6) At a minimum the following service and storage areas shall be provided within the special care unit: staff work area, nourishment station for the preparation and provision of snacks, lockable space for medication storage, and storage area for the residents’ records.
(7) Living and dining space shall be provided within the unit at a total rate of 30 square feet per resident and may be used as an activity area.
(8) Direct access from the facility to a secured outside area shall be provided.
(9) A toilet and hand lavatory shall be provided within the unit for every five residents.
(10) A tub and shower for bathing of residents shall be provided within the unit.
(11) Use of potentially distracting mechanical noises such as loud ice machines, window air conditioners, intercoms and alarm systems shall be minimized or avoided.