Decommissioning State Buildings - Guidelines

When a State-owned building has been or is proposed to be vacated for any reason and is not planned to be occupied for a period of time, the building should be decommissioned. The goal of decommissioning is to reduce or eliminate hazards and liabilities present in the building and its systems while temporarily protecting it until a decision has been made on the future use of the building. This procedure will reduce or eliminate day-to-day operational costs and help mitigate future costs associated with commissioning or startup of the building.


    • Contact Risk Management of your intention, reason or purpose, and duration of the proposed building or buildings to be decommissioned, including dates if applicable.
    • Provide building decommissioning proposed project costs if applicable.
    • Contact the State Historic Preservation Office if the building is listed on the State Register of Historic Places.
    • Contact City or County for any additional requirements if applicable.


      • Disconnect all utilities to the building per requirements of the utility providers, building equipment specifications, the current adopted editions of the International Building and Fire Codes and Nevada Revised Statutes.
      • The water should be turned off and the pipes drained including the fire sprinkler / alarm system. If the fire sprinkler / alarm system is to remain operational, it must be a glycol or dry system to prevent freezing of the pipes. Contact the State Fire Marshal’s Office for fire protection system requirements for vacant buildings.
      • Shut down HVAC systems per the manufactures specifications.
      • The roof and exterior finishes (stucco, masonry, wood, metal) should be weather tight.
      • Ventilation of the attic, crawl space and interior should be provided to control excess moisture and humidity.
      • All exterior doors, windows and openings should be weather tight. All windows and exterior glazing should be boarded up to prevent vandalism.
      • Vegetation surrounding the building should be pruned or removed a minimum of 12 inches away from structure.
      • The exterior grade should slope away from the building to prevent water intrusion, especially at roof drain and scupper locations.
      • Remove all trash, hazardous materials such as inflammable liquids, poisons, paints and canned goods that could explode, freeze/burst.
      • Inspect building at periodic intervals. Recommend at least once every 3 months for the exterior and annually for the interior.

        Following the guidelines will protect the building from sudden loss and weatherize and maintain the structure to prevent moisture penetration. Providing temporary protection and stabilization for vacant buildings will prolong the life of the building and its systems, slow down its deterioration, secure it from damage and vandalism and mitigate future start up costs while the future of the building is being decided. A proper approach to building decommissioning will provide the basis for an effective remediation plan and future building use.