I have a different take on this. I see this similar to my work on Department of Defense projects in other states. The DOD accepts the State of California Architectural License but the state licensing board has no jurisdiction over me on federal projects.
If you are working in a sovereign nation I doubt your state license comes into play. The Indian Nation may want you to have it just like the DOD wants architects to be licensed somewhere but not necessarily in the state where the project is.
Your state licensing board may not have dealt with the question before so they may not really know the answer without getting legal advise from the Attorney General's office. Your own legal counsel may be able to bring your comfort level up that you are not subject to the state's oversight.
As far as the root problem of having a floor that is not cleanable in areas that require cleaning, I think this is a health issue. There are areas of the building code here in CA that outline acceptable finishes in areas that require cleaning such as kitchens and toilet rooms. In CA there are also requirements in the health code that restaurants follow (i.e. not the building code.)
The AIA has recommendations on similar situations for healthcare settings. Perhaps they also have something on toilet rooms and kitchens.
That being said, what your client is trying to achieve is understandable. My recommendation is to find a solution that achieves what they are trying to do (access for maintenance I assume,) while maintaining a cleanable floor. Computer floors are expensive and are not designed for wet areas. Since you would be installing the system against the manufacturers recommendations, there would be no warranty. In that the floor would get wet, a huge amount of maintenance on the computer floor itself would likely be required. It is going to rust, even if parts of it are aluminum. All of the piping will need to be supported from below instead of being hung from the structure above. This makes the idea even more expensive and complicated to execute.
You might want to compare the cost of a small basement, accessed by a floor hatch. It may not be significantly different in cost. This approach would probably address all of the issues.
If this were my client, I would be concerned but would take the ethical position that they are a sovereign nation and they get to decide what rules to follow. I would require a written list of codes they want followed. Ideally this should be in the contract or an attachment to the contract. Outline a procedure that will be followed when they deviate from the codes they are telling you to follow. (I.e. a simple letter outlining the code requirement and their acceptance of an alternative means of compliance that is written by you and countersigned by them.)
I have had this situations on DOD projects where the locals were saying that a section in a code that I was directed to follow was not applicable. Once I asked them to document their position, their position changed. The guys I was dealing with did not want to be accountable and I am sure would have thrown me under the bus if a problem ever came up.
Best of Luck!
Mark Paone AIA
Mark J. Paone, AIA Architect
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