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August 2017
Daylight-Responsive Lighting Controls

Daylight-responsive controls, often known as daylight harvesting, is an energy code requirement that applies to all commercial buildings and has been recently updated in the 2016 New York City Energy Conservation Code and ASHRAE 90.1 – 2013. Daylight harvesting is a lighting control technique used to reduce energy consumption by dimming or switching off artificial lighting when there is sufficient natural light present in the space. This is achieved by using daylight photocell sensors, which are strategically placed within the daylight zone, that calibrate the lighting fixture output with the availability of natural light. The daylight photocell sensors shall continuously dim the lighting fixtures or provide a step-type or control point reduction of the design lighting power (ASHRAE).

The daylight zone is split into two categories: “sidelighting” and “toplighting” (rooftop monitor and roof fenestration). The floor to the top of fenestration, ceiling and/or nearest full-height wall are often used to calculate the daylight zone for the space. For “sidelighting” daylight zones, the floor to the top of the fenestration height is used. For “toplighting”, a percentage of the ceiling height is used. Below is an example of “sidelighting” daylight zone (by 2016 NYCECC):

For ASHRAE 90.1 – 2013, “Sidelighting” is split into primary and secondary areas. The secondary area is calculated by adding one half of the vertical fenestration head height to the primary area.

Some projects or spaces may be exempt from this requirement. Below are the most common exemptions:

2016 NYCECC:
  • Lighting that requires special application (i.e. – art galleries, medical procedure spaces, etc).
  • “Sidelighting” areas where the total glazing area is less than 24 ft2.
  • First floor, above grade, spaces in Group A-2 and Group M occupancies.
ASHRAE 90.1-2013:

  • Lighting that requires special application (i.e. – art galleries, medical procedure spaces, etc).
  • If the primary daylight zone is under 150W or the combined primary and secondary area is under 300W.
  • “Sidelighting” areas where the total glazing area is less than 20 ft2.
  • Retail spaces.

  • For the full daylight-responsive controls requirements please refer to:

    2016 NYCECC [C405.2.3] - click here

    ASHRAE 90.1 – 2013 [] - click here

    July 2017
    Local Law 26/04: Sprinkler Requirement

    Applies to: Office buildings 100-feet in height or greater. An owner cannot convert a building that is 100 feet or greater in height to an office building, or for use in occupancy group E, without installing sprinklers.

    Required: Report certifying the building is 100% sprinklered and code compliant. If the building is not fully sprinklered, a report indicating what percentage of the building has sprinkler coverage and what steps will be taken to achieve full compliance by 2019, must be submitted to the NYC Local Law Enforcement Unit by the next upcoming deadline. The remaining filing deadlines are as follows:

    • 14-Year Report – Due July 1, 2018
    • Final Report – Due July 1, 2019

    Exemptions: Only for office buildings, when the owner can demonstrate that it is not practical to install sprinklers in a limited portion of the building, due to structural conditions or status as an interior landmark space. The Commissioner may require additional fire safety measures.

    For the full local law text, click here.
    For a summary of provisions, click here.

    June 2017
    What is Passive House?

    The Passive House standard has evolved over the past 25 years, starting from a single structure in Europe to an internationally recognized organization. Passive House requirements are guidelines are designed to reduce specific carbon impact of energy consumed from the earth, regardless of how it is delivered. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has outlined several Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) that indicate the probability that we will exceed a global mean surface temperature (GMST) rise greater than 2°C by the year 2050. Passive House was developed to target RCP2.6, which limits total global carbon emissions to 800 gigatons and anticipates a rise of less than 2°C GMST. 

    There are several certification criteria for Passive House certification. The new construction building in question must have:

    • Yearly heating demand of less than 4,750 btu/hr*yr*ft2
    • OR Peak heating demand of less than 3,170 btu/hr*yr*ft2
    • Yearly cooling demand of less than 4,750 btu/hr*yr*ft2
    • Primary energy demand (the losses in energy distribution from the source, e.g. power lines, natural gas pumping, etc.)
    • Building infiltration of less than 0.6 air changes per hour

    Buildings designed to Passive House standards will make use of several high efficiency measures to meet the certification requirements such as typical wall and roof R values around R40 and R50 respectively, triple pane windows, induction cooktops, heat pump dryers and water heaters, variable refrigerant heating and cooling, condensing water heaters, and on site renewables.

    Though Passive House started with single family homes, New York City’s aggressive approach to energy conservation has led to rapid development of larger Passive House structures within the five boroughs. In addition to a multitude of private high rise Passive House developments, New York City has also begun to issue RFPs for city development projects that give preference to Passive House design - a major step forward for Passive House in urban environments.

    For more information on Passive House on a global scale, visit

    For Passive House in New York City, visit the local organization at

    May 2017
    Local Law 158 of 2016

    The NYC Department of Buildings released Local Law 158 of 2016 in an effort to encourage the repair and resolution of any gas piping work completed without a permit. The Local Law, dubbed the “Gas Piping Work Civil Penalty Amnesty Program” was put into effect on April 5th, 2017. Under this program, any associated DOB civil penalties for legalization of fuel gas piping systems or a violation for work performed without a permit (associated with fuel gas piping systems) will be waived if:

    • The work was performed or the violations were issued prior to April 5, 2017 and civil penalties have not been paid.
    • Applicants obtain a permit to resolve the improper work between April 5, 2017 and October 5, 2017.
    • Applicants have the job signed off by the Department one year from the day the permit is issued.

    Gas Piping Work Civil Penalty Amnesty jobs can only be submitted as a Limited Alteration Application (LAA) filing and is limited to gas work only. Gas work jobs that are non-LAA eligible or jobs that are not related to gas work must be filed separately and are not eligible for the program.

    To take advantage of the Gas Piping Work Civil Penalty Amnesty Program, Section 9 (Proposed Work Summary) of the LAA1 form shall be filled out as follows:

    1. Gas Piping Work Amnesty Program
    2. Type of filing, as applicable: Legalization and/or ECB Violation(s), and list the associated Violation number(s).
    3. Gas Piping Work Amnesty Description

    April 2017
    Affordable New York Housing Program

    The affordable housing program, known as 421-a, has been in place for almost 50 years and gives developers a city tax break in return for constructing buildings with lower-price rental units. However, this program expired in early 2016, leaving developers unsure if it would extended or replaced. On April 7th, Governor Andrew Cuomo reached an agreement with the New York State Legislature on a new affordable housing program to replace 421-a. The new program, called the “Affordable New York Housing Program” implements some key changes that were not present under the old 421-a program. Below is a list of the key modifications:

    • Developers will be required to pay a “fair wage” to construction workers in order to qualify.
      • $60/hour (avg) in wages, benefits and payroll taxes for projects below 96th Street in Manhattan.
      • $45/hour (avg) in wages, benefits and payroll taxes for projects within a mile of the East River Waterfront.
      • Sites outside of these zones can participate if they fulfill all the requirements and the city comptroller determines that the developer has complied with the minimum wage standards.
    • Developers with 300 or more units can get a full property tax exemption for 35 years, if they apportion 25 to 30 percent of units for low and moderate income tenants.  Only applies to certain neighborhoods.
    The program is set to generate 2,500 affordable housing units annually and will last until at least 2022.

    March 2017
    LAA EWN Process for Utility Company Gas Restoration

    The DOB has recently revised the Emergency Work Notification (EWN) process for work associated with “Gas Emergency Conditions”. For these emergency gas restorations, a Licensed Master Plumber must now submit a gas EWN to the Limited Alteration Application (LAA) unit in the form of an email (addressed to The same email shall also be sent to the appropriate utility company (ie – National Grid or Con Edison). This email must include the following:

    Subject Line:
    • Address of the emergency
    • Licensee’s name, company name & license number.
    Email Body:
    • The reason for immediate request for gas restoration by the utility company.
    • Licensee’s telephone and fax number
    • Statement that a LAA1 or Plan Work Application (PW1) will be filed in accordance with §28-105.4.1
    The sender will receive an auto-reply email from the LAA unit, at which point they can commence with the emergency work. The auto-reply email must be posted at the site until the LAA unit provides an “Emergency Work Issuance Notice”.

    All other emergency work can be filed using the existing process. For a description of this process and the full service update bulletin, click here.

    February 2017
    Equipment Use Permits

    A common question when closing out a project is whether or not the installed air conditioning system requires an Equipment Use Permit (EUP). All air conditioning systems require an EUP, unless it meets all of the following exemptions.

    27-184 (26-116.5) EXEMPTIONS FROM PERMIT REQUIREMENT. An equipment work permit shall not be required in any of the following cases:
    (a) Air-Conditioning and Ventilating Systems – Where the system is a voluntary system serving only one floor of a building and:

    1. Does not use lot line windows for the intake or exhaust of air or the mounting of equipment.
    2. Is not installed in any public hallway, passageway, or stairway.
    3. Does not in any way reduce the ventilation of any room or space below that required by code provisions.
    4. Does not penetrate any fire division, roof, floor, or wall (except that a packaged air-conditioning unit not exceeding 3 tons rated capacity may be used in windows or in sleeves under windows, provided that health, fire and/or structural safety is not thereby impaired).
    Therefore, only a packaged unit (under 3 tons) that fits in a window or wall sleeve, is exempt from the EUP requirement. Any split system, even if it is under 3 tons, will almost always need an EUP as refrigerant piping will likely penetrate a fire division, wall or roof.

    When an Equipment Use Permit is required, it will need to be confirmed that the nameplate information, of the equipment installed on site, matches what is shown on the DOB approved plans. If it doesn’t, a Post Approval Amendment will need to be filed to show the as-built equipment information and demonstrate the required energy code compliance. Upon verification of the equipment information on the DOB approved plans and completion of the necessary special and progress inspections, the Equipment Use Permit and application is signed by the design applicant and the inspector. A copy of the EUP must be posted on the equipment prior to operation. Failure to have the EUP cards on site will result in the issuance of violations and fines by the Department of Buildings or the FDNY.

    January 2017
    High-rise Buildings

    One of the most important designations for tall buildings is whether or not it is considered a high-rise. Once a building is deemed a high-rise structure, there are fire protection, emergency power and smoke removal systems that need to be accounted for and implemented. This classification is also frequently a source of confusion and is a commonly asked question for code experts. The source of confusion is likely due to how it was defined in the 1968 Building Code.

    As per the 1968 Building Code, a high-rise was any building or structure at least 75 feet in height. However, the definition of “Building Height” measures that vertical distance to the roof elevation, as described below.

    The vertical distance from the curb level to the highest point of the roof beams in the case of flat roofs, or to a point at the average height of the gable in the case of roofs having a pitch of more than one foot in four and one-half feet; except that where the curb level has not been legally established or where every part of the building is set back more than twenty-five feet from a street line, the height shall be measured from the adjoining grade elevation.

    As of the introduction of the 2008 Building Code, the high-rise definition has been clarified and simplified. Instead of measuring to the building’s highest point, the distance is now measured to the highest “occupied floor”. The definition is as follows:

    A building with an occupied floor located more than 75 feet (22 860 mm) above the lowest level of fire department vehicle access.

    Therefore, buildings that would have previously been categorized as a high-rise, may avoid this impactful and costly designation if the roof is not occupiable and the highest occupied floor is less than 75 feet above the lowest level or fire department access (ie – the street).

    December 2016
    DOB Project Guidelines

    The New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) development a new series of articles and checklists designed to explain the general operational, administrative and technical requirements related to specific project types. The Project Guidelines were created to help you navigate through each step of your next project. These stages include:

    • Pre-approval of a Project – Know what is required to submit a project application and obtain an approval.
    • Pre-permit and ongoing work phase of Project – Learn about Contractor requirements, site safety requirements, required inspections, and obtaining a permit.
    • Project Close-out – Learn how to close-out a completed project, or obtain Sign-off and/or Letter of Completion.
    These guidelines give those that are unfamiliar with the DOB process, insight into the department’s project requirements for the construction industry. However, this initiative is meant to be an outline and users should still consult with their Registered Design Professional regarding code requirements and technical requirements. Additionally, there are also helpful resources for Owners, Design Professionals, Skilled Tradesmen and Registrants. Below is a compiled list of these and other links.

    November 2016
    Limited Alteration Applications (LAA)

    Limited Alteration Applications (LAA) are used for the filing of plumbing work, sprinkler piping replacement/repairs and oil burner installations that do not include construction work. These applications do not require a Professional Engineer (PE) or Registered Architect (RA) and can be submitted (via an LAA1 Form) by the following Skilled Trades:

    • Licensed Master Plumbers
    • Licensed Master Fire Suppression Piping Contractors
    • Licensed Oil Burner Installers
    Below is the type of work, for each trade, that can be filed under a Limited Alteration Application:

    Limited Plumbing Alterations:

    • Category 1 - $35,000 cost limitation per building, including appliance and labor in any 12 month period.
      • Addition of Plumbing Fixtures or Connections: Add five or less within any 12-month period.
      • New Sprinkler Heads: Installation of up to five new off of an existing domestic water system within any 12-month period.
      • Piping: Installation of new plumbing or fuel gas piping - Not including Category 2 work.
      • Rearrange Sprinkler Heads: Rearrange not more than 20 sprinkler heads in areas classified in light hazard occupancy, in restaurant service areas, or in mercantile areas.
      • Standpipe Piping and Parts: In-kind replacement of piping and parts required for the operation of a standpipe provided that a sprinkler is not connected.
      • Standpipe System Parts: Replacement of parts required for the operation of a standpipe system that is not a combined standpipe system.
    • Category 2 – No cost limitation. Must include all appliance and labor costs.
      • Backflow Preventers: Install or replace primary backflow preventers.
      • Direct-vent Appliances: In-kind replacement with direct-vent gas-fired boilers, hot water heaters and furnaces servicing one or two family dwellings four stories or less.
      • Direct-vent Gas Dryer (Domestic): Install new single domestic direct-vent gas dryer servicing one or two family dwellings four stories or less.
      • Gas Burners: Replace gas burners [2.8 million Btu/h (821 kW) or less].
      • Gas-fired Boilers: Replace gas-fired boilers [1 million Btu/h (293 kW) or less].
      • Piping: Reroute existing plumbing or fuel gas branch piping to serve the same number of existing fixtures and appliances.
      • Relocate Existing Fixtures: Relocate and mount new fixtures on existing roughing, not falling under a minor alteration or ordinary plumbing work.
      • Relocate gas burner/boiler: Relocate gas burner/boiler within the same unaltered fire-rated enclosure, or room.
      • Replace Fixtures: In-kind replacement of plumbing fixtures and gas appliances, not falling under a minor alteration or ordinary plumbing work.
      • Sprinkler Heads: Replace up to thirty existing sprinkler heads, off of a domestic water system, and their orifice size, type, and deflector must remain the same.
      • Temporary Gas-fired Boiler: Placement of a registered gas fired temporary boiler at a site for emergency heat.
    Limited Sprinkler Alterations:
    • Category 1 - $35,000 cost limitation per building, including appliance and labor in any 12 month period.
      • Changes that do not alter the type of sprinkler system.
      • New Sprinkler Heads: Install up to five new sprinkler heads off of an existing sprinkler system.
      • Rearrange Sprinkler Heads: Rearrange not more than 20 sprinkler heads in areas classified in light hazard occupancy, in restaurant service areas classified in Group 1 ordinary hazard occupancy, or in mercantile areas classified in Group 2 ordinary hazard occupancy.
      • Relocation of piping that does not affect the operation of the sprinkler system.
      • Replacement of parts required for the operation of a sprinkler system.
    • Category 2 – No cost limitation. Must include all appliance and labor costs.
      • Sprinkler Heads for Existing Sprinkler System: Replacement of sprinkler heads, provided that orifice sizes, type and deflector positions remain the same.
    Limited Standpipe Alterations:
    • Category 1 - $35,000 cost limitation per building, including appliance and labor in any 12 month period.
      • Relocate Hose Source and Cabinets: Relocation of standpipe auxiliary hose sources and cabinets within 10 feet of original location, provided existing covered area is not affected.
        Relocation must comply with the NYC Code requirements for a new installation.
      • Replace Parts: Replacement of parts required for operation of a combined standpipe system.
    • Category 2 – No cost limitation. Must include all appliance and labor costs.
      • NA
    Limited Oil-Burning Alterations:
    • Category 1 - $35,000 cost limitation per building, including appliance and labor in any 12 month period.
      • Replace Equipment or Piping: Replacement of oil equipment or oil piping including oil tanks with 330 gallons (1250 L) or less capacity.
        Replacement Tanks must have a UL listing or labeling or meet the alternative tank design and construction standards contained in section 1305.14 of the NYC Mechanical Code.
    • Category 2 – No cost limitation. Must include all appliance and labor costs.
      • Relocate oil burner or oil-burning boiler or water heater: Relocate within the same, unaltered fire-rated enclosure or room.
      • Replace oil burners: Replacements with heat input of 2.8 million Btu/h (821 kW) or less.
      • Replace oil-burning boilers or water heaters: Replacements with heat input of 1 million Btu/h (293 kW) or less.
      • Temporary oil fired mobile boiler: Placement of a temporary Department of Buildings registered oil fired mobile boiler at a site for emergency heating.

    Click here for more information on installation guidelines and how to file Limited Alteration Applications.

    October 2016
    Emission Control Devices for Commercial Kitchens

    Last year, the NYC Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) enacted the largest update to the NYC Air Pollution Code in 35 years. This addition to the code mandated that emission control devices are in NYC restaurants that use char broilers that cook over 875 lb of meat per week. On September 16, 2016, the DEP released an rule that further regulates this requirement by outlining the standards for their performance, testing and re-certification. Below are the highlighted changes:

    Requirements for Emission Control Devices:
    • Such devices must reduce the chain-driven commercial char broiler’s baseline PM10 emissions, including condensable PM, at a reduction rate of 75% or greater.
      • “PM 10” stands for Particulate Matter with an aerodynamic diameter equal to or less than 10 micrometers.
    • Where a facility uses more than one commercial char broiler to cook meat, the amount of meat cooked per week must be calculated based on the total amount of meat cooked on all commercial char broilers at the same facility, and the emissions reduction must be calculated per commercial char broiler.
    Maintenance for Emission Control Devices:
    • Installed devices shall be operated, cleaned, and maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications.
    • Systems must be cleaned by a person holding a FDNY Certificate of Fitness P- 64 Commercial Kitchen Exhaust & Precipitator Cleaning Technician.
    Record Keeping:
    • Effective May 6, 2016 –
      • Any person operating a new under-fired commercial char broiler or an existing or new chain-driven commercial char broiler used to cook 875 pounds or less of meat per week, must maintain records showing the amount of meat purchased per month.
      • Any person operating a new under-fired commercial char broiler or an existing or new chain-driven commercial char broiler used to cook more than 875 pounds of meat per week must maintain records regarding the date of installation, replacement and maintenance of any emissions control device installed to abate emissions from the char broiler.
    • Records for breakdown repair, cleaning on the emissions control device or preventative maintenance will need to be kept for at least one year and be made available to the DEP upon request.
    Certification of Emission Control Devices:
    • The manufacturer or owner of emission control devices may seek DEP certification by submitting documentation from an EPA-approved independent testing laboratory (full testing protocols are included in the official rule in the link below).

    Fines for not adhering to this new rule can range from $800 to $3,200, depending on the severity of the infraction.

    Click here for the full text of this new rule.

    September 2016
    2016 NYC Energy Code: What is a “Complete Application”?

    The 2016 New York City Energy Conservation Code (NYCECC) went into effect on October 3, 2016. “Complete applications” filed on or before October 2, 2016, were able to comply with 2014 NYCECC standards. Applications that were deemed “incomplete” may be subject to the 2016 NYCECC, even if they were filed ahead of the deadline.

    As stated in the NYC Administrative code, to be considered a “complete application” the “construction documents shall be complete and of sufficient clarity to indicate the location and entire nature and extent of work proposed, and shall show in detail that they conform to the provisions of this code and other applicable laws and rules”. Therefore, a formal plan review will not take place unless the plans submitted clearly show enough detail to allow for an effective assessment of the proposed work. If the submission does not meet these standards, the application will be marked “incomplete” and the examiner will provide a general checklist of missing information. Below is a list of items that ALL drawing sets should include:

    • Compliance with DOB Graphic Standards
    • Title Block, discipline designators and revision numbers as per DOB requirements
    • Scale of each drawing or detail
    • North Arrow on plans
    • Dimensions – related to scope and area of work
    • Drawing Title
    • Notes and details – only pertaining to the scope of work
    • Clear description of the proposed scope of work, include construction and/or demolition work.
    • All drawings submitted to support the architectural plans must be in accordance with NYC Code and must be signed and sealed by a design professional.
    For a detailed list of drawing requirements for specific trades, refer to the DOB Plan Examination Guidelines.

    For a description of the upcoming energy code changes, refer to August’s EP Knows Article, 2016 New York City Energy Conservation Code.

    August 2016
    2016 New York City Energy Conservation Code

    The New York City Energy Conservation Code (NYCECC) is based on the current Energy Conservation Construction Code of New York State (ECCCNYS) and further modified by New York City local laws. The 2016 ECCCNYS, which is based on the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code and ASHRAE 90.1-2013, will go into effect on October 3, 2016. In the same fashion, the 2016 NYCECC, which modifies the State Code, will also go into effect on October 3, 2016. It is being adopted as Local Law 91 of 2016.

    All applications filed on or after October 3, 2016 will be subject to the 2016 NYCECC. “Complete applications” (as defined by Buildings Bulletin 2014.015) filed on or before October 2, 2016 will be subject to the 2014 NYCECC. If these applications are deemed “incomplete”, they may be subject to the 2016 NYCECC.

    Architects and Engineers can get a head start and review Local Law 91 of 2016, which describes New York City’s modifications to the new energy code. The law can be found on the New York City Council’s website. Once the 2016 NYCECC is released, a digital copy will be available for viewing on the DOB’s Energy Conservation Code page.

    Below are the key changes to expect*:


    • Building envelope improvements, including the requirement that all below-grade walls and slabs be insulated.
    • Open combustion fuel-burning appliances will have to be installed outside of the building thermal envelope.
    • Additional commissioning requirements, especially for lighting controls.
    • New requirements for building air tightness testing.
      • Buildings between 25,000 and 50,000 square feet must conduct a blower door test.
      • Building over 50,000 square feet must test or inspect each type of air barrier joint or seam.
    • Heat transfer of through-wall Packaged Terminal Air Conditioning (PTAC) units and air conditioners must now be accounted for in energy calculations.
    • Blower door tests will need to be conducted on new residential buildings to ensure a maximum air leakage of three air changes per hour.
    • Important envelope improvements.
      • In climate zone 4, wall insulation will be increased from R13 to R20.
    • Heat transfer of through-wall Packaged Terminal Air Conditioning (PTAC) units and air conditioners must now be accounted for in energy calculations.
    • Increase in high-efficacy lighting requirements from 50% to 75%.
    • The introduction of a new compliance path based on the Energy Rating Index, which scores buildings from 0-100.
    • New residential buildings must be “solar ready” by allocating space for panels.
    • More-stringent insulation requirements, adopted from Climate Zone 6.
    *Credit: Urban Green Council - New Energy Code Means Big Efficiency Gains for City and State.

    July 2016
    DOB NOW: Build – Launched July 25th!

    DOB NOW is the NYC Department of Buildings’ most recent initiative to modernize and streamline interactions with design professionals, owners, contractors and filing representatives. This new online portal will make it easier to submit applications, make payments, schedule appointments, check the status of an application or inspection, pull permits, and make renewals. DOB NOW is being released in four separate phases:

  • DOB NOW: Inspections is the new name for Inspection Ready. All current functionality remains the same for online scheduling, tracking, and notifications as well as enforcement and development inspections.
  • DOB NOW: Build will include job filings, permits, and Letters of Completion. This new online job filing and permit portal launched July 25, 2016 for plumbing and sprinkler job filings.
  • DOB NOW: Safety includes all compliance filings (façades, elevators, boilers) and will be available for selected job filings in the fall of 2016.
  • DOB NOW: Licensing will allow for online exam filing, issuance, and renewal for Licensees. Set to go live in 2017.
  • In response of the recent launch of DOB NOW: Build, all design professionals (Professional Engineers and Registered Architects), building owners, filing representatives and special inspectors, need to register for eFiling.
    Click here to register!

    Here is what you need to know for Plumbing and Sprinkler filings through DOB NOW: Build:

  • For applications filed in DOB NOW, initial and renewal Plumbing and Sprinkler permits must be pulled online.
  • Plumbing and Sprinkler jobs filed in DOB NOW will not appear in the existing Buildings Information System (BIS).
  • System-generated emails will be sent to applicants, filing representatives, owners and contractors at critical milestones in the filing process.
  • Plans and associated Required Documents can only be submitted electronically.
  • Appointments must be requested online. Meetings will be conducted virtually using GoToMeeting. No in-person appointments will be granted.
  • Payments can only be made online.
  • After Hour Variance permits are requested and issued against individual permits online.
  • Letter of Completion can be emailed and issued online.

  • June 2016
    Important changes to know before self-certifying projects

    The Professional Certification Program, which was introduced in 1995, is a filing procedure that allows for construction documents to be accepted without a DOB plan review. Instead, the Registered Design Professional (NY licensed Professional Engineer or Registered Architect) certifies the application’s code compliance. The DOB has recently filed a Bulletin (2016-010) to revise the operations policy of this program. The filing procedure itself has remained the same, with the main revisions relating to the restrictions, limitations and audits of these applications. Below is a description of each.

    Excluded Work:
    The following applications are not eligible for professional certification:

    1. Subdivisions.
    2. Full demolitions and applications containing demolition work that includes the use of mechanical equipment, other than handheld equipment, per BC section 3306.5.
    3. Applications for work on projects that require, or are related to projects that require approval, permit, or another type of determination from the Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA).
    Post Approval Amendments (PAA):
    PAAs for self-certified applications can also be professionally certified. These amendments shall include all the changes to the construction documents of the previously accepted application, but are restricted to the following:
    1. Changes due to unforeseen field conditions.
    2. Deliberate modifications, of a limited nature, to the initial scope of work.
    3. Required changes to comply with audit comments.
    Audits of Professionally Certified Applications:
    All professionally certified applications are subject to audit and the Department of Buildings is conducting more audits now than ever before. The types of audits are broken down as follows:
    1. Zoning Audits: Prior to acceptance, ALL professionally certified New Building, Alteration Type 1, enlargement alteration applications and zoning-related PAAs, are subject to a zoning audit.
    2. Program Audits: A representative sample of professionally certified applications, including PAAs, will be selected for audit upon issuance of permit(s).
    3. Targeted Audits: In addition to the above, the DOB may perform a targeted audit of professionally certified applications based upon receipt of a complaint, evidence of non-compliance, or at the discretion of the Commissioner.

    Refer to EP Engineering’s May 2016 article for all the necessary steps to resolve an audit.

    Full text of Bulletin 2016-010

    May 2016
    Energy Code Audits

    It’s easy to see why self-certification is an appealing option for building owners. With tight construction schedules and hard deadlines, having the engineer or architect of record take full responsibility for code compliance increases a project’s time efficiency, since the DOB plan review process is eliminated. However, consultants need to be diligent, now more than ever, in ensuring that their plans effectively demonstrate compliance with the latest building and energy codes.

    The NYC Department of Buildings has recently implemented a new strategy to increase the percentage of self-certified applications that are subject to an energy code audit. If your project is selected for audit, you will receive an “Energy Code Audit Result” form with a list of objections. Time is of the essence to respond, as failure to do so within 15 days will automatically escalate the status to “Audit Failed”, which will lock the application in the Building Information System (BIS) for any permit processing.

    Below are the necessary steps to resolve the audit:

    1. Applicant of record shall email the plan examiner the following items:
      • Revised drawings addressing objections.
      • AI-1 Form listing all superseding, omitted and/or new drawings, as well as the objection responses showing how/where the item is addressed.
      • Corrected TR-8/PC-1 forms, where applicable.
    2. Plan examiner will review the response documents. If accepted, the examiner will stamp the accepted set and email them to the applicant. If comments are still outstanding, a response will be provided via email and Step 1 will need to be repeated.
    3. Applicant shall submit “ECC auditor stamped” accepted set of drawings, along with updated filing forms, to the DOB for processing of the Post Approval Amendment (PAA) set. PAAs are not eligible for electronic submission, even for “Hub Self-Service” applications.
    4. Once the audited application has been approved and all required items/inspections have been added, the Expeditor shall provide notification to the plan examiner via email.
    5. The plan examiner will confirm that the accepted drawings were approved and all the required items were added to the job application. The Energy Audit status in the BIS will then be changed to “ACCEPTED” and the examiner will notify the team (via email) that the Energy Audit has been resolved.

    Following the steps above will ensure that your next project stays on schedule, should you encounter an unexpected audit!

    April 2016
    Benchmarking - Local Law 84

    Due Date: May 31st, 2016 (The city extended the deadline from May 1st to May 31st)

    What is it?

    • Also known as Local Law 84 of 2009, signed by Mayor Bloomberg 12/28/09, the Benchmarking Law was passed to document the energy usage of buildings, while encouraging building owners to improve their facility usage.
    • "Benchmarking" refers to inputting and submitting total energy and water use (and other descriptive information) for a building for the previous calendar year to the US EPA’s web-based Portfolio Manager tool. Click on this link for more info on Portfolio Manager
    • In the Portfolio Manager program, you can see how a building compares to other buildings that are the same size and have the same climate conditions.
    • Benchmarking is an initiative of the Greener, Greater Buildings Plan. Click on this link for a copy of the GGB Plan

    Required Buildings:

    • All buildings in New York City over 50,000 square feet.
    • Properties with two or more buildings that total over 100,000 square feet and are on the same lot or under the same condo board.

    Click here for a list of buildings that require benchmarking according to

    Residential Building Benchmarking Requirements

    (Think your building should not be on the list? Contact the NYC Department of Finance via

    What does the Benchmarking score mean?:

    • Scores are on a scale of 1-100. The higher the score, the more efficient the building. The average score for NYC buildings (across all building types) in 2012 was 70.
    • A score of 75 or better will qualify the building for Energy Star Certification
    Click on this link for our previous bulletin with more info on Energy Star

    Local Law Text:
    Full Text of the Benchmarking Law

    March 2016
    Automatic Receptacle Control Requirement


    On any project, the entire design team has to follow the same energy code, whether it’s the 2014 New York Energy Conservation Code or ASHRAE 90.1-2010. If the project is adhering to ASHRAE 90.1-2010 standards, there is a commonly overlooked “Automatic Receptacle Control” requirement that needs to be factored into the electrical design for office spaces and computer classrooms.

    Section 8.4.2 states that “at least 50% of all 125 volt 15- and 20-Ampere receptacles, including those installed in modular partitions, installed in the following space types, shall be controlled by an automatic control device”.

    • Private Offices
    • Open Offices
    • Computer Classrooms
    These plug load control devices can be tied into the occupancy sensing lighting system for Private Offices and Computer Classrooms, or a timeclock controlling the lighting in Open Office Areas. The occupant sensing method needs to turn off the connected receptacles within 30 minutes of the occupants leaving the space. The timeclock method is limited to areas under 25,000 square feet and not more than one floor. This system will cut down on wasted energy from equipment running when spaces are unoccupied and prevent the “vampire draw” from equipment running in standby mode.

    Lighting control companies, similar to Wattstopper and Lutron, offer solutions to ensure your next project meets this requirement.

    February 2016
    The importance of Telecom Design in office spaces


    In many ways telecommunications is as important of a discipline as the other traditional construction disciplines. Businesses use their telecommunications infrastructure every day to send emails, make phone calls and obtain important information through television or the internet. When a business’s telecommunications infrastructure is inefficient or fails to work properly, productivity levels of the business can be greatly reduced.

    Despite this, in many construction projects planning for the telecommunications infrastructure is left in the hands of the installing contractor, whose time and budget have likely already been defined. This taken into consideration with the likelihood that no space or an insufficient amount of space has been “carved out” for the telecommunications infrastructure during design development will often result in telecommunications installations which do not meet the expectations of the client. Here are some benefits of having a Telecom Engineer design the telecommunications infrastructure for your project:

    • Early planning between the Client, Architect and Telecom Engineer
    • Coordination between MEP trades
    • Contract Documents
    • Construction Administration

    EP Engineering offers the following IT Infrastructure Services:

    • IT Space and Data Center planning
    • Structured Cabling Design (Copper and Fiber)
    • Signal Grounding
    • Low Voltage pathways infrastructure
    • Campus/Site Distribution
    • Construction Administration
    • Site Survey and Assessment

    January 2016
    Energy Efficiency Reporting - Local Law 87

    ** 2016 buildings should be starting ASAP **
    (The entire audit and commissioning process can take over a year in some cases.)

    Due Date: December 31, 2016
    (for tax block numbers ending in 5)

    Last digit of tax block number
    0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
    Year first EER is due

    2020 2021 2022 2023 2024 2025 2016 2017 2018 2019
    **EER’s are due every ten years

    What is it?

    Starting in 2013, New York City now requires “energy efficiency reports” (EER) for certain buildings. These buildings must undergo two exercises:

    1. Energy Audits
    2. Retro-Commissioning of Building Systems

    The audit and retro-commissioning exercises are then summarized into an EER which must submitted by the due date.

    EER’s must be completed by registered professionals with the proper accrediations for auditing and retro-commisioning.

    Required Buildings:

    • A building that exceeds 50,000 gross square feet, or
    • TWO or more buildings on the same tax lot that together exceed 100,000 gross square feet, or
    • TWO or more buildings held in the condominium form of ownership that are governed by the same board of managers and that together exceed 100,000 gross square feet.
    $3,000 first year, $5000 each year after

    Local Law Text:
    Click here for the entire local law 87 document

    EP Engineering specializes in helping buildings comply with Local Law 87.
    Contact EP Engineering today for a free consultation.

    December 2015

    Registration is now open for the new NYC DOB online inspection system. This system will provide online scheduling for virtually all inspections, making it easier to schedule inspection appointments, offer more precise inspection scheduling and improve inspection tracking and notifications. Another important feature is to allow industry members to certify certain objections electronically, eliminating the cost of re-inspections.

    To register for Inspection Ready, please click here.

    November 2015
    Minimizing Ventilation Requirements

    The adoption of the 2014 New York City Mechanical Code has brought with it some changes to how minimum required mechanical ventilation rates are determined. The code now aligns with the requirements from ASHRAE 62.1-2007. Previously, under the 2008 code, mechanical ventilation requirements were calculated as follows:

    • Using Table 403.3, once an applicable “Occupancy Classification” is selected, an “Estimated Maximum Occupant Load” is determined based on the specified “Persons per 1,000 Square Feet” value (ie – 150 people per 1,000 square feet for an Auditorium). The “Occupied Zone” is defined as the region within an occupied space, having “boundaries measured at 3 inches and 72 inches above the floor and 24 inches from the enclosing walls.”
    • The required outdoor ventilation air is then calculated by multiplying the occupant load by the CFM/Person value specified in the table.
    • Below is an example using the 2008 Code:

    Two methods of calculating the required outside ventilation air are now acceptable under the 2014 Mechanical Code.

    • Option 1: Ventilation Rate Procedure (VRP)
      • This is similar to the method from the 2008 code, however, in addition to the CFM required per person, there is now a ventilation requirement (CFM/sqft) based on the “Breathing Zone”. The “Breathing Zone” has the same definition as the “Occupied Zone” from the 2008 code.
      • The occupant density is calculated in the same manner as in the 2008 code.
      • Due to the addition of the Breathing Zone Area ventilation requirement, the CFM/Person value is much lower than in the 2008 Mechanical Code.
      • Below is an example using the 2014 Code Ventilation Rate Procedure:
    • Option 2: Indoor Air Quality Procedure (IAQ)
      • The exception under Section 403.2 states:
        • Where a registered design professional demonstrates that an engineered ventilation system design will prevent the maximum concentration of contaminants from exceeding that obtainable by the rate of outdoor air ventilation determined in accordance with Section 403.3, the minimum required rate of outdoor air shall be reduced in accordance with such engineered system design.
      • This option can further reduce the outside air requirement, through the use of source-control and contaminant removal measures, such as low emission material, gas-phase air cleaning and particle ionizing equipment.
      • By reducing the Contaminant Concentration (ppm) below what is supplied using the Ventilation Rate Procedure, the outside air requirement can be reduced by 50%-75% in densely occupied spaces (ie – Classrooms, Theaters, Dining Rooms, etc).
      • A comparison of the Contaminant Concentration between the VRP and IAQ procedures needs to be quantified on the filing drawings. Many manufacturers of these contaminant removable devices can assist in providing these calculations, based on their products performance and effectiveness.

    October 2015
    Code Requirements for Locating Receptacles

    We’ve created an easy to follow reference for locating electrical outlets in residential projects. The 2008 NEC provides requirements for the placement of 125-volt 15- and 20-amp receptacles. The required receptacles should be in addition to any receptacles that are part of a lamp or appliance, controlled by a wall switch, located within a cabinet, or located more than 5 ½ feet above the floor. The requirements are as follows:

    • Every kitchen, family room, dining room, living room, parlor, library, den, sunroom, bedroom, recreation room, or similar must have receptacles installed:
      • such that no point measured horizontally along the floor line in any wall space is more than 6 feet from a receptacle
      • on any wall space 2 feet or more in width
    • At least (1) in every bathroom and laundry room.
    • A receptacle is required at each countertop space that is 12 inches or wider (in kitchen).
    • Balconies, decks and porches that are accessible from inside the dwelling unit shall have at least once receptacle installed within the perimeter of the structure.
    • Hallways of 10 feet or more must have at least one receptacle.
    • At least (1) accessible from grade level, at the front and back of a dwelling unit.
    • Floor receptacles can only be included in this requirement if they are within 18 inches of the wall.
    • Any receptacle within 6 feet of a water source, such as a sink, must be GFCI protected.

    For further detail, please see sections 210.50 through 210.52 of the 2008 NEC.

    September 2015
    New DOB Code of Conduct

    On July 20th, NYC DOB released the first ever Code of Conduct for the construction industry. Since last summer this code was identified as a top priority for transforming the city’s construction industry. Buildings Commissioner Rick Chandler stated “One of our crucial strategies to transform the Department is to enhance transparency, and we are doing that by unequivocally stating that ethical standards and expectations of the thousands of construction industry members and professionals who interact with our employees and build in this city.”

    The Code of Conduct covers 4 subject areas:
    • Ethical Code & Principles
    • Licensing Standards
    • Discipline for Abuse of Privileges
    • Customer Bill of Rights.

    To learn more and see the entire text of the code, please click here.

    August 2015
    Building Owners Now Required to Register Cooling Towers

    As a result of the recent outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in the South Bronx, the City has enacted a new law that requires the registration of cooling towers, fluid coolers and evaporative condensers with the Department of Buildings (DOB). This law will enable the City to track where this equipment is located and how it is maintained.

    Effective Tuesday, August 18, 2015, building owners are mandated by the new law to comply with certain reporting requirements. A failure to do so can result in enforcement action by the Department including the issuance of violations with associated monetary penalties. NYC MC 506.3.12 governs where exhaust can terminate. See below for details.

    Owners must comply with the following mandatory requirements:

    Registration of New and Existing Equipment
    • Register existing cooling towers, fluid coolers and evaporative condensers with the Department of Buildings within 30 days of the law’s enactment.
    • Register new cooling towers, fluid coolers and evaporative condensers with the Department of Buildings prior to initial operation.
    Certification of Existing Equipment and Discontinuance of Use
    • Annually certify to the Department of Buildings that cooling towers, fluid coolers and evaporative condensers have been inspected, tested and remediated in accordance with the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene regulations, and that a maintenance program and plan has been developed and implemented.
    • Notify the Department of Buildings within 30 days of removing or permanently discontinuing cooling towers, fluid coolers and evaporative condensers with a statement that the cooling tower was cleaned and sanitized in compliance with Department of Health and Mental Hygiene requirements.
    Department of Health Commissioners’ Order Documentation
    • On August 6, 2015 the Commissioner of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) issued a mandatory order to have cooling systems inspected and remediated within 14 days of receipt of the order. Owners are encouraged to upload this documentation to the DOB cooling tower tracking portal to show proof of compliance with the Commissioner’s Order.

    A failure to comply with any DOB mandatory requirements will result in the issuance of a violation punishable by a maximum fine of $10,000.

    For additional information and to register your cooling tower, fluid cooler or evaporative condenser visit and follow the Cooling Tower Registration link. For information on required maintenance standards and the DOHMH Commissioners’ Order pertaining to cooling towers, evaporative condensers and fluid coolers, visit

    July 2015
    Kitchen Exhaust - Where Can It Terminate?

    The new 2014 code did not change much with regards to where commercial kitchen exhaust (TYPE 1 HOODS) can terminate. Yet, there still remains much confusion in the industry.

    The way the code is currently written is as follows:
    “[Kitchen] Exhaust outlets shall be permitted to terminate through exterior walls where the smoke, grease, gases, vapors and odors in the discharge from such terminations do not create a public nuisance or a fire hazard.”

    The phrasing leaves a lot to interpretation, but our experience is that the industry standard to avoid nuisance is to always carry kitchen exhaust up to the roof of a building. If exhaust cannot run up to the roof and must terminate at the building facade, we would always recommend that a grease and odor removal system (i.e. precipitator) be installed in the duct system. This will alleviate issues with creating a “nuisance”. Keep in mind that installing a precipitator will yield a likely increase in up-front costs, maintenance and they also require a lot of physical space for the equipment.

    NYC MC 506.3.12 governs where exhaust can terminate. See below for details.

    ROOF Termination Rules:

    • Must be 40” above roof.
    • Exhaust flow shall be directed away from surface of roof.
    • Must be located 10-feet horizontally from adjacent buildings, lot lines and parts of the same or contiguous buildings.
    EXTERIOR WALL Termination Rules:
    • Must be located 10-feet horizontally from adjacent buildings, lot lines and parts of the same or contiguous buildings.
    • Must be located 10-feet above grade.
    • Must be located 10-feet horizontally from & not less than 3-feet above air intake openings into any building.
    • EXCEPTION: If the air is directed away from the restricted area, the horizontal distances above are reduced to 5-feet.
    • Must be located 3-feet from any exterior openings such as windows and doors.

    June 2015
    Fresh Air and Exhaust Explained

    The new 2014 code clears up a lot of confusion that previously existed regarding termination requirements of outside air intakes and exhaust systems. Below is a summary on standard exhaust and intakes. Next month we will cover kitchen exhaust and boiler terminations.

    Air Intakes

    • Must be 10-feet from lot lines. This includes intakes on rear wall that terminate parallel to the lot line. If the building is less than 20-feet wide, the terminations cannot meet 10-foot rule but must be on the centerline of the property.
    • Must be 10-feet horizontally OR 3-feet below any hazardous or noxious exhausts, vents, loading docks and parking lots.
    • In high riser buildings, intakes serving spaces over the 2nd floor and over 10,000sf must be 20-feet above ground and 30-feet from exhausts.
    • R3 occupancies do not have to follow these rules.
    Air Exhausts
    • Noxious, toxic, explosive or flammable vapors or dusts: 30-feet from lot lines, 10-feet from windows/openings into building, 6-feet from exterior walls and roofs, 10-feet above grade.
    • Other product-conveying exhaust: 10-feet from lot lines, 10-feet from windows/openings into building, 3-feet from exterior walls and roofs, 10-feet above grade, 10-feet from fire escape, stair or balcony.
    • Environmental exhaust: 3-feet from lot lines, 3-feet from windows/openings into building, 10-feet from mechanical air intakes.
    R2 & R3 Exceptions
    • R3 occupancies do not have to follow the rules for intakes.
    • R2 & R3 exhaust can terminate within 2-feet of windows in the same dwelling unit.

    May 2015
    Building One City

    In Mayor De Blasio’s State of the City speech, he stated “To expedite the right kind of development, we must expedite the development process. What we need, and what we will have, is fundamental reform at the Department of Buildings.”

    Simply put, change is coming at the DOB.
    “Building One City” is an initiative to enact major reform at the NYC DOB to streamline the construction process.
    Some key highlights from the department’s blueprint for change:

    • Redesign DOB’s online presence to reduce the need for in-person visits
    • Make online plan review and submission the default practice.
    • Dramatically reduce plan examination and inspection times, with an increase of 159 plan examiners and 34 development inspectors over two years.
    • Launch an affordable housing unit to expedite affordable housing development.
    • Equip inspectors with tablets to expand field capabilities and improve efficiency.

    April 2015
    2014 NYC Energy Code – Commissioning Now Required?

    Commissioning has actually always been a requirement in Ashrae 90.1 but has been overlooked in previous codes as Ashrae has loose requirements for commissioning.

    The new NYC code has changed that. Below are the main points for commissioning under the new 2014 NYC Energy Code (from Chapter C4). Owners will need to keep this in mind on larger projects when hiring their consultants.

    Next month we will detail the Ashrae 90.1-2010 requirements which can be followed if the Ashrae path is decided on by the entire design team (mechanical, envelope and lighting).

    Commissioning is required by Section ECC C408 for cooling systems 40-tons or more and for heating systems 600MBH or more.

    The major systems requiring commissioning are:

    • Mechanical cooling, heating and air handling equipment
    • Controls
    • Plumbing pumps, insulation and mixing valves
    • Domestic water heating
    • Refrigeration
    • Automatic Lighting Controls
    A full commissioning plan must be developed by commissioning agent including narrative description of commissioning activity, listing of equipment, functions to be tested, testing conditions and measurable criteria for performance.

    Testing of all equipment and controls must be performed following testing criteria in commissioning plan. Refer to ECC C408.2.3 for more details.

    Must be povided to the building owner and must include itemization of deficiencies found and not corrected and any tests deferred due to climactic conditions.

    Refer to ECC C408.2.5 for detailed requirements which include construction document information pertaining to system equipment, comprehensive O&M manual and balancing reports for air and water systems.

    Submit to DOB within 18-months of completion for any R2 or for buildings less than 500,000sf. (30-months for buildings 500,000sf or more) Report to include results of functional performance tests, disposition of deficiencies and corrective measures and functional testing procedures used.

    March 2015
    Do I Need an Economizer?

    Economizers can be very hard to design for. Many designers can default to economizers as being required if they do not want to navigate the exceptions in the energy code.

    Under the old code, there was an exemption to using economizers for NYC (in Climate Zone 4A) if Ashrae 90.1-2007 was used.

    The new 2014 NYC energy code adopted Ashrae 90.1-2010 which does not have this exemption. So now what?
    There are still many achieveable exemptions.

    The most applicable NYC exemptions are as follows:

    1. Individual units with a supply capacity less than 4.5-tons (54,000 Btu/h) do not require economizers.
    2. Systems that serve residential spaces where the total building residential cooling capacity is less than 22.5-tons (270,000 Btu/h).
    3. Systems expected to operate less than 20 hours per week.
    4. Where the cooling efficiency meets or exceeds the minimum efficiency requirements by 42% (NYC Climate Zone 4A).

    February 2015
    Key Lighting Updates to the NYCECC for 2014
    • ASHRAE 90.1-2010 is the new alternate compliance path (previously ASHRAE 90.1-2007)
    • C405.1 Dwelling units within commercial buildings shall not be required to comply provided that a minimum of 75 percent of the lamps in permanently installed lighting fixtures, other than low voltage lighting, shall be high-efficacy lamps (previously 50 percent)
    • C405.2.2 Light reduction controls are not required:
      • In areas that have only one luminaire, provided the rated power is less than 100 watts (previously one luminaire with unlimited wattage)
      • In daylight spaces that comply with Section C405. (added)
    • C405.2.2 3 Daylight zones shall not exceed 2500 square feet
      • o C405. (added section for multi-level lighting controls)
    • Tandem wiring requirements have been removed from the code.
    • Interior lighting power allowances have changed and a table for interior lighting power allowances for the space-by-space method have been added:
      • Table 505.5.2 – NYCECC 2011 Interior Lighting Power Allowances.
      • Table C405.5.2(1) – NYCECC 2011 Interior Lighting Power Allowances: Building Area Method.
      • Table C405.5.2(2) – NYCECC 2011 Interior Lighting Power Allowances: Space-by-Space Method.
    • Section C406.3 added for Efficient Lighting System

    January 2015
    The 2014 NYC Energy Code Has Been Adopted

    This new code adopts latest revisions of the NYS code and also incorporates Ashrae 90.1-2010 as the alternate compliance path (previously Ashrae 90.1-2007)

    What are the cut off dates?

    • Processed prior to December 31st will follow the 2011 NYCECC.
    • Processed after December 31st will need to follow the new 2014 NYCECC.

    New Progress Inspections:
    Most inspections from old code remain the same with a few changes.

    December 2014
    The 2014 NYC Building Code is Here (For Real This Time)

    What are the cut off dates?

    As we all remember, NYC was supposed to adopt the new codes in September but close to the deadline, they extended it to December 31st. This date is still in effect.

    New buildings and all Alteration application (ALT-1, ALT-2 and ALT-3) filings that are submitted to the DOB and:

    • Processed prior to December 31st will follow the 2008 Construction Codes.
    • Processed after December 31st will need to follow the new 2014 Construction Codes.

    These filings do not have to be completed and/or approved prior to December 31st; the minimum requirement for processing are architectural, foundation and/or structural plans.

    Any additional filings that need to be made for a project (including but not limited to, mechanical, plumbing, fire alarm and sprinkler plans) may be filed on or after December 31st and still adhere to the 2008 Construction Code.

    Some other key things to note with the new 2014 codes:
    · Special Inspections: 3 new inspections have been added:
    1. Mastic and Intumescent Fire-resistant Coatings (BC § 1704.12)
    2. High Temperature Hot Water Piping (Welding) (BC § 1704.18)
    3. Post-installed Anchors (BC § 1704.32)

    When does the new code apply:
    Remember that the old code still applies in buildings permitted/constructed before July 1, 2008. Even though the new building code will go into effect, it will remain similar to both the current and 1968 codes, which allow alterations to occur under the code in which the building was established.

    For a larger alteration, a building built under the 1968 or 1938 code may have to be brought up to compliance. This provision is present in the 1968 code as well, though not typical in most alterations. It is often required based on the cost of alterations or the floor area affected. Regardless of when the building was built, the new code will always apply when an alteration occurs to any of the following:
    1. Fuel gas, plumbing and mechanical work
    2. Fire protection systems
    3. Elevators, conveyors and amusement rides
    4. Safety during construction operations
    5. Accessibility
    6. Encroachments into the public right of way
    7. Administration and enforcement
    8. Special Inspections
    9. Materials
    10. Security grilles
    11. Energy efficiency
    12. Roof coverings and replacements (i.e., re-roofing, cool roofs, and green roofs)
    13. Handrails
    14. Guards
    15. Areas of special flood hazard
    16. Structural
    17. Emergency and standby power
    18. Parking garages and open parking lots (LL 130/2013)
    19. Mold protection (LL 13/2014)

    One provision of the new 2014 Construction Code will be delayed 18 months and will not go into effect until June 30th, 2015. This provision is the additional exit stair requirement for all buildings other than R-2 structures greater than 420 feet in height. The new code provision (BC 403.5.2) requires that one extra exit stair be provided in addition to the requirements of BC 1021.1.

    November 2014
    Dealing with DOB Flood Zone Objections

    If you are an architect, expeditor, owner or engineer, you may have noticed some new objections surfacing during plan examination reviews. These having to do with the enforcement of flood mitigation requirements for projects citywide.

    Such code requirements establish general limitations on occupancy and construction for buildings within the Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHA) identified on the 2007 Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM) and/or the 2013 preliminary Flood

    Insurance Rate Maps (pFIRM). To avoid project delays, don’t forget to follow these simple steps:

    1. If the project/building DOES NOT fall within a SFHA on the 2007 FIRM or the 2013 pFIRM, project filings must be accompanied by a copy of the applicable flood insurance rate map and a statement acknowledging the property is not located within the flood zone.
    3. If the project/building DOES fall within a SFHA on the 2007 FIRM and/or the 2013 pFIRM, the project filing must be accompanied by a flood zoning analysis and a statement acknowledging that the property is within the flood zone.

    October 2014
    NYC Energy Code Not Changing Just Yet

    Despite widespread speculation that the NYC Energy Code is being revised due to the imminent adoption of the new NYS energy code, this is still not the case.

    The NYC Energy Code still is based on the 2010 NYS Energy Code with an alternate path for Ashrae 90.1-2007. The 2014 NYS energy code updates have not yet been adopted. The proposed commercial code update based on 2012 IECC/ASHRAE 90.1-2010 has been published and public comments are being accepted until Dec 1st. The residential code update isn’t projected to occur until 2015.

    See this link below for a good summary of the progress on NYS energy code:

    September 2014
    The 2014 NYC Building Code is Here

    What are the cut off dates?

    New buildings and all Alteration application (ALT-1, ALT-2 and ALT-3) filings that are submitted to the DOB and processed prior to December 31st will follow the 2008 Construction Codes.

    These filings do not have to be completed and/or approved prior to December 31st; the minimum requirement for processing are architectural, foundation and/or structural plans.

    Any additional filings that need to be made for a project (including but not limited to, mechanical, plumbing, fire alarm and sprinkler plans) may be filed on or after December 31st and still adhere to the 2008 Construction Code. All filings that are processed after October 1st will need to follow the new 2014 Construction Codes.

    One provision of the new 2014 Construction Code will be delayed 18 months and will not go into effect until June 30th, 2015. This provision is the additional exit stair requirement for all buildings other than R-2 structures greater than 420 feet in height. The new code provision (BC 403.5.2) requires that one extra exit stair be provided in addition to the requirements of BC 1021.1.

    July 2014
    Deadline to Comply with Retroactive Sprinkler Coverage Fast Approaching!

    Local Law 26 of 2004 was a m`ajor step forward for New York City’s push to require buildings over 100 feet in height to be protected by sprinkler systems. The Local Law required all office buildings over 100-Feet in height (even existing buildings) to retroactively provide sprinkler coverage. Adding a sprinkler system to an existing office building is a huge undertaking for any building owner, so the local law provided a 15-Year timeframe in which to comply with this law. 10 Years later and we’re fast approaching the July 1st, 2019 deadline in which to design, install and sign-off on a new sprinkler system. With only 5-Years left, all office buildings over 100-Feet in height should begin making preparations for their required sprinkler system.

    LAA Applications for Boiler Work: Deadline to Convert from Number 6 Heating Oil

    To convert a boiler from number 6 heating oil to a cleaner burning fuel oil, applicants must submit a Limited Alteration Application to the Department of Buildings. In addition, any boiler conversion to change to or to add natural gas requires the applicant to submit an amendment with NYC Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). All boiler-related Limited Alteration Applications must indicate that the equipment will be converted no later than the June 30, 2015 deadline. This must be included in the Description section of the LAA.

    For more information, see the NYC Department of Environmental Protection’s Clean Heating Rule 15 RCNY §2-15 and DEP’s website.

    June 2014
    New minimum DOB Requirements for Plan Examination

    On May 5th the NYC Department of Buildings instituted a new criteria for completeness of filing documents for all new projects submitted to the DOB. These changes come after a pilot program in which the DOB found that the expediting process was streamlines when a reviewer was presented with a complete set of plans with a greater amount of information. If the minimum requirements are not meet, the application will be rejected before an examiner reviews the plans. To see the new minimum filing requirements click the following link to see the DOB’s Plan Examination Guidelines.

    May 2014

    Boiler Inspections Rules Amendment §103-01

    Registered Filing Reps Rule §104-24

    Read all about Electronic Filing through the Hub

    2014 Build Safe / Live Safe Conference New York Marriott Downtown

    April 2014
    Upcoming 2014 NYC Construction Code Updates

    • New Building, Mechanical, Plumbing and Fuel Gas Codes go into effect October 1st, 2014
    • New Fire Code went into effect March 30th
    • Applications processed prior to October 30th will still follow 2008 Construction Codes
    • New section of building code (BC 403.5.2) requiring additional egress stairs in buildings over 420 feet delayed until June 30th,2015
    Training Seminars For New 2014 Codes:

    With the passage of Local Laws 141 and 148 of 2013, New York City has updated its construction codes to the IBC 2009 standard with local addenda specific to the NYC area. The resulting set of codes with be known as the 2014 NYC Construction Codes and feature updates to the Building, Mechanical, Plumbing, Fuel Gas and Fire codes. Local Law 148 signed the 2014 Fire Code into effect March 30th of this year, several months ahead of the other sections. The building code, mechanical code, plumbing code and fuel gas codes will go into effect starting October 1st, 2014 per Local Law 141.

    New buildings and all Alteration application (ALT-1, ALT-2 and ALT-3) filings that are submitted to the DOB and processed prior to October 1st will follow the 2008 Construction Codes. These filings do not have to be completed and/or approved prior to October 1st; the minimum requirement for processing are architectural, foundation and/or structural plans. Any additional filings that need to be made for a project (including but not limited to, mechanical, plumbing, fire alarm and sprinkler plans) may be filed on or after October 1st and still adhere to the 2008 Construction Code. All filings that are processed after October 1st will need to follow the new 2014 Construction Codes.

    One provision of the new 2014 Construction Code will be delayed 18 months and will not go into effect until June 30th, 2015. This provision is the additional exit stair requirement for all buildings other than R-2 structures greater than 420 feet in height. The new code provision (BC 403.5.2) requires that one extra exit stair be provided in addition to the requirements of BC 1021.1.

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