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