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For Immediate Release
June 5, 2014

BUILDINGS ACTING COMMISSIONER THOMAS FARIELLO UNVEILS NEW ONLINE TOOL TO HELP NEW YORKERS NAVIGATE THE CITY’S REGULATIONS FOR COMMON CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS

Code Notes Centralizes Information and Makes it Easier to Find Relevant Code and Zoning Regulations

Buildings Acting Commissioner Thomas Fariello today unveiled a new online tool called Code Notes to help industry members and property owners navigate the City’s Building Code, Zoning Resolution and permit approval process. Code Notes will serve as a step-by-step guide for design professionals by outlining the applicable codes, zoning and approvals necessary to obtain a permit. Last year, Buildings plan examiners reviewed 459,000 construction plans submitted by architects and engineers licensed by New York State. During the project approval process, plan examiners typically raise objections when the plans fail to comply with the NYC Construction Codes and Zoning Resolution, and it is the responsibility of the industry professional to resolve those objections and submit revised plans. By summarizing construction and zoning requirements for the industry, Code Notes will aid compliance, help reduce barriers in the plan examination process and accelerate project approvals.

“The construction industry, the public and our city government will all benefit from making construction and design standards more accessible and easier to understand,” said Acting Commissioner Fariello. “Code Notes can be accessed using the Department’s website and will help make the project approval process more transparent and efficient. I want to thank our local chapters of the American Institute of Architects (AIANY), the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) and members of the construction industry for contributing their time and expertise to developing this resource for our City.”

This reference tool will also empower property owners and small businesses owners in their interactions with industry professionals. By centralizing complex information that is typically spread out across the City’s Building Code, Zoning Resolution, Fire Code, Multiple Dwelling Law, Energy Conservation Code and other provisions into a more accessible format; Code Notes will provide New Yorkers with the knowledge they need to engage in the project approval process.

Code Notes first began as a set of guidelines to maintain a consistent knowledge base for plan examination staff across the Department’s borough offices and covers an array of construction projects for both residential and commercial properties. Each Code Note explains the necessary filings, applicable codes and zoning, relevant bulletins, directives and memos for some of the most applied for construction projects in New York City. In addition, Code Notes cross-references requirements under the code with other provisions, including required approvals from other New York City agencies, such as the Department of Transportation and the Landmarks Preservation Commission. Starting today, the first group of Code Notes covering 15 common construction projects will be made available on the Department’s website. In the coming months, more job types will be added. The first 15 job types are as follows:

  • Antennas
  • Builders Pavement Plan
  • Detached Garages
  • Directive 14/ Professional Certification
  • Energy Code Requirements for New Commercial Buildings
  • Energy Code Requirements for New Residential Buildings
  • Energy Code Requirements for the Alteration of Commercial Buildings
  • Energy Code Requirements for the Alteration of Residential Buildings
  • Loft Law
  • New Mixed Use Buildings
  • One - and Two - Family New Buildings
  • Place of Assembly Permits
  • Scaffolds
  • Sidewalk Sheds
  • Subdivisions

The Department of Buildings has been working to make the construction process more transparent, improve safety and improve quality of life. Since 2002, detailed permit and property information about the city’s 975,000 buildings has been made available on the Department’s website and those who file complaints through 311 can go online to monitor the status of inspections in response to those complaints. In 2011, the Department launched the NYC Development Hub to coordinate electronic filings and offer industry members a more efficient path toward obtaining construction project approval and permits. The NYC Development Hub accepts digital construction plans which allow Buildings plan examiners to review thousands of building designs easier, faster – and without the use of paper. Using the Development Hub, New York State licensed architects and engineers and/or licensed contractors can perform the below tasks without visiting a Department office:

  • Submit digital plans for proposed new buildings and major construction (Alteration Type-1) where plans are reviewed and approved in a virtual environment;
  • Submit digital plans for proposed minor construction where plans will be reviewed and approved in a virtual environment (Hub Full-Service). Filing representatives who register with the Department can also can submit these plans;
  • Professionally certify plans for proposed minor renovations in order to receive an approval and a construction permit within 24 hours (Hub Self-Service);
  • Submit online applications and obtain permits for proposed electrical work, minor plumbing work under $25,000 and after-hours variances. After-hours variances also can be submitted by a registered filing representative.

Contact: Kelly Magee (212) 393-2126
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