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For Immediate Release:
September 28, 2011


New Tool Will Accelerate Construction Operations and Streamline the Approval Process for More than 12,000 Applications a Year 

New Process Expected To Save Construction Industry $2.4 Million a Year 

Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri today announced that applications involving limited standpipe, sprinkler, plumbing and oil burner work can now be filed online using the Department of Buildings’ electronic filing system, eFiling. In 2010, more than 12,000 applications for this work – called Limited Alteration Applications (LAA) – were submitted to the Department. Using this new tool, contractors can now submit applications online instead of being required to visit the Department’s offices, saving members of the construction industry an estimated $2.4 million a year. Each application can saddle a contractor with up to $200 in labor costs to submit the document in person. Therefore, this online process is expected to reduce labor costs for industry members, offer them greater flexibility in their work schedules and speed up construction operations throughout the City. Under the eFiling system, more than 152,000 construction-related documents are prepared and submitted online each year.

“Speeding up the application process means more New Yorkers can get back to work faster,” said Commissioner LiMandri. “This new online tool is part of our continued efforts to enhance the Department’s operations through technology and make it easier for the construction industry to do business with us. Within minutes, contractors can submit Limited Alteration Applications from their offices and mobile devices, saving them critical time, money and effort. I encourage all contractors to take advantage and file an online application today.” 

The online filing process for LAAs is the latest expansion of the Department’s eFiling system, which makes it easier for the construction industry to do business with the Department by allowing certain types of applications to be submitted and renewed online, as well as numerous other construction-related documents. In March, the Department announced the availability of online renewals of after-hours variances for construction work, which represents more than 30,000 applications a year. Electrical permit applications and renewal applications for select construction projects where the scope of work has not changed also can be electronically submitted. Since 2009, applicants have been able to electronically submit more than 200 types of required documents associated with construction projects, such as approvals from other City agencies. There are nearly 15,000 industry members who are registered to submit documents using the eFiling system. 

LAA applications can be used to apply to perform standpipe, sprinkler, plumbing and oil burner work that does not exceed $25,000 in a 12-month period. To submit a LAA application online, licensed master plumbers, fire suppression contractors and oil burner installers must register and create an account with the Department’s eFiling system, fill out the LAA application online and pay a fee with the use of a credit card. Inspectors will perform random inspections to ensure contractors are conducting operations in accordance with the approved work. 

LAA applications cannot be filed online if the property has an open violation for working without a permit or the application is being filed to: 

  • Amend an existing application (PAA) 
  • Withdraw an application 
  • Indicate a superseding applicant 
  • Legalize existing work/conditions 
  • Do work that requires the submittal of drawings 

All applications that the above restrictions apply to must be submitted in person to the Department’s LAA Unit.

To learn more about the Department’s eFiling system and register to become an eFiling user, please visit the Department’s website at

Contact:     Tony Sclafani/Ryan FitzGibbon (212) 566-3473
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