Design Professional Requirements:
1- and 2-Family (Alterations)

Applicability of Code and Zoning

An Alteration project could be filed for review under either the current codes, the 2014 NYC Construction Codes [Administrative (AC), Building (BC), Plumbing (PC), Fuel Gas (FGC) and Mechanical (MC) Codes], or under prior codes, such as the 1968 Code, 1938 Code or earlier codes, depending on the age of the existing building; reference AC 28-101.2. It is the responsibility of the Registered Design Professional to date the building to determine the applicable Codes.

Per AC 28-101.4.3, if Prior Codes are used, the 2014 Code must be used for some accessibility requirements, certain renovation work of mechanical, plumbing, sprinkler, fire protection and/or fuel gas systems, specific building elements such as security grilles, handrails, guards, roofs, etc., and certain kinds of structural work.

Alteration work must comply with the current NYC Energy Conservation Code (2016), NYC Electrical Code (2011), NYC Fire Code and other applicable local laws.

Flood resistant construction, BC Appendix G, must be considered when performing Alterations.

*Note: The following is a list of key zoning, Code and other regulations that may be relevant in the project design, it is not comprehensive.*


Project Element

Applicable Code and  Regulations

Current Code*

Prior Codes:





2014 AC 28-101.4.5 and BC Administrative

2014 AC 28-101.4.3 -Optional Use of 1968 Code AC 27-114 and AC 28-101.4.5

2014 AC 28-101.4.3, AC 28-101.4.5 and 1968 AC 27-114


BC Chapter 11 and BC Appendix P

Building Heights and Areas

BC Chapter 5

Articles 6 and 7, Tables 4-1 and Table 4-2

Article 5
BB 2016-012

Construction Types

BC Chapter 6

27 Subchapter 3; AC 27-280 Table 3-4

Article 4


BC Chapter 10 and BC Appendix S

27 Subchapter 6

Article 7


2014 BC Chapter 30 and BC Appendix K  

Energy Efficiency

2016 NYC Energy Conservation Code (‘R’ Chapters)

Fire Protection

BC Chapter 9
BC Appendix Q

Via 2014 AC 28-101.4.3, exception #2, 2014 BC Chapter 9 and BC Appendix Q

Fire Resistance Ratings

BC Chapter 7

27 Article 5, Table 3-4, Tables 5-1 and 5-2

Article 5

Flood Resistant Construction

2014 BC Appendix G

Interior Environment

BC Chapter 12 BC Appendix R, and MC Chapters 4 through 6

AC 27 Articles 6 and 7

Article 6, Article  12 and Article 15 HMC Subchapter 3

Interior Finishes

BC Chapter 8

AC 27-348 through AC 27-351

AC 26 Sub-Article 9 of Article 11


BC Chapters 14 and 19 to 26

Subject to applicable provisions of the 2014 BC and 1968 AC 27-600 through AC 27-651

Subject to applicable provisions of the 2014 BC, and 1938 AC 26
Article 8 and Article 19

Roof Assemblies and Rooftop Structures

BC Chapter 15

Via 2014 AC 28-101.4.3, exception #12, subject to applicable provisions of the 2014 BC and 1968 AC 27-334, AC 27-337, AC 27-338

Via 2014 AC 28-101.4.3, exception #12, subject to applicable provisions of the 2014 BC and 1938 AC 26 Article 11

Safeguards during Construction

2014 BC Chapter 33

Structural, Soils and Foundation

BC Chapter 16 and BC Chapter 18

2014 BC 1601.2 and 1968 AC 27-580 through AC 27-724

2014 BC 1601.2 and 1938 AC 26 Article 9

Use and Occupancy Classification

BC Chapter 3

AC 27-263 through AC 27-266AC 27-280 Table 3-4

Article 4 and Article 13




BB 2011-010

Other Guidelines:


See Antennas Guidelines


See Boiler - Building Systems Guideline

Building Pavement Plan

See BPP - Alteration Project Guideline

Construction Equipment

See Construction Equipment Guidelines (Scaffold, Hoists, Chutes, Fences, Sidewalk Sheds, Mechanical Construction Equipment)

Curb Cut

See Curb Cut - Renovation Project Guideline

Deck/Porch/Swimming Pool

See Deck/Porch / Swimming Pool Guidelines

Emergency Power Systems

See Emergency Power Building Systems Guideline

Encroachments onto Public Right-of-Way

See Public Right-of-Way Encroachments Project Guideline (architectural & entrance details, ramps, marquees, canopies, underground vaults, awnings, balconies, etc.)

Foundation,  Shoring, Underpinning

See Shoring - Underpinning of Foundation - Retaining Wall - Flag Pole - Sign Ground Structures – Renovation Project Guideline


See Greenhouse Guidelines


See Mechanical Building Systems Guideline

Mixed Use Building

See Mixed Use Guidelines


See Plumbing - Building Systems Guideline

Solar Panels

See Solar - Building Systems Guideline


See Sprinkler - Building Systems Guideline


See Standpipe - Building Systems Guideline

Swimming Pools

See Outdoor Swimming Pools Guidelines

* Note: New applications for buildings erected under the 2008 Code must comply with the 2014 Code, as required by AC 28-101.4 & AC 28-102.4.3.
** Note: Your building may be governed by a Code prior to 1938 based on the Code at the time it was built.
***Per BC 1103.2.4, Detached one and two-family dwellings, their accessory structures, and their associated sites and facilities are not required to be accessible; however, if accessibility is voluntarily provided, it must comply with the code.


Project Element

Applicable Zoning Regulations


ZR 12-10

Use Regulations

  • Commercial Districts

ZR 22-11, ZR 22-12, ZR 12-10, ZR 22-42, and ZR 52-00
ZR 32-00

Bulk Regulations

ZR 23-00 and subsections

Permitted Obstructions

  • Commercial Districts

ZR 23-00 and subsections
ZR 33-23 and ZR 33-42

Special Purpose Districts

ZR Articles VIII to XIV

(E) Designations

ZR 11-15 and Appendix C

Parking Regulations

  • Residential Districts
  • Commercial Districts


ZR 25-00 and subsections
ZR 36-00 and subsections

Street Trees

  • Residential Districts
  • Commercial Districts


ZR 23-03

Private streets or roads

ZR 26-20

Waterfront Area or Block

ZR 62-00 and subsections

Flood Hazard Areas

ZR 64-00 and subsections

Use Regulations

Single family detached residences are considered to be Zoning Use Group (UG) 1, per ZR 22-11, while all other one or two family home types are UG 2. There are limitations on locations for 1 and 2 family homes in Use Group 2 per ZR 22-12.

Accessory Uses

Per, ZR 12-10, an Accessory Use is a use typically found in connection with a property and/or building’s main use, such as off street parking spaces, storage shed, swimming pool, etc.

Bulk Regulations

Bulk regulations are adopted in order to protect residential areas against congestion and to encourage the development of desirable and stable residential neighborhoods. In order to achieve these purposes, a direct control of density as well as of the physical volume of buildings is established. They consist of ZR regulations for the zoning lot’s size, its required yards, open space, lot coverage, building height (envelope compliance) and setbacks, and sometimes density, which is the permitted number of dwelling units on a zoning lot. Refer to ZR Article II, Chapter 3.

Special Purpose Districts

NYC special districts are designated within an existing district or across multiple districts to modify either use and/or bulk provisions and further restrict or expand the underlying district’s provisions. For example, natural areas, hillsides, Greenpoint-Williamsburg, are special districts. If the property is in a special (and/or sub) district, special requirements may apply. Refer to ZR Articles VIII to XIII.

(E) Designations

An (E) designation provides notice of the presence of an environmental requirement pertaining to potential hazardous materials contamination, high ambient noise levels or air emission concerns on a particular tax lot. Refer to BB 2014-026, ZR 11-15 and ZR Appendix C Table 1 and Table 2.

Scope of work subject to Office of Environmental Remediation approval (OER):

  • Potential hazardous material contamination: for excavation or any soil disturbing in a lot with (E) designation
  • Air quality impacts: for renovation that involves ventilation or exhaust system in a lot with (E) designation
  • Noise quality impacts: for exterior work in a lot with (E) designation

Permitted Obstructions

Parking Regulations

The purpose of the Zoning Resolution for off-street parking for cars in connection with residences, ZR 25-00, is to provide needed space off the streets for parking in connection with residences, to reduce traffic congestion resulting from the use of streets as places for storage of automobiles, to protect the residential character of neighborhoods, to provide for a higher standard of residential development within the City, and thus to promote and protect public health, safety and general welfare.

Lower Density Growth Management Area (LDGMA) – where applicable

This is applicable only in Bronx Community Board 10 and the entire borough of Staten Island if in certain zoning districts. Reference definition of Lower Density Growth Management Area in ZR 12-10.


The Zoning Resolution establishes requirements for trees and other plantings to improve the overall quality of neighborhoods. (ZR 23-00)

Private Streets or Roads

There are special regulations for parking and bulk on private, unmapped or not open streets. (ZR 26-20)

Inclusionary Housing and Mandatory Inclusionary Housing

If Inclusionary Housing is utilized in a building’s design, a certain percentage of apartments shall be reserved for low income families in exchange for less restrictive regulations in Bulk and Parking regulation sections referenced above. The applicant shall obtain HPD approval. (ZR 23-90)

Quality Housing Regulations

Quality Housing Program, as promulgated by sections ZR 23-15, and ZR 34-011, is mandatory in contextual zones with A, B or X suffices and optional (with exceptions) in other R6-R10 zones and it introduces additional requirements to the provisions for use and bulk. (ZR 28-00)

Waterfront Area or Block

Flood Hazard Areas

If enlargement or conversion occurs within a flood hazard area, see modifications of bulk, parking, use and other zoning regulations outlined in ZR 64-10 through 64-90, and all subsections.

Commercial Regulations

  • Floor Area (ZR 33-10 and subsections)
  • Yards and Courts (ZR 33-20, ZR 33-30 and ZR 33-50 and subsections), including permitted obstructions
  • Height and Setback, Base Plane, Rear and Side Setbacks (ZR 33-40 and subsections), including permitted obstructions
  • Any permitted vertical enlargements and construction equipment projections in any Flight Obstruction Areas shall comply with ZR 61-10 and ZR 61-20
  • Non-complying bulk per ZR 54-00

Lot Area and Width

  • No limitations on lot area and width for buildings with commercial and/or community facility uses

Special Purpose Districts

If enlargement or conversion occurs within a Special (and Sub) District, see modifications of use, bulk, parking, and other zoning regulations outlined in ZR Articles VIII through XIII.

Permitted Obstructions

Special Urban Design Guidelines

Established to strengthen the relationship of developments with existing buildings and to improve the quality of the streetscape by:

  • maintaining the visual continuity of developments at street level;
  • enhancing the visual character of the neighborhood; and
  • reducing conflict between pedestrian and vehicular circulation (ZR Article II, Chapter 6)

Commercial Zoning District Guidelines

Bulk Regulations for Residential Buildings in Commercial Districts (ZR 34-00)

Special Flood Hazard Areas (ZR 64-00)

Buildings located in a flood zone that are raised and moved, or that are flood-proofed, must comply with ZR Article VI, Chapter 4 and BC Appendix G, in order to protect such structure in the event of a flood. The special provisions of this chapter shall apply only within the Flood Zone and they shall supersede, supplement or modify all other chapters of the Zoning Resolution.

Parking Regulations (ZR 25-00)

Parking Regulations provide needed space off the streets for parking in connection with residences, to reduce traffic congestion resulting from the use of streets as places for storage of automobiles, to protect the residential character of neighborhoods, to provide for a higher standard of residential development within the City, and to promote and protect public health, safety and general welfare.

Bicycle Parking Regulations (ZR 25-80)

The number of accessory bicycle parking spaces provided is intended to promote a healthier, cheaper, energy efficient means of transportation to the residents of NYC. The regulations address the total area, in square feet, of bicycle parking spaces and the total area excluded from the calculation of floor area. Such spaces shall be Noted on the Certificate of Occupancy.

Waterfront Area or Block (ZR 62-00)

Special regulations applying to established waterfront areas are designed to guide development along the City's waterfront and in so doing to promote and protect public health, safety and general welfare.

Quality Housing Regulations

The Quality Housing Program consists of specific bulk requirements set in ZR Article II, Chapter 8 and ZR Article III, Chapter 5, in which, if a building adheres to such bulk requirements it may be required or to conform to additional standards and/or provide additional requirements, such as recreation space or laundry rooms, lighting, etc. as set forth in ZR Article II, Chapter 8

Board of Standards and Appeals (ZR 72-00)

Has the power to modify the Zoning Resolution after review and public hearing.

Buildings in Multiple Zoning Districts (ZR 77-00)

Applies to whenever any zoning lot is located in two or more districts in which different uses are permitted.

Large Scale Residential Developments (ZR 78-10)

Residential developments with a total of at least 500 dwelling units, except duly authorized urban renewal projects.

Planting (ZR 23-00)

The Zoning Resolution establishes requirements for trees and other plantings to improve the overall quality of neighborhoods.

Inclusionary Housing and Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (ZR 23-90)

If Inclusionary Housing is utilized in a building’s design, a certain percentage of apartments shall be reserved for low income families in exchange for less restrictive regulations in the Bulk and Parking ZR sections referenced above. The applicant shall also obtain HPD approval.

Private Roads (ZR 26-20)

Special regulations for parking and bulk on a right-of-way other than a “street” as defined in ZR 12-10. A private road can be privately owned, an unopen area not intended for public use, and/or unmapped (not on the City Map). See General City Laws (GCL) 35 and GCL 36.

Flood Plain

Buildings located in a flood zone area shall comply with ZR Article VI, Chapter 4, and BC Appendix G. DEC approval is required for proposed construction in Tidal Wetlands and/or Freshwater Wetlands.

Other Regulation(s) for Reference

Building Bulletins

Policies and Procedures Notices


  • 1 RCNY 23-01 – Non-Commercial Greenhouses as permitted obstructions – see separate guidelines for green houses

Local Laws

Directives & Memoranda

  • Memo 5-18-78 – Zoning Lot Certification / Zoning Exhibits

Housing Maintenance Code (HMC)

A New York State Law that establishes the minimum standards for health and safety, fire protection, light and ventilation cleanliness, repair and maintenance and occupancy in all residential dwellings, multiple dwellings and 1 and 2 family homes, and which supplements the applicable New York City code. Plans shall indicate applicable HMC Notes to ensure compliance.

Fire Code

Fire Dept. Vehicle Access (FC Chapter 5 FAQ Clarifications). Per FC 501.4.2, lawfully existing fire department access roads on and before June 31, 2008, may remain. Otherwise:

  • Primary entrance is located within 30’ of public street,  otherwise FDNY approval shall be required (FC 502.1, FC 503,  FC 504)
  • Public Street shall be more than 34’ wide curb to curb per FC 503.3.2, otherwise altered and/or converted building shall be provided with sprinklers, as per FC 501.4.3 or FDNY waiver from these provisions will be required.
  • Dead end public street is within 150’ in length without an FDNY turnaround, otherwise fully sprinkler the building or FDNY approval required (FC 503.3.1). 
  • Roof top access and obstructions (FC 504.4)

2016 NYC Energy Conservation Code (NYCECC)

The NYCECC is a Code that regulates the design and construction of buildings for the effective use of energy.

  • Professional’s Statement on PW1 Section 10
  • Owner’s Statement on PW1 section 26
  • Energy Analysis on Plans (REScheck: 3 story buildings) (COMcheck: 4 stories and above)
  • Supporting Documentation (window/door schedules with U/SHGC values, exterior envelope details with R values, heating/mechanical systems sizing, efficiency ratings and controls, reflected ceiling plans and lighting legend)

When required by the project scope of work, the alteration must also comply with the rules, regulations, laws and codes of other city agencies, such as the NYC Fire Department (FDNY), NYC Transportation (DOT), NYC Landmarks Commission, NYC Transit (MTA), Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), and others.

Note: For swimming pools and porches see related project guidelines.

Guidelines for Submission of Alteration Project Plans

Prior to design and construction document preparation, the Registered Design Professional must perform a pre-design review that analyzes all of the existing conditions and other components affected by the proposed scope of work. The information provided on the drawings must clearly describe all of the work required for the code compliant execution and completion of the project per AC 28-104.

The Department’s guidelines provide an organized approach for the preparation of construction documents, facilitating the plan review process. Drawings shall clearly indicate existing site conditions and proposed conditions affected by the scope of work.

Complete Submission of Construction Documents

Construction drawings should represent complete work, including multiple disciplines such as architectural, structural, civil, plumbing, electrical, mechanical, fire protection, and others. There must be close coordination between all disciplines for the proposed scope of work to ensure code compliance; reference AC 28-104.7, BC 107.2, BC 1603 and Plan Examination Guidelines – Minimum Requirement for Review if Design Drawings, Revised 4-30-2014. A complete submission of drawings should include:

A complete submission of drawings should include:

  1. Construction Documents.  Drawings and specifications necessary to convey essential information such as general Notes, floor plans, elevations, building sections, schedules and details. Reference the applicable Building Codes and Notes on the drawings as required to demonstrate Code and zoning compliance. Where essential to clarify overall layouts and details, a north arrow and a scale should be included on the drawings; a graphic scale recommended.

    • Initial Survey.  A site survey showing all existing conditions prepared by a NYS licensed Land Surveyor.

    • Title Sheet.  Should clearly describe the project location, including the adjacent streets, properties, etc. and a graphical scale. Drawing Notes should include building occupancy classification, zoning use group, construction classification, the project’s scope, and the building’s primary structural system. The title sheet should include a drawing index, site plan, Zoning Analysis, and Special and Progress Inspections.

      • Drawing Index. A list that clearly identifies all the information that may be involved.

      • Site/Plot Plan. Clearly show the size and location of the lot, show all existing structures on the zoning lot, and include all dimensions and other relevant information such as streets, adjacent buildings, curb cuts, north arrow, etc. The area of proposed work shall be clearly identified.

      • Zoning Analysis. With calculations for Zoning Resolution (ZR) allowable floor area, heights, yards, open space, and other ZR requirements as previously discussed in this document.

      • Special and Progress Inspections. Indicate all required Special/Progress inspections based on the scope of work

    • Floor Plans. Show existing and proposed conditions; clearly identify rooms’ names and use them consistently between the different discipline drawings. Coordinate between all trades/disciplines to ensure that the proposed scope of work is complete and shown on all submitted discipline drawings. Where required, drawings must indicate fire rating for partitions, ceiling, walls; location of penetrations through fire rated assemblies; and schedules for doors, windows and finishes materials. Indicate means of egress, accessible route, site access, parking and other requirements.

    • Exterior Elevations. Required if the project involves the renovation or modification of the building’s exterior and in some cases also required for interior renovations that may impact the facade. Show proposed exterior conditions, base elevations, building and floor heights, materials, roof pitch, location of chimney, windows, doors, or other penetrations in the building’s exterior envelope, such as vents and fresh air intakes.

    • Building Sections. Required as necessary to convey proposed work, these include but are not limited to full building cross sections indicating the building wall heights from foundation and footings through framing to roof; also indicating splay areas. These sections should provide detailed wall sections, framing, interior dimensions, and wall and floor insulation.

    • Detail Drawings. These drawings contain significant information required to clearly communicate the scope of work, in a magnified form, such as structural connection details, wall type details, roofing details, pedestrian protection, curb cuts, post installed anchors, drywells, plumbing, mechanical, fire protection, etc.

    • NYC Energy Conservation Code. If the project scope includes one of the following, then energy analysis is required on the plans:

      • Foundation and footing insulation
      • Exterior wall/roof/floor replacement
      • Vertical glazing, skylights, door replacement
      • Vestibules
      • Interior Lighting
      • Replacement of Heating/Cooling Systems
      • Renovation to mechanical ducts
      • Renovation to heating/cooling piping
      • Renovation to heating systems > 600,000 BTU/h, or cooling systems > 480,000 BTU/h

    If applicable, additional elements required on drawings include:

    • Facade and parapet walls with details
    • Lot Line windows and openings in accordance with permitted percentages
    • Interior elevations and details
    • Building systems and equipment details*
    • Flood zone compliance
    • Light and Air calculations for habitable rooms in residential projects

    *Refer to Project Guidelines for Building System Repair Projects.
    Refer to Minimum Requirement for Review of Design Drawings.

Submission of Construction Documents

When submitting the construction documents to DOB, the Registered Design Professional, who is the Applicant of Record, is responsible for submission of complete set at filing: application, drawings, and coordination of required documents as summarized below.

  1. Application Intake. The online submission of project application shall occur by completing the intake form with key project information. Based on the project scope, the applicant may be required to complete the following sections, if applicable:

    • Project Work Details (PW-1 and Schedule B Forms)
    • Schedule A – Occupancy/Use (former PW-1A)
    • Special Inspections (former TR-1)
    • Energy Code Progress Inspections (former TR-8)
    • Remittance of Project Application Fees
    • Concrete and soil conditions, if altering building footprint (former TR-2, TR-3, and/or TR-4 forms)
    • Street Tree Checklist (former ST1)
    • Plot Diagram (former PD1)
    • Zoning Exhibits (Exhibits 1 through 5, varies by ownership)
    • Easement and/or Restrictive Declarations
    • Zoning Diagram (former ZD1)
    • Required Items for Professional Certification (former PC1)
    • Professional and Owner Certification (former POC1)
  1. Drawings.  The alteration project drawings should reflect clear scope of work and include all   affected systems. Examples of this are as follows:

    Designator -
    Sheet Number:

    Sheet Description

    T-001.00 Title Sheet, Site Plan, Drawing Index, General Notes, required special/ progress inspections list, and Legends
    A-100.00 Existing and Demolition Floor Plans
    A-101.00 Proposed Floor Plans
    A-200.00 Proposed Reflected Ceiling Plans
    A-300.00 Proposed Enlarged Floor Plans
    A-301.00 Proposed Interior Elevations and Details
    A-400.00  Existing and Proposed Façade Elevations
    A-401.00 Existing and Proposed Cross Sections
    S-100.00 Structural Plans and Details
    S-101.00 Structural Floor Plans and Details
    P-100.00 Floor Plans - Plumbing
    P-101.00 Plumbing Riser Diagram – Gas Riser Diagram - Piping
    P-102.00 Plumbing Fixture Schedules – Plumbing Details
    SP-100.00 Sprinkler Floor Plan
    SP-101.00 Sprinkler Riser Diagram and Details
    M-100.00 Mechanical System Equipment and Schedules
    M-101.00 Reflected Ceiling Plan for Mechanical System
    EN-100.00 Energy Code Analysis
    FS -100.00 Fuel Storage Equipment and Systems (if applicable)
    EQ-100.00 Equipment (various, if applicable)

    Drawing Legend to include: Symbols, abbreviations, Notes and definition, and list all applicable Building Code section numbers

    Recommended Drawing Designators
    A: Architectural: Mandatory designation for drawings showing architectural work.
    S: Structural: Mandatory designation for drawings showing structural work.
    P: Plumbing: Mandatory designation for drawings showing Plumbing work including riser diagrams and plumbing details
    SP: Sprinkler: Mandatory designation for drawings showing sprinkler work including floor plans, riser diagram and sprinkler system details
    M: Mechanical: Mandatory designation for plans showing mechanical work
    EN: Energy Analysis: Mandatory designation.

  1. Required Documents.  Based on building location and designation, and the project scope of work, the following submissions may have to accompany the drawings at intake:

    • DEP or OER authorization – HCP and SCP forms for sanitary and/or storm water connections to street

    • FDNY – Fire Protection Plan

      • Notification, per FC 901.7.5, if doing construction work that impacts fire protection

      • Letters of Notification if on a mapped undeveloped street

    • Tenant/Occupant Protection Plan, if applicable

    • MTA – Metropolitan Transit Authority approval

    • DOT – NYC Department of Transportation approval

    • LPC – Landmark Preservation Commission approval

    • NYC DPR – ST1 (Street Trees)

    • City Planning – approval or certification if required by Zoning Resolution (ZR)

    • BSA approval, if applicable

    • HPD approval - for inclusionary housing residential, as 1 or 2 family home trade-off for other dwelling units in larger multiple dwelling type buildings, as required by ZR

    • DEC – if in coastal erosion hazard area or wetlands

    • SRO MD Anti-Harassment checklist for residential

  1. Plan Review or Professional Certification.  Following submission of a complete set of construction documents, the application is assigned for review to a DOB Plan Examiner. If professionally certified, the application may be subject to audit.  Plan review or audit of the submission by Plan Examiner or Auditor may result in either approval or disapproval, or in acceptance or fail, respectively. Following plan review disapproval or audit fail, a notice of objections is sent to the Applicant of record and Owner. Objections must be resolved through appointments or similarly utilize electronic submissions with the DOB Plan Examination or Audit staff following which the application is approved or accepted.

  2. Post Approval Amendments. Any changes to the approved scope of work that are significant and substantive will require submission of revised documents and /or plans for post approval amendment (PAA). Approval for an amendment must be obtained before the work is completed. Any substantive changes require a PAA; however these changes must be shown on plans and included in the “as built” submission at the end of the project (AC 28-104.3).

    The following list, while not all inclusive, are examples of some of the substantive changes that must be submitted for review to amend the approved plans:

    • Vertical and Horizontal Enlargements - Any addition to the floor area
    • Conversions - An expansion of an occupancy classification or use group, or any similarly new use in an area not previously used for such purpose.
    • A reduction to an existing building’s floor area that impacts the Certificate of Occupancy.
    • Structural changes
    • Egress Modifications – Any change in the exiting width, length of travel distance, or exit way/exit door location(s), or occupancy load of exits, or any change in number of required exits in a building
    • Expand scope to add building systems, including any new equipment
    • Any addition or removal of plumbing, gas or mechanical risers
    • Any reduction below the minimum number of code required fixtures
    • Any changes to roof drains
    • Changes to approved plumbing and/or gas fixtures and equipment (See Plumbing Guidelines for more information)
    • Changes to scope of work that require additional Special or Progress Inspection(s).
  1. As-Built Submission.  All changes must be submitted in an ‘As-built’ drawing at the end of the project.

Reference Note: Organizations like the AIA, CSI and National Institute of Building Sciences work jointly to create national standards for consistent documentation and data organization, to assist in communication and coordination across the design and construction industry.
(Visit for more information.)

Special Inspections

As per Chapter 17 of the Building Code, alteration work may require certain Special and Progress Inspections to be performed during and at the end of construction as outlined in the table below. Prior to permit approval, the Applicant of Record is required to identify all required Special and Progress Inspections (BC 1704.1). Prior to DOB permit issuance, the owner must typically engage a registered Special Inspection Agency (SIA) who will take responsibility for the Special and Progress Inspections. The applicant of Record may perform these inspections if they are also an SIA. Inspection discrepancies and hazardous conditions shall be reported to the super-intendment of construction, as well as to the site safety coordinator or site safety manager, for correction, per BB 2016-006 and 1 RCNY 101-06. Per BC 1704.1.2, the contractor cannot hire the special inspector.

Based on the scope of work, an Alteration Project may be required to comply with the following Special and Progress Inspection requirements:

Structural Steel

May include steel welding, High Strength Bolting, Cold Formed Steel and Steel Details, including seismic isolation (BC 1704.3).

Concrete – Cast-In-Place

Required where the total concrete placement on a given project is more than 50 cubic yards or other conditions (BC 1704.4).  Also see BC 1905.6 and BC 1905.3, and BC 110.3 and 1913.10.

Wood – Installation of Prefabricated I-Joists

Are subject to Special Inspections in accordance with BC 1704.2 and the requirements of BC 2303.1.2 9 (BC 1704.6.3).

Subgrade inspection, subsurface conditions, borings and test pits

Are subject to Special Inspections in accordance with BC 1704.7

Structural Stability – Existing Buildings

Alteration of existing structural systems or elements, such as columns, beams, bearing walls, etc...where the stability or integrity of a structural system is to be temporarily diminished, in accordance with BC 1704.20.6 through 1704.20.10).

Excavations– Sheeting, Shoring, Bracing, & underpinning

Methods employed to protect the sides of excavations, or to protect adjacent underpinned structures, shall be subject to Special Inspections in accordance with BC 1704.20.2 through 1704.20.10 and BC 1814.

Flood Zone Compliance

Special Inspection for flood zone compliance shall be as required by BC Appendix G and BC 1704.29, as well as BC 1704.5 ) if raising or moving a building for flood zone compliance and BC 110.3 to record lowest floor elevation.


Load bearing masonry, glass unit masonry and masonry veneer shall be inspected and verified in accordance with the requirements of BC 1704.5.1 through 1704.5.3, depending on the structural occupancy category of the building or structure.

Vertical Masonry Foundation Elements

Are subject to Special Inspections in accordance with BC 1704.9.

Sprayed fire-resistant materials

Sprayed fire-resistant materials applied to floor, roof and wall assemblies and structural members shall be in accordance with BC 1704.11.

Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems (EIFS)

All EIFS applications installed more than 15 feet above adjacent finished grades and alterations to existing EIFS installations more than 15 feet above adjacent finished grades shall be in accordance with BC 1704.13.

Mechanical Systems

Mechanical systems requiring a certificate of compliance in accordance with AC 28-116.4.1 of the Administrative Code shall be inspected for conformance with the approved construction documents as per BC 1704.16.

Mechanical Demolition

Where mechanical demolition equipment, other than handheld devices, is to be used in the full or partial demolition of a building from within the building, or is to be used within the building to remove debris or move material, such demolition operation shall be in accordance with BC 1704.20.4.

Soil Percolation Test – Private On-site Storm Water Drainage Disposal Systems and Detention Facilities

Soil percolation tests shall be performed in accordance with BC 1704.21.1.2.

Private On-site Storm Water Drainage Disposal Systems and Detention Facilities Installation

Soil percolation tests shall be performed in accordance with BC 1704.21.2.

Individual On-site Private Sewage Disposal System Installation

Individual on-site private sewage disposal systems shall be inspected in accordance with the rules of DOB per BC 1704.22.

Sprinkler Systems

Sprinkler systems shall be inspected in accordance with BC 903 and 1704.23. See Sprinkler project guideline.

Heating Systems

New heating systems shall be tested in accordance with BC 1704.25. See Mechanical project guideline.


Chimneys shall be subject to a special inspection in accordance with BC 1704.26.

Fire-resistant Penetration and Joists

Special Inspections for penetration of fire-resistant elements and assemblies; and related firestops in accordance with Sections BC 1704.27.1 and BC 1704.27.2.

Post-installed anchors

The installation of post-installed mechanical anchors, adhesive anchors, and screw anchors shall comply with BC Table 1704.32. The special inspection shall include the verification of compliance with approved construction documents and standards established by the commissioner pursuant to AC 28-113.2.2 of the Administrative Code and BB 2014-018, BB 2014-019.

Concrete Design Mix

Concrete mix designs shall be in accordance with BC 1905.3 and 1913.5 (former TR 3 form).

Concrete Sampling and Testing

Concrete sampling and testing shall be in accordance with BC 1905.6  and 1913.1.10 (former TR 2 form).

Footings and Foundation

Footing and foundation progress inspections shall be made after excavations for footings are complete and any required reinforcing steel and required forms are in place as per BC 110.3.1.

Lowest Floor Elevation

In areas of special flood hazard, upon placement of the lowest floor, including the basement (for flood zone purposes), and prior to further vertical construction, the elevation inspection report required in Item 1 of G105.3 of Appendix G shall be submitted to DOB per BC 110.3.2.

Structural Wood Frame

Progress Inspections shall be performed for wood structural framing to determine compliance with the approved construction documents as per BC 110.3.3.

Fire-Resistance Rated Construction

Fire-resistance-rated partitions, floors, ceilings, shafts, and shutters as per BC 110.3.4.

Alternative Materials

Alternative materials shall be in accordance with BC 1704.14.

Energy Code Compliance Inspections

Progress and Special Inspections:

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