Design Professional Requirements:

Applicability of Code and Zoning

For existing buildings, Antenna installation or modification work must comply with NYC Construction Codes: Building, Fuel Gas, Plumbing and Mechanical, and NYC Electrical Code, NYC Fire Code, NYC Energy Conservation Code, and the NYC Zoning Resolution.  Per the 2014 Administrative Code, Section 28-101.4.3 and 2016 ECC 101, additions, alterations, renovations or repairs to an installed system must conform to what is required for new installations without necessarily requiring that the existing installation comply with all requirements of this code.  Alterations or repairs shall not cause an existing installation to become unsafe, hazardous or overloaded.

In addition, other City Agencies have their own requirements that require compliance, e.g. NYC Fire Department (FDNY), Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), Department of Transportation (DOT), Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA).

*Note: While the following is a list of key zoning, Code and other regulations that may be relevant in the design of the project, it does not cover ALL applicable regulations.*

Zoning Resolution
The New York City Zoning Resolution is not applicable to cellular antenna towers; they are considered to be a utility accessory to a building.

  • Communication equipment structures (applicable if the equipment does not meet the criteria of TPPN 5/98) – ZR §22-21
  • BSA Waiver.  In certain commercial districts, BSA may allow antenna towers to penetrate the sky exposure plane above the maximum height limit, whether on  ground or building roof. Refer to ZR §73-51.

New York City Building Code
(all references are governed by the current Building Code)

  • Radio, Television & Telecommunication Tower & Antennas – BC 3108
  • Location and Access – BC 3108.2
  • Construction – BC 3108.3
  • Loads – BC 3108.4
  • List of Permits for Antennas – AC §28-103.14.1
  • Miscellaneous Combustible Roof Structures – BC 1509.9 
  • Wind Loads – BC §1609.1.1
  • Equipment Enclosures – Any canopies or protective enclosed structures over outdoor telecom cabinets must comply with the TPPN 5/98 requirements for height and area
  • Back-up generators serving only the equipment associated with an antenna are not required to connect to any of the additional building loads in BC 2702.
  • Sidewalk Encroachments – BC 3202.2

TPPN 5/1998
The Department issued this policy notice to clarify zoning and code requirements for antenna applications. If the proposed antenna installation application does not meet the requirements of TPPN 5/1998, a special (Board of Standards & Appeals) permit will be needed.

This Zoning exemption shall only apply if the antenna and associated equipment are attached to a building or other structure that has a use independent of supporting such equipment:

  • Antennas are permitted obstructions with a maximum height not extending more than 6’ above the height of the roof or parapet on the roof, or 6’ above any penthouse or bulkhead (if mounted on such).
  • Antennas shall each have an area no more than 8.45 SF or 1 meter in diameter.
  • The aggregate area of antennas and related cellular equipment shall not occupy more than 5% of the floor area on a zoning lot or 400 SF, whichever is less for the aggregate of all installations. Coordinate with all existing antenna installations; area calculations are cumulative.

NYC Electrical Code

  • Installation of communication equipment compliance – Article 810
  • ED16A Electrical Permit for the installation of power sources – Article 810
  • Grounding – BC 3108.5
  • NYCECC – ECC R402.1 and C402.1.1. If equipment is in an unconditioned space, the provisions of NYCECC are not applicable.

New York City Fire Code

  • FDNY access clearances on the roof and restrictions on rooftop obstructions (applies to rooftops under 100’ in height) – FC 504.4
  • Fire Code Modification Requests from FDNY – FC 104.8)

Other Agencies
Board of Standards & Appeals (BSA).  Antenna installations must comply with use, height and setback regulations and be approved by the Board of Standards and Appeals.  In addition, information on monopole installation and inspection is available on the Department’s website.

Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA).  MTA requires approval of any antenna installed within 200 ft. of MTA infrastructure/stations.

In addition, based on project scope and site characteristics, approvals from DOT, Arts Commission, LPC and DEP, may also be required.

Guidelines for Submission of Antenna Installation Project Plans

Prior to preparing the design documents and construction drawings, the Registered Design Professional must perform a pre-design inspection and review that analyzes all of the building elements, systems and other components affected by the proposed scope of work, to verify Code-compliant installation or modification of Antennas.

Based upon the complexity and scale of the project, 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 Article 104 or 2014 BC 107.2.

The Department’s guidelines outlined in the following section provide an organized approach for the preparation of construction documents; this will facilitate the plan review process. Drawings shall clearly indicate existing and proposed conditions and any area affected by the scope of work.

Complete Submission of Antenna Drawings/Construction Documents

Construction documents should represent complete work, including multiple disciplines such as architectural, structural, plumbing, electrical, mechanical, 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 and BC 107.2 for information on submittal of and required construction documents.A complete submission of drawings shall include:

Construction Documents. Drawings necessary to convey essential information such as floor layouts, elevations, schedules and details. The applicable Building Codes and notes should be stated on the drawings as required to demonstrate code and zoning compliance. Where essential to clarify overall layouts and details, a scale should be included on the drawings; a graphic scale is recommended.

  • Title Sheet. Should clearly describe the project location, including the adjacent streets, properties, etc. Zoning district, site designations (special purpose districts, waterfront area or block, flood hazard area or block, fire district, landmark district, little ‘e’ DEP designated block, wetlands, 200’ within MTA infrastructure).

  • Drawing Index. Identify discipline (A, ANT, M, P, and S etc.) and drawing number (100.00, 101.00) for all included plans, sections, elevations, details, etc.

  • 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. Existing legal use of building, independent of antenna support.

  • Roof Plans. Show existing and proposed conditions; FDNY access – Roof Top Clear Path, roof cover zoning calculations. Cellular and telecom antennas and related equipment. Location, size and height of all proposed cellular equipment and antennas.

  • Façade Elevations.  For installation of the system’s components to the building’s exterior, show facade details – for example, height of building, height of antennas above parapet or bulkhead.

  • Cross Sections. Might be required for documenting some types of renovation projects. These could include building cross sections.

  • Detail Drawings. These drawings contain significant information required to clearly communicate the scope of work, and relevant details. Structural support and mounting details of all proposed cellular equipment and antennas.

  • Electrical. A schedule must be included in the drawings to show all new, replaced or relocated equipment; indicate all equipment types and quantities.

If applicable, additional elements required on drawings include:

  • Building systems and equipment details

  • Flood zone compliance

*Refers to Construction Project Guidelines for Building System Installation & Modification projects – Plumbing, Mechanical, and Emergency Backup Power.*

Submission of Construction Documents

1. Drawings. Drawing index must identify discipline (A, ANT, M, P, S, etc.) and drawing number (100.00, 101.00, etc.) for all included plans, sections, elevations, details, schedules, etc. The antenna 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, Flood Zone and FEMA map, required Special/Progress Inspections list, and Legends
ANT-100.00 Existing conditions and Demolition Plans
ANT-300.00 Proposed Antenna System Plans and Equipment Schedule
ANT-400.00 Existing and Proposed Façade Elevations
ANT-401.00 Existing and Proposed Cross Sections (if applicable)
ANT-501.00 Roof Access Plan
S-100.00 Structural Plans and Details
EN-100.00 Energy Code Analysis (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.
ANT: Antenna: Proposed designation due to its commonality upon submission.
P: Plumbing: Mandatory designation for drawings showing Plumbing work including riser diagrams and plumbing details
EN: Energy Analysis: Mandatory designation if an Energy Analysis is required.

2. Schedule of Building Systems. A new schedule, which allows the Department to better record and track key building systems and devices, is being established to replace the current Schedules (B and C and other schedules) submitted with job filings. This will provide DOB and other city agencies, including utilities, with pertinent system or device details are installed on the property, and applicable details for antenna may include:

  • Location Information
  • Number of Antennas Installed, swapped/ upgraded, or removed
  • Back-up generator or Emergency Standby System Details and/or Fuel Storage, if applicable

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

  • BSA: Approval required for monopoles
  • Tenant/Occupant Protection Plan
  • FDNY – Access compliance or a variance
  • DEP (Asbestos), or OER authorization
  • MTA - Transit Authority Approval
  • DOT Approval
  • Landmark approval – Docket number & perforated approved set
  • Public Design Commission Approval

4. Post Approval Amendments. Any changes to approved scope of work that are significant and substantive will require submission of revised documents and/or plans as a post-approval amendment (PAA). Approval of an amendment must be obtained before the work is completed. Changes that are not substantive do not 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).

Some substantive changes that meet the following criteria should be submitted for review as a PAA to amend the approved plans:

  • Addition or relocation of antennas, cabinets, or platforms and other components resulting in the modification to FDNY approved access - Roof Top Clear Path.
  • Changes in height or area footprint of antenna rooftop equipment
  • Modifications that require approvals from LPC and PDC.

5. 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.  (See for more information.)*

Special Inspections

As per Chapter 17 of the Building Code, renovation 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 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.

Based on the scope of work, a renovation project may be required to comply with the following Special and Progress Inspection requirements:

Structural Steel

May include Steel Welding, High Strength Bolting and Steel Details (BC 1704.3)

Post Installed Anchors

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

Fire Resistant Penetration and Joints

Special inspections for through-penetrations, membrane penetration firestops, fire-resistant joint systems, and perimeter fire barrier systems that are tested and listed in accordance with Sections 713., 713.4.1.2, 714.3 and 714.4 shall comply with Sections 1704.27.1 and 1704.27.2


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

Wall Panels, Curtain Walls and Veneers

Required for exterior architectural wall panels and the anchoring of veneers designed for installation on buildings above a height of 40 feet. Special Inspection of masonry veneer on such structures shall be in accordance with Section 1704.5 (BC 1704.10)

Energy Code Compliance Inspections

BC 110.3.5. Penetrations through thermal envelope: must be sealed to minimize air leakage, and prevent thermal bridging, as per NYCECC R402.4.1.

Final Inspection

A final inspection is required prior to the issuance of a letter of completion, per AC 28- and 1 RCNY §101-10. This includes assessment of the existing construction after the installation of all of the subject equipment.

Design Professional Links

Helpful Links