Design Professional Requirements:
Educational and Institutional

Applicability of Code and Zoning

An existing building renovation project could be filed under either the current Codes, the 2014 NYC Construction Codes (Administrative, Building, Plumbing, Fuel Gas and Mechanical Codes, or under Prior Codes, such as the 1968 Code, 1938 Code or earlier Codes, depending on the age of the existing building; reference Administrative Code (AC) section 28-101.2.

However, there are exceptions if Prior Codes are used, per AC 28-101.4.3. For example, the 2014 Code must be used for 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.

Flood Plains, BC Appendix G, must be considered when performing renovations.

Renovation work must comply also with the current NYC Energy Conservation Code and applicable Local Laws, Rules and regulations as well as other project requirements.

When required by the project scope of work the renovation must also comply with the rules, regulations, laws and Codes of other City agencies, such as the NYC Fire Department (FDNY), NYC Environmental Protection (DEP), NYC Transportation (DOT), NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, NYC Landmarks Commission, and others.

*Note: While 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



1938 Building Code, MDL & HMC


2014 AC 28-101.4.5 and the Administrative Code of BC 101

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

2014 AC 28-101.4.3, AC 28-101.4.5 and 1968 AC 27-114, AC 27-120


2014 BC Chapter 11, and BC Appendix E, BC Appendix N, and BC Appendix P

Building Heights and Areas

BC Chapter 5

AC 27-293 through AC 27-315

Article 5

Construction Types

BC Chapter 6

AC 27-269 through AC 27-287

Article 4


BC Chapter 10
BC Appendix S

AC 27-354 through AC 27-396.6

Article 7


2014 BC Chapter 30 and BC Appendix K

Fire Protection

BC Chapter 9 and Appendix Q

2014 AC 28-315.2, 2014 BC Chapter 9 and Appendix Q

Flood Resistant Construction

2014 BC Appendix G

Interior Environment

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

AC 27-725 through AC 27-770

1938 BC Article 6, 1938 Article 12 and 1938 Article 15, HMC Subchapter 3 - Articles 1, 4, and 5


BC Chapters 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 BC Article 8 and Article 19

Roof Assemblies and Rooftop Structures

Chapter 15

Subject to applicable provisions of the 2014 BC and 1968 AC 27-338

Subject to applicable provisions of the 2014 BC and 1938 BC Article 11

Safeguards During Construction

2014 BC Chapter 33

Structural, Soils and Foundation

BC Chapter 16 and Chapter 18

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

2014 BC 1601.2 and
1938 BC Article 9

Use and Occupancy Classification

BC Chapter 3

AC 27-234 through
AC 27-268

Article 4 and Article 13

Other Guidelines


See Building Systems Boiler Guidelines


See Building Systems Mechanical Guidelines


See Building Systems Plumbing Guidelines

Solar Panels

See Building Systems Solar Guidelines


See Building Systems Sprinkler Guidelines


See Building Systems Standpipe Guidelines

*Note: New applications for buildings erected under the 2008 Code must comply with the 2014 Code, as required by AC §28-101.4 and §28-102.4.3.*


Educational and Institutional buildings and occupancies may require compliance with the following Zoning Resolution sections:

Other Regulation(s) for Reference

  • BB 2016-008 – Clarifies where wheelchair platform lifts may be installed in a Prior Code building
  • BB 2011-015 – Clarifies conditions under which an addition. Alteration and renovation or repair of Building envelope would not need to comply with NYCECC R501.1 and C501.1
  • BB 2015-017 – Clarifies Lot line windows of buildings
  • TPPN 02-97 – Residential Adult Care Facilities

Local Laws

When required by the project scope of work, the renovation must also comply with the rules, regulations, laws and Codes of other City and State agencies, such as the NYC Department of Health, NYC Fire Department (FDNY), NYC Transportation (DOT), NYC Landmarks Commission, NYC Transit (MTA), NYC Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), NYS Office of Mental Health, NYS Office for People with Developmental Disabilities, and others

NOTE: Some Institutional buildings may require compliance with the Multiple Dwelling Law (MDL), Housing Maintenance Code (HMC) Subchapter 3 – Articles 1, 4 and 5 for Interior Environment.

Guidelines for Submission of Renovation Project Plans

Prior to preparing the design documents and construction drawings, the Registered Design Professional must perform a pre-design review that analyzes all of the existing building elements, systems and other components affected by the proposed scope of work, to verify a Code-compliant renovation of the building. 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 28-104 or 2014 BC 107.2.

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

Complete Submission of Construction Documents

Construction drawings 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, and Plan Examination Guidelines – Minimum Requirement for Review of Design Drawings, Revised 4-30-2014.

A complete submission of drawings should 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. and a graphical scale. Drawing notes should include building occupancy classification, zoning use group, construction classification, the project scope, and the primary structural system of the building.
  • Drawing Index. Identify 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.
  • 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.
  • Façade Elevations.  Required if the project involves the renovation or modification of the building exterior and in some cases also required for interior renovations that may impact the façade.
  • Sections.  Might be required for documenting some types of renovation projects. These could include building sections.
  • Detail Drawings.  These drawings contain significant information required to clearly communicate the scope of work, in a magnified form.
  • Energy Analysis.  If the project scope includes one of the following, then an energy analysis is required on the plans:
    • Alterations to existing or installation of new piping carrying mechanically heated or cooled fluid;
    • Penetration through the thermal envelope
    • Construction elements that affect the insulation;
    • Lighting fixture replacement, equipment replacement, equipment controls replacement, and/or dampers;
    • Commissioning is required when permitted equipment replacement exceeds a combined input capacity of 600kBTU/h.
      • Daylight zones adjacent to vertical glazing and beneath skylights are clearly identified on the lighting plans.

If applicable, additional elements required on drawings include:

  • Accessibility for persons with physical disabilities to comply with BC Chapter 11
  • Lot Line window replacement or new openings in accordance with Code requirements, Interior elevations and details
  • Flood zone compliance
  • Building systems and equipment details*
  • Tenant/Occupant protection Plan**
  • Assembly Spaces***

* Refer to Project Guidelines for Building Systems projects.
** Refer to Project Guidelines for Tenant/Occupant Protection Plan Renovation projects
*** Refer to Project Guidelines for Business, Mercantile and Place of Assembly Renovation projects

Submission of Construction Documents

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

  1. Drawings. The renovation project drawings should reflect clear scope of work and include all affected systems. Examples of this are as follows:
  2. 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
    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
    SD-100.00 Standpipe Floor Plan
    SD-101.00 Standpipe 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 (if applicable)

    Drawing Legend to include: Symbols, abbreviations, notes, definitions 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 if an Energy Analysis is required

  1. Required Documents. Based on buildings location and designation, and the project’s scope of work, the following submissions may have to accompany the drawings at intake:
    • DEP or OER authorization
    • FDNY – Notification or Letters of No Objection
    • Tenant/Occupant Protection Plan (only if applicable)
    • Mayor Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD)
    • FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) – FEMA Map
    • Transit Authority approval
    • DOT approval
    • Landmark approval
    • Public Design Commission Approval (NYC-owned properties for exterior work only)
    • Authorizations from State agencies as required, such as the NYS Office of Mental Health, NYS Office for People with Developmental Disabilities, etc.
  1. Post Approval Amendments.  Any changes to approved scope of work that is significant and substantive will require submission of revised document and/or plans for Post Approval Amendment (PAA). Approval for 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 (§28.104.3).

    Substantive changes that meet the following criteria should be submitted for review to amend the approved plans:

    • Expand scope of work to include an additional space in the same or different story. For example, expand the first floor renovation to a space in the basement or cellar below.
    • Changes in function of areas and rooms from what was shown on approved plans.  For example, the function of a portion of a storage space is changed to a new apartment.
    • Expand scope to add, replace or modify building equipment, roof systems, etc.
    • Structural changes
    • Addition or removal of the following: plumbing risers, minimum required fixtures, roof drains, etc.
    • Any alteration of gas systems
    • 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. Any changes affecting the energy analysis will require an update to the energy analysis.

    *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 BC Chapter 17, 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. Inspection discrepancies and hazardous conditions must be reported to the super-intendent 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, 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).

Concrete: Cast-In-Place and precast

Required where the total concrete placement on a given project is more than 50 cubic yards or other conditions. Precast may be needed during façade renovation project (BC 1704.4).

Wood – Installation of Prefabricated I-Joists

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

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).

Sprayed Fire-resistant Materials

Special Inspections for sprayed fire-resistant materials applied to floor, roof and wall assemblies and structural members shall be in accordance with Sections 1704.11.1 through 1704.11.7.

Structural Stability – Existing Buildings

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

Excavations – Sheeting, Shoring, Bracing and Underpinning

Methods employed to protect the sides of excavations shall be subject to Special Inspections in accordance with BC 1704.20.3, BC 1704.20.2

Fire-resistant Penetration and Joists

Special Inspections for penetration of fire-resistant elements and assemblies; and related firestops in accordance with Sections 1704.27.1 and 1704.27.2 and BC 18144.

Flood Zone Compliance

Special Inspection for flood zone compliance shall be as required by BC Appendix G and BC 1704.29. Also progress inspection for lowest floor level per BC 110.3.2.


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

Footings, Foundation

Footing and foundation 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.

Structural Wood Frame

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.

Mastic and Intumescent Fire Resistant Coatings

Fire resistant coating must be applied on structural elements as required by BC 1704.12

Smoke Control System and/or Smoke Purge System

Mechanically operated smoke removal system, as required by BC 1704.15 and 1704.16 and BC 909 and/or BC 916.

Raising and Moving Buildings

Raising and moving existing buildings, because all or part of it is located in flood zone, as required by BC 1704.20.5 and BB 2015-010.


Verify the chimney and its liner are sealed properly in accordance with BC 1704.26.

Luminous Egress Markings

Various egress path components marked with luminous signs and other markings per BC 1704.30 and BC 1024.

Seismic Isolation

Structure in compliance with seismic isolation requirements in BC 1707.8, BC Chapter 16 and/or 1968 RS 9-6.

Energy Code Compliance Inspections

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