Design Professional Requirements:
Outdoor Swimming Pool

Applicability of Code and Zoning

A renovation project for an existing swimming pool can only be filed under the current codes, the 2014 NYC Construction Codes (Administrative, Building, Plumbing, Fuel Gas and Mechanical Codes); reference Administrative Code (AC) Section AC 28-101.4.3, Exception 1. In the special flood hazard area, BC Appendix G may be applicable to the scope of work and must be considered.

Swimming pool construction and renovation work must also comply with the current NYC Energy Conservation Code (NYCECC) and applicable local laws, rules and regulations, including those of other city agencies, such as the NYC Environmental Protection (DEP), NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC), and others.

*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 is not comprehensive.*


Project Element

Applicable Code and Regulations

2014 Construction Codes


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

Egress (Public Pool)

2014 BC Chapter 10, and Appendix S

Structural, Soils and Foundation

BC Chapter 16 and BC Chapter 18, BC 3109.5.4 (Pool)


BC Chapters 19 through 26, BC 3109.5.4

Safeguards During Construction

2014 BC Chapter 33, and BC 3109.6 Temporary barriers

Swimming Pools and Safety Devices

  • Public Pools
  • Private Pools

BC 3109.3, BC 3109.4, BC 3109.5


BC 3109.5.4


BC 3109.5.4.6

Drainage – Water Circulation and Drainage

BC 3109.3.3


  • Water sub-meter
  • Backflow prevention
  • Solar Heated Pools
  • Indirect Waste Water Pipe

See Plumbing Building Systems Guidelines.


2016 NYCECC R403.10 through R403.12 and C404.9 through C404.11


BC Chapter 11 and BC 3109.3.5

Flood Zone

BC Appendix G


Installation of a swimming pool may require compliance with the following Zoning Resolution sections:

Buildings Bulletins

  • BB 2009-012 - Applications in Wetlands and Coastal Erosion Hazard Areas
  • BB 2015-030 - Accessibility Requirements for Detectable Warnings at Pools

Additional Reference for Regulations

  • 1 RCNY 5000-01 - Energy Code Requirements for Pool Heaters and Covers
  • 1 RCNY 101-14 - Work exempt from permit, including pools under a certain size that are accessory to 1 and 2 family houses.
  • OPPN 1/03 - Lots with Potentially Hazardous Contamination

Other Agencies

  • Department of Health and Mental Hygiene: 24 RCNY – Article 165 Bathing Establishments; BC 3109.4.3 – NYC Health Code requirements for public swimming pool. Contact Office of Public Health Engineering for additional guidance.
  • NYC DEP Permit Requirements – Refer to DEP Guidelines and Reference Materials (guidelines for swimming pool discharge submittals to DEP). Requires DEP approval letter for discharge to sanitary or sewer connections.

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 and property elements, systems and other components affected by the proposed scope of work to verify the project will be code and zoning compliant. Based upon the complexity and scale of the project, the information provided on the drawings must clearly demonstrate all of the work required for completion of the project per 2014 AC Article 104 or 2014 BC 107.2.

For underpinning and other support of excavation structures (shoring, retaining walls, etc.) provide pre-construction report per BC 1814.1, and when applicable, provide monitoring program to ensure structural stability of existing adjacent structures per BC 1814.3.

Pursuant to Administrative Code Section AC 28-101.2, the intent of the Construction Codes is to provide reasonable minimum requirements and standards, based upon current scientific and engineering knowledge, experience and techniques, and the utilization of modern machinery, equipment, materials, and forms and methods of construction, for the regulation of building construction in the City of New York in the interest of public safety, health, welfare and the environment, and with due regard for building construction and maintenance costs.

These guidelines provide an organized approach for the preparation of construction documents to facilitate the plan review process. Drawings must clearly indicate existing conditions, proposed conditions 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. A complete submission of drawings should include:

Construction Documents.  Drawings necessary to convey essential information such as size, structural support, sections, and details. The entire scope of work must be clearly outlined on the drawings submitted. The applicable Zoning Resolution (ZR) and Building Code (BC) sections, text or notes should be stated on the drawings as required to demonstrate compliance. The 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, zoning district location, all adjacent zoning districts (or a detail of the current and relevant Zoning District map), and include an accompanying a graphical scale. A written statement describing the entire project scope should be included. Notes on building occupancy classification, zoning analysis, structural system and/or separate structural support system, and zoning use group must be provided.

  • Drawing Index – A list that clearly identifies all drawings involved in the project; include drawing sheet numbers and drawing titles.

  • Site/Plot Plan – A plan indicating the block and lot, zoning lot and exact location and size of the proposed pool as well as the location, size and surface area, of all other related structures on the zoning lot, in particular for swimming pool, additional details include, planting – screening and fence.

  • Sections – Fully dimensioned drawings, as required, for separate ground structures. Also include cross sections of structural support, depth, wall thickness, liners, and/or slope.

  • Excavation/Shoring/Foundation – Excavations – Sheeting, Shoring, and Bracing (See Renovations Project Guidelines – Shoring & Underpinning).

  • Detail Drawing – A detailed description and/or drawing of the proposed connection to water circulation and drainage, storm water disposal (if applicable), screening, rails, guards, and/or gates.

  • Public Pools and Bathing Establishments – show relevant details on drawings as referenced in 24 RCNY – 165.05 Bathing Establishments

  • NYC Energy Conservation Code (NYCECC) – If the project scope includes one of the following, then demonstrate NYCECC compliance on the plans:

  • Lighting controls and/or lighting power NYCECC R403.10 through 403.12

Submission of Construction Documents

  1. Drawings. The sign project drawings should reflect a 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/Plot Plan, Drawing Index, Required Notes, required Special/Progress Inspections list, and Legends
    A-100.00 Architectural Plans and Details
    P-200.00 Plumbing, including circulation and or heating equipment, if applicable
    FO-101.00 Proposed Foundation Plans and Details (if applicable)
    S-101.00 Structural Plans and Details (if applicable)
    E-101.00 Electrical Plans and Details, including, circulation and heating equipment (if applicable)
    EN-101.00 Energy Code Analysis and Notes (if applicable)

    Drawing Legend to include: Symbols, abbreviations, with definitions, notes and list all applicable Building Code section numbers.

    Recommended Drawing Designators
    T: Title/Coversheet: Recommended designation for drawing cover page
    A: Architectural: Mandatory designation for drawings showing architectural work
    P: Plumbing: Mandatory designation for drawings showing plumbing work
    FO: Foundation: Mandatory designation for drawings whenever foundation work is filed
    S: Structural: Mandatory designation for drawings showing structural work
    E: Electrical: Mandatory designation for drawings showing electrical 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, as applicable:
    • DEP Pool Drainage Connection – Permission Letter for Pool Water Discharge
    • OER authorization – Coordination with ZR (E) designation requirements
    • DEC – Documentation authorizing installation of pool
    • Landmark approval
    • Public Design Commission Approval
    • NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene - approval for public pools
  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 (AC 28.104.3).
    • Expanding the scope of work to modify or increase the size of the proposed pool.
    • Changes to proposed drainage system, or seepage pit location and/or size.
    • Changes to the scope of work that require additional Special or Progress Inspection(s).
  2. Substantive changes that meet the following criteria must be submitted for review as a PAA to amend the approved plans. These changes include, but are not limited to:

  1. As-Built Submission.  All changes must be submitted in an ‘as-built’ drawing at the end of the project.
  2. 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, swimming pool projects 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 shall be reported to the superintendent 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 pool project may be required to comply with the following Special and Progress Inspection requirements:

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).

Subgrade Conditions

Existing subsurface conditions such as soil, compaction, borings, test pits, etc. in order to better evaluate the supporting structure’s footing and foundation needs as per BC 1704.7.

Excavations – Sheeting, Shoring and Bracing

Methods employed to protect the sides of excavations shall be subject to Special Inspections in accordance with Sections BC 1704.20.6 through BC 1704.20.9.

Footings and Foundation

An inspection after excavations for footings is complete and any required reinforcing steel and required forms are in place per BC 110.3.1.


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.

Final Inspection

A final inspection is required prior to the issuance of a letter of completion, per AC 28- and BC 110.5.

Energy Code Compliance Inspections

Exterior lighting power: density must be within allowances per 2016 NYCECC C405.5 or be equipped with a control device.

Soil Percolation Test – Private On-Site Storm Water Drainage Disposal Systems

Soil percolation tests shall be performed in accordance with BC 1704.21.1.2

For bathing establishments, a Construction Compliance Certificate must be submitted by a NYS PE or RA to the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, as required by NYC Health Code Section 165.07.

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