Design Professional Requirements: Storefront

Applicability of Code and Zoning

An existing building storefront renovation project could be filed under either the 2014 NYC Construction Codes (Building, Plumbing, Fuel Gas and Mechanical Codes) review, 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 AC 28-101.2.

However, there are exceptions regarding the use of Prior Codes, per AC 28-101.4.3. For example, 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.  Renovation work must also comply with the current NYC Energy Conservation Code and other applicable local laws.


Storefront renovation may require compliance with the following Zoning Resolution sections:



Project Element

Applicable Code and Regulations

Current Code*

Prior Codes





2014 AC 28-101.4.3

Optional Use of 1968 Code, AC 28-101.4.5 and AC 28-101.4.7

2014 AC 28-101.4.3 - Optional Use of 1968 Code and AC 28-101.4.5 and AC 28-101.4.7

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

AC 28-101.4.7


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

Construction Classifications or Types

BC Chapter 6

AC 27-269 through AC 27-287

1938 BC Article 4

Exterior Walls

BC Chapter 14

AC 27 Subchapter 5, Article 4, Subchapter 7, Article 11

Article 5, Article 9, Article 11

Fire Protection

BC Chapter 9 and Appendix Q

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

Fire Resistance Ratings and Finishes

BC Chapter 6 and BC Chapter 7

AC 27-318 through AC 27-353.3

1938 BC Article 11


BC Chapter 24

AC 27 Subchapter 10, Article 12

1938 BC Article 9

Grilles – Security Gates

2014 BC 1008.1.4.5 and 2014 BC 402.13


BC Chapter 21

AC 27 Subchapter 10, Article 4

1938 BC Article 8 and 1938 BC Article 9

Openings – Exterior

BC Chapter 7 – openings  shall comply with BC 705.8.1 through BC 705.8

Public Right-of-Way Encroachments

Attached Lighting, Awnings, Canopy Flagpole, etc., see Public Right-of-Way Encroachments Project Guideline


See Signs Project Guideline

Site Safety - Safeguards During Construction

2014 BC Chapter 33

Other Regulation(s) for Reference

NYC Energy Code - Residential Buildings:

  • NYCECC - Chapter R2 - Residential buildings in group R-2, R-3, R-4 having not more than three stories above grade plane including 3 or more attached townhouses will need to refer to Chapter NYCECC R5 for repairs.
  • Residential buildings installing a new storefront, altering the face of the facade and/or creating new openings (windows) will need to refer to NYCECC Chapter R4.

NYC Energy Code - Commercial Buildings:

  • NYCECC-R202 - Commercial buildings include all buildings that are not included in the definition of residential building. Repairs will need to refer to Chapter C4.
  • Commercial buildings installing a new storefront, altering the face of the facade or/and creating new openings (windows) will need to refer to NYCECC Chapter C5

Buildings Bulletins

  • BB 2017-006 – Clarifies conditions under which an addition, alteration, renovation or repair of building envelope would not need to comply with NYCECC

  • BB 2014-022 - Establishes acceptance criteria for porcelain tile ventilated façade systems as an alternative material in accordance with the NYC Construction Codes.

  • BB 2015-001 – Establishes acceptance criteria for sandwich panels used for the construction of exterior walls as an alternative material in the NYC Construction Codes.

Local Laws

Local Law 75 of 2009 – Requirements for Security Grilles

Other Agency Requirements

When required by the project scope of work, the storefront renovation project 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 (DEC), NYC Transit (MTA), NYC Landmarks Commission (LPC), and others.

Guidelines for Submission of Sign Project Plans

Prior to preparing the design drawings and construction documents, 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 code compliance.  Based on 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 Article AC 28-104 or 2014 BC 107.2.

The Department’s guidelines outlined in 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 conditions, proposed conditions and any areas 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.  It is necessary for drawings to convey essential information such as plans, elevations, schedules and details.  The applicable Building Codes and notes should be stated on the drawings as required to demonstrate Code and zoning compliance.  It is essential to include the scale to clarify overall layouts and details on all drawings; a graphic scale is recommended.

  • Title Sheet.  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, flood zone statement, construction classification, the project’s scope, and the building’s primary structural system, legend, etc.
  • Drawing Index.  Clearly identify all the information that may be involved by providing a list of drawings.
  • 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.
  • Storefront Elevations.  Each storefront elevation must include accurate information of work involved with storefront renovation including quantity, location, material, etc. Each storefront elevation must correlate with a key plan and legend provided on the same sheet.
  • Sections.  Include cross sections of structural support or connections, cross sections of attachments to the building, cross sections of sign projection or other associated sidewalk encroachments to demonstrate compliance with building codes and Department of Transportation regulations.
  • Signs.  Fully dimensioned drawings showing both the sign and its supporting structure, and/or of sign mounted on building. Also show sign copy with fully dimensioned lettering, borders, and other images as defined in ‘Sign’ per ZR 12-10, and showing all existing, removed and proposed windows, doors, louvers, exterior fire escapes and other exterior wall projections and openings.  Dimensions must include height from curb to top of the sign structure as well as any projections above the roof.
  • Detail Drawings.  These drawings contain significant information required to clearly communicate the scope of work, in a magnified form.
  • Energy Analysis.  An energy analysis is required for various façade projects. As dictated by the scope of work, energy analysis must be in the form of a tabular analysis; RESCHECK or COMCHECK as required by the 2016 NYCECC and include the following at a minimum if applicable:
    • Fenestrations
    • U factors
    • R-value
    • Air sealing

If applicable, additional elements required:

  • Accessibility for persons with physical disabilities to comply with BC Chapter 11
  • Tenant/Occupant Protection Plan

Submission of Construction Documents

1. Drawings. The renovation project drawings should clearly reflect the scope of work. Examples of this are as follows:

Designator - Sheet Number: Sheet Description:
T-001.00 Title Sheet, Site/Plot Plan, Drawing Index, General Notes, required Special/Progress Inspections list, Legends and FEMA notes
A-100.00 to A-10X.00 Existing and Proposed Storefront Elevations
A-200.00 to A-20X.00 Sections and Details
A-300.00 to A-30X.00 Additional Information (if applicable)
S-100.00 to S-10X.00 Structural Plans and Details
SG-100.00 to SG-10X.00 Illustration of Sign Copy and Sign Details
EN-100.00 Energy Code Analysis (if applicable)

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

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

  • DEP or OER authorization
  • Tenant/Occupant Protection Plan, only if applicable
  • Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) approval
  • NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) approval
  • NYC Landmark Preservation Commission (LPC) approval
  • NYC Public Design Commission (PDC) approval for exterior work only on NYC-owned properties

3. Post Approval Amendments. Any changes to approved scope of work that are significant and substantive will require submission of revised documents and/or plans for post-approval amendment (PAA). Any additional/new type of work not in original filing must be included via PAA. Approval for an amendment must be obtained before the work is completed. Changes in quantity of originally approved work type do not require a PAA;  however these changes must be shown on plans and included in the ‘As Built’ submission (AC §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 additional area or elements not shown on approved plans. For example, expand storefront repair/renovation from the approved section of the building to additional sections of the building, increase in exterior wall opening, or addition of new storefront element, such as signs or windows
  • A modification to the sign mounting height, projection, orientation, and/or location
  • Structural changes, such as removal or addition of columns or lintels
  • Changes to scope of work that require additional Special or Progress Inspection(s).

4. As-Built Submission. All changes must be submitted in an ‘as-built’ drawing at the end of the project.

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 typically must 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. . 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).

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 BC 1704.5 (BC 1704.10.

Wood – Installation of Prefabricated I-Joists

Subject to Special Inspections in accordance with BC 1704.2, BC 2303.1.2 and BC 1704.6.3.

Post Installed Anchors

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.

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).

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.

Fire-resistant Penetration and joists

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

Aluminum Welding

The special inspections for structural aluminum elements of buildings and structures shall be as required by Section BC 1704.26.1.

Fire-Resistance Rated Construction

Determine compliance with the approved construction documents, including inspection of the following work: 1. Fire-resistance-rated partitions, floors, ceilings, shafts; and 2. Fire shutters


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 BC 1704.5.3, depending on the structural occupancy category of the building or structure.

Energy Code Compliance Inspections

  • Fenestrations areas (IA5), (IIA5)
  • Fenestration u-factor and product rating (IA3), (IIA3)
  • Fenestration air leakage (IA4), (IIA4)
  • Insulation placement and R-value (IA2), (IIA2)
  • Air sealing and insulation (visual) (IA6), (IIA6)
  • Air sealing and insulation (testing) (IA7), (IIA7)) or be equipped with a control device.

Final Inspection

A final inspection is required prior to the issuance of a letter of completion, per AC 28- and BC 110.5, Directive 14 of 1975 (D14), and 1 RCNY 101-10.

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