Sidewalk Sheds

Sidewalk sheds are temporary structures built to protect people or property. Property owners must install a shed when constructing a building more than 40 feet high, demolishing a building more than 25 feet high — and when danger necessitates this type of protection. Sidewalk sheds must be removed immediately once construction, demolition or remediation work is complete.

For a list of currently permitted Sidewalk Sheds see the Active Sidewalk Shed Permits map.

Permits and Approvals

Sidewalk sheds may not be built without the Department’s prior approval and work permits. However, when there’s an immediate threat to safety, owners may build a shed and file a permit application within 24 hours. 

Other City agencies may need to authorize a shed before the Department of Buildings approves the work permit. For example, the Office of Construction Mitigation and Coordination at the NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) requires a Building Operation Permit for sidewalk sheds that must extend into the street.

Technical Requirements NYC Building Code §3307

  • Length: Along property line and 20 feet into adjacent properties at buildings higher than 100 feet
  • Width: 5-foot minimum and sufficient for foot traffic
  • Passageway Height: 8-foot minimum clearance
  • Lighting: Passageway must be lit by natural or artificial light at all times
  • Shed Deck Strength: At least 300 pounds per square foot (150 pounds per square foot for sheds without storage and buildings less than 100 feet high)
  • Deck Storage: Storing material on top of a shed may be illegal and is not advisable.
  • Egress: Fire escapes/exits may not be blocked.
  • Loading Areas: Always keep all openings for loading (at deck or street level) protected, barricaded, closed or guarded.
  • Street Signs: DOT street signs should remain visible to pedestrians and drivers.

Permit Durations, Expiration Penalties and Renewals

Initial sidewalk shed permits are generally valid for one year or until the contractor’s insurance expires – whichever is shorter. Environmental Control Board violations for sheds up after their permits expire may be as high as $8,000 per violation.

To renew a sidewalk shed permit, submit a written request (signed and sealed by a New York State licensed professional engineer or registered architect), the PW2 and all applicable fees to the LAA/Permit Renewal Unit or to the appropriate Department Borough Commissioner. Upon approval, applicant must print out the renewed permit and post it on site.

Identifying Information

The NYC Construction Codes and the RCNY require that specific, identifying information be displayed in a central, visible area. Permits must be posted, and a sign must include the permit numbers and expiration dates and the permit holder’s name, address and phone number.

Business Signage

Under NYC Construction Codes, it’s illegal to post any information, pictorial representation, business or advertising message on a sidewalk shed. However, when a sidewalk shed obscures an existing and legal business sign, the business may have a temporary sign posted to the face of the sidewalk shed.

Sidewalk Shed Permits and Your Project

  • Apply for a Temporary Construction Equipment Permit.
  • Obtain permit approval from the Department.
  • Complete and submit the work permit PW2 application for review and approval.
  • Pay the work permit fees and file/pull the permits.
  • Apply for an After-Hours Variance work permit, when necessary. These may be renewed online.

Sidewalk Shed Removal

For both BIS and DOB NOW jobs, sidewalk shed removal requests are submitted in DOB NOW: Build. From the dashboard, select +Requests and Site Safety. Select Site Safety Release and Sidewalk Shed Removal and then the appropriate request type.

To request Sidewalk Shed Removal, provide a DOB NOW Sidewalk Shed (SH) job number and indicate whether it is a request for full or partial removal. After the Sidewalk Shed Removal request is submitted in DOB NOW, the Construction Safety Compliance Unit will schedule an inspection and once the inspection is in Pass/Final status, the Sidewalk Shed Removal request will be approved in DOB NOW: Build and the sidewalk shed can be removed from the site

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