FAQ

Where can I find the Dept. of Buildings online?

When is a DOB work permit required?

NYC Building Code section 27-126, states that a work permit is required for the following:

– The removal, change or closing of any required means of egress or the cutting away of any wall, floor, or roof construction, or any portion thereof; or the removal, cutting, or modification of any beams or structural supports.

– The rearrangement or relocation of any parts of the building affecting loading or exit requirements, or light, heat, ventilation, or elevator requirements; additions to, alterations of, or rearrangement, relocation or removal of any standpipe or sprinkler piping, water distribution piping, house sewer, private sewer, or drainage system, including leaders, or any soil, waste or vent pipe, or any gas distribution system, or any other work affecting health or the fire or structural safety of the building.

My job was filed but has not been approved. Why?

You can check the latest status of your job by checking the DOB’s Buildings Information System (BIS).

What’s needed to place a bike rack on a sidewalk?

You need a revocable consent which is the grant of a right to an individual or organization to construct and maintain certain structures on, over or under the property of the City (that is, the streets and sidewalks). The City retains the right to revoke a revocable consent at any time.

What do I need for a builders pavement filing?

A builders pavement plan is generally filed by a professional engineer or registered architect. For lots fronting fully developed sidewalks, curbs, and roadways, you will need an architectural survey taken or updated within the last 2 years. You will also need 35 mm photographs of the sidewalk, curb, and roadway along with a completed builders pavement check list. For lots fronting undeveloped sidewalks, curbs, or roadways, you will need a standard builders pavement plan.

Why does my building not have a Cert. of Occ.?

Buildings built prior to 1938 that have had no changes made to their occupancy or egress since then, do not require Certificates of Occupancy.

When is a Certificate of Occupancy not required?

When construction work taking place does not change the use, egress or occupancy of the building.

What is the difference between a demo and alt.?

Demolition is the removal of the entire building, including the foundation. In an alteration you may remove interior and exterior walls, but not the entire foundation. An alteration can also be the addition of stories, an enlargement, or a new structure built on top of an existing foundation.

During what hours is constr. permitted in NYC?

Construction activities are restrained from Monday through Friday from 7:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. An after hour or weekend variance can be requested from the Department of Buildings when special concerns must be considered.

Is a permit needed to erect an illuminated sign?

All illuminated signs require permits from the Department of Buildings. Nearly all signs, regardless of illumination, require permits as well.

What is a Site Safety inspection?

Site Safety is the inspection of new building construction for high rises of 15 stories or 200 feet and taller, or lot coverage of 100,000 square feet or more. The BEST Squad often inspects Site Safety buildings. Buildings that are not covered by Site Safety regulations are usually inspected by Department of Buildings’ borough construction inspectors.

What is Local Law 11/98?

Local Law 11/98 (amending Local Law 10/80) requires one periodic inspection every five years of building facades on buildings higher than 6 stories. An owner must retain a professional to inspect the facade and submit a report to the Department of Buildings about its condition.

How do I structurally alter the occ. of a building?

You must hire a New York State Registered Architect or Professional Engineer to assess the site and advise you of zoning and construction requirements. You may also need to obtain a new or amended Certificate of Occupancy.

How can I change the occ. type of my building?

You will need to consult with a New York State Registered Architect or Professional Engineer who can advise you regarding zoning and construction requirements. An application must be approved by the Department and a permit obtained prior to any change being made. Upon completion of the work, and a satisfactory final inspection, a Certificate of Occupancy will be issued.

What is an Unsafe Buildings violation?

An Unsafe Buildings (“UB”) violation is a violation issued by a Department inspector when the premises is considered unsafe or a hazard to its occupants and/or the public. The premises can be considered unsafe or a hazard when a structure on the property is open, vacant, and unguarded, or when a structure is compromised in a way that threatens public safety.

Why was my property inspected?

DOT determines which properties should be inspected based on specific criteria, including blocks where injuries were reported to the City or where complaints were filed. The City also takes into account the last time the area was surveyed for sidewalk defects. Violations are issued in every neighborhood in the City.

What const. permits exist for work on a street?

Street Opening: Permits that apply to openings/excavations or other work in a street that may cause damage to the street surface or to any work that the Permit Office believes would compromise the street surface. Street Opening Permits are generally taken out by entities that need access to subsurface infrastructure, including utility companies and contractors.

Building Operations/Construction Activity: Permits that apply to construction-related activities that take place within the street and are generally associated with construction work adjacent to the street. Construction-related activities covered under this category include placement of materials, equipment, and temporary structures on the street or sidewalk.

Sidewalk Construction: Permits that apply to any repairs, replacements, or new sidewalk installations. Sidewalk Construction Permits are generally taken out by developers, contractors, and private homeowners.

Canopy Authorizations: Permits required to place a canopy over the sidewalk. Canopy permits are generally taken out by building owners, business owners, and canopy installers.

What permit app. types are reviewed?

– Work to be performed for sewer and water system construction

– Work to be performed in Manhattan

– Work required on primary and secondary arteries

– Permits to close streets

– Any other activity deemed necessary by the Commissioner

What is a Revocable Consent?

A revocable consent is the grant of a right to an individual or organization to construct and maintain certain structures on, over, or under the inalienable property of the City (that is, the streets and sidewalks). Generally, revocable consents are granted for a term of ten years, at the end of which time they may be renewed.

What Pvt. Improvements exist for Rev. Consents?

The following Private Improvements exist for Revocable Consents:

– Benches
– Bridges
– Cables (other than underground cable)
– Clocks
– Conduits
– Electrical sockets
– Enclosures for trash receptacles adj. a bldg.
– Fenced/walled-in area not used for planting or parking
– Flagpoles
– Guard booths
– Guard rails
– Hatches
– Information signs or kiosks
– Litter receptacles for public use affixed to the sidewalk
– Overhead bldg. projections in excess of Building Code
– Parking lots for private use
– Pipes
– Planted areas, including any surrounding fence or wall
– Posts, poles or bollards
– Public service corporation facilities
– Railroad tracks for private use
– Ramps providing access for people with disabilities
– Retaining walls
– Sidewalk plaques or logos
– Signs or plaques on City-owned street lamps
– Stoops
– Street lamp or fixture
– Tunnels
– Vaults or underground improvements

What is a sidewalk violation?

A sidewalk violation is an official notice issued by DOT stating that your sidewalk is defective. There is no fine associated with a violation. A copy of the notice is filed with the County Clerk and remains on file until the Clerk receives official notification from the City that satisfactory repairs have been made. A violation can complicate selling or refinancing your property.

Will the city fix a sidewalk w/ a vault beneath it?

No. The property owner is responsible for making the repairs. Fixing a sidewalk over a vault may require considerable structural work. If the defective portion of your sidewalk is over a vault, you must fix it privately.

Where can I find gen. info on street design?

The New York City Street Design Manual contains city policies, detailed guidelines and numerous reference resources related to planning, designing, constructing, operating and maintaining the city’s streets, sidewalks and public spaces.

What vehicle size req. an “over-dimensional permit?”

Width: 96 inches. For school buses and fire vehicles: 98 inches. Buses having a carrying capacity of more than seven passengers shall not exceed 102 inches.

Height: 13 1/2 feet. Single vehicles (except articulated buses and semi-trailers): 35 feet.

Length: Articulated buses: 65 feet. Semi-trailer: 55 feet.

“Grandfathering” for approvals prior to 07/01/08?

FC102.3, page 3 addresses facilities and conditions “lawfully existing” on June 30, 2008 that would not be allowed or approved under the Fire Code (which took effect on July 1, 2008). Clarification of the scope and meaning of FC102.3 is set forth in Fire Department rule 3 RCNY 102-01.

Are “alts” prior to the new Fire Code defined?

Yes. FC202 defines “alteration” as any addition to, or modification of, an existing installation, other than repairs made in the ordinary course of maintenance. An example of an alteration would be the installation of a new system, or the removal and replacement of an existing system. An example of an ordinary repair would be the servicing or replacement, in kind, of components of an existing installation.

What installs req. documents submitted to FDNY?

FC105.4, page 11 lists the Fire Code sections requiring submission of design and installation documents.

How can I identify the Fire Code’s permit req.?

FC105.6 lists all of the permits required by the new Fire Code.

How can I identify the Fire Code’s certificate req.?

Below is a list of all Certificate of Fitness and Company Certificate requirements:

-Required Certificates of Fitness
-Required Company Certificates

FC113 lists the general requirements for Fire Department Certificates of Fitness and Certificates of Qualification; FC114 for Certificates of License; and FC115 for Company Certificates. Additional requirements are set forth in the following new Fire Department rules: 3 RCNY 113-01, 113-02 and 113-03 for Certificates of Fitness; 3 RCNY 114-01 for Certificate of License; and 3 RCNY 115-01 for Company Certificates.

What are the Fire Code’s “operational” reqs.?

Operational requirements are those that relate to the operation and supervision of equipment and premises. Permits, supervision and certificate requirements, emergency preparedness plans, recordkeeping, prohibitions against smoking, and posting of signage are examples of operational requirements.

Maintenance requirements are those that relate to keeping equipment and premises in good working order and a safe condition. Housekeeping, servicing and periodic testing and inspection of equipment, and prevention and removal of obstructions to means of egress are examples of maintenance requirements.

Are Fire Dep. Certificates of Approval still required?

Yes, but the articles, equipment and devices for which they are required have largely changed. Many of the articles, equipment and devices that previously required Certificates of Approval, such as underground motor fuel storage system components (including leak detectors, dispensers and overflow prevention devices), are no longer required to obtain a Certificate of Approval. Generally, listing by a nationally recognized testing laboratory is now sufficient.

A number of items previously requiring the approval of the New York City Department of Buildings Materials and Equipment Acceptance Unit will now be regulated by the Fire Code. Specifically, these are fire alarm system control panels, pre-engineered non-water fire extinguishing systems, premanufactured spray booths, pre-manufactured spray rooms, hoods and grease filters installed in connection with commercial cooking systems, Fire Department siamese connections, and standpipe system hose outlets and pressure reducing valves. New Fire Department rules will more fully explain the standards, requirements and procedures for obtaining a Certificate of Approval for these items and other, articles, equipment and devices.

Are sat. dishes considered rooftop obstructions?

Yes. Other examples of other obstructions are set forth in FC504.4, page 108.

Can I request a recon of the req. for rooftop access?

A modification may be requested in accordance with FC104.8, page 7.

How do Referenced Standards relate to the Code?

The Fire Code incorporates by reference numerous nationally-recognized fire safety standards, and certain Federal regulations. These standards and regulations are listed in FC Chapter 45, page 616. The Referenced Standards supplement the requirements of the Fire Code. The provisions of the Fire Code chapters and Fire Department rules govern where there is a conflict between those provisions of law and the provisions of the Referenced Standards.

FC Chapter 45 identifies the edition of the Referenced Standard that has been adopted. It is important that you use the correct edition of the Referenced Standard to ensure that you are complying with the applicable legal requirements.