Replacement of a Rooftop Air Conditioner with no change to Ductwork is exempt from the filing of an Asbestos Report ACP-5.
Q: I am filing my alteration with the NYC Department of Buildings for Permit Issuance. Are there any types of alterations that are exempt from the filing of an ACP-5 Asbestos Report? If so, what is the list of exempted items?
A: As per a previous post, Buildings filed with the DOB after April 1, 1987 do not require an Asbestos Investigation (ACP-5). In addition, the following items are exempt:
Candy or News Stands
Change of Use, Legalization, or Certificate of Occupancy requiring No Work
Concrete Work (Exterior)
Debris Chutes, where chute will not be used for Asbestos-Containing Materials
Demolition of 1 story Garages, maximum capacity 2 cars, NOT supplied with Water Lines
Elevator Equipment (not including construction and enclosure of Elevator Shaft)
Emergency Power NOT involving hard wiring (i.e. Battery Packs)
Finish Material Installation
Fire Escape Installation
Interior Non-Bearing Partition Installation involving NO penetration of Hung Ceiling
Legalization of Demolition Work which occurred prior to 4/1/1987
Radio Antennas (Towers)
Relocating Parking Lot Sheds
Roof Decks not anchored to Building Structure
Rooftop Air Conditioning Replacement, not involving modification or Removal of Duct Work
Sidewalk Sheds, Bridges, and Fences
Storefront Installation in Existing Masonry Openings
Subdivision of an existing Tax Lot
Temporary Structure Erection (trailers, shanties, etc), supplied with Electric and Water Lines only
Underpinning of Buildings
Water Tank Replacement (Exterior)
Zoning Lot Reapportionment
This information was compiled from DOB OPPN's 1/87, 10/87, and 1/88.
Have a question? E-mail Permitadvisor
Friday, November 16, 2007
Replacement of a Rooftop Air Conditioner with no change to Ductwork is exempt from the filing of an Asbestos Report ACP-5.
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Above is a view into typical Brooklyn Brownstone rear yards, showing many decks and roof coverings constructed of combustible materials. Often, these structures have not been constructed legally.
Q: What are the legal requirements for the construction of a Deck in the Rear Yard of a Brownstone-type building?
A: When considering construction of a Deck, it is necessary to comply with the Department of Buildings requirements for Decks. Legalization of existing Decks can be problematic, because many have not been designed by an Architect or Engineer and no Permit was ever obtained. The NYC Department of Buildings is cracking-down on Deck requirements, as they can be hazardous from a structural or fire safety standpoint when constructed improperly. An Illegal Deck can also be a problem when selling a property or applying for a Certificate of Occupancy.
Below is a listing of the basic Deck requirements, distilled from NYC Department of Buildings Memorandums. New Decks would need to comply with the below in order to obtain Plan Approval. Existing Decks needing to be Legalized would have to be modified (as required) to comply with the below:
Definition of a Deck:
A Deck is a raised floor, supported by structural framing above the surrounding ground at the level of the first story of a house. A Deck must be constructed without a roof. An outdoor structure with a roof is not a Deck. It may be considered an additional room, in which case different zoning rules and NYC Building Code provisions will apply.
1 Only a NYS Registered Architect or Professional Engineer may design a Deck or porch. The Department of Buildings must approve the plans and issue a permit before any work begins.
2 Decks must be located at or below the floor level of the first story of a house.
3 A Deck may project up to eight feet (8’) beyond the face of the building into the required thirty foot (30’) rear yard.
4 There shall be no useable building or storage space underneath the Deck.
4 There must be at least three feet (3’) between the Deck and the SIDE or REAR LOT LINE, unless the Deck is constructed of non-combustible materials, such as steel, in which case it may be closer to the Property Lines.
5 All Decks must have a railing at least 42 inches high.
6 Spaces between railings and/or posts can be no greater than five inches.
7 Elevated Decks must be braced at the columns and where the beams and columns connect.
8 Decks must be able to withstand a minimum of 40 pounds per square foot plus the weight of the Deck. This is the same live load required as for the building itself. Thus, a Deck will usually require a structure as robust as that of the main house’s floor construction, rather than the flimsy, under-structured wood Decks that are commonly seen.
9 Decks must be properly anchored to a house or building. Nailing Decks instead of using proper anchors is a common mistake that often leads to accidents and can cause serious injuries.
10 A homeowner may construct a Deck, but is not allowed to perform plumbing or electrical work. If you use a contractor, the contractor must have a Home Improvement Contractor’s License.
Thursday, November 08, 2007
A: When a Building Owner wishes to construct a portion of their building beyond the Front Lot Line or Street Line, they may be required to obtain a Revocable Consent approval to do so.
The Building Code allows certain, limited projections beyond the Street Line, for both above-ground and below-ground projections. These are covered in 1968 Building Code Subchapter4, Articles 8 & 9. See my entry on Projecting Balconies as an example of a permissible projection not requiring a Revocable Consent.
If, however, the Building Owner wishes to construct beyond the limitations specified in the Building Code, they will need to apply for a Revocable Consent through the NYC-Department of Transportation.
A Revocable Consent is a grant by the City to construct and maintain certain structures on, over, or under City Property (usually the Sidewalk or Street). As the name implies, the City may revoke the grant at any time, and thus oblige the Owner to remove the projection.
The Revocable Consent process takes approximately 4-6 months, longer if a Uniform Land Use Review Procedure is required (ULURP). The ULURP Process adds at least 6 months to the process.
Generally, consents are granted for a term of ten years, at the end of which time they may be renewed. Revocable Consents are distributed to several reviewing agencies, all of which must approve the petition:
-Borough President's Office
-DOT Borough Commissioner
-Department of Environmental Protection
-Department of Buildings
-Local Community Board
-Department of City Planning (for ULURP)
A few examples of structures that commonly require Revocable Cosents:
-A Building Cornice projecting more than 10" beyond the Property Line.
-An Outdoor Bench on the Sidewalk
-An Information Kiosk
-Building Steps or Entrance Details which project more than 18" beyond the Property Line
-Exterior Wheelchair Ramps installed on an existing building which project more than 44" beyond the Property Line.
-Canopies, exceeding the size limitations of a standard Canopy.
Have a question about Revocable Consents? E-mail Permitadvisor
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
Q: In what Occupancies are Portable Fire Extinguishers required?
A: The following information is to the best of my knowledge, and may have been updated or revised. In addition, there may be some special Occupancies where portable fire extinguishers are required that are not listed below (for instance, at Outdoor Sidewalk Cafes with Gas Heaters) However, the below list is a good starting point:
As per SECTION 15-02 OF TITLE 3 OF THE RULES OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK,
"The owner or occupant of any occupancy or space shall ensure that such occupancy or space is equipped with the portable fire extinguishers as set forth in NFPA Standard 10-1998, except as otherwise required by this subdivision. The NYC FIRE DEPARTMENT may prescribe such other or additional portable fire extinguisher requirements as it determines to be necessary for fire protection purposes, based on the use or configuration of the occupancy or space.
Portable fire extinguishers shall be provided in the following occupancies or spaces:
1. Occupancies or spaces used or classified as OFFICES or PLACES OF WORSHIP, HOTELS and MOTELS shall be provided with one fire extinguisher of minimum 2-A rating for every six thousand (6,000) square feet of floor area or fraction thereof on each floor, except that such a fire extinguisher shall be provided for every twelve thousand (12,000) square feet of floor area or fraction thereof on each floor for occupancies or spaces used as or classified as offices or places of worship in fully sprinklered buildings.
2. ROOMING HOUSES and SINGLE ROOM OCCUPANCIES, as defined in the New York State Multiple Dwelling Law, with over 15 sleeping rooms shall be provided with one fire extinguisher of minimum 2-A rating in the apartment of the manager or the building superintendent.
3. HOSPITALS, NURSING HOMES, HOMES FOR THE AGED, DAY NURSERIES accommodating more than 15 children and asylums shall be provided with one fire extinguisher of minimum 2-A rating for every 2,500 square feet of floor area or fraction thereof on each floor.
4. Places of PUBLIC ASSEMBLY or other occupancies or spaces where 75 or more people congregate, including places for entertainment or amusement, shall be provided with one fire extinguisher of minimum 2-A rating for every 2,500 square feet of floor area or fraction thereof on each floor.
5. Occupancies used or classified as RETAIL STORES or shops shall be provided with one fire extinguisher of minimum 2-A rating for every 2,500 square feet of floor area or fraction thereof on each floor.
6. PIERS, STABLES, WAREHOUSES, MANUFACTURING occupancies and all COMMERCIAL occupancies except stores and office buildings shall be provided with one fire extinguisher of minimum 2-A rating for every 2,500 square feet of floor area or fraction thereof on each floor.
7. Occupancies or spaces used or classified as LUMBER YARDS shall be provided with one fire extinguisher of minimum 2-A rating for every 2,000 square feet of floor area or fraction thereof
8. Occupancies or spaces used or classified as TELEPHONE EXCHANGES shall be provided with portable fire extinguishers suitable for Class A and Class C fires. A fire extinguisher of a minimum 2-A rating shall be provided for every 3,000 square feet of floor area or fraction thereof.
9. STORAGE GARAGES, ELECTRIC POWER PLANTS and occupancies or spaces that manufacture, use or store flammable liquids or mixtures, combustible liquids or mixtures, fats, paints, waxes or similar substances shall be provided with an extinguisher suitable for a Class B fire that shall meet the rating and travel distance requirements for Extra (High) Hazard occupancies as specified in Table 3-3.1 of NFPA Standard 10-1998.
KITCHENS (except those used domestically in residential occupancies, but including those kitchens used communally by the occupants of more than one dwelling unit), shall be provided with an extinguisher suitable for a Class K fire, and shall meet the travel distance requirement of §3-7.2 of NFPA Standard 10-1998. The requirements of sub-paragraph 9 shall be in addition to sub-paragraphs 1-8 of this paragraph."
Contact FDNY with any specific questions, or visit the FDNY Web Site for further information.
Have a question about Fire Extinguishers? E-mail Permitadvisor
Monday, November 05, 2007
Q: What is an As-of-Right Development?
A: An AS-OF-RIGHT development is a DEVELOPMENT which complies with all applicable zoning regulations and does not require any discretionary action (special permit or variance) by the City Planning Commission or Board of Standards and Appeals for approval.
The significance is as follows:
A Developer acquires a vacant, 2,000 sq ft ZONING LOT in a Residence District which has a Maximum FLOOR AREA RATIO (FAR) of, say 4.0.
To determine the maximum ZONING FLOOR AREA that may be developed on the site, we multiply the LOT AREA (2,000 sq ft) x Maximum FAR (4.0), and we get 8,000 square feet.
When the Developer's Architect files the CONSTRUCTION DOCUMENTS with the NYC Department of Buildings for Plan Approval, the Architect illustrates the above FAR Calculation in his Zoning Analysis.
The NYC Department of Buildings Plan Examiner reviews the plans and finds that the development complies with the applicable FAR requirements. Assuming that the project complies with all other Code and Zoning regulations, the DOB Plan Examiner may APPROVE the Plans, and the Developer may construct the 8,000 sq ft building as-of-right.
It is not necessary for the Developer to seek the additional approval of the City Planning Commission, or of the Local Community Board, or of any other outside party of interest. His development complies with the applicable Zoning Laws currently in force, and he is entitled to build.
There are stories about over-development and upset neighbors witnessing new construction that they find bothersome or too large. Sometimes, it is true, an unscrupulous Developer or Architect has abused the DOB's PROFESSIONAL CERTIFICATION* program or exploited a COMMUNITY FACILITY FAR (when the building is not a Community Facility) or has pulled some other 'fast one' that the DOB is likely to catch. But often, the Development is as-of-right.
-For Residents concerned about over-development, gain an understanding of the Zoning Regulations for your District and lobby your Lawmakers to change the Zoning Regulations. Targeting the Developer will not be fruitful if the development complies as-of-right, the plans are approved, and a Work Permit has been issued.
-For Developers, it would usually be unwise not to maximize the potential Zoning Floor Area of the development site.
*Banks often do not accept plans approved under Professional Certification for development financing.
Have a Zoning question? E-mail Permitadvisor
Tags: zoning, bulk, floor area ratio, development, overdevelopment
Sunday, November 04, 2007
Have a question about Fire Escapes? E-mail Permitadvisor
Friday, November 02, 2007
A: See below excerpt from the DOT Website. Refer to the Attachment for Streets affected by the DOT Holiday Embargo :
"2007 Holiday Construction Embargo - This embargo applies to NYCDOT Construction Permits.
A special construction embargo is in effect Friday, November 16, 2007 from 6AM to 11:59 PM and from Tuesday, November 20, 2007 6AM through Wednesday, January 2, 2008 11:59PM for the 2007 Holiday Construction Embargo. There will be strict enforcement of this embargo and violators are subject to be
Street and sidewalk construction will be restricted from 6:00 AM to midnight during the upcoming holiday season on the roadways listed below. Any permits issued prior to the date of this notice for work in the areas listed for the Holiday Embargo which do not already have the Embargo Waiver traffic stipulation "410" are hereby voided for the period of Friday November 16, 2007 from 6AM to 11:59 PM and from Tuesday November 20, 2007 6AM through Wednesday January 2, 2008 11:59PM. The permits will be in effect again on January 3, 2008.
All permittees must comply with this embargo unless a special waiver is granted by OCMC. Waiver requests must be filed by November 9, 2007 with the Permit Office by filing a "Request for Roadway/Sidewalk Permits During Embargo Periods" with supporting documentation. Work may only occur from 12:01 AM to 6:00 AM with the issuance of the necessary permits, no Embargo Waiver request is needed for work during these times. Waiver requests should only be submitted for critical reasons for a specific project. If a waiver is granted, you will be notified
to apply for the approved permits.
Necessary measures must be taken to ensure that all streets and sidewalks are in proper condition to allow for the expeditious and safe movement of vehicular and pedestrian traffic. OCMC will also impose similar restrictions on public utilities and private contractors for those roadways that are listed below by borough. Tool carts, cable reels, containers, and material stored on roadways must be removed during the embargo period. Utility cover openings are prohibited on roadways noted below between the hours of 6:00 AM and midnight unless the utility or contractor can prove an emergency exists.
Notice to All Permit Applicants:
Please note that this year, in accordance with § 4. Subdivision (m) of section 2-02 of Title 34 of the Rules of the City of New York which reads "A request for approval to work during an embargo shall be submitted on a form provided by the Commissioner, along with a fee ($135.00) as specified in §2-03 of these rules. Payment of the application fee shall not guarantee that approval to work during the embargo period will be granted and application fee is in addition to any required permit fees".
A copy of the form "Request for Roadway/Sidewalk Permits During Embargo Periods" is attached. All forms must be filed with the required documents (shown on the form) along with the required fee at our Permit Office, 220 Church Street Ground Floor by Friday, November 9, 2007. Waiver requests should only be presented for critical reasons related to your specific project."
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
A: Intumescent means "swelling and charring when exposed to flame". When exposed to fire, the coating will rapidly react, becoming a compact foam, dense carbon char, or similar, to stop fire migration.
Intumescent Paint products must have an MEA (Materials and Equipment Acceptance) Number to qualify as an approved means of rating structural members. The paint must be applied and utilized in a manner consistent with the MEA Approval.
MEA Numbers for Intumescent Paint may be verified by lookup on the Department of Building Website. Check the MEA Index, and search under the "Fire Protection" heading to find approved Intumescent Paints and their respective MEA Numbers and MEA Approval documents.
The MEA Number must be listed on the DOB Drawings and Construction Documents when filing for approval and permit.
Here is a sample MEA-Approval for an Intumescent Paint product.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
A: As per the NYC 1968 Building Code, Balconies, including their railings and supporting brackets, may project up to 22 inches beyond the STREET LINE. There are also many Zoning Regulations to consider for Balconies. In most cases, Balconies must be located at or higher than the floor level of the third story of a Building or at least 20 feet above CURB LEVEL. The aggregate length of Balconies cannot exceed 50% of the length of the Building Wall from which they project.
Check the Zoning Regulations for additional Balcony requirements.
Ref: Building Code Section 27-313
Zoning Resolution Section 23-13
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Q: When is it required for INTERIOR STAIRS to provide Roof Access?
A: Interior Stairs shall provide Roof Access as follows:
-At least one Interior Stair shall provide Roof Access in buildings or building sections greater than 3 stories or 40' high, when the roof has a slope of less than twenty degrees. Access to setback roof areas may be through a door or window opening to the roof. Interior stairs extending to roofs shall be enclosed in bulkheads of fire-resistant construction.
-All Interior Stairs in buildings classified in J-1 (Transient Residential) or J-2 (Permanent Residential, 3 or more Dwelling Units), which are more than 2 stories in height, with a roof having a slope of 15 degrees or less, shall provide Roof Access, except where the Stair terminates at a Setback Roof. Stairs shall extend to the roof in bulkheads of fire-resistive construction. Stairs terminating at the level of a setback roof shall provide access to the setback roof areas through a door except where the setback is less than 4' in width and less than 10' in length, as measured from the inside of the parapet wall.
-In buildings or in building sections classified in occupancy group J-1 two stories in height and in occupancy group J-2 three stories in height with not more than one dwelling unit per story with roofs having a slope of fifteen degrees or less, access to the roof shall be provided through a scuttle at least 21" in width and 28" in length. Scuttles shall be located within each stair enclosure with a stationary iron ladder leading to them.
Reference 1968 NYC Building Code Section: 27-375(k) for full details
Monday, October 15, 2007
A: A WIDE STREET is a Street that is 75' Wide or more. Streets less than 75' wide are NARROW STREETS. When determining Street Width, include the width of the sidewalk. It is important to determine whether your proposed DEVELOPMENT is located on a WIDE STREET or a NARROW STREET, as the FAR and HEIGHT AND SETBACK requirements vary depending on what type of street the DEVELOPMENT SITE is located on.
For the full definition of a WIDE STREET, and many more useful permit definitions, visit our other blog: permitpedia.blogspot.com
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Q: When is the NYS Energy Code applicable to New York City Projects?
A: The following buildings must comply with the noted provisions of the Energy Conservation Construction Code of New York State:
-1- and 2-family detached residential buildings and all residential buildings of three stories or less must comply with Chapters 4, 5 or 6 of the Energy Conservation Construction Code of New York State (ECCCNYS)
-All other buildings, including residential buildings four stories or higher and excluding 1- and 2-family detached residences four stories or higher, must comply with Chapters 7 or 8 of the ECCCNYS
-Except where explicitly stated in the Code, ECCCNYS is not retroactive in existing buildings;
-Additions to existing buildings must comply with the ECCCNYS with respect to new construction;
-Alterations must comply with the Energy Code where 50% or more of any building system or subsystem, measured in appropriate units, is being replaced within any 12-month period, with some exceptions;
-In mixed-use buildings, each major use shall comply with the requirements of its occupancy.
The following buildings are exempt from the provisions of the ECCCNYS:
-Buildings with a peak design rate of nonrenewable energy usage less that 3.4 Btu/h/SF;
-Buildings whose energy usage for heating and/or cooling is entirely supplied from renewable energy sources;
-Historic buildings (see ECCCNYS §188.8.131.52 for detail);
-Nonresidential farm buildings (see ECCCNYS §184.108.40.206 for detail).
All New Building and Alteration Type-I Applications must now include an Energy Code statement on the plans and Applications:
"To the best of my knowledge, belief and professional judgment, these plans and specifications are in compliance with the Energy Conservation Construction Code of New York State, using Chapter ____.”
As of September 4, 2007, the Professional Statement and the Energy Analysis will be listed as a Required Item for New Buildings and Alteration Type 1 projects. Alteration Type 2 and Alteration Type 3 OT projects will have the same listed required items in November, 2007.
Excerpts from DOB Web site
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Q: For an Exit Stair, when is it necessary to provide Handrails on both sides?
A: Stairs 44 inches wide and wider require a handrail on both sides. Stairs narrower that 44 inches only require a handrail on one side.
Stairs more than 88 inches wide need intermediate handrails dividing the stair into widths not greater than 88 inches nor less than 44 inches.
This is as per BC Section §27-375(f)
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Q: Do Cellar Stairs need to be fire-separated from Stairs serving upper floors of the building?
A: Yes, Cellar Stairs need to be fire-separated from stairs serving upper-floors of the building, with a minimum of 1-hour fire rated construction and a 3/4-hr fpsc door. Except that this separation is not required in J-3 Residential Buildings (One- or Two-Family Dwellings), and in G-School (Educational) Buildings. Refer to Building Code Section 27-364-Exit Discharge for the exact wording/requirements
Q: Is it permitted under any circumstance to enclose a Balcony? If so, are there any special considerations to such enclosures?
A: The Department permits lightweight, readily removable balcony enclosures, not considered a permanent part of the building. This is as per a DOB Memo dated 6/17/1976. Balcony enclosures shall comply with the following criteria:
1. The enclosure must be of lightweight, non-combustible construction.
2. The enclosure assembly must not include masonry or insulation.
3. The enclosure must contain operable windows to provide 10% light and 5% ventilation to both the balcony and the room opening onto the balcony.
4. The existing balcony parapet or railing must remain intact.
5. The enclosure shall be anchored and designed to resist Wind Loads and Lateral Loads.
6. Plumbing, heating, ventilation or air conditioning systems must not extend into the balcony (except for the mandatory retention of balcony drains)
7. Additional dead load consisting of flooring, subflooring or soil shall not be added to the balcony. Furniture shall be restricted to the lightweight "lawn type" variety.
Sunday, September 30, 2007
Q: When do the new NYC Construction Codes go into effect?
A: The new NYC Construction Codes are scheduled to go into effect on July 1, 2008. A draft of the Code is available for download at the NYC Department of Buildings Website.
I have attempted to paraphrase below (from Local Law 33 of 2007) the enactment transition details. Please refer to Local Law 33 of 2007 for the exact enactment language.
Any application submitted to the DOB prior to July 1, 2008, or for which an application is submitted to the DOB within a period of 12 months after July 1, 2008, at the option of the owner, may be performed in its entirety in accordance with new NYC Construction Codes, or in accordance with the 1968 building code, provided that the construction work is commenced within 12 months after the date permit issuance and is diligently carried on to completion.
The Commissioner may, for good cause, extend the time period for commencement of the work beyond 12 months. Where the owner elects to perform the work in compliance with the 1968 building code, certain conditions shall apply. Please refer to the Local Law for the conditions.
Optional use of the 1968 Building Code for alteration of existing buildings. At the option of the owner, a permit may be issued after July 1, 2008 authorizing work on existing buildings to be performed in accordance with the 1968 building code, subject to certain conditions. Please refer to the Local Law for the conditions.
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Q: What is the proper way to indicate a Non Profit Institution with Sleeping Accommodations on a Schedule-A or Certificate of Occupancy?
A: For a New Building, which is a Non-Profit Institution with Sleeping Accommodations:
Description: Non-Profit Institution with Sleeping Accommodations
Occupancy Group: J-2-Residential
Use Group: 3-Community Facility
Multiple Dwelling Classification: HAEA
List Number of Dwelling Units Per Floor? Yes
Posted by Permitadvisor at 2:44 PM
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Q: What is the minimum required size of a Stair Landing for an Egress/Exit Stair? Where are Stair Landings required? What is the maximum vertical rise of a Stair before Intermediate Landings are required?
A: Below are some paraphrased Code Sections answering these questions:
1. Stair Landings and Platforms shall be provided at the head and foot of each flight of stairs, except at the head of a basement stair in one- and two-family dwellings.
2. The minimum width of stair landings and platforms perpendicular to the direction of egress shall be equal to at least the width of the stair.
3. Intermediate landings need not be more than 44" wide.
4. The maximum vertical rise of a single flight of stairs shall not exceed:
- 8' in Occupancy Group F (Place of Assembly) and H (Hospital, Nursing Home, Mental Institution, Jail)
- 12' in all other Occupancy Groups.
Provide an Intermediate Landing where the vertical rise exceeds these distances.
4. The swing of stair doors shall not block stairs or stair landings.
5. The swing of a Stair Door shall not reduce the clear width of the Stair landing to be less than seventy-five percent of the required width of the landing or stair.
6. The swing of a Stair Door shall not reduce the clear width of the Stair landing to be less than the width of the door opening on them.
See BC Section 27-375(d) and 27-375(g) for the exact wording/additional details
Monday, September 24, 2007
Q: What are the Building Code requirements for Tents?
A: Tents and Air Supported Structures are covered in BC Subchapter 7 Special Uses and Occupancies, Article 19. See this Code Section for the full requirements, some of which are summarized below:
1. Tents and Air Supported Structures shall not exceed One (1) Story in height above the ground or roof they are erected on.
2. Tents shall be at least 20 feet from all Interior Lot Lines.
3. Tents shall be at least 30 feet from any unportected opening, required exterior stairway or corridor, or required exit door in an adjacent building.
4. A Tent may abut another building if there are no unprotected openings in the abutting building's wall, and if the wall of such building is a Fire Division with the required Fire Rating.
5. In addition to the minimum exterior separation distances listed above, Tents shall comply with the Yard Requirements of the applicable Zoning District.
6. The ground enclosed by the Tent and 10' around the Tent shall be cleared and maintained free of all combustible material and vegetation.
7. No Open Flame is permitted within 20' of the Tent enclosure fabric.8. Travel Distance within the tent shall not exceed 75'. Exit doors shall be located in frames so they will remain operational even if the Tent or Air Supported Structure collapses.
9. Tents shall be guyed, supported, and braced to withstand a wind pressure of 10 pounds per square foot of projected area of the tent. The poles and their supporting guys, stays, stakes, fastenings, etc shall resist wind pressure of 20 pounds per square foot of projected area of the Tent.
10. All materials used for Tents shall be treated to be flameproofed.
11. Certificates of Occupacy for Tents shall be issued for a period not exceeding one year, such certificates may be renewed if the Tent continues to comply with all requiredments.
Sunday, September 23, 2007
Q: What is the difference between a Class A Multiple Dwelling and a Class B Multiple Dwelling?
A: A Class 'A' Multiple Dwelling is for permanent residential occupancy. A Class 'B' Multiple Dwelling is for transient residential occupancy. See MDL Sec 4 (Definitions), Items 8 & 9:
"8. A "Class A" multiple dwelling is a multiple dwelling which is occupied, as a rule, for permanent residence purposes. This class shall include tenements, flat houses, maisonette apartments, apartment houses, apartment hotels, bachelor apartments, studio apartments, duplex apartments, kitchenette apartments, garden-type maisonette dwelling projects, and all other multiple dwellings except class B multiple dwellings.
9. A "Class B" multiple dwelling is a multiple dwelling which is occupied, as a rule transiently, as the more or less temporary abode of individuals or families who are lodged with or without meals. This class shall include hotels, lodging houses, rooming houses, boarding houses, boarding schools, furnished room houses, lodgings, club houses, college and school dormitories and dwellings designed as private dwellings but occupied by one or two families with five or more transient boarders, roomers or lodgers in one household."
Q: What is a Lot Line Window? Where can I find the DOB guidelines governing Lot Line Windows?
A: Lot Line Windows are windows installed in an Interior Lot Line Wall, meaning in the walls of the building which run along & directly adacent to the side property lines. Walls along the side property line need to be fire rated in accordance with Table 3-4. Windows may, under certain conditions, be installed in Lot Line Walls, with the following restrictions:
1. Lot Line windows are of very limited area (see Table 3-4 & TPPN 10/87)
2. Lot Line Windows cannot serve as required windows for light & ventilation (amenity only).
3. Lot Line Windows must be constructed of wired, tempered, or laminated glass, and must be protected with a Sprinkler Head mounted on the inside of the occupied space.
4. Lot Line Windows must be sealed if an adjacent property owner enlarges their building vertically to block such openings.
5. A Lot Line Window Declaration is required between adjacent property owners.
Q: How recently constructed does a New Building need to be to avoid an Asbestos Investigation requirement?
A: Buildings filed with the DOB after April 1, 1987 do not require an Asbestos Investigation (ACP-5). In lieu of the ACP-5, an ASB-4 'Asbestos Exemption Form' must be filed. This form must be signed & sealed by the Architect or Engineer of Record.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Q: Where can I find the Department of Health Permit Requirements and Applications for an Indoor or Outdoor Pool, Jacuzzi, with or without a Sauna and/or Steam Room?
A: Pool Permits are reviewed by the NYC Department of Health-Office of Public Health Engineering, 2 Lafayette Street, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10007, tel:212-676-1520, Fax 212-676-1517.
Under the NYS Sanitary Code, Chapter 1, Subpart 6-1, and Article 165 of NYC Health Code, no Municipality, School District, Person, Group of Pertons, Firm, Corporation, Association, Organization or Institution shall install or construct a Bathing Establishment in the City of New York without an appropriate permit issued by the New York City Department of Health.
Pool Waste Water must be disposed of through the New York City sewer system. Permission/Approval for subsurface connection and disposal system must be obtained from the NYC Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Once permission is granted, a copy of Permission Letter to the Applicant will be forwarded by NYC DEP to the Bureau of Public Health Engineering.
For information on the NYC DEP Application Requirements, please contact:
Herbert Kass, P.E., Chief
New York City Department of Environmental Protection
Bureau of Water Supply and Wastewater Collection
59-17 Junction BoulevardCorona, NY 11368
If underwater lights are to be installed in the Pool, an approval letter from the New York City Department of Buildings is required. For information contact:
Edward Solomon, P.E.Chairman, Advisory Board
New York City Department of Buildings
1 Centre Street, Room 1415
New York, NY 10007 Tel: 212-669-8673
A Certificate of Occupancy from New York City Department of Buildings showing the specific usage on the corresponding floor is required (A Temporary Certificate of Occupancy is also acceptable).
The Permit Approval Process is comprised of three parts:
-Part I, Plan Review and Approval
-Part II, Construction Inspection
-Part III, Permit Review and Issuance
An approval of the permit will be granted when the pool is designed, constructed, and completed in accordance with:
-Article 165, New York City Health Code
-Other requirements which the Bureau of Public Health Engineering may determine are necessary to adequately review and approve the permit
The Permit Application Fee is $1,980 in a check made payable to the New York City Department of Health.
Q: What is the definition of a Cabaret? What are the Code Requirements for a Cabaret?
A: Cabaret is defined by the NYC Building Code as any room, place or space in which any musical entertainment, singing, dancing or other similar amusement is permitted in connection with an eating and drinking establishment.
Cabarets are classified as F-4 Place of Assembly Occupancy Group.
The Zoning Use Group depends upon the Occupant Load and whether there is dancing or not:
Use Group 6:
- Eating or Drinking Establishments with Entertainment or Musical Entertainment, but not dancing, with a capacity of 200 persons or less.
Use Group 12:
- Eating or Drinking Establishments with Entertainment and a capacity of more than 200 Persons, or establishments of any capacity with Dancing
Some Code Requirements for Cabarets:
-Cabarets shall be equipped with Emergency Lighting per §27-542 (retroactive requirement)
-Cabarets shall be fully sprinklered per §27-954(s)(1).
-Cabarets shall have Fire Alarm Systems per §27-968(a)(10)(b).
-Cabaret Stages, Dressing Rooms, and Property Rooms shall be provided with Automatic Sprinkler and Fire Alarm protection per §27-954(s)(2), 27-549(a)(3), and §27-968(a)(10)(a).
Stages in Cabarets with Scenery or Scenic Elements shall comply with Stage Requirements for an F1-A Places of Assembly (Sprinkler Deluge required)
Stages in Cabarets without Scenery or Scenic Elements shall comply with those in F1-B Places of Assembly (§27-547):
-Raised platforms may be built as stages in F-1b places of assembly when they are supported on floors having the fire resistance ratings required by Table 3-4, in accordance with the following:
-The area below the platform shall be enclosed on all sides with solid construction.
-The horizontal area of stage construction shall not exceed the following:
Wood frame: maximum area - 400 square feet.
Fire retardant treated wood: maximum area - 1,200 square feet.
Noncombustible frame: maximum area - unlimited.
-The floor of the stage, when wood is used, shall be at least one inch nominal thickness, and shall be laid on a solid, noncombustible backing, or all spaces between supporting members shall be fire-stopped with noncombustible material.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Q: I have received an ECB Violation. What is the ECB?
A: ECB stands for 'Environmental Control Board'. ECB Violations are commonly issued by the NYC Department of Buildings and NYC Fire Department for violations of the Building Code or Building Laws.
An example of a common FDNY-issued ECB Violation might be: "Failure to provide Equipment Use Permits for Rooftop Condenser HVAC Units"
Below is a description of the Environmental Control Board from the ECB's Website:
"The Environmental Control Board (ECB) is an administrative tribunal, which means that it is a decision-making body that hears disputes like a court, but with a few important differences. ECB only hears cases in which people are charged with violating New York City's quality-of-life laws - the laws that protect the health, safety, and cleanliness of our environment and neighborhoods. Quality-of-life violations are not criminal offenses. For this reason, ECB issues only monetary penalties and/or orders to correct violations when it finds people in violation of the City's quality-of-life laws.
ECB is like a court in many ways. Like a court, ECB conducts hearings to resolve quality-of-life violations. At these hearings, parties can present evidence in order to prove or disprove alleged violations. Cases are heard by lawyers with specialized training called Administrative Law Judges (ALJs), who act as impartial decision-makers. However, ECB is less formal than a court. Legal counsel is not required, and most people choose to represent themselves. Cases are not presented in a courtroom and the ALJs do not wear robes."
Friday, September 14, 2007
Q: Are Spiral Stairs permitted as an interconnecting stair in Vertical Duplex Apartments?
A: Per BC Section 27-375(l). Spiral stairs may be used as an interconnecting stair in a Duplex Apartment. They should have at least 30" long treads. Per the below, spiral stairs do not count towards required exits. However, if the connected floor were a mezzanine and the stair was non-combustible, you might get it accepted as a means of egress under a Recon. You need to comply with the Duplex Apt Memo as well.
Spiral stairs may serve as access stairs between two floors or levels in accordance with the provisions of paragraph two of subdivision (i) of this section.
Such stairs may not serve as required exits, except that unenclosed spiral stairs when built of noncombustible materials and having a tread length of at least thirty inches may serve as exits from mezzanines or balconies having an occupant load not exceeding twenty-five persons.
Q: Where can I obtain a copy of a Local Law that DOB has referenced, but that is not available at the DOB or online at the DOB's Web Site?
A: Copies of Local Laws may be requested at the Municipal Reference Library located at 31 Chambers Street, New York, NY
Q: Is an MEA Number required for a Wheelchair or Handicap Lift?
A: An MEA Number is not required for a Wheelchair Lift. Any wheelchair Lift specified to provide access for persons in Wheelchairs must be approved by the DOB Elevator Division. However, an MEA Number is not required. This policy applies to vertical and inclined wheelchair lifts.
A: Marquees are fully supported from the building alone. A Canopy has posts that come down onto the sidewalk as additional support. Canopies require DOT Approval. Marquees may be approved by the DOB as a Permissible Projection if they comply.
Q: What is the required Fire Resistance Rating for a Door installed in a rated Wall?
A: Refer to Table 5-3 Opening Protectives for Fire Divisions and Fire Separations.Per the Table:
Wall Rating= 3 or 4 hrs = Door Rating of 3 hrs (A Label)
Wall Rating= 2 or 1 1/2 hrs = Door Rating of 1 1/2 hrs (B Label)
Wall Rating= 1 hr = Door Rating of 3/4 hr (C Label)
Q: What is an MEA#?
A: An MEA Number is the number assigned to a piece of equipment or assembly that has been approved for use in New York City by the MEA Division.
The Materials and Equipment Acceptance (MEA) Division was created in 1969. Prior to 1969, the Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA) was the agency having jurisdiciton. The MEA division regulates "certain materials and equipment (that) require Department of Buildings acceptance. These manufactured items affect public safety, health and welfare (including structural stability and fire safety) and are usually a permanent part of a building. They include such items as boilers, air-conditioning equipment, commercial cooking equipment, fire-rated assemblies, fire alarm and suppression equipment, etc. The actual list of accepted products to date is known as the MEA Index."
If you are installing a new Boiler in your building, for instance, the Engineer's Plans must contain a Boiler Schedule including (amongst other information) the MEA Number of the Boiler. Failure to provide the MEA Number on your plans will cause diapproval of the plans until the MEA Number is provided.
Posted by Permitadvisor at 7:47 PM
Q: I have a Place of Assembly with multiple spaces that are open to one another or are separated by non-fire rated construction. How do I define the limits of my Place of Assembly, and the Total Number of Occupants?
A: When Place of Assembly Spaces are open to one another or are separated by non-fire rated construction, the spaces should be considered all one Place of Assembly. One PA Application should be filed, and the aggregate total of Occupants for all spaces will be the Maximum Number of Persons for the Place of Assembly. A Reconsideration may be required for this condition.
Q: When is a Home Improvement Contractor's License required by the NYC-Department of Buildings for a DOB Work Permit?
A: Contractors must have a Home Improvement Contractor's License when obtaining a permit for alterations to:
-1, 2, 3 or 4 family homes
-Co-op units, condo units or rented apartment units
Who will this affect?:Any construction contractor Professional Engineers or Registered Architects hiring a contractor (design/build contracts)
A Home Improvement License is not required if you are:
-A Professional Engineer or a Registered Architect who does not have a Design-Build Contract
-A homeowner performing his or her own work
-A Contractor for a new building
-Performing work in a residence that is owned or controlled by a government agency
-Performing work in only the commercial portion of a building
-Performing work in a Multiple Dwelling and hired by the building owner or Board of Directors
Q: When is it necessary to have a Standpipe System during Construction?
A: Standpipes are an imporant part of the Fire Protection systems of buildings, including those that are under construction or demolition. The Standpipe is a vertical riser which provides firemen with a means of water supply for fighting fires within the building, especially in high-rise buildings.
During construction of a New High Rise Building (buildings exceeding 75 feet in height), a Temporary Standpipe is required by the Building Code. A Licensed Fire Suppression Contractor may submit an Alteration Repair Application as an initial filing to start work on a standpipe system as required by Section 27-1014(b) of the NYC Building Code. An approved ARA-1 will serve as a Temporary Permit until the permanent Standpipe Plans are approved by the NYC-Department of Buildings.
Summary of Code Section requiring Temporary Standpipe System:
A Standpipe shall be provided when construction or alteration work reaches 75' in height or more. The standpipe shall be kept in readiness at all times for fire department use. The system shall be a dry system when freezing conditions may be encountered.
In strucures being demolished which have existing Standpipe Systems, such systems shall be maintained as Dry Standpipes. The standpipe risers shall be capped above the outlet on the floor immediately below the floor being demolished so as to maintain the standpipe system on all lower floors for fire department use.
In structures undergoing demolition which have existing sprinkler systems with siamese hose connections, such system shall be maintained as a non-automatic sprinkler system. When demolition starts, the sprinkler risers shall be capped immediately below the floor being demolished so as to maintain the sprinkler system on all lower floors for fire department use.
Posted by Permitadvisor at 6:03 PM
Q: What is a Work Type? Where can I get a comprehensive list of the Work Types? What is required to signoff each Work Type?
A: The NYC Department of Buildings has broken-down Construction Activities into different Scopes of Work which are represented by Work Types. The Work Types are two-letter abbreviations which signify the different scopes of work.
When a DOB Application is prepared, it is necessary to check-off the Work Types you are filing for. When an Alteration Type-II or Alteration Type-III is filed, it is also necessary to specify the Construction Cost of each Work Type on the application.
Below is a list of the DOB Work Types. Note that the Work Types are pre-defined, and cannot be invented by the User. If the Work you are performing cannot be classified under one of the available Work Types, it will be necessary to use the OT (other) Work Type, and to provide a Description of the Other.
Each of the Work Types have unique Approval, Permit, and Signoff requirements associated with them. List of Work Types, as found on the PW-1 or PC-Filing Program:
EQ Construction Equipment
FA Fire Alarm
FB Fuel Burning
FP Fire Suppression
FS Fuel Storage
OT Other, General Construction, Structural, Interior Demolition
Q: What items are required for the issuance of a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy (TCO), versus a Final Certificate of Occupancy (FCO)? What items are required to renew an existing Temporary Certificate of Occupancy?
A: Below is a general list of items required for Temporary and Final Certificates of Occupancy. Additional items may be required:
Initial Temporary Certificate of Occupancy:
-Plumbing Signoff (including Sprinkler & Standpipe)
-Technical Report TR-1's for Certification of all Completed Inspections
-Carbon Monoxide Detector Affidavit
-$100 DOB Temporary Certificate of Occupancy fee
-Fire Alarm FDNY Letter of Approval, or Self-Cert of Defects, or Fire Guards with Recon.
-OK from Commissioner (Certain Boroughs)
-Construction Signoff (less than 18 months old or Update is required)
-Show Progress of removal of Local Law Violations (eg: LL10/81 Elevator; LL 62/91 Boiler)
-Carbon Monoxide Detector Affidavit
-$100 DOB TCO Renewal Fee
-OK from Commissioner (Certain Boroughs)
Final Certificate of Occupancy:
-Carbon Monoxide detector Affidavit
-No Open Violations
-All Required Items entered as Received
-Waiver of Open, Unrelated Applications, if applicable.
Q: Why do Construction Fence Work Permits Expire on the last day of the year? (12/31)
A: Construction Fence (and other Construction Equipment, or EQ) Work Permits expire on the last day of the year, because the General Contractor's Street Obstruction Bond usually expires on the last day of the year. The Street Obstruction Bond must be active under General Contractor's Tracking Number for Construction Equipment (EQ) Work Permits. Renewal of Fence Permits requires updating the GC's Tracking Number with an updated Continuation Bond for the next calendar year.
Q: What is the minimum required fire rating for partitions between tenants of the smae Occuancy Group (eg: between two Apartments)?
A: A minimum one-hour rated fire separation is required between Tenants of the same Occupancy Group, per Building Code Section 27-341(a)
Q: What is a Seismic Joint?
A: Pursuant to Local Law 17/1995, a Building Separation (seismic joint) is required for all new construction adjoining existing construction. One inch (1") of separation is required for every fifty feet (50') of building height. This separation does not create a non-compliant side yard.
When proposed work consists of enlargement of an existing structure, compliance is required when new foundations are constructed, or when existing foundations are reinforced for the new enlargement, or when the cost of alterations exceeds 60% of the building value.
Q: What is an IMD or Interim Multiple Dwelling? What does this mean?
A: An IMD or Interim Multiple Dwelling is a non-residential building that has been occupied as a Residential Building, without a CO for Residential apartments. IMD's must be converted to legal Multiple Dwellings in accordance with the Loft Board.
From the Loft Board Website:
Loft buildings in New York City that meet the criteria set forth in the Loft Law (Multiple Dwelling Law Article 7-C) are covered by the law as "Interim Multiple Dwellings" (IMDs) and are under the Loft Board's jurisdiction.
Generally speaking, a building that meets the following criteria will be subject to the Loft Law:
1. The building possesses no residential certificate of occupancy pursuant to §301 of the Multiple Dwelling Law;
2. The building was used in the past for manufacturing, commercial or warehousing purposes;
3. There were three or more residential tenants living in separate apartments in the building in the 20-month period between April 1, 1980, and December 1, 1981 (the "statutory window period").
As of February 15, 2007 there are 395 IMD buildings in New York City. There is a list of the IMD Buildings on the Loft Board's Website. Also, the DOB Building Information System (BIS) will list the Property as "Loft Law: YES".
Q: How do I calculate the required Fire Reserve Capacity of the Sprinkler System? Is it possible to obtain an OK from the Commissioner for a reduction in the Sprinkler Fire Reserve Capacity to 20 Minutes?
A: The required Sprinkler Fire Reserve Capacity is calculated as follows:
Gallons Per Minute (G.P.M.) * (square root of (Available Pressure/Required Pressure) * (Required Minutes)
Example: 280.12 GPM * (Square Root Of (53.37 Available Pressure/31.94 Required Pressure) * 40 Minutes= 14,185 Minimum Required Gallons of Reserve.
The figures in the above are obtained from the Sprinkler Hydraulic Calculations.
For a Reduction in the Fire Reserve, refer to Table RS17-2-2.1(B), Note 1: In existing Buildings only, the Commissioner may authorize reduction of storage to 20 minutes provided there are provisions for acceptable mechanical automatic means of makeup to the storage tank. Where 20 minutes storage cannot be achieved with existing storage facilities, alternative means of supply may be considered by the Commissioner. In any event, no Fire Reserve Storage Facility shall have less than 3500 Gallons.
Posted by Permitadvisor at 3:37 PM
Q: Is a Home Office or Home Occupation allowed within a Dwelling Unit? Is the Home Occupation Use regarded as a Commercial Use? What are the limitations?
A: Home Occupation (a Home Office) is permitted within a Dwelling Unit subject to limitations. A Home Occupation is regarded as an Accessory Use to the Residential Apartment. The Home Occupation:
1. Must be carried on within the Dwelling Unit.
2. Is Limited to One Employee not residing within the Dwelling Unit.
3. Shall Occupy not more than 25% of the Dwelling Unit, or 500 sq ft of the Dwelling Unit, whichever is less.
These Home Occupations typically are small professional offices. If frequented by the Public, Handicap Accessibility may be required.
Home Occupations may include:
Fine arts studios, Professional offices, Teaching of not more than four pupils simultaneously,or, in the case of musical instruction, of not morethan a single pupil at a time.
Home Occupations may not include:
Advertising or public relations agencies, Barber shops, Beauty parlors, Commercial stables or kennels,Depilatory, electrolysis , or similar offices, Interior decorators' offices or workshops, Ophthalmic dispensing, Pharmacy, Real Estate or Insurance Offices, Stockbroker's Offices
Also Not Permitted:
Sales of articles produced elsewhere than on the premises, exterior displays, displaying exterior signage (except a nameplate for practice of a profession), producing offensive noises, vibration, etc.
See Definition of Home Occupation in the NYC Zoning Resolution for additional information.