Caring for Healthcare: How the 2022 Code Updates Could Impact Healthcare Facilities

The 2022 NYC Building Code went into effect on November 7, 2022. While we’ve covered a number of general updates the new code will bring, it’s worth a moment to focus on healthcare facilities in particular.


Air Quality Alert: Environmental Protection Agency Says NYC To Upgrade to “Severe” Smog Status

Permitting rules may become stricter for certain projects in New York City in the near future, due to a proposed air quality reclassification by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.


What’s Going on in Gowanus?: The New Special Gowanus Mixed Use District

How your Brooklyn filings will be affected and how you can take advantage.


City of Yes: New NYC Zoning Amendments for Growth and Sustainability

On June 1, 2022, three citywide zoning amendments were announced that could remove limitations and encourage new building and alteration uses in neighborhoods which previously would have banned them.


Aw, Rats! New Bill Could Make Pest Control a Permit Requirement

Find out what types of projects could be affected.


Status Update: 2021 NYC Construction Safety Report Tracks Site Safety Progress

In March 2022, the NYC DOB released their second-annual Construction Safety Report, compiling site safety data from 2021 and comparing it against 2020 statistics.


Can You Dig It? NYC DEP Permit Required for All Work Disturbing 20,000 Square Feet of Soil

In the interest of stormwater protection, certain construction projects will now have some extra paperwork to do.


A Faster Approach: DOB NOW No Longer Requires HPD Permit for Buildings Flagged Outside of MIH Zone

Learn about the new process for getting your MIH-flagged project approved.


Legally Binding: New Project Labor Agreement Requirement for Large-Scale Federal Construction

Under Executive Order from February 4, 2022, Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) will be required for any federal government construction project of approx. $35 million or more, starting immediately.


More Hurdles for Building Owners: DOB Denying Energy Efficiency Reports Due to Outstanding Violations

As of December 31, 2021, the NYC Department of Buildings no longer accepts Energy Efficiency Reports (EER) from owners who owe penalties for prior violations.


Heating Up: Local Law 154 of 2021 Brings Phased-In Gas Heat Restrictions

New buildings will need alternative heating by as early as 2024. Learn more about the new law.


New NYC Special Inspections Site Launched, with Better Options to Get Special Inspections

New York, NY – Since 2012, Outsource Special Inspections (OSI) has been a trusted source for special inspections in New York City. Led by a senior team of knowledgeable, highly qualified professional engineers, OSI performs NYC Department of Buildings-certified inspections across New York City every day, covering over 600 clients.


One More Step: Transit-Adjacent Sites within 50 Feet Must Get MTA Approval

How the new Zoning for Accessibility initiative may affect design professionals.


A Look Back: The Top 5 Decoder Articles of 2021

Check out Decoder’s highlights from the past year.


Bridges & Tunnels: Infrastructure’s Impact on NYC Construction

Why construction professionals should care about the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, and what to do about it.


Make an OATH: Updates on Violation Hearings and Defaults

All about the new default cancellation request deadline and attending hearings during COVID.


A Brief Reprieve: Fee Waivers for Emergency Flood Damage Work

As of September 14, 2021, the NYC Department of Buildings will not require fees for filing and permits for Hurricane Ida-related damage.


In and Out: Guidelines for Hybrid Office Design

In 2020, we talked quite a bit about what the future of work would look like.


Don’t Be Alarmed: FDNY Services Go Fully Digital

Be advised: As of September 7, 2021, all FDNY services must now be filed exclusively online.


Rain, Rain, Go Away: Flood-Resilient Construction Post-Hurricane Ida

New York City has been called the concrete jungle, but never before has the name been more apt, or more dangerous.


Overall Overhaul: DOB Website Updates You May Have Missed

From redesigns to online license applications, here’s the latest on the NYC Buildings website.


Dancing in the Street: What a Permanent Open Streets Program Might Mean for NYC Construction

In May 2021, the Open Streets program, which converted 83 miles of NYC roadways into pedestrian walkways to better accommodate pandemic outdoor dining, was made permanent for neighborhoods that chose to keep it.


Taking Ownership: Updates on the Property Ownership Certification Form

What to watch out for when enforcement begins August 16, 2021.


File and Waive: DOB Launches New Portal for Façade Penalties

As of July 12, 2021, civil penalty payments and waive requests must go through DOB: NOW.


Cash In on Carbon: State Announces Incentives for Low Carbon Multifamily Retrofits

The New York State government recently announced that it has budgeted funding towards incentives for its Low Carbon Pathways for Multifamily Buildings program.


Loosen Up: DOB Rescinds Mask Rules and Other COVID-19 Construction Rules

Learn what this means for NYC construction going forward.


Wheels in Motion: 3 Post-COVID Design Trends From the Penn Station and Port Authority Plans

Earlier in 2021, two of New York City’s major transportation hubs, Penn Station and Port Authority Bus Terminal, released plans to the public for a major overhaul of the current infrastructure.


Surprise Inspection: How to Prepare for New Safety Sweeps

On June 1, 2021, the NYC Department of Buildings announced a slew of unannounced site safety sweeps across the city.


It’s Electrifying! New Council Bill Hopes to Limit Use of Gas Heat

As of late May 2021, a new bill introduced in the New York City Council could make a major impact on the city’s building and energy codes.


A Code of Their Own: NYC DOB Plans to Release Existing Building Code

Learn more about the DOB’s pioneering effort to better address existing building repairs and alterations.


In the Zone: New Zoning Proposals for Accessibility and Health

In Spring 2021, several zoning changes to improve transit accessibility and to lower barriers for small and independent health-focused businesses were proposed and put under public review.


Redefining Moment: Proposed Local Laws Expand “Major Building” Status and Safety Requirements

How new construction safety laws may affect permits and approvals.


Don’t Blow Your Cap: Building Emissions Adjustment Deadline

Apply for altered 2024-2029 greenhouse gas emissions limits on your large building before July 2021.


Waste Not, Want Not: Adaptive Reuse of Closed Commercial Properties

The Covid-19 pandemic accelerated existing trends in remote work, as well as the pivot away from big box and department stores, leaving many buildings and storefronts unused and empty. What can be done with these blank spaces?


For What It’s Earth

NYC Climate Code Updates and Energy Benchmark Deadline


Keeping House: New Penalties for Multiple Dwelling Violations

Certain violations after January 4, 2020 will hold up new permits for owners.


The New Frontier: DOB Introduces Remote Video Inspections

New pilot program starts March 19, 2021 for select inspections and areas.


3 Ways to Help You Manage Your NYC Building Projects Amid Agency Changes

Explore how this online dashboard tracks and resolves your critical building items.


Issuance and Renewal of COs migrating to DOB NOW: Build

Learn more on how to migrate Certificates of Occupancy from BIS.


Not a Façade! Increased Penalty Reminder for FISP-Eligible Buildings

Building owners beware – Outstanding façade issues from last inspection could result in a $2,000 fine.


Local Law 191 Update: CO Detector Installation Extension

There’s still time for your commercial building to install code-approved carbon monoxide detectors.


Local Law 152: Gas Piping Inspections Deadline Extension

In order to accommodate delays from the pandemic, the deadline under Local Law 152 of 2016 for building owners in community districts 1, 3 and 10 (in any borough) to have their gas piping inspected has been extended from December 31, 2020 to June 30, 2021.


Introducing the Interim Certificate of Occupancy

What you need to know about the new type of TCO


LL15 of 2020: A Brief Guide to Bird-Friendly Building Design

New mandates go into effect January 10, 2021.


Want to Convert Your Rooftop? 3 Things to Keep in Mind

Code considerations for making usable rooftop spaces in New York.


Reimagining Design for the New Normal: Offices

It’s more than plexiglass and 6 feet. Before you put up the partitions, check with the code.


Local Law 191: Does Your Commercial Building Need a Carbon Monoxide Detector?

New law goes into effect January 1, 2021 – check your applicability!


LL114 of 2019: Truth and Consequences

LL114 of 2019 increases penalties for false PW1 statements on occupancy.


Bites and Barriers

How to Create Code-Compliant Temporary Outdoor Dining Seating Amid COVID-19 Crisis.


5 Things to Consider for Post-Quarantine Workspace Design

As New York starts to reopen after months of quarantine from COVID-19 novel coronavirus, many workplaces are wondering how to get people back in the office while still ensuring employee safety. From simple solutions to new technologies, here are five things to keep in mind.


Reopening Your Commercial Building Post-NY on PAUSE

How to prep for and enforce the new normal.


Looking Ahead: The Future of Construction in New York City

What will construction look like when the stop order is lifted?


All Hands on Deck: Emergency Work during COVID-19 Crisis

How to navigate filing for emergency staging and temporary hospital projects.


COVID-19 Hits NYC Construction

Navigating filing and construction in the midst of New York on PAUSE.


Looking to the Future: The 2020 NYC Energy Conservation Code

The new code will go into effect on May 12, 2020.


New Guidelines for Structural Applications

To BIS or to DOB NOW?


Worker Safety Training: New Sign Requirements and Upcoming Deadlines

Keep your workers posted before they miss their deadline.


Mandatory Sustainable Roofing Required for New Buildings and Enlargements.

What you need to know when Local Laws 92 & 94 go into effect.


Local Law 49 - Basement Apartment Conversion Pilot Program

Select areas in Brooklyn may now be permitted to create lawful cellar apartments.


It’s 2019! It’s More Than Just a Sign

A refresher on gender neutral bathroom signs


Penalty Waivers Go Digital

A refresher on gender neutral bathroom signs

Local Law 195 - Fire Alarm Applications

Local Law 195 - Fire Alarm Applications

If you're experiencing longer wait times for fire alarm application review, this could be the reason why.


Are YOU ready for DOB Now?

Here is what you need to know, in a nutshell.


Local Law 160

Pursuant to Local Law 160 of 2017, the Department of Buildings will now be enforcing section 28-105.1.2.


Open for Business with a FINAL Certificate of Occupancy

Would it surprise you to know that many of New York City’s most iconic landmarks, have not been issued a final certificate of occupancy?


It’s Crunch Time! Are you Fully sprinklered yet?

The New York City Council introduces hundreds of new local laws each year. In 2013 Local Law 141 was enacted which solidified the adoption of an NYC modification of the 2009 International Building Code (IBC) as the new city Building Code.


Vacant Land Ho!

Much hullabaloo was raised by housing advocates when Comptroller Scott Stringer put out a report claiming the HPD was sitting on 1,125 vacant city-owned lots. About half of those are in Brooklyn, 363 in Queens, 112 in the Bronx and 98 in Manhattan.


Fees Go Up and Down

Recently the DOB changed some of its application fees for residential buildings. Some fees went up, some went down. The news fees were originally laid out by LL56 of 2016, but only implemented into DOB systems on March 5, 2018. For the new fees, the DOB created of new classification and pricing tier for buildings above and below 7 stories and 100,000 square feet.


Building to the Sky

In early 2018 the Regional Plan Association (RPA) put forward its solution to New York’s longtime affordable housing crisis—remove residential FAR limitations in Manhattan. On its face the idea seems radical. The FAR cap, a New York State addition to the Multiple Dwelling Law, prevents developers from building to the sun, peppering medium density to mid-rise districts with Towers of Babel.


Zone Green Walls

In 2012, New York City’s Zone Green program amended the Zoning Code to allow wall thickness to be deducted from floor area provided the walls are energy efficient. City Planning claims New York buildings are responsible for 80 percent of the city’s carbon emissions.


Sliver of a Chance

Sliver buildings are taller buildings that have less than 45 width feet street frontage. The height allowances for sliver buildings are generally determined by the width of the street or 100 feet, whichever is less. Sliver buildings are not to be confused with towers.


The Church and the Liquor Store

You rarely see liquor stores alongside churches and schools in New York City. It’s not a zoning restriction. It’s actually a law imposed by the New York Liquor Authority called the 200 Foot Rule.


Bending the Rules

It’s no coincidence that New York City has seen a proliferation of yoga studios in the last several years. This is largely due to the Department of Buildings distinguishing yoga studios from their “physical culture” brethren–the massage parlors, bathhouses and gyms that require BSA approval.


Before You Buy

Prospective building owners should do their homework before pulling the trigger on a purchase. There could be restrictions on the property or fees unrecognized in the sales price. Large buildings will typically get a due diligence report from an expediting company.


Why the Hostel-ity?

Hostels, those bunked up dormitories filled with weary travelers easily recognized by their Ghostbuster sized backpacks, are common in many European and American cities. In New York City only a handful remain. Is New York City hostile to the hostel?


NYC Ahead of White House Development Toolkit

The Obama Administration recently published a Housing Development Toolkit that aims to promote urban development by emboldening developers and bypassing bureaucracy. In many instances, New York City, with its recently passed Mandatory Inclusionary Housing(MIH), is a step ahead of the Toolkit’s core objectives.


How Much is a Lot?

Under the Zoning for Quality and Affordability (ZQA), corner lots in R6-R10 contextual districts will now be permitted 100% lot coverage. Previously these corner lots were limited to 80% coverage.


Lobby Design

New York City’s Lobbying Law requires lobbyists to register with the city. On June 30, 2016 the city concluded an amnesty program allowing lobbyists to register without penalties. The New York State amnesty has been extended to September 30th, 2016.


Why Opt-in to Quality Housing?

The Quality Housing Program was established in 1987 to help maintain the architectural character of New York City neighborhoods. The program includes rules concerning height, bulk, lot coverage, street line and more. Quality Housing is mandatory in contextual R6-R10 districts, but only optional in non-contextual R6-R10 districts.


NYC’s Industrial Residentialization

The redevelopment of industrial areas for residential use has been a trend throughout New York City’s recent history. Thirty years ago it was happening in neighborhoods like Soho and Tribeca. Today luxury residential development has expanded to industry parts of Dumbo and North Brooklyn.


Escape From Parking in New York

After lengthy debate, City Council approved Mayor de Blasio’s Zoning for Quality and Affordability plan (ZQA). A key component of the plan is the relaxation of parking requirements for multiple dwellings. By eliminating parking requirements, the mayor aims to make it easier for developers to maximize zoning lots for affordable and senior housing.


NYC’s Mandatory Inclusionary Housing Proposal

New York City’s “Housing New York” plan to build and preserve 200,000 high quality, affordable units is under City Planning review. If passed, the plan will have significant impact on development and zoning in New York.


Are NYC’s New Micro-Apartments Much Smaller?

New York City’s adAPT program, which sidesteps existing Building and Zoning Codes to build prefabricated micro-apartmentbuildings, launched amid much controversy. Proponents claim the micro-apartments are appropriate for today’s renter—young, single and on the go. Detractors are apprehensive about the compromise of space in a crowded city saturated with pint-sized living spaces.


Constraints of Non-Conforming Use

New York City has undergone several zoning changes over the years. When a district undergoes a major zoning change, a building’s use doesn’t necessarily have to fall in line. The building can remain in the district under what’s called non-conforming use.


Third Stairway to Egress

The Department of Buildings will soon enforce Section 403.5.2 of the Building Code requiring buildings to have a third egress stair. Applications filed on or after July 1, 2015 will be subject to the code. The enforcement date of Section 403.5.2 was postponed to give City Council time to pass a zoning text amendment discounting the floor area from the additional stairway.


The State of the DOB

New Commissioner Rick Chandler gave a State of the DOB address at the Yale Club on December 9th, 2014. Over the last few years, the DOB has seen a boost in job and permit filings. On Tuesday, Mr. Chandler offered solutions for the DOB to streamline its operations and deal with this increase.


Hub to Lose Executive Director

The tenure of Development Hub Executive Director Edwin Tang on September 30, 2014. Mr. Tang leaves behind a remarkable legacy at the DOB. He was instrumental in rolling out the Development Hub and overseeing its operations. His departure comes at a time when the Hub is experiencing a massive influx of job applications before the 2014 Building Code takes effect.


Land Lease Redevelops NYCHA Parking Lots

Crumbling infrastructure and an untenable fiscal situation has led the NYCHA to turn its parking lots into cash. As part of its Land Lease program, the NYCHA seeks to solve its budget woes by leasing its parking lot areas to developers who will develop market rate housing.