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.


Pride in Construction: New Bill Aims to Improve Conditions Across Sex and Gender Spectrum

A bill currently being debated by the New York City Council hopes to put a spotlight on the struggles – and potential solutions – for women, LGBTQ+, intersex, non-binary, and gender non-conforming workers in nontraditional careers, including those in construction.


How the 2022 NYC Construction Code Affects Upcoming Filings

See if and when your upcoming projects will be affected.


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.


Going to the Next Level: All About Zoning for Accessibility

On October 7, 2021, the Elevate Transit: Zoning for Accessibility initiative was approved by the NYCC and MTA.


New Year, New Codes: Major Construction Code Updates for 2022

On October 7, 2021, the NYC Department of Buildings approved a major overhaul to the NYC Construction Code.


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.


Overall Overhaul: DOB Website Updates You May Have Missed

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


Energy Experiment: The Energy Code Performance Pilot Program

The DOB recently announced a 5-month pilot program for designers to test new tools for a 100% performance-based approach to the current NYC energy code.


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.


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.


For What It’s Earth

NYC Climate Code Updates and Energy Benchmark Deadline


Change in Procedure: Minor Plan Changes Now Require Post-Approval Amendments

How will this affect your projects?


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.


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.


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?


Mandatory Sustainable Roofing Required for New Buildings and Enlargements.

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

Tick Tock…Your 20 Minutes Are Up!

Tick Tock…Your 20 Minutes Are Up!

Reduced plan exam appointments for Alteration Type 1 applications.


Are YOU ready for DOB Now?

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


Energy Requirements Expand

The Department of Buildings released three Local Laws changing key definitions that broaden the types of buildings required to benchmark, upgrade lighting and install sub-meters. These Local Laws amend the Administrative Code to redefine covered buildings, city buildings and covered tenant spaces.


NYC’s Energy Code is Air Tight

New York City and State will implement their new Energy Codes on October 3, 2016. New York State Energy Conservation Code (NYSECC) is based on the International Energy Conservation Code and ASHRAE 90.1-2013. The New York City Energy Conservation Code (NYCECC) is the adopted version of Local Law 91.


DOB Gets Serious About Energy Compliance

The DOB released two memos declaring intent to increase penalties for Energy Code violations. The first memo concerns energy compliance during the construction process. The DOB plans to issue violations that can escalate into class 2 ECB violations, which require proof of a remedy and may carry hefty fines.


New Fire Codes to Know

So many new codes have been released since 2014 that building professionals are still catching their collective breath. The FDNY released a memo simplifying some of the most important changes in the 2014 Fire Code. The changes can broadly be categorized to include codes relating to fire escape plans and those relating to road and rooftop accessibility.


Is Your Building Benchmarked?

As part of its Greener, Greater Buildings Plan, New York City targets its largest buildings for annual energy benchmarking. Backed by Local Law 84, benchmarking requires covered buildings to report their annual usage of water, electricity, natural gas, fuel oil and more.


New Mandatory Cooling Tower Inspections

On August 7th, 2015 the Health Department made mandatory the inspection of all New York City cooling towers within 14 days. The inspection is the result of the recent outbreak of Legionnaires Disease pinpointed to bacteria found in cooling towers. In the last month alone, Legionnaires’ Disease has claimed 10 lives and hospitalized 100, all in the South Bronx.


Building Etiquette

As expected, Department of Buildings Commissioner Rick Chandler released a Code of Conduct memo outlining the rules and regulations for industry professionals.


DOB Targets Bad Actors

Integrity is a pillar of DOB Commissioner Rick Chandler’s Building One City blueprint. DOB employees have been subject to a Code of Conduct since 2009. The Code of Conduct establishes ethical codes and standards of conduct for DOB employees. In the summer of 2015 the DOB will release an industrywide Code of Conduct that will extend to developers, professionals and other project stakeholders.


Commissioning Possible

Commissioning is a series of inspections by registered design professionals certifying energy performance of building systems are compliant with approved construction documents and the New York City Energy Conservation Code. Registered design professionals shall provide evidence of mechanical systems commissioning and completion prior to passing of final inspections. The NYCECC requires commissioning to ensure systems are not exceeding the energy use permitted by the energy and mechanical codes.


Why Are Siamese Connections Colored?

All mid-rise and high-rise building owners are required to paint Siamese connections, which are the two-headed pipes in front of buildings, red, green or yellow. Red represents a connection to the standpipe system, or the vertical pipes that run through a building. Green connections link to the sprinkler system of a building.



The New York City Council voted to adopt the ECCCNYS energy code changes proposed by the New York Fire Prevention and Building Code Council of New York State. The changes will have a significant impact in migrating commercial buildings toward the use of more energy efficient LED lighting. Similar changes to promote LED use in residential buildings will likely come when the ECCCNYS revises the residential portion of the code in May of 2015.


Have a Drink on NYC

Before the proliferation of water bottles, drinking fountains were relied upon to quench one’s thirst. But water fountains aren’t thoughtlessly installed into buildings. The New York City Plumbing Code has clear-cut laws on access to water and water fountains.


New Special Inspections to Rollout in 2015

Architects, engineers, contractors, and inspectors need to familiarize themselves with the new special inspections debuting with the 2014 Building Code that rolls out on December 31, 2014. Here are some of those new special inspections.


Development Hub or Borough Office?

In 2011, the DOB digitized the job filing process in New York City with the launch of the Development Hub. The Hub was a pivotal change in job filing procedure. When it comes to document exchange, drawing edits, meetings, and access to plan examiners, the Hub has been instrumental in streamlining the filing process. However, filing within the Hub may not be the best option for every job.