In flood hazard areas, if all proposed work, including repairs, work required because of a change of occupancy, and alterations, constitutes substantial improvement, then the existing building shall comply with Section 1612 of the Building Code of New York State, or Section R322 of the Residential Code of New York State, as applicable.
Exception: If a historic building will continue to be a historic building after the proposed work is completed, then the proposed work is not considered a substantial improvement. For the purposes of this exception, a historic building is any of the following:
- Listed or certified as eligible for listing by the State Historic Preservation Officer or the Keeper of the National Register of Historic Places, in the National Register of Historic Places.
- Designated as historic under an applicable state or local law.
- Certified as a contributing resource within a National Register, state designated or locally designated historic district.
Replacement of existing or missing features using original materials shall be permitted. Partial replacement for repairs that match the original in configuration, height, and size shall be permitted.
Exception: Glass block walls, louvered windows, and jalousies repaired with like materials.
Every historic building that cannot be made to conform to the construction requirements specified in the Building Code of New York State for the occupancy or use and that constitutes a distinct fire hazard shall be deemed to be in compliance if provided with an approved automatic fire-extinguishing system.
Exception: Where the building official approves an alternative life-safety system.
In corridor walls required by these provisions to be fire-resistance rated, existing transoms may be maintained if fixed in the closed position, and fixed wired glass set in a steel frame or other approved glazing shall be installed on one side of the transom.
Exception: Transoms conforming to Section 1203.4 shall be accepted.
Where interior finish materials are required to have a flame spread index of Class C or better, when tested in accordance with ASTM E84 or UL 723, existing nonconforming materials shall be surfaced with approved fire-retardant paint or finish.
Exception: Existing nonconforming materials need not be surfaced with an approved fire-retardant paint or finish where the building is equipped throughout with an automatic sprinkler system installed in accordance with the Building Code of New York State and the nonconforming materials can be substantiated as being historic in character.
Existing stairways shall comply with the requirements of these provisions. The building official shall grant alternatives for stairways and guards if alternative stairways are found to be acceptable or are judged to meet the intent of these provisions. Existing stairways shall comply with Section 1203.
Exception: For buildings less than 3,000 square feet (279 m2), existing conditions are permitted to remain at all stairways and guards.
- The building official shall be authorized to accept existing floors and existing live loads and to approve operational controls that limit the live load on any floor.
- Repair of substantial structural damage is not required to comply with Sections 405.2.3 and 405.2.4. Substantial structural damage shall be repaired in accordance with Section 405.2.1.