Subchapter 1 Administration and Enforcement

Subchapter 2 Definitions

Subchapter 3 Occupancy and Construction Classification

Subchapter 4 Building Limitations

Subchapter 5 Fire Protection Construction Requirements

Subchapter 6 Means of Egress

Subchapter 7 Special Uses and Occupancies

Subchapter 8 Places of Assembly

Subchapter 9 Loads

Subchapter 10 Structural Work

Subchapter 11 Foundations

Subchapter 12 Light, Heat, Ventilation and Noise Control

Subchapter 13 Mechanical Ventilation, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Systems

Subchapter 14 Heating and Combustion Equipment

Subchapter 15 Chimneys and Gas Vents

Subchapter 16 Plumbing and Gas Piping

Subchapter 17 Fire Alarm, Detection and Extinguishing Equipment

Subchapter 18 Elevators and Conveyors

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This code shall be known and may be cited as the "1968 building code of the city of New York" or the "1968 building code", and is hereinafter referred to as "this code" or "the code".
The purpose of this code is to provide reasonable minimum requirements and standards, based upon current scientific and engineering knowledge, experience and techniques, and the utilization of modern machinery, equipment, materials, and forms and methods of construction, for the regulation of building construction in the city of New York in the interest of public safety, health and welfare, and with due regard for building construction and maintenance costs.
On and after July 1, 2008 this code shall apply to the minimum requirements and standards for the construction, alteration, repair, occupancy and use of new and existing buildings in the city of New York in accordance with and to the extent provided for by chapter 1 of title 28 of the administrative code and the New York city construction codes. On and after July 1, 2008, administration and enforcement of this code shall be in accordance with title 28 of the administrative code.
This code shall be liberally interpreted to secure the beneficial purposes thereof. Any conflict or inconsistency between the requirements of this code and applicable state and federal laws and regulations shall be resolved in favor of the more restrictive requirement.
Any work for which an application for a permit was submitted to the department prior to the effective date of this code, (December sixth nineteen hundred sixty-eight), or for which an application for a permit is submitted to the department within a period of twelve months after such date may, however, at the option of the owner, be performed in its entirety in accordance with the requirements of this code, or in accordance with the requirements of the building laws and regulations previously in force in the city of New York, provided that such work is commenced within twelve months after the date of issuance of a permit therefor and is diligently carried on to completion. This section shall not apply to the requirements of article ten of subchapter nineteen of this chapter which shall become effective on December sixth, nineteen hundred sixty-eight.
The requirements and standards prescribed in this code shall be subject to variation in specific cases by the commissioner, or by the board of standards and appeals, under and pursuant to the provisions of paragraph two of subdivision (b) of section six hundred forty-five and section six hundred sixty-six of the charter, as amended.
Unless otherwise specifically provided in this code, all references to articles and section numbers, or to provisions not specifically identified by number, shall be construed to refer to articles, sections, or provisions of this code.
The provisions of this code shall cover all matters affecting or relating to buildings, as set forth in section 27-103 of article one of this subchapter, and shall extend to excavation operations, and to all types of buildings and structures and their appurtenant constructions, including vaults, signs, projections, and accessory additions, together with all surface and sub-surface construction within the curb line, including curb cuts and driveways, the coverings thereof and entrances thereto, and the issuance of permits in reference thereto.
Any matter or requirement essential for the fire or structural safety of a new or existing building or essential for the safety or health of the occupants or users thereof or the public, and which is not covered by the provisions of this code or other applicable laws and regulations, shall be subject to determination and requirements by the commissioner in specific cases.
The lawful occupancy and use of any building, including the use of any service equipment therein, existing on the effective date of this code or thereafter constructed or installed in accordance with prior code requirements, as provided in section 27-105 of article one of this subchapter, may be continued unless a retroactive change is specifically required by the provisions of this code.
Changes in the occupancy or use of any building may be made after the effective date of this code, subject to the provisions of section 27-217 of article twenty-two of this subchapter. After a change in occupancy or use has been made in a building, the re-establishment of a prior occupancy or use that would not be lawful in a new building of the same construction class shall be prohibited unless and until all the applicable provisions of this code and other applicable laws and regulations for such re-established occupancy or use shall have been complied with. A change from a use prohibited by the provisions of this code, but which was permitted prior to the effective date of this code, to another use prohibited by the provisions of this code shall be deemed a violation of this code.
The continuation of the unlawful occupancy or use of a building after the effective date of this code, contrary to the provisions of this code, shall be deemed a violation of this code.
Subject to the provisions of section 27-105 of article one of this subchapter, and except as otherwise specifically provided by the provisions of this code, the following provisions shall apply to the alteration of existing buildings, whether made voluntarily or as a result of damage, deterioration or other cause, provided, however, that the following alterations shall conform with the requirements of this code regardless of magnitude or cost:

(a) Alterations or additions to existing standpipes, sprinklers or interior fire alarm and signal systems or a change in use or an enlargement to spaces requiring such protection, as provided in subchapter seventeen of this code.

(b) Alterations, replacements or new installations of equipment for heating or storing water, as provided in reference standard RS-16.

(c) Projections beyond the street line, as provided in subchapter four of this code.

(d) Sprinkler, alarm protection, and emergency lighting requirements for places of assembly, as provided in subchapter eight of this code.

(e) Interior finish work, as provided in section 27-348.

(f) Finish flooring and floor covering, as provided in section 27-351.

(g) The installation or replacement of elevators, as provided in subchapter eighteen of this code.

(h) The installation, alteration or replacement of refrigerating systems as provided in reference standard RS 13-6.
If the cost of making alterations in any twelve-month period shall exceed sixty percent of the value of the building, the entire building shall be made to comply with the requirements of this code, except as provided in section 27-120 of this article.
If the cost of making alterations in any twelve month period shall be between thirty percent and sixty percent of the value of the building, only those portions of the building altered shall be made to comply with the requirements of this code, except as provided in sections 27-120 and 27-121 of this article.
Except as otherwise provided for in sections 27-120 and 27-121 of this article, if the cost of making alterations in any twelve month period shall be under thirty percent of the value of the building, those portions of the building altered may, at the option of the owner, be altered in accordance with the requirements of this code, or altered in compliance with the applicable laws in existence prior to December sixth, nineteen hundred sixty-eight, provided the general safety and public welfare are not thereby endangered.
(a) Except as otherwise provided for in this section, if the alteration of a building or space therein results in a change in the occupancy group classification of the building under the provisions of subchapter three, then the entire building shall be made to comply with the requirements of this code.

(b) Except as otherwise provided for in this section, if the alteration of a space in a building involves a change in the occupancy or use thereof, the alteration work involved in the change shall, except as provided for in this section, be made to comply with the requirements of this code and the remaining portion of the building shall be altered to such an extent as may be necessary to protect the safety and welfare of the occupants.

(c) When, however, the cost of alterations involved in the change of occupancy of an existing building erected prior to December sixth, nineteen hundred sixty-eight or space therein authorizes the alterations to be made in compliance with the applicable laws in existence on such sixth day of December, nineteen hundred sixty-eight, such change in occupancy may similarly be made in compliance with such prior laws, provided the general safety and public welfare are not thereby endangered, and further provided that the alteration work shall effect compliance with all requirements of this code relating to interior finish work, finish flooring and floor covering, sprinklers, interior fire alarms, fire command and communication systems, elevators, smoke detectors, directional signs, emergency lighting and emergency power.
For the purpose of applying the foregoing provisions of this article, the cost of making alterations shall be determined by adding the estimated cost of making the proposed alterations computed as of the time of submitting the permit application, to the actual cost of any and all alterations made in the preceding twelve-month period; and the value of the building shall be determined at the option of the applicant on the basis of one and one-quarter times the current assessed valuation of the building, as adjusted by the current state equalization rate, or on the basis of the current replacement cost of the building, provided that satisfactory evidence of current replacement cost is submitted to the commissioner.
At the option of the owner, regardless of the cost of the alteration or conversion, an alteration may be made to a multiple dwelling or a building may be converted to a multiple dwelling in accordance with all requirements of this code or in accordance with all applicable laws in existence prior to December sixth, nineteen hundred sixty-eight, provided the general safety and public welfare are not thereby endangered.
Alterations to one- or two-family residence buildings erected under the provisions of the building code in effect prior to December sixth, nineteen hundred sixty-eight, and damaged by fire or other catastrophe to the extent of less than fifty percent of the value of the building (except as otherwise provided in section 27-297 of article four of subchapter four of this chapter) may be reconstructed in accordance with the provisions of the building code in effect prior to December sixth, nineteen hundred sixty-eight.
(a) Buildings converted from seasonal use to year round use shall comply with the minimum building insulation standards as provided in reference standards RS 12-10, energy conservation in new building design, with the exception that the provisions as set forth in opinion 76-16, state of New York, public service commission, dated August thirteenth, nineteen hundred seventy-six, relating to noise control and fire rating shall not apply. The standards set forth in this code relating to noise control and fire rating and other applicable standards shall apply.

(b) All alterations performed in accordance with the requirements of this section shall also be in full compliance with the provisions of subchapter fourteen (inspections) of chapter one of title twenty-six of the administrative code to insure a method of controlled inspection of all converted buildings.
Any building erected prior to the effective date of this code (December sixth, nineteen hundred sixty-eight) and complying with section 27-117 of this article may be utilized for new high hazard occupancies without compliance with article two of subchapter six of this chapter on condition that the building or building section for such high hazard occupancy be provided with an approved one source automatic sprinkler system complying with the provisions of subchapter seventeen for B-1 occupancies regardless of the area thereof. Existing high hazard occupancies in structures erected prior to the effective date of this code and complying with section 27-117 of this article may continue to operate, subject to such fire protection requirements as the fire commissioner shall direct.
For the purposes of this article, the term "existing building" means a building in existence prior to December 6th, 1968 or a building constructed in accordance with the building laws and regulations in force prior to such date in accordance with section 27-105 of this code.
The appendix to this chapter of the administrative code, known as the "building code reference standards", is adopted and promulgated and shall be known as the "building code rules" of said chapter; except for reference standards RS4-3, RS7-2, and such portions of RS16 not included in the "List of Reference National Standards". The commissioner shall be empowered to issue or amend the building code reference standards acting in consultation with the fire commissioner on all issues relating to fire safety.
(a) Owners of all existing buildings which are required to comply with the provisions of subdivision (a) of section 27-353.1 (elevator vestibules), section 27-381 and subdivision (b) of section 27-382 (exit lighting), subdivision (b) of section 27-384 (exit signs), section 27-396.3 (signs in sleeping rooms), section 27-777.2 (ventilation in J-1 buildings), subdivision (b) of section 27-929 (sprinklers, fire alarm systems, fire command and communication systems), paragraph two of subdivision (c) of section 27-989 (elevators in readiness), section 27-996.1 (locks on hoistway doors) and section 27-996.2 (firemen's service) shall file with the department a report on or before April first, nineteen hundred eighty-seven certifying to the installation of the required fire protection systems in accordance with approved plans and appropriate permits prior to such date. Owners of all existing buildings not already subject to the requirements of article nine of subchapter six of this chapter as of January eighth, nineteen hundred seventy-three shall file with the department a report on or before October first, nineteen hundred eighty-five certifying to the installation of stair and elevator signs meeting the requirements of article nine of subchapter six of this chapter prior to such date. Owners of all existing buildings that are required to comply with the provisions of subdivision (c) of section 27-384 (power source of exit signs) shall file with the department, on or before July 1, 2007, a report of an architect or engineer certifying that all required exit and/or directional signs are connected to an emergency power source or to storage battery equipment in compliance with such subdivision except that no such report shall be required to be filed if an owner of a building submits an affidavit to the department, within ninety days after the effective date of this sentence, certifying that all required exit and/or directional signs are connected to an emergency power source or to storage battery equipment as required by such subdivision. Such reports shall be on such forms and in such manner as prescribed by the commissioner. Failure to file such report by such dates shall be a violation of this section, which shall be punishable pursuant to section 26-125 of title twenty-six of the administrative code.

(b)(1) Owners of all buildings one hundred feet or more in height required to comply with the provisions of subdivision (a) of section 27-929.1 (sprinklers) shall file with the department on or before July 1, 2019 a final report prepared by an architect or engineer certifying to the installation of the required sprinklers in accordance with such provisions and, pending the filing of such final report, such owner shall be required to file the following interim reports as described below. Failure to file such final report and/or, where required, such interim reports by the dates indicated or within any extended period of time granted by the commissioner pursuant to paragraph (2) of this subdivision shall be a violation of this section, which shall be punishable pursuant to section 26-125 of the code. Such reports shall be on such forms and in such manner as prescribed by the commissioner and shall be filed as follows:

Unless a final report is filed on
or prior to such date, a one year
report shall be filed no later than
July 1, 2005.


The one year report shall contain an affidavit by the owner of the building
acknowledging that sprinklers are required to be installed in such building on or
before July 1, 2019 in compliance with subdivision (a) of section 27-929.1 of this
code and indicating his or her intention to comply with such requirement.


Unless a final report is filed on
or prior to July 1, 2011, a seven
year report shall be filed no
earlier than January 1, 2011 and
no later than July 1, 2011.



Such seven year report shall contain a certification by an architect or
engineer of the percentage of the building in which sprinklers have been
installed as of the date of such report and an implementation plan
prepared by such architect or engineer detailing when and how the
remaining portions of the building will be made fully compliant.



Unless a final report is filed on
or prior to July 1, 2018, a fourteen
year report shall be filed no
earlier than January 1, 2018 and
no later than July 1, 2018.



Such fourteen year report shall contain a certification by an architect or
engineer of the percentage of the building in which sprinklers have been
installed as of the date of such report and an implementation plan,
prepared by such architect or engineer detailing when and how the
remaining portions of the building will be made fully compliant.



Except as otherwise provided in
paragraph (2) of this subdivision,
a final report shall be filed no
later than July 1, 2019.


Such final report shall contain a certification by an architect or engineer
that the building is fully compliant.


(2) Where the owner of a building is unable to comply with the requirements of subdivision (a) of section 27-929.1 on or before July 1, 2019 because of undue hardship, and where such owner timely filed all interim reports as required in paragraph (1) of this subdivision and has obtained approval of all required applications, plans and permits relating to the required work, such owner may submit to the department an application for additional time to comply with such requirements. Such application shall be submitted to the department on or before July 1, 2018, along with supporting documents indicating the basis for such claim of undue hardship. The commissioner shall appoint a committee consisting of employees of the department and the fire department and a representative of the real estate industry to review such application. Such committee shall issue findings and recommendations relating to the application. After reviewing such findings and recommendations, if the commissioner finds that the owner has made a good faith effort to complete the required work and has substantiated his or her claim of undue hardship, the commissioner may grant an extension of time in which to complete the work and submit the final report.

**Local Law 26-2004.



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