Code Development
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Overview

The statutory responsibility for developing and maintaining the Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code (Uniform Code) and the State Energy Conservation Construction Code (Energy Code) is vested in the State Fire Prevention and Building Code Council (Code Council).  If the Code Council decides to amend either code, it commences a process for rule making set forth in the State Administrative Procedure Act (SAPA).  The Code Development Unit serves as Secretariat to the Code Council, administers statutory functions, and evaluates proposed changes to the codes.

Executive Law §379 authorizes the legislative body of a local government (city, town, village, and Nassau County) to enact or adopt local laws and ordinances that impose standards for construction that are “higher” or “more restrictive” than the corresponding standards imposed by the Uniform Code.  Energy Law §11-109 allows counties, cities, towns, villages, school districts or district corporations to promulgate local energy conservation construction codes that are more stringent than the State Energy Code.  The Code Council is empowered by Executive Law §379 and Energy Law §11-109 to approve these more restrictive standards and more stringent local energy conservation construction codes when such codes or standards are in compliance with Executive Law §379 and Energy Law §11-109.  The Code Development Unit assists with reviewing the technical aspects of these local laws and ordinances and reporting on such findings to the Code Council.

more restrictive local standards

Code Council

The Code Council is comprised of 17 members appointed by the Governor; some with the advice and consent of the Senate. The Code Council is empowered to maintain and periodically update the Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code and State Energy Conservation Construction Code, and to adopt higher or more restrictive local standards upon the recommendation of local governments. The members of this group represent architects, engineers, builders, trade unions, persons with disabilities, code enforcement, fire prevention, villages, towns, cities, counties, state agencies, the State Fire Administrator and the Secretary of State. A quorum of nine members must be present to adopt proposed code changes.

The Executive Law requires meetings to be held a minimum of four times a year. The mandated meetings are typically scheduled at the last meeting of each year. Meetings are held in Albany. All general meetings are open to the public.

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Code Change Proposals

The Division of Building Standards and Codes welcomes comments and suggestions on how to improve the Uniform Code and Energy Code, including the Supplements and Reference Standards. Individuals wishing to contribute to the maintenance and overall improvement of the codes do not need to wait until a formal rule making has been initiated by the Code Council. 

Proposed Code Changes

By Email: [email protected]
*Please include “Code Change:” in the subject line, followed by a short description of the change. For example, a proposed change to the Uniform Code’s Ground Snow Load map should include the following in the subject line: Code Change: Ground Snow Load Map. 

By Mail: Please mail code changes to: 

Code Development Unit
New York State Department of State Division of Building Standards and Codes
One Commerce Plaza
99 Washington Avenue, Suite 1160
Albany, NY 12231

All code change proposals should identify the code book and section, supplement, or NYCRR Part that is proposed to be modified, as applicable.

SAPA establishes the regulatory framework for modifying New York’s codes, rules, and regulations. If individuals have any documents or information regarding the below mentioned items, please feel free to submit the same with your code change proposal. For all rule makings, the Division is required to address the following key elements required by SAPA:

  • The reason or need for the code change
  • The benefits of the change
  • Any potential negative impacts of the code change
  • Technical justification to substantiate the change
  • The alternatives to the code change that were considered and the reason for their rejection
  • The cost impact (either a cost savings or cost increase) of the code change

Individuals submitting code change proposals should be aware that certain code requirements are mandated by New York State Statute (for example, §378 Executive Law), by other regulations, or desirable because of public policy. For these reasons, certain code requirements are limited in the extent by which they may be modified.

Rule Making Activity

Code Outreach Program

The Department of State Division of Building Standards and Codes (DBSC) in conjunction with the Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Services – Office of Fire Prevention and Control (OFPC) has implemented a joint outreach program that is intended to guide and educate code users. The program will provide concise, easily digestible information on:

  • New topics that code users must be aware of;
  • Frequently overlooked or misunderstood code requirements; and
  • Concerns relating to the administration and enforcement of the Uniform Code and Energy Code.


The DBSC and OFPC hope the program will continue to foster professional growth and support the efforts of the code enforcement community and provide helpful guidance to all code users.

The Code Outreach Program publications are expected to be distributed at the beginning of every month. If you have ideas for future topics to be addressed by the Code Outreach Program, email 
[email protected].

 

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Contact Code Development

Code Development Unit
New York State Department of State Division of Building Standards and Codes
One Commerce Plaza
99 Washington Avenue, Suite 1160
Albany, NY 12231

Phone: (518) 474-4073, Option #3
Fax: (518) 486-4487