Factory Manufactured Buildings (Modular)


Factory Manufactured Buildings (Modular Buildings) are defined as commercial or residential structures constructed by a method or system of construction whereby the structure or its components are wholly or in substantial part manufactured in manufacturing facilities, and whereby all portions may not be reasonably inspected at the installation site without disassembly or destruction thereof. The term “Modular Building” includes buildings intended or designed for permanent installation, or assembly and permanent installation, on a building site. Modular Buildings are required to be constructed and installed in accordance with the requirements of the Uniform Code and State Energy Code and shall bear an Insignia of Approval issued in accordance with  19 NYCRR Part 1209 (entitled “Regulations and Fees for Factory Manufactured Homes”), as currently in effect and as hereafter amended from time to time. Modular Buildings should not be confused with Manufactured Homes (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development [HUD] homes) which are required to be constructed in accordance with the requirements of the applicable US Department of Housing and Urban Development Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards (24 CFR Part 3280); and assembled and installed in accordance with the requirements of the Uniform Code and in accordance with  19 NYCRR Part 1210 (entitled “Manufactured Homes”).

Prior to shipment from the factory, each Modular Building, model, and component manufactured pursuant to 19 NYCRR Part 1209 shall have securely attached thereto, in a visible location as shown on the approved plans, an Insignia of Approval that was issued by the Department of State (“Department”) to the manufacturer.  The Insignia of Approval indicates compliance with the standards, rules, and regulations established for Modular Buildings.  The installation of a Modular Building at a site shall conform to the applicable provisions of the Uniform Code such as those for foundations and utility and service connections and to applicable local requirements such as height, bulk, area, and site development restrictions.  The installation shall be subject to the permitting, inspection, and approval of the local Authority Having Jurisdiction (“AHJ”) responsible for administering and enforcing the Uniform Code and State Energy Code.

Above Code Programs

The Department does not review or approve modular buildings for any “above” code program, or “stretch” code. The Department only reviews and approves modular buildings for compliance with the Uniform Code and State Energy Code.  Municipalities have the ability to adopt, and the responsibility to enforce, more restrictive standards for construction than the Uniform Code adopted in accordance with Executive Law §379 and more stringent local energy codes adopted in accordance with Energy Law §11-109. In the event the Department receives an application for a “stretch” or “above” code program, the Department will remind the local municipality that the local municipality should review the building permit application for conformance with such more restrictive standards for construction and/or more stringent local energy code.  In most, if not all cases, the municipality receives the application prior to the Department’s receipt, since foundations and services are required to be constructed prior to the modular building siting.

Code References which support the Modular Program

Applicability to the Codes of New York State, as well as insignia requirements, are specifically noted in Section 102.7 of the 2020 Building Code of NYS and Section R101.6 of the 2020 Residential Code of NYS. In addition, the 2020 Energy Conservation Construction Code of New York State is applicable to commercial buildings per Section C101.3, and to residential buildings per Section R101.3

Regulations governing Factory Manufactured Buildings (Modular) can be found in the New York Codes, Rules and Regulations, Title 19 Department of State, Chapter XXXII Division of Code Enforcement and Administration,  Part 1209 Regulations and Fees for Factory Manufactured Homes (19 NYCRR XXXII 1209).

Modular Submission Process

It is the modular manufacturer's responsibility to make the project submission to NYSDOS. The following link provides a brief overview of the Modular Submission Process for obtaining NYSDOS approval. The Documentation Guidelines for Factory Manufactured (Modular) identifies the documentation that is required and the format of the documentation. 

Quality Assurance Agency (Third-Party Inspection Agency)

Modular Building manufacturers are required to have a contractual agreement with a Department-approved Quality Assurance Agency (also known as Third-Party Inspection Agency or TPIA). The TPIA may perform (but not be limited to) in-plant inspections at manufacturing facilities, Quality Assurance Manual review and approval, approved projects conformance to code and the approved documents, construction methods, procedures, test results and NYS Insignia of Approval control.  With prior approval from the Department, the TPIA may also be involved in the review and approval of Individual Model submissions and Systems Permit Set certification. For additional information on approved TPIA’s or becoming an approved TPIA, see the Contacts listed below.

The TPIA is required to submit monthly in-plant inspection reports to the Department for ALL modular units being built and shipped for installation in the State.

Modular Complaint Process

If the owner of a Modular Building has an issue with the modular components of their Modular Building and is unable to resolve these issues with the modular manufacturer, they may submit the Initial Complaint Form to the Department for assistance.  The Department’s jurisdiction is limited to the modular manufacturer for factory fabricated and/or provided components, not the local modular retailer, builder, contractor, or developer.



Don Thomas Jr., AIA/CEO

Assistant Director for Code Administration - Modular

Division of Building Standards and Codes

NYS Department of State

One Commerce Plaza, 99 Washington Ave., Albany, NY 12231

O: (518) 473-0657 | Email: [email protected]