1. I have a question regarding the administration and enforcement of the building codes in New York City:
Due to its population, New York City is allowed to adopt separate building codes than the rest of the state. For questions pertaining to the building codes in New York City, please contact the New York City Department of Buildings directly at (212) 566-5000 or online at http://www1.nyc.gov/site/buildings/index.page.
2. What about energy code questions in New York City?
Unlike the building codes, the energy code is a statewide code applicable to all parts of the state. Municipalities have the option of adopting local energy conservation construction codes if approved by the State Fire Prevention and Building Code Council, provided that they are more restrictive than the state code. New York City has an approved local energy code. All energy code questions for New York City should therefore be directed to the New York City Building Department (see FAQ above for contact information in addition to [email protected]).
3. Where can I find information pertaining to administration and enforcement of the building code in the Town/Village/City/County of XXX?
In general, every city, town, village, and county is charged with administering and enforcing the Uniform Code and Energy Code within its jurisdiction. If you have specific code questions, you should contact your local building department and they will be able to assist you in finding the applicable forms and compliance requirements pertaining to your project.
4. Does the Division of Building Standards and Codes handle issues regarding zoning, licensing of contractors or electricians, or other local laws related to buildings and properties?
Issues regarding local laws, zoning, and licensing of contractors or electricians are not handled by this Division. Local laws may or may not address these land use and construction regulations. You should contact your local building department for more information and/or consult with your attorney.
Licensing of home inspectors such as those involved in real estate transactions and electricians involved with installing security and fire alarm systems are done through the Department of State’s Division of Licensing Services (Click Here).
Please note that the DBSC provides basic training courses and issues certificates upon successful completion to Code Enforcement Officials and Building Safety Inspectors.
1. Where can I find a copy of the code books for New York State?
New York State has adopted the 2020 Uniform Code of New York State and the 2020 Energy Conservation Construction Code of New York State, based on the 2018 International Code Council (ICC) books with New York State specific amendments included. The following link will take you directly to the online version of the code books (Click Here for Codes). Copies of prior versions of the codes may be available from local libraries. Additionally, electronic copies have been provided to four Supreme Court Law Libraries (located in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Plattsburgh, and Bath) and the State Library in Albany.
2. Which NYS Supplement do I use?
The 2020 Uniform Code of New York State and 2020 Energy Conservation Construction Code of New York State do not have Supplements associated with them. All New York State amendments are included in the books and in Title 19 NYCRR.
On and after May 12, 2020 the new 2020 Uniform and Energy Code of New York State are fully effective
3. Where can I find information pertaining to swimming pools for residential homes?
Information for new swimming pools, hot tubs, and spas associated with detached one and two family dwellings and townhouses that are not more than three stores above grade plane can be found in the 2020 Residential Code of New York State Section R326. These sections outline items such as necessary alarms, entrapment protection, and barrier requirements. Residential Code Chapter 42 applies to the construction and installation of electric wiring and equipment associated with all swimming pools. The 2020 Property Maintenance Code of New York State, Section 303 states that swimming pools shall be maintained in a clean and sanitary condition, and in good repair.
1. How do I file an appeal or request a variance?
19 NYCRR Part 1205 outlines the variance and appeal process for the Uniform Code. An unofficial version of this Part can be found here (Click Here). Energy Law §11-106 provides that an application for a variance or modification of any standard or requirement of the Energy Code shall be made to the Secretary of State. If you feel that you are unable to comply with a code section or believe that a code section is being improperly interpreted or enforced by a building department, then you have the option to apply for and obtain a variance or successfully appeal the determination of the local building department. If you wish to apply for a variance or appeal for the Uniform Code, please download the Application for Variance or Appeal form and submit it to the appropriate Regional Office. The application can be obtained by clicking here (Click Here); a map of the Regional offices can be obtained by clicking here (Click Here). If you wish to apply for a variance for the Energy Code, please download the Application for Energy Variance and submit to the Albany office. This application can be obtained by clicking here (Click Here).
1. How do I check my training credits status? How many training credits do I have? How do I reset my SLMS password?
Several instructional YouTube videos have been created and placed on the NYSDOS YouTube channel outlining how to set up/create an account, reset your password, and view your training credit status for NY.gov and the Statewide Learning Management System (SLMS).
1. What is the State Energy Conservation Construction Code? What is the most current version and effective date?
19 NYCRR Part 1240 (Part 1240) and the publications incorporated by reference in Part 1240 constitute the State Energy Conservation Construction Code (the State Energy Code) promulgated pursuant to Article 11 of the Energy Law. The most current version of the State Energy Code became effective on May 12, 2020. The two main documents incorporated by reference are the 2020 Energy Conservation Construction Code of New York State (Publication date, November 2019) (typically referred to as the 2020 ECCCNYS) and ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1-2016, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings (October 2016 printing) (typically referred to as ASHRAE 90.1). Please see 19 NYCRR 1240 for all publications incorporated by reference into Part 1240.
2. Where can I find a copy of these referenced publications?
The following link will take you directly to the online version of the Codes of New York State: https://codes.iccsafe.org/codes/new-york.
ASHRAE 90.1-2016 may be obtained from the publisher electronically at: https://www.ashrae.org/technical-resources/bookstore/standard-90-1.
Electronic copies of all publications incorporated by reference have been provided to four Supreme Court Law Libraries (located in Bronx, Brooklyn, Plattsburgh, and Bath) and the State Library in Albany. Additionally, they are available for public inspection and copying at the Office of the New York State Department of State located at One Commerce Plaza, 99 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 12231-0001.
3. Does the 2020 ECCCNYS apply only to commercial buildings and Chapter 11 of the 2020 Residential Code of New York State (2020 RCNYS) apply to residential buildings?
The 2020 ECCCNYS is divided into two separate sections: Commercial Provisions and Residential Provisions. Chapters prefixed by “C” are applicable to “commercial buildings;” Chapters prefixed by “R” are applicable to “residential buildings,” as these terms are defined in Chapter 2 of the 2020 ECCCNYS.
Chapter 11 of the 2020 RCNYS is intended to be a restatement of the 2020 ECCCNYS Residential Provisions, included as a convenience to the users; however, in the event of any conflict between the Residential Provisions of the 2020 ECCCNYS and the Provisions set forth in Chapter 11 of the 2020 RCNYS, the Residential Provisions of the 2020 ECCCNYS take precedence.
4. Are REScheck© and COMcheck© still an acceptable means to demonstrate compliance with the New York State Energy Conservation Construction Code?
Yes. Sections R101.5.1 and C101.5.1 of the 2020 ECCCNYS indicate that compliance software can be used to demonstrate compliance with the Energy Code. REScheck© and COMcheck© are approved for residential buildings and commercial buildings, respectively. Other software that has been expressly approved in writing by the New York Secretary of State as acceptable for demonstrating compliance may also be used. The REScheck© automated printout represents compliance with the building envelope provisions only. The required Mandatory provisions of the Residential and Commercial energy code must also be met and enforced when using REScheck© or COMcheck,© and are reflected in the checklists that accompany the printout sheets. Free versions of the REScheck© and COMcheck© software may be found at www.energycodes.gov. Since NYS did not adopt substantial building envelope amendments to the Residential Provisions of the 2018 IECC or the Commercial Provisions of ASHRAE 90.1-2016, NYS-specific software is not available at this time, and instead, in the Code dropdown, 2018 IECC for Residential Provisions or ASHRAE 90.1-2016 Commercial Provisions should be selected, respectively. At the present time, only REScheck© Web is available for compliance with the 2018 IECC Residential Provisions. To demonstrate compliance with the Commercial Provisions of the 2020 ECCCNYS, a NYS-specific version of COMcheck© termed “2020 NYSECCC” is available. See the following Code Outreach Program document for more information: https://dos.ny.gov/system/files/documents/2021/12/2021-12-energy-code-compliance-software.pdf
5. Are prior (superseded) versions of REScheck© and COMcheck© available, and if so, how are these accessed?
Prior versions of REScheck© and COMcheck© are available by email request, to the US Department of Energy, at https://www.energycodes.gov/HelpDesk
6. Is a "blower door test" required for all new residential buildings constructed under the 2020 ECCCNYS?
Yes. Per Section R402.4 of the 2020 ECCCNYS, the use of a "blower door test" (ACH 50 testing) is a mandatory requirement to determine building tightness for new construction only. However, blower door testing requirements are not applicable to work performed in existing residential buildings.
7. For residential buildings, is it permissible to create a "conditioned attic assembly" by spraying foam insulation directly on the underside of the roof sheathing without ventilation above or below the insulation?
Yes. In residential buildings, Section R806.5 of the 2020 RCNYS permits an “unvented attic” under specified conditions and requirements.
8. Do you need to apply a thermal barrier or ignition barrier to the surface of spray foam in attics and basement areas?
Sections R316.5.3 (Attics), R316.5.4 (Crawl spaces), and R316.5.11 (Sill plates and headers) of the 2020 RCNYS allow spray foam applications without an ignition barrier under the specific conditions defined within each of those code sections. Alternatively, the foam material may be covered by a thermal barrier in accordance with Sections R316.3 and R316.4 of the 2020 RCNYS where the foam plastic has been tested in accordance with Section R316.6 of the 2020 RCNYS.
9. Are Manual "J" Calculations required for sizing heating and cooling loads for new single-family dwellings?
Yes. Section R403.7 of the 2020 ECCCNYS addresses equipment sizing and efficiency ratings and is a mandatory requirement. It states in part that "heating and cooling equipment shall be sized in accordance with ACCA Manual S based on building loads calculated in accordance with ACCA Manual J or other approved heating and cooling calculation methodologies". These requirements become increasingly important in tighter homes, which require smaller heating and cooling loads, due to a decrease in the loss of conditioned air through building infiltration.
10. Is a "duct leakage" test required for all new residential buildings constructed under the 2020 RCNYS and/or 2020 ECCCNYS to determine if a home's supply and return ducts have been properly sealed from losing conditioned air?
Sealing of ductwork is a mandatory requirement of the 2020 RCNYS and 2020 ECCCNYS. The requirement for duct leakage testing of the completed ductwork is waived if the air handler and ducts are located completely within the conditioned building envelope and building air barrier. As an example, if an air handler and ductwork are located within a basement space and the basement enclosing walls and the floor joist perimeter (band joist directly above) have been insulated in accordance with the requirements of the 2020 ECCCNYS, the ductwork and air handler are located within conditioned space and qualify for the duct leakage testing exception. If the ductwork for heating and/or cooling or air handler are located outside of the building thermal envelope (for example, a central AC or furnace in an unconditioned attic -above the insulation), then the ductwork requires duct leakage testing as well as insulation of the ductwork, per code requirements.
11. Are there efficiency requirements included for permanent lighting fixtures for residential buildings?
Yes. A mandatory requirement in Section R404.1 of the 2020 ECCCNYS states that in new residential buildings not less than 90 percent of the permanently installed lighting fixtures must be supplied with high-efficacy lamps. Examples of such lamps include compact fluorescent lamps or LED (light emitting diode) lamps. The following are also required to meet the requirements of Section R404.1 of the 2020 ECCCNYS: additions and changes of occupancy that would result in an increase in demand for either fossil fuel or electrical energy; the conversion from any occupancy or use to a dwelling unit; alterations that replace more than 50% of the luminaires in the space; and alterations that replace less than 50% of the luminaires in the space but result in an increase in the installed interior lighting power.
12. Are snow melt system controls required per the 2020 ECCCNYS for all buildings?
Per the mandatory requirement of Section R403.9 of the 2020 ECCCNYS, where snow- and ice-melting systems are provided and are supplied with energy service from a building, they shall include automatic controls capable of shutting off the system when the pavement temperature is above 50ºF and no precipitation is falling and with an automatic or manual control that will allow shutoff when the outdoor temperature is above 40ºF. See also Section C403.12.2 of the 2020 ECCCNYS for a similar requirement applicable to all new snow- and ice-melting systems for commercial buildings.
13. Are pool and spa installations and modifications regulated by the 2020 ECCCNYS?
Yes. Sections C404 and R403 of the 2020 ECCCNYS contain provisions for the energy consumption of pools and spas in commercial buildings and residential buildings, respectively. Some of these provisions apply to heaters, time switches, and covers.
14. Is mechanical whole house ventilation a requirement of the 2020 ECCCNYS and/or the 2020 RCNYS? What about Energy Recovery or Heat Recovery Ventilation systems?
An Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV), or Heat Recovery Ventilator (HRV) is not specifically required by code. However, Section R403.6 of the 2020 ECCCNYS contains a mandatory requirement for whole house mechanical ventilation systems to be installed in new residential buildings in accordance with the 2020 RCNYS or the 2020 Mechanical Code of New York State (2020 MCNYS).
A “whole house mechanical ventilation system” is defined in Chapter 2 of the 2020 ECCCNYS as: “an exhaust system, supply system, or combination thereof that is designed to mechanically exchange indoor air with outdoor air when operating continuously or through a programmed intermittent schedule to satisfy the whole house ventilation rates.”
The design parameters for a whole house mechanical ventilation system are contained in Section R403.6 of the 2020 ECCCNYS and Section M1505 of the 2020 RCNYS. Whole house mechanical ventilation systems shall consist of one or more supply or exhaust fans (or a combination thereof), associated ducts, automatic or gravity/backdraft dampers in outdoor air and exhaust air ducts, and controls. Although the code allows for supply or exhaust fans to serve as a ventilation system, outdoor air intake must be a consideration of the system.
15. What is the process for energy code variances?
Applications for variances from any standard or requirement of the State Energy Code for reasons of practical difficulty or unnecessary hardship may only be made to and granted by the Secretary of State. Pursuant to Energy Law §11-106, variance applications must include alternative energy conservation standards or requirements to achieve to the extent practicable the purposes of Article 11 of the Energy Law.
However, applications for variances from any municipality’s more stringent local energy conservation construction code adopted pursuant to Energy Law §11-109 are not submitted to or granted by the Secretary of State or the Regional Boards of Review. Please check with the applicable municipality regarding any variance procedures that may be in place for requirements of such local provisions.
16. Who do I contact with questions on the State Energy Code, NYStretch, or other More Restrictive Local Energy Codes (MRLECs)?
To request technical support on provisions of the State Energy Code, contact [email protected].
For support on the NYStretch Energy Code supplement, please reach out to the local municipality’s building code enforcement office or the NYSERDA code hotline at 1-866-697-3732 or [email protected].
For support on any other locally adopted MRLEC, please reach out to the local municipality’s building code enforcement office.
1. What is a “manufactured home”?
Per Section R202, of the 2020 Residential Code of New York State:
[NY] MANUFACTURED HOME. A factory-manufactured dwelling unit built on or after June 15, 1976, and conforming to the requirements of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Manufactured Home Contraction and Safety Standards, 24 CFR part 3280, 4/1/93, transportable in one or more sections which in the traveling mode is 8 body feet (2438 body mm) or more in width or 40 feet ( 12 192 body mm) or more in length, or, where erected on site, is 320 square feet (30 m2) minimum, constructed on a permanent chassis and designed to be used with or without a permanent foundation where connected to the required utilities, and includes the plumbing, heating, air-conditioning and electrical systems contained therein; The term “Manufactured home” shall also include any structure that meets all the requirements of this definition except the size requirements and with respect to which the manufacturer voluntarily files a certification required by the Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development and complies with the standards established under the national Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Act of 1974, as amended. The term “Manufactured home” shall not include any self-propelled recreation vehicle.
2. What is a “mobile home”?
Per Section AE201, Appendix E of the 2020 Residential Code of New York State:
[NY] MOBILE HOME. A moveable or portable dwelling unit that was built prior to June 15, 1976, and designed and constructed to be towed on its own chassis, composed of frame and wheels, connected to utilities, and designed and constructed without a permanent foundation for year-round living, excluding travel trailers. For the purpose of these provisions, a mobile home shall be considered a manufactured home.
3. What is a “modular home”?
Per Section R202, of the 2020 Residential Code of New York State:
[NY] FACTORY MANUFACTURED BUILDINGS (MODULAR BUILDINGS). A commercial or residential structure 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 includes buildings intended or designed for permanent installation, or assembly and permanent installation, on a building site.
4. What do Article 21-B Manufactured Homes and Part 1210 Manufactured Home Regulations require?
Please see the following PDF which summarizes this information.
5. Where can a list of certified individuals be found?
6. Are permits and certificates of occupancy/compliance required for the installation of a manufactured home?
Yes. Pursuant to 19 NYCRR Part 1203 a building permit “shall be required for [all] work which shall comply with the Uniform Code,” including the installation, alteration, and repair (as specified by Appendix J of the 2020 Residential Code of New York State) of a manufactured home. Section AE103 was added to Appendix E, of the 2020 Residential Code of New York State to address the topic of permitting and inspections. Lastly, pursuant to 19 NYCRR Part 1203 issuance of a certificate of occupancy/compliance is “required for any work which is the subject of a building permit.”
7. What are the responsibilities of the certified installer?
Article 21-b of the Executive Law of New York defines “installation” as “the affixation of a manufacture home to a foundation or supports at a building site; the assembly and fastening of structural components of manufactured housing, including the completed roof system; and the connection to electrical, oil, water, gas, sewage and similar systems that are necessary for the use of the manufactured home for dwelling purposes.” Installers are responsible for completing the fore going in a manner which meets the Standards of the Uniform Code.
8. When is a certified mechanic required?
A certified mechanic is required to be on site during the “service” of a manufactured home. Article 21-b of the Executive Law of New York defines “service” as “the modification, alteration or repair of the structural systems of a manufactured home.” Manufactured homes utilize glued panels as structural components in addition of traditional framing members in the design and construction of the structural subsystem of the structure. Therefore, any modification, alteration or repair of a glued panel would also be considered “service” and would require certification. NOTE: Service can also be performed by a certified installer.
9. What are the responsibilities of the code enforcement official (CEO)?
The CEO has responsibility for enforcing the Uniform Code for work performed at the site, but has no jurisdiction enforcing the requirements of HUD's Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards. In other words, the CEO cannot require changes to any assemblies or parts from the factory. However, any parts supplied by the factory that require field attachment or assembly should be inspected and verified by the CEO as having been completed in accordance with the manufacturers installation instructions or alternative, as defined by Appendix E of the 2020 Residential Code of New York State.
10. Can the CEO rely on a certified individual (installer, mechanic, etc.) to perform their responsibilities in compliance with the Uniform Code and not perform inspections?
NO, 19 NYCRR Part 1210 requires the CEO to “independently determine that such manufactured home has been installed in accordance with the applicable provisions of the Uniform Code. In determining whether such installation was or was not in accordance with the” Uniform Code the CEO “shall not rely upon the presence of the installer’s warranty seal, but shall make its own independent determination.”
11. Where can the requirements for the installation, alterations, additions, repairs or relocation of manufactured homes be found?
The requirements for the installation, alteration, addition, repair or relocation of manufactured homes can be found in Appendix E, Manufactured Housing Used as Dwellings, of the 2020 Residential Code of New York State.
12. Are zoning or other local laws that require manufactured homes to be installed on something other than the standard pier and footing system legal?
Jurisdictions that regulate manufactured homes foundations more restrictively than the 2020 Residential Code of New York State or the HUD standard, whether by zoning or other local law, must have a more restrictive local standards approved by the State Fire Prevention and Building Code Council. For information on zoning and other local laws, contact the NYS DOS Division of Local Government Services at (518) 473-3355.
13. Can a homeowner install their own manufactured home or complete portions of the installation of their own manufactured home?
19 NYCRR Part 1210 requires a certified installer to be on site while any manufactured home is being installed. “A person who intends to own and occupy a manufactured home may apply for certification as the installer of such manufactured home” pursuant to the requirements contained within Part 1210. Should a homeowner choose to complete a required component of the installation, that work shall be supervised and certified by an installer holding certification issued pursuant to part 1210.
More Restrictive Local Standards / Local Energy Laws
1. Who should I contact if I have questions regarding more restrictive construction standards and more restrictive energy laws?
Please direct all questions regarding more restrictive construction standards and more restrictive energy laws to:
Kevin Duerr-Clark, P.E.
Assistant Director for Code Development
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) 486-4597
Fax: (518) 486-4487