Architects

You rarely see liquor stores alongside churches and schools in New York City. It’s not a zoning restriction. It’s actually a law imposed by the New York Liquor Authority called the 200 Foot Rule.

200 Foot Rule

The 200 Foot rule prohibits liquor licenses from being issued to establishments located “on the same street and within 200 feet of a building that is used exclusively as a school, church synagogue or other place of worship.” The 200 Foot Rule applies to liquor only. (more...)

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It’s no coincidence that New York City has seen a proliferation of yoga studios in the last several years. This is largely due to the Department of Buildings distinguishing yoga studios from their “physical culture” brethren–the massage parlors, bathhouses and gyms that require BSA approval.

According to Zoning Resolution 73-36, physical culture establishments are only allowed in districts C1-8X, C1-9, C2, C4, C5, C6, C8, M1, M2 or M3 by BSA approval. (more...)

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The combining of residential units has become increasingly popular in New York City. Residential combinations can range from the joining of two apartments to turning a larger multiple dwelling into a single family home.

Combining residential units can be tricky. Major upgrades to fire and life safety systems, accessibility and egress may be in order. Here are the leading issues surrounding residential unit combinations.

Is There a Change in Use, Egress or Occupancy? (more...)

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Manhattan is built to the sky with steel, concrete and glass, but a growing trend threatens to transform the composition of the famous horizon. Emboldened by the burgeoning prefabricated wood engineering process called mass timber, architects are beginning to envision the wooden high-rise. But will the Building Code oblige?

Mass timber is a process of making structural panels from glued together wood slabs. The process of crisscrossing slabs in sandwiched layers is called cross-laminated timber (CLT). (more...)

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The Department of Buildings released three Local Laws changing key definitions that broaden the types of buildings required to benchmark, upgrade lighting and install sub-meters. These Local Laws amend the Administrative Code to redefine covered buildings, city buildings and covered tenant spaces.

Lighting Upgrades

The city clearly seeks to expand required energy efficient lighting systems. Local Law 88 of 2009 mandated “covered buildings” to upgrade their lighting controls, tandem wiring, exit signs, interior lighting power requirements and exterior lighting by January 1, 2025. (more...)

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Beginning January 1st, 2017, Local Law 79 of 2016 requires single occupancy bathrooms in New York City to be available for men or women. Single occupancy bathrooms are defined as “a toilet room with no more than one water closet and no more than one urinal.” Bars are exempt if they have occupancy of 150 or less people and one single occupancy bathroom for men and one for women. (more...)

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New York City and State will implement their new Energy Codes on October 3, 2016. New York State Energy Conservation Code (NYSECC) is based on the International Energy Conservation Code and ASHRAE 90.1-2013. The New York City Energy Conservation Code (NYCECC) is the adopted version of Local Law 91. Applications filed after October 3, 2016 will be subject to the 2016 NYCECC.

The new code requires many New York residential buildings to increase their air tightness. (more...)

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