The 1968 Building Code requires us to calculate the occupant load of a restaurant at 12 square feet per person but the 2014 code only requires 15 square feet per person. Can we use the 2014 code for this reason in an existing building?

When an applicant requests review under the 2014 NYC Building Code they are essentially stating that the entire building complies with all sections of that code. Any conditions that were designed in accordance with the 1968 Building Code, or earlier, must be updated to the new code.

This becomes practically infeasible with most existing buildings. Specifically the structural and seismic requirements of Chapter 16 of the 2014 NYC Building Code would usually be more costly to remediate, if possible, than razing the building and erecting new. On a case by case basis the commissioner may permit the use of the 2014 Building Code when each non-compliant condition is declared in writing and the reasoning for the New Code’s use must not be to diminish the existing life safety features of a building.