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Tuesday, July 16 2024

NYC Building Codes DICTIONARY.


Project IQ-@rius
delivers NYC Building Codes Dictionary in cooperation of UnravelCodes. This Dictionary has intention to explain complicated terms of The Code in the understandable form. It’s intendent to help all living in Big Apple and unfamiliar with The Code and worried how to deal with it.

Page under construction … February 2024

NYC Building Code means the latest edition of Building Code of The City Of New York plus any applicable Reference Standards, Selected Rules and Regulations of Local Law No. 76 Effective December 6, 1968 including amendments to the code.


  • Abandoned
  • Administrative judge
  • Amendment
  • Apartment – Apartment
  • Apartment building – means a residential use building, or the residential use portion of a mixed-use building, other than a townhouse or stacked townhouse containing four or more dwelling units each of which shall have access to above grade common halls, stairs, elevators, and yards.
  • Applicant of record
  • As of right – a term simply means that, you don’t need any special approvals. For example, if you build a one family house in a residential zone, you don’t need one. If you try to build a store in the residential zone you must get BSA approval and so you are no longer as of right.
  • As-of-right Development – Does not require any discretion­ary action by the City Planning Commission or Board of Standards and Appeals. Most developments and enlargements in the NYC are as-of-right.
  • Asbestos
  • Asbestos examinator


  • Basement – look also Cellar
  • BCNY
  • BIS = Building Information System
  • Board of Standards and Appeals – (BSA)
  • Building code – set of standards established and enforced by local government for the structural safety of buildings.
  • Bowstring truss – is a structural device to span long distance without the use of columns. It works on the same principle as span of old bridge.
  • Building Common Areas as used in this Lease, shall mean the portions of the Common Areas located within the Building reasonably designated as such by Landlord. The manner in which the Common Areas are maintained and operated shall be at the reasonable discretion of Landlord and the use thereof shall be subject to the Rules and Regulations as Landlord may make from time to time. Landlord reserves the right to close temporarily, make alterations or additions to, or change the location of elements of the Project and the Common Areas, provided that, in connection therewith, Landlord shall perform such closures, alterations, additions or changes in a commercially reasonable manner and, in connection therewith, shall use commercially reasonable efforts to minimize any material interference with Tenant’s use of and access to the Premises.
  • BSA =  NYC Board of Standards and Appeals


  • Canopy – Canopy
  • Cellar – look also Basement
  • Certificate of Compliance
  • Certificate of Correction – Certificate of corrections
  • Certificate of occupancy – could be temporary or permanent – Certificate of occupancy
  • Civil penalties
  • Class of Violation     class of violation
  • Code compliant – means that something meets all the codes at the time of construction. Code compliance, by strict definition, is compliance with a written, adopted or required set of rules that have been set into a code format.
  • Commercial building means a non-residential building other than an agricultural building, an industrial building or an institutional building.
  • Commercial zone – Commercial zone
  • Comminssioning – Comminssioning
  • Construction
  • Construction superintendentConstruction superintendent
  • Construction document
  • Consultant
  • Contractor
  • Cost affidavit –
  • Curb level – starting point of elevation to calculate building measurements



  • Deck
  • Demolition – the act of taking entire structure down, or removing structural members of it. Look at Emergency Declaration.
  • Department of Buildings
  • Design development
  • Directive 14 – allows applicant of record to do final inspections and certify that the application is complete. This is true for small applications that do not change use, egrees or occupancy
  • DOB = Department of Buildings
  • DOBNOW – – this is a set internet portals designed to allow homeowners, applicants, contractors and inspectors have 24/7/365 access to NYC DOB. It is the latest attempt to get rid of paperwork. Previous attempts were PC-Filing, E-filing, Accella, HUB. We now have DOBNOWBUILD, INSPECTIONS, LICENSING, SAFETY and BIS OPTIONS & APPOINTMENTS. 
  • Draftperson – Draftperson
  • Dust
  • Dwelling – is a self contained space for permanent or transient residence purposes. Because we spend many hours in dwellings the rules on what a dwelling is or is not are complicated and span many different rule books. Changing the window size or moving a wall in your house can make the space inhabitable.
  • Dwelling unit – Dwelling unit
  • Construction


  • ED = Emergency declaration
  • Egress – (safe egress) What is the difference between exit and egress? The means of egress provides the path of travel from the building to an area outside the building. Egress
  • Equipment use permit
  • Emergency declaration – Emergency declaration
  • EnforcementEnforcement inspector , Enforcement
  • EPSS = Emergency Power Supply Systems
  • Excavating – Excavating
  • Exit – The exit is the portion of the means of egress between the exit access and exit discharge, such as a stairway or ramp.
  • Expeditor


  • Failure to comply – Failure to comply
  • Fence
  • FDNY – Fire department
  • Filling application
  • Filing representative
  • Fire department access
  • Fire hazard
  • Fire suppression system – Fire suppression system
  • Footing
  • Foundation
  • Front end planning


  • Guiderairs



  • IED = immediate emergency declaration
  • IMD = interim multiple dwelling
  • Infraction
  • Initial filling
  • Inspector
  • Inspections




  • Key – look window key violation,


  • LAALimited Alteration Application
  • Lack of accesibility –  very popular violation
  • Letter of no objection
  • Light and Air
  • Limited Alteration Application – The limited alteration work is defined by code and has strict limits both in value and in scope. Limited Alteration Application
  • Local law 79/16 – requires (with very few exemptions) the use of single-occupant toilet rooms by person of any sex, to be allowed in publicly accessible spaces.


  • Master electrician
  • Master plumber
  • MDL = Multiple Dwelling Law
  • Mold an Pest – very popular violation
  • Multiple Dwelling – residential building with 3 or more dwelling units
  • Multiple Dwelling Law – (MDL)


  • No use – means
  • Noice
  • Notice of Violation Notice of violation
  • NOV = Notice of violation NOV
  • NUISANCE – means a building that is structurally unsafe, unsanitary, or not provided with adequate safe egress; that constitutes a fire hazard, is otherwise dangerous to human life, or is otherwise no longer fit and habitable; or that, in relation to its existing use, constitutes a hazard to the public health, welfare, …
  • NYC Building Code means the latest edition of Building Code of The City Of New York plus any applicable Reference Standards, Selected Rules and Regulations of Local Law No. 76 Effective December 6, 1968 including amendments to the code.


  • Occupancy
  • Outbuilding means and refer to structures such as (by way of example and not limitation) storage buildings, sheds, greenhouses, gazebos and other Roofed Structures.


  • PAAPost Approval Amendment
  • Partition walls
  • PE =
  • Permit application
  • Permitting
  • Plan/Work Approval ApplicationPlan/Work Approval Application
  • Plan examiner
  • Porch
  • Post Approval Amendment – A vast majority of PAA’s are just a formality and your project can continue without stopping but some PAA’s can hinder a project and even kill it alltogether. Post Approval Amendment
  • Punch list
  • PW1 form – go to Plan/Work Approval Application
  • Pylon


  • RA =
  • Ramp
  • Reassignment
  • Regulatory review
  • Reinstatement
  • Rescinded stop work order
  • Residential – Reside
  • Roof


  • Safe egress – Egress
  • Sanitary facility – a bathroom is an example of Sanitary facility
  • Scaffold – is a temporary or movable platform for workers (such as bricklayers) to stand or sit on when working at a height above the floor or ground.
  • Schematic design
  • Shed
  • Shop drawing
  • Shoring – Shoring
  • Sidewalk
  • Smoke detector
  • Smoking ban – Smoking ban
  • Special inspector – it is
  • Stairway
  • Structural members
  • Stalled construction site – a program Stalled construction site
  • Stop Work Order
  • Structural monitoring – Structural monitoring
  • Structure
  • SWO = Stop work order
  • Supersede
  • Supporting foundation


  • TCO = (temporary certificate of occupancy)
  • Tenant
  • Tenant Protection Plan
  • Time allotted – it is
  • Transient residence – means a place where a person lives, remains, or is located for a period of 5 or more days in the aggregate during a calendar year and which is not the person’s permanent or temporary address.
  • Trench


  • ULURP = Uniform Land Use Review Procedure
  • Underpinning – The process of strengthening weak foundation by excavating, supporting, and laying new, stronger footings under and around the week foundation
  • Unsafe building –  building collapsed unsafe building
  • Unsanitary


  • Vacant
  • Vacate order
  • Violation – violation


  • Waterproofing – Waterproofing
  • Wind load
  • Window lock – very important
  • Withdrawal


  • XML (Extensible
  • XXX – end of X


  • YYY – end of Y.


  • Zoning lot certification – is another way to make life more difficult. Why NYC building department cannot combine maps and make those two borders be the same?


NYC Building Codes Dictionary is published with the permission of Project IQ-@rius.

The Dictionary is under construction. If you found any highlighted word and there is no explanation on it, go to Instagram, hit the proper # (hashtag) and look at #UnravelCodes for simple answer.

This an Open Educational Project. Everyone has the right to submit new entries into the glossary or to correct existing ones.