By Austin Regan, R.A.
The Technical Affairs Division here at Metropolis Group has been busy, helping clients navigate the transition to the 2022 New York City Construction Codes, which went into effect on November 7, 2022. As part of those efforts, we’re summarizing the changes between the 2014 and 2022 versions of the New York City Building Code. So far, we have completed our analysis of the following:
- Chapter 3, “Use & Occupancy Classification”
- Chapter 5, “General Building Heights & Areas”
- Chapter 9, “Fire Protection Systems”
- Appendix G, “Flood-Resistant Construction”
While no earth-shattering changes appear in Chapters 3 and 5, some useful clarifications have occurred, including the following:
- The 2022 Code contains additional information regarding child daycare facilities, including group family daycare.
- The new code includes a classification for “accessory storage spaces,” expanding the 2014 Code.
- Differentiation is now made between standalone commercial kitchens and those associated with dining areas.
- The 2022 Code permits a larger floor plate when a room includes both a mezzanine and an equipment platform.
- Under “Building Area Modifications,” the new code now permits excluding first-level cellars from allowable floor area; the 2014 Code only mentioned basements.
- The new code contains a section that clarifies how open space is measured.
In the interest of public safety, Chapter 9 incorporates several significant changes. A few examples include the following:
- The new Code introduces new requirements for “Automatic Sprinkler Systems,” such as increasing the height trigger for requiring a secondary on-site water supply and reducing the instances in which sprinkler heads can use the domestic supply.
- The 2022 section on “Smoke Control Systems” includes more restrictions, weekly testing requirements, and additional documentation. In addition, new requirements have been added that will affect all buildings without an enclosed elevator lobby.
- Regarding “Smoke and Heat Removal,” the 2022 Code now provides several new areas of code compliance in addition to previous requirements for smoke and heat vents.
Last, but not least, Appendix G incorporates several notable changes to address the ongoing impact of climate change. A few appear below.
- The new code includes additional restrictions related to residential occupancies.
- Restrictions have been added for new buildings; the use of fill for structural support has been banned.
- Design Flood Elevation (DFE) has increased to two feet—compared to one foot in the 2014 Code—above Base Flood Elevation (BFE).
We will continue to release chapter analyses as they become ready. If you have any questions or comments, please contact the Technical Affairs Division of Metropolis Group at 212.233.6344.