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How to Complete a Construction Project in NYC - New York City



Successfully executing and completing a construction project, especially in a highly regulated city like New York City, depends on how well your team knows, plans, and manages your project. Your team of architects and engineers are responsible for knowing and understanding Department requirements, other local regulations, and incorporating these rules into the overall project plan.


This serves as a quick reference guide to the various aspects of the project process, from obtaining permits and inspections to final inspection and sign-off. Here's an overview of the process that highlights what you need to know, what you need to do, and what the professionals you hire should be doing.


To begin a construction project, you must...

  • Pre-Project: Determine whether your project requires a permit. If your project requires a permit hire a Registered Design Professional (RDP) − a Professional Engineer (PE) or Registered Architect (RA) – to ensure your project is Code compliant.

  • Project Plans: If a permit is required, obtain the necessary permits, and file the applications and construction drawings. Only an RDP can submit construction documents, including drawings and other submissions, to the Department for approval.

  • Asbestos Investigation: Have asbestos investigation performed on site to check for Asbestos Containing Material (ACM) that will be removed or disturbed.

  • Project Work: Hire a Licensed/Registered General Contractor to perform the work. When hiring a professional, have a written contract that includes the Contractor’s company name, address and license number(s).

  • DOB NOW Requirement: As the owner you must provide your email address to the Department to obtain correspondence, inspections and final sign-off of the project.

  • Commissioning: If your project requires commissioning (all projects where the total permitted equipment is greater than or equal to a total heating input capacity of 600,000 BTU/h and/or a total cooling capacity of 480,000 BTU/h), ensure that you have a qualified commissioning agent to perform the work.

  • Work Completion: Ensure inspections and sign-offs are performed to close the project permit. If required, commissioning must be filed with the Department prior to sign-off.

Before you get to the application stage, you must first...

  • Hire a Registered Design Professional (RDP) to consult and finalize the scope of work.

  • Provide and consent to the project submission requirements and authorize your RDP − who will be listed as the Applicant of Record − to submit your project plans (construction documents) to the Department for plan examination review and approval. NOTE: As the owner of the building/property you are ultimately responsible for the project. Your signature/consent is required on the application so your RDP can submit your project plans. You may attend plan examination appointments, only if you are accompanied by your RDP (Applicant of Record) or the Filing Representative.

  • If Systems Commissioning is required, hire a commissioning agent.

  • Obtain Department plan approval. Remember, DOB project approval is required before any work can begin.

Pre-Permit Approval...

  • Licensed Contractor: Hire a NYC Licensed/Registered Contractor to obtain work permit(s) in order to begin work. Your licensed contractor will file and pull the necessary permits so the approved work can begin.

  • Special Inspections: If the scope of work requires, hire the required Special Inspection Agency (SIA) to perform Special/Progress Inspections.

  • Notify the Department: Before a permit is pulled, provide the name(s) of the SIA(s) contracted to do the Special Inspections, using an online submission.

On-going Project Work...

  • Site Safety: As the property owner you are responsible for ensuring your property is being maintained in a safe manner while work is in progress, and that all job site workers have the appropriate site safety training.

Project Completion & Close-out...

  • Special Inspections: If the scope of work requires, the contracted Special Inspection Agency hired must complete and submit results online to the Department.

  • Department Inspections: Make sure the Contractor has completed all Department of Buildings inspections and obtained a sign-off of the completed work.

  • Systems Commissioning: If Systems Commissioning is required, it must be completed prior to project sign-off.

  • Final Inspection and Sign-off: Confirm that your Contractor has requested and passed final sign-off inspection required by the Department.

  • Receive a new or amended Certificate of Occupancy or Letter of Completion.

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