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How to Obtain an Equipment Use Permit - Equipment Use Cards NYC

A common question when closing out a project is whether or not the installed air conditioning system requires an Equipment Use Permit (EUP). All air conditioning systems require an EUP, unless it meets all of the following exemptions.

27-184 (26-116.5) EXEMPTIONS FROM PERMIT REQUIREMENT. An equipment work permit shall not be required in any of the following cases: (a) Air-Conditioning and Ventilating Systems – Where the system is a voluntary system serving only one floor of a building and:

  1. Does not use lot line windows for the intake or exhaust of air or the mounting of equipment.

  2. Is not installed in any public hallway, passageway, or stairway.

  3. Does not in any way reduce the ventilation of any room or space below that required by code provisions.

  4. Does not penetrate any fire division, roof, floor, or wall (except that a packaged air-conditioning unit not exceeding 3 tons rated capacity may be used in windows or in sleeves under windows, provided that health, fire and/or structural safety is not thereby impaired).

Therefore, only a packaged unit (under 3 tons) that fits in a window or wall sleeve, is exempt from the EUP requirement. Any split system, even if it is under 3 tons, will almost always need an EUP as refrigerant piping will likely penetrate a fire division, wall or roof.

When an Equipment Use Permit is required, it will need to be confirmed that the nameplate information, of the equipment installed on site, matches what is shown on the DOB approved plans. If it doesn’t, a Post Approval Amendment will need to be filed to show the as-built equipment information and demonstrate the required energy code compliance. Upon verification of the equipment information on the DOB approved plans and completion of the necessary special and progress inspections, the Equipment Use Permit and application is signed by the design applicant and the inspector. A copy of the EUP must be posted on the equipment prior to operation. Failure to have the EUP cards on site will result in the issuance of violations and fines by the Department of Buildings or the FDNY.

When installing and Air Conditioning System (HVAC) that requires a permit to install or requires an Equipment Use Card (EUP) the following filing and approval process is required: Plans are prepared by a Licensed Design Professional. This can be a Registered Architect or Professional Engineer that is licensed in the State of New York Plans must prove compliance with the NYC Building Code, The NYC Zoning Resolution, and The NYC Energy Code Building Department forms are prepared and signed by the Licensed Design Professional and ownership If the Building is subject the Landmark Approvals, a Landmarks Application must also be prepared and filed. Asbestos Testing and reports are required for installation on all Buildings built before 1987. Plans are filed with the Building Department, reviewed by an examiner, and objections are resolved in subsequent plan examination appointments. After plans are approved, A permit for Mechanical Work and sometimes Structural work for dunnage must be obtained by the Contractor/Installer. After construction is complete and HVAC units installed, A Special Inspection Agency must inspect and sign off on Special and Progress Inspections. These can include Mechanical Systems, Energy Inspections, and Final Inspection. Only after these aforementioned steps are completed, can one request approval of an EUP. An EUP application is completed which confirmes that the exact make and model number of the HVAC equipment was installed and all Special Inspections have been passed. This EUP application is submitted to the Building Department and they will issue an Equipment use Card. The application must then be signed off and a Letter of Completion obtained.

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