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What are the Project Phases and Requirements for Design Professionals In New York City- NYC DOB?

Design Professional Project Phases & Requirements:

When submitting construction documents to the Department, the principal Registered Design Professional, who is the Applicant of Record, is responsible for submission of the complete set at filing: application, drawings and coordination of required documents.  The following information is provided to reduce the risk of Department enforcement actions and penalties.

Phase I

Pre-approval of Project

During the design/pre-construction phase, a clear understanding of the NYC Construction Codes and other regulatory requirements is necessary when considering the project scope of work. By using the Project Guidelines Owners/Developers and Design Professionals can work together to determine the level of effort needed to comply with requirements.


Scope and Budget - Outline scope of work and budget estimate

Project Plans - Registered Design Professional prepares and finalizes project plans, with periodic review by the Owner; permit path selected (New York City Department of Buildings plan examination review or Professional Certification).



Based on the complexity of the project, design professionals have the option to discuss the following with Department experts at scheduled meetings:

  • Work Scope, Project Schedule, Filing Strategy and Phasing of your project

  • Regulations and requirements from the Department and other City agencies

  • Identification of possible compliance variations or alternatives

Project Reviews (Optional) – Submit a request for project consultation, with the Department to clarify compliance issues

Determinations (Optional) – Submit waivers, alternate equivalent designs, or other special considerations from the Department

Project Guidance (Optional) – Consult with the Department to review project scope, and guidance related to requirements for phasing work


Construction Documents & Online Submission (Required) - Completes online project intake forms, and electronically uploads project drawings, additional documents, and other required submissions

Project Plans - The Registered Design Professional prepares and finalizes project plans, with periodic review by the owner; permit path selected (Department plan examination review or professional certification).

Plan Examination

  • Path I – Department Review -  Project submissions require Department Review for approval, and are assigned to a Department plan examination team.  Following the team’s first review, the project is either approved or disapproved.  If disapproved, the Applicant (Registered Design Professional) resubmits revisions or meets with the team/Plan Examiner to satisfy requirements for approval.

  • Path II – Professional Certification (Pro-Cert) -  Department Plan Review is not required, the Registered Design Professional certifies compliance and the project is allowed to obtain a permit following Department acceptance of complete submission by Applicant.

Note: Pro-Cert projects may be audited.

Appointments (Required) - Disapproved and audited applications are marked with plan review comments; Registered Design Professionals must be prepared with resolutions of such comments for resubmission with revisions, or to discuss in appointments.

Pre-approval - Owners/Developers and Registered Design Professionals work together to determine the level of effort needed to comply with construction requirements; Contractors/Subcontractors can accurately determine relevant project-related costs in their bids.

Approval (Required) - Following the resolution of all comments including receipt of all necessary submissions, a project is approved to allow issuance of the project permit.

  • Work Permits.  After receiving project approval/acceptance, a licensed/registered Contractor can obtain the permit to begin work. If the scope of work involves different disciplines/trades, multiple Contractors (i.e. general construction, plumbing, electrical and other trades) must obtain work permits.

*Note: Special and Progress Inspections, performed by a Special Inspection Agency (SIA), may be required.

Phase III

Completion and Close-out

Project work does not end with the Contractors’ completion of work.  Registered Design Professionals and Contractors must obtain all necessary sign-offs of the completed work, after which a Certificate of Occupancy or a Letter of Completion may be obtained to close-out the project.


Certificate of Completion - Issued for some Renovation projects, most Repair projects, and Construction Equipment projects; a Final Inspection sign-off, which includes the submission of various documentation, inspections, tests, etc. results in the issuance of the certificate of completion.

Certificate of Occupancy - Issued for New Building (NB) and Alteration projects; after all related permit sign-offs are obtained and the Final Inspection is performed by the Department and is found acceptable, a Certificate of Occupancy is issued.

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