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Division of Building Standards and Codes

We have witnessed significant progress over the past hundred years or more in both the quantity and quality of construction regulations and fire prevention practices.  As a result, buildings constructed with today’s codes are safer, both structurally and from a fire protection point of view.

Since the inception of the statewide code in 1984, the State of New York has gained national prominence in the development, administration and enforcement of building, fire prevention and energy codes.


Background

In 1981, the New York State Legislature enacted a new law directing the development and implementation of an integrated building and fire code for the state. One of the primary reasons for establishing an integrated code was to ensure that all communities in the state had effective standards in place to protect against perils posed by fire or inadequate building construction. Prior to the enactment of this law, the decision of whether to enforce a building or fire prevention codes was left to the discretion of each local government. This law also set the process by which the code would be developed, maintained, administered and enforced. (Exec. Law, Sections 370-383).

The Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code (Uniform Code) took effect on January 1, 1984, prescribing statewide minimum standards for building construction and fire prevention. The Uniform Code is applicable in all municipalities of the state except the City of New York, which is permitted to retain its own code.

On January 1, 2003, New York State updated the Uniform Code and Energy Code with several sub-units, based upon national model codes developed by the International Code Council (ICC). The International Codes, which are widely used throughout the country, provide a greater level of consistency and allow us to keep pace with emerging technology in today’s fast paced construction industry. The latest update to the Uniform Code was effective December 28, 2010 and is based on the 2006 International Codes with New York State amendments. The Energy Code, effective December 28, 2010, is based on the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code with New York State amendments.

Local governments (cities, towns, villages and counties) are responsible for enforcing the Uniform Code and Energy Code (Exec. Law Section 381). Changes to the Uniform Code and Energy Code, such as those enacted in 2010, do not have to be adopted by a municipality. They fall under the statewide mandate that has been in effect since 1984.


Local Programs for Administration and Enforcement of the Codes

Primary responsibility for administering and enforcing the Uniform Code and the Energy Code falls to the cities, towns, villages and counties of the State. Therefore, it is necessary for each municipal governing body to develop and implement a program for enforcement of the code within municipal boundaries. Although building construction, fire prevention and energy standards are uniform throughout the state, municipal programs for enforcing such standards are not required to be uniform, as long as they meet minimum standards (19 NYCRR Part 1203). A municipal code enforcement program appropriate for a large city is not necessarily appropriate for a rural town. Local needs and conditions should be considered when designing a municipal code enforcement program.


Department of State Responsibilities

The Division of Building Standards and Codes (Codes Division) provides support and assistance to local governments that enforce the code. Direct service to municipalities and the public is handled by the activities of several units within the Codes Division, including:

                                                        Educational Services


                                                        Technical Services


                                                        Energy Services


                                                        Code Development


                                                        Code Interpretation


                                                        Regional Services



Regional Services

Located in regional offices across the State, this unit provides on-site technical assistance to local government officials, design professionals, and the general public. Regional staff process requests for variances from the Uniform Code and serve as advisors to the regional boards of review. Our regional offices are the Codes Division’s “direct link” to local government code enforcement programs throughout the state.


BSC Staff


Director
Ronald Piester, A.I.A.

Assistant Director for Administration
Julie C. Nemeth-Weisser

Assistant Director for Code Development
Mark Blanke, P.E.

Assistant Director for Code Interpretation


Assistant Director for Energy Services
Joseph Hill, R.A.
 
Assistant Director for Technical Services
Gerard Hathaway, R.A.
 
Assistant Director for Educational Services
John R. Addario, P.E.

Assistant Director for Regional Services
Brian S. Tollisen, P.E.


Contact Information:
                                Department of State
                                One Commerce Plaza
                                99 Washington Ave, Suite 1160
                                Albany, NY 12231-0001
                                Phone: (518) 474-4073
                                Fax: (518) 486- 4487


For Code Questions:
                                Phone: (518)-474-4073 Fax: (518)-486-448
                                e-mail: codes@dos.state.ny.us
 
Click Here for Driving Directions

Click Here for Regional Office Information




Driving Directions to the BSC Main Office :

 

FROM THE SOUTH    Take the NYS Thruway (I-87) North to exit 23. Proceed straight onto I-787 North to the Empire State Plaza exit (#3). Follow the exit ramp under the Empire State Plaza and turn right onto South Swan Street. Follow South Swan Street to the second traffic light, then turn left onto Washington Avenue. One Commerce Plaza is on the right hand corner. Go straight, approximately 25 ft., and turn right into the parking garage.

FROM THE NORTH    Take the Adirondack Northway (I-87) South to exit 2, (I-90 East) to the I-787 South exit. Follow I-787 to the Empire State Plaza exit. Follow the exit under the Empire State Plaza and turn right onto South Swan Street. Take South Swan Street to the second traffic light, then turn left onto Washington Avenue. One Commerce Plaza is on the right hand corner. Go straight, approximately 25 ft., and turn right into the parking garage.

FROM THE WEST    Take the NYS Thruway (I-90) East to exit 23. Proceed straight onto I-787 North to the Empire State Plaza exit. Follow exit under the Empire State Plaza and turn right onto South Swan Street. Follow South Swan Street to the second traffic light, then turn left onto Washington Avenue. One Commerce Plaza is on the right hand corner. Go straight, approximately 25 ft., and turn right into the parking garage.

FROM THE EAST    Take I-90 East to I-787 South. Proceed on I-787 to the South Empire State Plaza exit. Follow exit under the Empire State Plaza and turn right onto South Swan Street. Follow South Swan Street to the second traffic light, then turn left onto Washington Avenue. One Commerce Plaza is on the right hand corner. Go straight, approximately 25 ft., and turn right into the parking garage.

FROM ALBANY INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT    Leave Airport parking area and take a left onto Albany-Shaker Road. Follow Albany-Shaker Road to the second traffic light. Turn right onto I-87 (Northway) South to Exit 1E (I-90 East). Take I-90 East to 787 South to the Empire State Plaza exit. Follow the exit under the Empire State Plaza and turn right onto South Swan Street. Follow South Swan Street to the second traffic light, then turn left onto Washington Avenue. One Commerce Plaza is on the right hand corner. Go straight, approximately 25 ft., and turn right into the parking garage.

Parking

Parking is available under the building of One Commerce Plaza (99 Washington Avenue) for a daily fee. There is additional parking at Tri-State Parking (111 Washington Avenue) and at the outdoor lot directly behind One Commerce Plaza.

Amtrak

Take train to the Albany/Rensselaer Amtrak station. Taxis are available outside the station.