Renovations: Residential & Community Facilities

The following is a list of useful terms to use when researching additional Residential & Community Facilities information on each of the topics discussed:

Adult Home

An adult care facility established and operated for the purpose of providing long-term residential care, room, board, housekeeping, personal care and supervision to five or more adults unrelated to the operator.

Building Systems Work

The installation, modification, or upgrade of existing building systems; including plumbing, boiler, sprinkler, standpipe, fire alarm, HVAC, and fire suppression systems; these repairs must be included in the scope of work of the project.

Certificate of Occupancy

A new Certificate of Occupancy is issued for a building upon completion of the new building project; reference AC 28-118.3 for more information
The following may also be issued:

  • A Partial Certificate of Occupancy, for a completed and signed off portion of a building, depending on the construction progress and safety;

  • Temporary Certificate of Occupancy, for a limited duration of time, because the new building project is not closed out because of final inspections not performed by DOB, final surveys not submitted, etc. Reference AC 28-118.16.


Refers to quality assurance testing process that verifies and documents the selected building systems have been designed, installed, and function according to the Owner’s project requirements and construction documents, and to minimum Code requirements. Mandatory when 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, as per NYCECC C408

Community Facility

A community facility, as discussed in the Zoning Resolution, serves the medical, including emotional, mental, or more general health needs, the educational needs, religious and other similar social needs of the residents in the surrounding neighborhood and zoning district. The Zoning Resolution dictates the zoning districts in which community facilities may be located.

Community Facility with Sleeping Quarters

Community facilities with sleeping accommodations are buildings occupied by residents on a temporary or permanent basis. Such residential community facilities include, but are not limited to group homes, rectories, convents, college dormitories, homeless shelters, and monasteries. Community Facilities may be part of buildings with an Institutional Use (BC Occupancy Classification).

Elevation in Flood Zones

Elevating a building to ensure that lowest occupied floor is above the flood levels per FEMA flood maps and as described in BC Appendix G and ZR Article VI.

High Rise Building

A building with an occupied floor located more than 75 feet (22 860 mm) above the lowest level of fire department vehicle access.

Layout Changes

Changes to floor layouts that add, relocate, remodel, enlarge or reduce the size of interior spaces while maintaining the same building envelope.

Lot Line Windows

Exterior wall windows located on the side or rear property, zoning or tax lot lines. Depending on building type and building construction class, lot line windows require special code compliance review to determine the allowable window sizes, quantity, and fire protection needed. There are also zoning and MDL considerations which require rooms with lot line windows to have a minimum amount of legal light and air. Easements may be required that could restrict adjacent building development and/or require mitigation measures to protect such lot line windows.

Mixed Building

Per the Zoning Resolution, a mixed building is a building used partly for residential use and partly for community facility, and/or commercial use.

Multiple Dwelling

Per NYS Multiple Dwelling Law, a multiple dwelling is a building occupied as the residence or home of three or more families living independently of each other. It does not include a hospital, convent, monastery, asylum or public institution.

Class A Multiple Dwelling – is occupied only for permanent residence purposes (occupancy of a dwelling unit by the same person or family for thirty consecutive days or more), such as but not limited to an apartment building, apartment hotels, studio apartments etc. Each Class A Dwelling Unit or apartment must have its own kitchen or kitchenette and its own full bathroom. 

Class B Multiple Dwelling – is occupied transiently or as a temporary residence for individuals or families (occupancy of a dwelling unit for less than thirty consecutive days), such as but not limited to hotels, lodging houses, rooming houses, boarding houses, boarding schools, club houses, college and school dormitories.

Natural Light and Air

The amount of natural light and natural air ventilation derived from passive openings such as operable and openable windows and skylights; this is required for certain spaces in residential and community facility buildings to ensure compliance with Code, Zoning and Multiple Dwelling Law (MDL).

Partial Demolition

Maintaining the same building envelope, any construction that involves the removal, replacement or repair of load bearing and/or non-load bearing interior partitions, changes to structural elements (interior or exterior), and facade changes or other upgrades.


Changes to an existing building, including the remodeling or replacing of outdated or damaged structure and materials, and the partial demolition of interior partitions, building renovations can also include the installation or replacement of building systems, devices or equipment, materials or parts as part of regular maintenance of the building. Renovation projects do not impact the existing means of egress, do not change the use of the building or space, and do not increase the occupant load.


Per the Building Code (BC) 310, residential occupancy classifications R1, R2 and R3 include the use of a building or structure, or a portion thereof, for dwelling or sleeping purposes. If there are three or more dwelling units in the building, it shall be classified as a multiple dwelling and subject to the MDL. Residences can be either transient, in which the occupancy of a dwelling unit or sleeping unit is not more than 30 days, or non-transient, and could include community facilities with sleeping accommodations.

There are differences between how residential buildings are defined in the Zoning Resolution (ZR) versus the Building Code (BC). Per the ZR, Residential, as applied to building use, is a building with one or more dwelling units or rooming units, but with exceptions; for example, hotels and community facilities with sleeping accommodations are not considered residences. Residential can also describe the type of zoning district; for example, hotels are not allowed in residential districts while community facilities are.


The purpose for which a building, structure, building area/space or open tract of land is designed, arranged maintained or occupied.

Use Group

The Use Group is based on the use, as defined in ZR section 12-10, which is any purpose for which a building or other structure, or an open tract of land, may be designed, arranged, intended, maintained or occupied; furthermore the use is any activity, occupation, business or operation carried on, or intended to be carried on.

Project Categories:

  1. Building Systems Installation & Modifications

  2. Renovations

  3. Construction Equipment

  4. Alterations

  5. Demolition COMING SOON!

  6. New Buildings COMING SOON!

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