Design Professional Requirements: Emergency Backup Power Systems


Applicability of Code

For existing buildings, Emergency Backup Power system installation or modification work must comply with the NYC Zoning Resolution, Construction Codes (Building, Fuel Gas, and Mechanical), NYC Electrical Code, NYC Fire Code and NYC Energy Conservation Code.  Per the 2014 Administrative Code Section 28-101.4.3 and 2016 ECC 101, additions, alterations, renovations or repairs to an installed system shall conform to what is required for new installations without necessarily requiring that the existing installation comply with all requirements of this code. Alterations or repairs shall not cause an existing installation to become unsafe, hazardous or overloaded.

 

NOTE: While the followings is a list of key zoning, code and other regulations that may be relevant in the project’s design, it does not cover ALL applicable regulations.

 

Project Element

Applicable Code and Regulations

Current Code

Prior Codes

2014

1968

1938

Chimney and Vents

2014 FGC Chapter 5

Combustion, Ventilation, and Dilution Air Requirements

2014 FGC Chapter 5

Egress and Clearances

BC Chapter 10 and Appendix S

§27-354 through
§27-396.6

Article 7

Emergency Power Source

2014 BC 1006.3.1

Emergency and Standby Power System Requirements

2014 BC Chapter 27

Exhaust System

2014 MC Chapter 5

FDNY Requirements

2014 FC 504.4 and FC 512

Fire Separation and Divisions

BC Chapter 7

Title 27/Subchapter 5

Article 11

Fuel Oil Piping and Storage

2014 MC Sections 1301, 1302, 1303, 1305 and 1309

Gas Piping

2014 FGC Chapter 4 and FGC Appendix E

Mechanical Ventilation

BC Chapter 12

§27-725 through
§27-767

Articles 6, 12 and 15

Special Flood Hazard Zone, Tidal Wetlands Zone, Fresh Water Wetlands, and Coastal Erosion Hazard Area

2014 BC Appendix G and ASCE 24-05

Special Inspections

2014 BC 2702.1.5

Sound Transmission/Noise Control Requirements

BC 1207 and MC 928

2014 MC 928 and Article 9 of Title 27/Subchapter 12

2014 MC 928

Standby power and emergency power systems

2014 BC 403

Tenant Protection

2014 AC 28-104.8.4

Working Clearances

2014 MC 1004.3

NOTE: New applications for buildings erected under the 2008 Code must comply with the 2014 Code, as required by AC Sections 28-101.4 and 102.4.3


Applicability of Zoning

  • Permitted obstructions in open space, public plaza: ZR 23-12, ZR 35-341, ZR 37-726
  • Permitted obstructions in required yards or rear yard equivalent: ZR 23-44, ZR 24-33
  • Permitted obstructions for height and setback: ZR 23-62, 24-51, 33-42, 43-42, 43-624
  • Special purpose districts requirements: ZR 84-135, 84-333, 87-50, 88-33, 98-422, 98-53, 104-321, 104-322, 109-142, 124-34, 128-55, 131-52
  • Special flood hazard zone, tidal wetlands zone, fresh water wetlands, and coastal erosion hazard area: ZR 64-A24, 64-A34, 64-421

Other Regulation(s) for Reference
BB 2015-002   Clarifies New York City Building Code with respect to optional standby power systems.


Guidelines for Submission of Emergency Power Backup Systems Project Plans

Prior to submitting the DOB permit application, the Applicant ’s design of the proposed emergency power system should comply with  all zoning regulations and construction codes for existing rooftop, ventilation, structural, and electrical components. Based upon the complexity and scale of the project, the information provided on the application documents should show a clear description of the required project scope of work.

Although the DOB does not mandate the organization and style of construction documents, in order to facilitate the plan examination process the guidelines outlined in this chapter present a consistent approach to preparing Construction Documents. In many cases, projects require documenting existing systems, which must be identified differently from new systems.


Complete Submission of Emergency Power Installation Work Drawings

The drawings represent work that is closely coordinated with multiple disciplines, such as architectural, structural, electrical, plumbing and mechanical. For details essential for a complete submission of application drawings, see NYC Administrative Code 28-104.7 and 1 RCNY 105-02:

Construction Documents.  Drawings that convey essential information, such as floor layout with dimensions, elevations and building sections, schedules, and riser diagrams, structural support and details, are necessary. The Title Sheet should, with clear graphics, define the project location with its vicinity. The applicable Building Codes and Notes should be stated on all appropriate drawings. A List of Drawings is recommended to clearly identify all unique systems in the design.

  • Title Sheet.  Should clearly define the project location, Block and Lot Number, Zoning District; Drawing List; Flood Zone Compliance when located in a Special Flood Hazard Zone; basic building description, such as building use, height, construction and occupancy class; and scope of work.

  • Site Plan.  Clearly show the size and location of the lot; show all existing structures on the zoning lot with all necessary dimensions. If the project work involves exterior or underground locations for boiler or fuel storage, such as a vault, underground storage tank, fill-pipe fuel terminal, these items must be clearly documented.

  • General Notes.  Clearly define, among others, the Tenant Protection Plan, structural evaluation notes, Special and Progress Inspections, and Energy Analyses.

  • Floor Plan. Clearly show the location of the proposed Emergency Power System and other related support structures, such as dunnage, vibration isolators, equipment, exits, and clearances.

  • Roof Plan.  When the scope of work incudes installation of equipment on the roof a Roof Plan is necessary to indicate clearly the location and layout of the proposed Emergency Power System, dimensioned FDNY rooftop access clearances, and rooftop obstructions such as bulkheads, skylights, plumbing pipes, and mechanical equipment.  Clearly note the locations of roof drains.

  • Elevations.  Clearly show the location of exhaust or fresh air intake vents, dampers, exhaust duct extensions, terminations and any relevant equipment, and compliance with zoning height/setback requirements.

  • Detail Drawings.  Show in magnified form significant information required to communicate the scope of work clearly. Identify enclosure details, mounting details, structural analysis, and equipment specifications.

  • Plumbing Riser Diagrams. If the project involves alterations to existing or installation of new piping and/or gas supply, a riser diagram must show these details.

  • Electrical Riser Diagrams. If the backup power system installation is of 1,000 KVA or more, an Electrical Diagram must be provided that outlines the service switchgear, transformer(s), and transfer switches. These systems require NYC Electrical Advisory Board (EAB) review for its approval of the installation.


Submission of Construction Documents

1. Drawings: The emergency power drawings should reflect clear scope of work and include all   affected systems. Examples of this are as follows:

Designator -
Sheet Number:
Sheet Description:
T-001.00 Title Sheet, Drawing Index, General Notes
A-100.00 Site Plan, Plot Plan, key plan
A-101.00 Typical Floor Plan – indicate existing and proposed
A-102.00 Enlarged partial Floor Plan for the area of work
A-201.00 Interior and Exterior Elevations and Details
A-301.00 Cross Sections
S-100.00 Structural Plans and Details
M-100.00 Mechanical Floor Plan – Power generating unit location, fuel tank, storage, venting, and Equipment Schedule
E-100.00 Electrical Floor Plan – Electrical details, riser diagram, controls and devices, and schedules
P-100.00 Plumbing Floor Plan – Plumbing Riser Diagram, gas piping, valves, gas storage, drains and controls
SP-100.00 Sprinkler Floor Plan

Drawing Legend to include: symbols, abbreviations, notes and definitions, and list all applicable Zoning and Building Code section numbers.

Recommended Drawing Designators
A:  Architectural: Mandatory designation for architectural work.
S:  Structural: Mandatory designation for structural work.
M:  Mechanical: Mandatory designation for mechanical work.
E:  Electrical: Mandatory designation for electrical work.
P:  Plumbing: Mandatory designation for plumbing work

2. Required Documents/Submissions. Based on the scope of the project the following submissions may have to accompany the drawings at intake:

  • Chimney inspection report (if required)
  • Tenant/Occupant Protection Plan (only if applicable)
  • SRO MD Anti-Harassment checklist  
  • Changing from central heat to individual heat (Leg)
  • MTA requirements or restrictions 
  • Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA)

3. Plan Review or Audits for Approval/Acceptance. Following submission, the application is assigned to a Department Plan Examiner for review. If the project is Professionally Certified, the application may be audited. A plan review or audit of the submission by the Plan Examiner or Auditor may result in either approval or disapproval, or an acceptance or failure, respectively. Following plan examination disapproval or audit failure, a List of Objections is sent to the Applicant-of-Record and Owner. Objections must be resolved during scheduled meetings with DOB Plan Examination or Audit Staff after which the application is approved or accepted.

4. Post Approval Amendments.  Any changes to approved scope of work that is significant and substantive will require submission of revised plans for Post Approval Amendment (PAA).  Approval for an amendment must be obtained before the work or equipment is completed.  Changes that are not substantive do not require a PAA; however these changes must identified on an Additional Information 1 Form (AI-1), shown on the documents and included in the ‘As Built’ (Record Drawings) submission at the end of the project (§28.104.3)

Substantive changes require a PAA if the following criteria are met:

  • Changing the location of the system, change of fuel source, clearances, and/or egress

5. As Built Submission. All changes must be submitted in an ‘as built’ drawing at the end of the project.


Special and Progress Inspections

Emergency Backup Power installations require, per the Building Code, that certain Special and Progress Inspections be performed during and at the end of construction; see the table below. Prior to Approval, the Applicant is required to identify all required Special and Progress Inspections.  Prior to DOB permit issuance, the Owner must engage a registered Special Inspection Agency (SIA) who takes responsibility for the Special and Progress Inspections. Applicants may perform these inspections if they are also registered as a SIA.

Based on the scope of work, emergency power project may be required to comply with the following Special and Progress Inspection requirements:.

Chimneys

New and altered chimneys shall be subject to special inspection. The chimney shall be inspected to verify code compliance, and proper clearance or isolation from adjacent combustible construction. Testing of the chimney shall be performed in accordance with Section 810 of the New York City Mechanical Code and Section 503.5.6 of the New York City Fuel Gas Code. Special inspection of seismic bracing shall be performed in accordance with Section 1707.7 (BC 1704.26)

Emergency Power Systems

Emergency and standby power systems shall be installed in accordance with the New York City Electrical Code, NFPA 110 and NFPA 111 (BC 2702).
Special inspections shall be required for all exterior insulation and finish systems applications (EIFS) installed more than 15 feet above adjacent finished grades (BC 1704.13). Per BC 1704.27.

Fire Resistant Penetrations and Joints BC 1704.27

Special Inspection required for through-penetrations, membrane penetration firestops, fire resistant joint systems, and perimeter fire barrier systems that are tested and listed in accordance with BC Sections 713.4.1.1.2, 713.4.1.2, 714.3 and 714.4 shall comply.

Fire Resistant Penetrations and Joists

Special Inspections for penetration of fire-resistant elements and assemblies; and related firestops in accordance with Sections 1704.27.1 and 1704.27.2

Fire Resistance Rated Construction

Fire resistance rated partitions, floors, ceilings, shafts and fire shutters shall be inspected to determine compliance with the approved Construction Documents (BC 110.3.4).

Flood Zone Compliance (if applicable) BC 1704.29 and BC G105

If the building is in a special flood hazard zone, a Special Inspection Agency must ensure construction complies with Appendix G of the NYC Building Code, locating all new equipment (excluding the AC disconnect) above the DFE (Design Flood Elevation).

Fuel-Oil Storage and Fuel-Oil Piping Systems

Fuel-oil storage equipment, including tanks, pumps, valves, transfer, return, fill and vent piping, hangers and bracing, fill and vent terminals, and related systems regulated by Section 1308 of the New York City Mechanical Code, shall be inspected for conformance with the approved Construction Documents and the manufacturers’ installation standards.  Testing of fuel storage tanks and piping shall be performed in accordance with Section 1308 of the New York City Mechanical Code.  Special inspection of seismic bracing shall be performed in accordance with Section 1707.7 (BC 1704.17).

Mechanical System

Tests of mechanical systems shall be performed in accordance with Sections 507.16, 1011, 1108 and 1208 of the New York City Mechanical Code (BC 1704.16).

Sprayed Fire Resistant Materials

Special Inspections for sprayed fire resistant materials applied to floor, roof and wall assemblies and structural members shall be in accordance with Sections 1704.11.1 through 1704.11.7.

Structural Safety – Structural Stability

Alteration of existing structural systems or elements, such as columns, girders, beams, bearing walls – where the stability or integrity of a structural system is to be temporarily diminished, in accordance with Sections 1704.20.6 through 1704.20.10.

Structural Steel (steel welding - high strength bolting - cold formed steel)

The special inspections of new installations and alterations to existing installations of steel elements in buildings and structures shall be as required by Section 1704.3 and Table 1704.3.  Where required, special inspection of steel shall also comply with Section 1716 (BC 1704.3).


Required Backup Power System Inspections

Following the completion of the Emergency Backup Power System installation, Department inspections are required.  Based on the type of Emergency Backup Power System, the following inspections may be required:

  • Plumbing – plumbing and gas work
  • Fuel oil storage (Boiler Unit)
  • Final electrical inspection
  • Final construction inspection for sign-off

An Inspector verifies that the field conditions match the approved documents for both installation of panels and equipment.  An Inspector also confirms that the equipment is installed per the electrical diagram, which includes connection to the main electric service panel. For plumbing work, the Contractor may self-certify in lieu of a DOB inspection


Inspection Requests

The Department’s online portal for scheduling appointments for required DOB inspections must be used. DOB NOW provides robust online accounts, making it easier to submit applications, make payments, schedule appointments, check the status of an application or inspection, pull permits, and make renewals.


Appendix – A: Emergency Backup Power System Requirements

The following chart indicates where the required Emergency Power Backup Systems shall be installed, per BC Chapter 27


EMERGENCY POWER SYSTEM

STANDBY POWER SYSTEM

Voice/alarm Communication Systems in Group A Occupancies in accordance with Section 907.5.2.2.4.

Smoke Control Systems in accordance with Section 909.11.

Exit Signs in accordance with Section 1011.5.3.

Elevators that are part of an accessible means of egress in accordance with Section 1007.4.

Means of Egress Illumination in accordance with Section 1006.3.

Horizontal Sliding Doors in accordance with Section 1008.1.4.3.

Semiconductor Fabrication Facilities in accordance with Section 415.8.10.

Membrane Structures: Standby power must be provided for auxiliary inflation systems in accordance with Section 3102.8.2. Emergency power must be provided for exit signs in tents and membrane structures.

Hazardous Materials: Emergency or standby power shall be provided in occupancies with hazardous materials in accordance with Section 414.5.4 and the New York City Fire Code.

Hazardous Materials: Emergency or standby power shall be provided in occupancies with hazardous materials in accordance with Section 414.5.4 and the New York City Fire Code.

Highly toxic and Toxic Materials: Emergency power shall be provided for occupancies with highly toxic or toxic materials in accordance with the New York City Fire Code.

Organic Peroxides: Standby power shall be provided for occupancies with organic peroxides in accordance with the New York City Fire Code.

Pyrophoric Materials: Emergency power shall be provided for occupancies with silane gas in accordance with the New York City Fire Code.

Covered Mall Buildings: Standby power shall be provided for voice/alarm communication systems in covered mall buildings in accordance with Section 402.14.

Underground Buildings: Emergency and standby power shall be provided in underground buildings in accordance with Sections 405.8 and 405.9.

Underground Buildings: Emergency and standby power shall be provided in underground buildings in accordance with Sections 405.8 and 405.9.

Group I-3 Occupancies: Emergency power shall be provided for doors in Group I-3 occupancies in accordance with Section 408.4.2.

Airport Traffic Control Towers: Standby power shall be provided in airport traffic control towers in accordance with Section 412.3.5.

Elevators: Controls, elevator cab light, ventilation and associated equipment required for elevator operation shall be connected to emergency power.

Elevators: Standby power for elevators, including elevators provided to accommodate ambulance stretchers pursuant to Section 3002.4, shall be provided as set forth in Section 3003.1.

Group Occupancies with occupied floor less than 75 feet above the lowest fire department vehicle access having a gross floor area over 15,000 square feet per floor or a total gross floor area of 100,000 square feet or more.

Group B Occupancies with occupied floor less than 75 feet above the lowest fire department vehicle access having a gross floor area over 15,000 square feet per floor or a total gross floor area of 100,000 square feet or more.

Group E Occupancies with occupied floor less than 75 feet above the lowest level of Fire Department vehicle access having a gross floor area over 15,000 square feet per floor or a total gross floor area of 100,000 square feet or more.

Group E Occupancies with occupied floor less than 75 feet above the lowest level of Fire Department vehicle access having a gross floor area over 15,000 square feet per floor or a total gross floor area of 100,000 square feet or more.

Semiconductor Fabrication Facilities in accordance with Section 415.8.10.

Membrane structures: Standby power must be provided for auxiliary inflation systems in accordance with Section 3102.8.2. Emergency power must be provided for exit signs in tents and membrane structures.

Hazardous materials: Emergency or standby power shall be provided in occupancies with hazardous materials in accordance with Section 414.5.4 and the New York City Fire Code.

Hazardous materials: Emergency or standby power shall be provided in occupancies with hazardous materials in accordance with Section 414.5.4 and the New York City Fire Code.

Highly toxic and toxic materials: Emergency power shall be provided for occupancies with highly toxic or toxic materials in accordance with the New York City Fire Code.

Organic peroxides: Standby power shall be provided for occupancies with organic peroxides in accordance with the New York City Fire Code.

Pyrophoric materials: Emergency power shall be provided for occupancies with silane gas in accordance with the New York City Fire Code.

Covered mall buildings: Standby power shall be provided for voice/alarm communication systems in covered mall buildings in accordance with Section 402.14.

Underground Buildings: Emergency and standby power shall be provided in underground buildings in accordance with Sections 405.8 and 405.9.

Underground Buildings: Emergency and standby power shall be provided in underground buildings in accordance with Sections 405.8 and 405.9.

Group I-3 Occupancies: Emergency power shall be provided for doors in Group I-3 occupancies in accordance with Section 408.4.2.

Airport Traffic Control Towers: Standby power shall be provided in airport traffic control towers in accordance with Section 412.3.5.

Elevators: Controls, elevator cab light, ventilation and associated equipment required for elevator operation shall be connected to emergency power.

Elevators: Standby power for elevators, including elevators provided to accommodate ambulance stretchers pursuant to Section 3002.4, shall be provided as set forth in Section 3003.1.

Group B Occupancies with occupied floor less than 75 feet above the lowest fire department vehicle access having a gross floor area over 15,000 square feet per floor or a total gross floor area of 100,000 square feet or more.

Group B Occupancies with occupied floor less than 75 feet above the lowest fire department vehicle access having a gross floor area over 15,000 square feet per floor or a total gross floor area of 100,000 square feet or more.

Group E Occupancies with occupied floor less than 75 feet above the lowest level of Fire Department vehicle access having a gross floor area over 15,000 square feet per floor or a total gross floor area of 100,000 square feet or more.

Group E Occupancies with occupied floor less than 75 feet above the lowest level of Fire Department vehicle access having a gross floor area over 15,000 square feet per floor or a total gross floor area of 100,000 square feet or more.

Equipment requiring emergency power system: With respect to such Occupancy Groups B, E and R- 1, the following equipment, where such equipment is required by this code, shall be provided with an emergency power system:

  • Exit signs and means of egress illumination required by Chapter 10;
  • Elevator car lighting;
  • Emergency voice/alarm communications systems, including Fire Dept. in-building Auxiliary Radio Communication (ARCs) provided where required or installed voluntarily in accordance with Section 917;
  • Automatic fire detection systems;
  • Fire alarm systems; and
  • Electrically powered fire pumps, including manual fire pumps, automatic fire pumps and sprinkler booster pumps.

Equipment requiring standby power system: With respect to such Occupancy Groups B, E and R-1, the following equipment, where such equipment is required by this code, shall be provided with a standby power system:

  • Ventilating systems used for smoke venting or control;
  • Stair pressurization;
  • At least three elevators in a building at one time with manual transfer to other elevators as required by Section 3003;
  • Power and lighting for the fire command center required by Section 403.4.5.
  • Common exhaust systems for clothes dryers in multistory structures (MC 504.8, item #7)

ALL GROUP R-1 OCCUPANCIES

ALL GROUP R-1 OCCUPANCIES

High-rise Buildings: Emergency and standby power shall be provided in high-rise buildings in accordance with Sections 403.4.7, 403.4.8 and 403.11.

High-rise Buildings: Emergency and standby power shall be provided in high-rise buildings in accordance with Sections 403.4.7, 403.4.8 and 403.11.

403.11.1 Emergency Power Loads In Occupancies Other Than R-2: In buildings of any occupancy group other than Group R-2, all of the following items are required and classified as emergency power loads:

  • Exit signs and means of egress illumination required by Chapter 10;
  • Elevator car lighting;
  • Emergency voice/alarm communications systems;
  • Automatic fire detection systems; and
  • Fire alarm systems;
  • Power and lighting for the fire command center required by Section 403.8;
  • Electrically powered fire pumps;
  • Ventilation and automatic fire detection equipment for smoke proof enclosures;
  • Elevators in accordance with Section 3003;
  • Stair pressurization systems when provided.

Smoke Proof Enclosures and Pressurized Elevator Shafts: Standby power shall be provided for smoke proof enclosures as required by Section 909.20.6.2
and for pressurized elevator shafts provided in accordance with Section 708.14.2.5.

403.11.2 Emergency Power Loads in Group R-2 Occupancies. Group R-2 occupancies in buildings greater than 125 feet (38 100 mm) in height shall be required to provide an emergency power system to support the following loads:

  • Exit signs and means of egress illumination required by Chapter 10;
  • At least one elevator serving all floors, or one elevator per bank where different banks serve different portions of the building;
  • Emergency voice communications systems; and
  • Electrically powered fire pumps, unless electrical power to the motor is taken ahead of the main from the street side of the house service switch.

Groups R-1 and R-2: Standby power shall be provided for domestic water pumps in high-rise residential buildings when public sinks cannot be provided.

2702.3 Maintenance. Emergency and standby power systems shall be maintained and tested in accordance with the New York City Fire Code and New York City Electrical Code.

OPTIONAL STANDBY POWER SYSTEM

2702.4 Required loads for optional standby power systems and BB 2015-002

Optional standby power systems shall be capable of providing power to the following systems upon failure of the normal power supply or the emergency or standby power system:

  • Emergency lighting;
  • Fire alarm systems;
  • Elevators as follows:

3.1.    For Group R-2 occupancies in buildings greater than 125 feet in height, at least one elevator serving all floors, or one elevator per bank where different banks serve different portions of the building; or 3.2 For all other buildings having occupied floors located more than 75 feet above the lowest level of fire department vehicle access, at least one elevator that serves all floors.

2702.3 Maintenance. Emergency and standby power systems shall be maintained and tested in accordance with the New York City Fire Code and New York City Electrical Code.

BACKUP GENERATOR

Backup generators, providing power for rooftop cellular antenna/telecommunication systems per TPPN 5/98 are not optional standby power systems and need only provide backup power for such installed rooftop systems.


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