New York State Building Code Update

by Chris Lesher, P.E.

Keeping up with changes in the Building Code can be challenging. The last significant New York State Code change was in 2016. The next significant Code change has been proposed for 2020 and is open for public comment through September 21, 2019.

The 2016 New York State Uniform Code (NYSUC) included by reference the 2015 International Building Code (IBC) (as well as the other I-Codes) and the 2016 Uniform Code Supplement (UCS). A 2017 UCS was later issued and replaced the 2016 UCS. There has been inconsistency in how this Code has been referenced in Construction Documents. Is it the 2017 NYSUC? 2015 IBC? 2015 Building Code of New York State (BCNYS)? 2015 IBC with 2017 UCS? The list goes on. Even New York State references are not consistent. The proposed 2020 Code may bring some clarity.

The NYSUC is not the building code, rather it incorporates by reference various codes (building code, fire code, plumbing code, etc.). The proposed amendment to the NYSUC would adopt the 2020 Building Code of New York State (BCNYS). This would be Part 1221 of the NYSUC. The proposed 2020 BCNYS is based upon the 2018 International Building Code (IBC). Other 2020 NYS Codes (existing building, plumbing, etc.) would also be adopted based upon the appropriate 2018 I-Codes. No Uniform Code Supplement has proposed for use with the 2020 codes.
The Notice of Proposed Rule Making, which includes the proposed amendments to the NYSUC, can be found using this link:

The proposed 2020 BCNYS and 2020 Existing Building Code of New York State (EBNYS) can be found using the following links:

2020 BCNYS:

2020 EBCNYS:

A document identifying important changes between the 2015 IBC and the 2018 IBC can be found here: