What is Directive 14?
In New York City, Directive 14 is a protocol at the Department of Buildings that authorizes an architect to perform the “Final Inspection” of an alteration application instead of a DOB Inspector. Directive 14 does not apply to applications for a new Certificate of Occupancy.
I am Jorge Fontan, an architect in New York and owner of Fontan Architecture, a Manhattan-based architecture firm. In this post, I will outline some of the key points concerning the applicability of Directive 14 at the New York City Department of Buildings.
No Change in Use, Occupancy, or Egress
Any project with a change in use, occupancy, or egress will not qualify for Directive 14. Without Dir 14, a DOB inspector must inspect the property at the completion of the alteration. If the proposed work affects the Certificate of Occupancy in any way, it also does not qualify for Dir 14. It must be filed as an “Alteration CO” formerly known as “Alteration Type 1.” You cannot apply Dir 14 to an Alt CO or New Building NB Application.
You may want to read another blog post I wrote to learn more about Alt 1 or Alt 2 filing.
Typical Project Types for Filing Directive 14:
- Adding a bathroom to an apartment (in most cases)
- Apartment Renovations
- Combining Apartments (in most cases)
- Converting Retail to Restaurant for less than 75 people.
- Office renovations that do not have a change in use, occupancy, or egress.
Project Types where Filing Directive 14 is not permitted:
- Alteration CO / Alteration Type 1 Filing (Alt 1)
- New Building Applications (NB)
- Work on Adult Establishments
- Temporary Sales Offices in New Buildings for selling apartments
Directive 14 Sign Off of Final Inspection
At the completion of the work, the project architect will come to the property to inspect the work. If there are any discrepancies between the approved plans and the work, the project cannot be signed off. Either the work must be modified, or the architect will have to file a Post Approval Amendment. The architect files a Technical Report 1 (TR1) to the DOB to submit the sign-off. This form has a list of special inspections and progress inspections. One must be a Registered Architect or Professional Engineer to signoff Directive 14.
Just because nobody from the DOB is doing the final inspection does not mean you can do whatever you want. All work must comply with the Building Code and all applicable laws. The work must match the approved plans, or an amendment must be filed.
Directive 14 (Dir 14)
Building Codes and protocols are complicated and quite involved. In this article, we reviewed some of the basic concepts regarding Directive 14 final inspections. This post does not assume to cover every possible issue or condition but provides a general overview of the topic.
Thank you for reading our blog post on Directive 14.
I hope this was helpful. If you would like to speak with an architect about a specific project you are planning, you can contact us at Fontan Architecture directly.
This post was written by Jorge Fontan AIA a Registered Architect and owner of New York City architecture firm Fontan Architecture. Jorge Fontan has earned 3 degrees in the study of architecture including two degrees from the City University of New York and a Masters Degree in Advanced Architectural Design from Columbia University. Jorge has a background in construction and has been practicing architecture for 20 years where he has designed renovations and new developments of various building types.