New Building Application NYC DOB NB

by | Last updated Jun 12, 2020 | New Building Design, New York City, NYC DOB, Property Development

New Building applications to the NYC DOB are required for any new construction projects. These are also known as NB applications. If you are enlarging an existing building and keeping any portion of the original building you will file an Alt one and in some cases be required to comply with New Building regulations.


New Building Application (NB)

An NB is the application filed for NYC building construction permits. Alterations of existing buildings are filed as alt 1 or alt 2 applications.


New Building Architects

The first thing you need when filing a new building in NYC is an Architect in NY. Always make sure you hire a registered architect with insurance, who is familiar with NYC codes. There are many architects in New York City so you should have no problem finding one. You can talk to someone at our NYC Architecture Firm about your project if you like.


Filing a New Building In NYC

Your architect will perform zoning due diligence on your project and figure out what can be built legally. This is called Architectural Pre Design. During Pre design you will figure out zoning and the building program. The Program is a list of the things to go into a building for example if it is a residential building the program would be the desired number of apartments and any amenity spaces you wish to include. After the zoning analysis is complete and you and your architect have established the project goals the architect will design your building.

After the building is designed and the architect has a set of plans they can file your New Building application with the NYC DOB. This can be filed at the Borough Office or online with the NYC Development Hub. We prefer filing with the DOB online but we do file some jobs at the borough office. The project will be reviewed with the department of buildings and the architect will make appointments with the plan examiner to achieve approvals. This can be a lengthy process depending on how busy the DOB is and how well prepared the application is. The NYC building permit process is very involved so be prepared.

There is a ton of paperwork the building application process begins with Efiling and getting a PW1 form after that there will be many forms to follow. DOB fees will vary based on the project.


Required Items for a New Building NB Application

There are many required items you may not realize you need when filing a new building here are just a few.

  • Demolition Signoff
    • If you demolished a building or are planning to this will have to be signed off before you can build the new building.
  • Complete Architectural Survey
    • Simple plot surveys are not acceptable you will need a Licensed Land Surveyor to provide a complete “Architectural Survey” to be filed with the NB.
  • Soil Investigations, Geotechnical, Borings
    • A Geotechnical Report with soil borings will be necessary for all new buildings.
  • Zoning Exhibits
    • A zoning exhibit is filed with Department OF Finance and must be done before the DOB approves your new building.
  • Sewer Connection SD1 &2
    • This is filed with DEP
  • Builders Pavement Plan or BPP
    • This is for your new sidewalk this will be required for new buildings.
    • Curb cuts will also need to be filed if you have a driveway or onsite parking.
  • Street Tree Checklist
    • Depending on the building and the zoning you may be required to plant trees on the sidewalk. This is filed with DOB and Parks Department.

These are just a few additional things you may need with your new building application. Of course depending on your specific property there may be more. For example if you are on the water in the coastal erosion zone you will need to file with DEC (Department OF Environmental Conservation). I will not go into all the possible different issues you may need. The ones above are some of the basics.


Architectural Team for a New Building

Every job is different but the basic team of your job will compile 3 main professionals. Architect, Structural Engineer, & MEP Engineer. Larger more complicated jobs may have several different specialists depending on what is needed.


The architect is at the head of the job. They are responsible for the building design, I’m not going to talk about design here as this post is more about logistics. The architect will be in charge of the team and coordinate the consultants. The architect designs the building and produces all the design drawings. When the design is complete the architect will produce a set of construction drawings and a filing set for the Department Of Buildings.

The architectural filing set will have zoning, energy code, general code compliance, and construction details. There will be plans, elevations, building sections, general notes and construction details. These drawings sets are usually far more involved then people think.

Structural Engineer

The structural engineer is responsible for the structure of the building. This includes foundations, building framing, floor slabs and roof structure. The structural engineer will also produce a set of drawings with all of their structural details, framing plans, foundation plans ect…

The structural engineers plans can be filed as a separate application from the New Building or as a subsequent application. A subsequent application means adding another application to the original NB. It basically mean they can be 2 separate jobs at DOB or 1 job.

MEP Engineer

MEP stands for Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing. The MEP engineer designs the building systems. Plumbing, gas, Electrical, HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning). The MEP also designs the fire sprinklers, fire alarm, water drainage systems. They provide plans for all of these. They can as well be filed as a separate Alt 2 application with DOB or added to the NB as a subsequent filing.

Filing Representative – Expediter

You may also have a Filing Representative more commonly known as an “expediter”. Expediters are not required but are common on most projects. The filling representative assists the architect in filling the job. These can be hired as separate company or sometimes the architect has filing representatives in house. Some architects do the filing themselves. At our firm I always have an expediter on staff in house and we typically do all of our own filing. I like to use the analogy that an expediter is to an architect what a paralegal is to a lawyer.


Thank you for reading our blog post on New Building applications in NYC.

I wish you the best of luck with your new building application and I hope this was helpful. Please post questions or comments below and feel free to contact us directly if you wish to discuss a specific project.


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Jorge Fontan
Jorge Fontan

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.