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  • Writer's pictureJohn Min

NYC Special Inspections

Updated: Jul 13, 2023

In New York City, Special Inspections are a critical part of ensuring that construction work meets safety and property standards. These inspections require the expertise of an approved special inspector who is employed by an approved special inspection agency.


To perform Special Inspections, the inspector must be either a Professional Engineer, Registered Architect, or have the necessary training, education, and substantial experience. Those who are not licensed design professionals must obtain relevant credentials from nationally recognized construction certification programs to perform Specific Inspections. Special Inspectors who work with the engineering or architectural firm that designed the project are more likely to have a comprehensive understanding of the drawings and the intent of the design, which should improve the quality and efficiency of the inspections.


Under the International Building Code (IBC), Special Inspections are a proactive measure to enhance public safety by ensuring buildings are constructed according to design documents, specifications, and approved shop drawings. Most projects in NYC require Special Inspections, except for minor work, building components not involving professional engineering or architecture, plumbing and fire alarm systems, and Group U occupancies that are accessory to a residential occupancy.


There are four categories of Special Inspections: General Building Construction, Fire Protection Systems & Fire-Resistant Construction, Plumbing & Mechanical Systems, and Structural Materials & Construction Operations.


The Contractor is responsible for scheduling Special Inspections, and they must notify the relevant Special Inspection agency in writing at least 72 hours before starting work that requires inspection. Inspection methods can vary from project to project, ranging from visual inspections to invasive testing.


If you need Special Inspections, you can hire an approved special inspection agency or consultant to perform them.


JKM Architecture P.C. is a qualified special inspection agency that can provide certain types of Special Inspections:


BC 1705.14 Sprayed fire-resistant materials

BC 1705.15 Mastic and Intumescent Fire-resistant Coatings

BC 1705.17 Fire-resistant Penetrations and Joints

BC 1705.21 Mechanical Systems

BC 1705.26 Tenant Protection Plan Compliance

BC 1705.31 Heating Systems

BC 1705.35 Luminous Egress Path Markings


For more information on Special Inspections, including guidelines and training resources, visit the Department of Buildings website.


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