Building Code

Prior to May 12, 2020, the Building Code in effect is the 2016 New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code, known as the Uniform Code. This code incorporates by reference the international family of 2015 I-Codes published by the International Codes Council, as amended by the 2017 Uniform Code Supplement with New York State adaptations. This current version of the Uniform Code was repealed on December 6, 2019 along with the current State Energy Conservation Construction Code (the "Energy Code”).

On and after May 12, 2020, amended and updated versions of the Uniform Code and Energy Code will be effective and include newly published 2020 New York State code books. There is no transition period for new permit applications.

The corresponding New York State law being amended is Title 19 NYCRR – Chapter XXXIII – Subchapter A (Parts 1219-1229) for the Uniform Code and Subchapter B (Part 1240) for the Energy Code. Certain provisions of Parts 1220 (Residential Code) and 1221 (Building Code) were amended with the rule changes. Certain provisions of ASHRAE 90.1-2016 were also amended with the Energy Code.

The New York Department of State, acting on behalf of the Code Council, has filed Notices of Adoption of these new rules. The Notices of Adoption will appear in the February 12, 2020 edition of the State Register. On and after February 12, 2020, the Notices of Adoption can be viewed by clicking the “February 12” link at: http://www.dos.ny.gov/info/register/2020.html

New York State Uniform Code (effective May 12, 2020)

  • The Building Code of New York State (BCNYS) applies to all new building construction not within the scope of the RCNYS and the actual repair work plus additions on buildings.
  • The Existing Building Code of New York State (EBCNYS) applies to repair, alteration, change of occupancy, addition to and relocation of existing buildings. This code regulates buildings that often would not comply with the current building code requirements for new construction and doing so would be cost-prohibitive, but these buildings are nevertheless salvageable if basic levels of safety features are maintained.
  • The Property Maintenance Code of New York State (PMCNYS) regulates the minimum maintenance requirements of existing buildings, including all residential and nonresidential structures and all existing premises.
  • The Residential Code of New York State (RCNYS) is a comprehensive, stand-alone code regulating the construction and repair of single-family houses, two-family houses (duplexes) and townhouses with three or more units, all no more than three stories.
  • Other Codes: The New York State Fire, Fuel Gas, Mechanical and Plumbing Codes included in the Uniform Code regulate their particular subjects. Electrical work is regulated by Chapter 27 of the BCNYS and the 2017 NFPA 70, commonly referred to as the National Electrical Code.
  • NYS Fire Code Occupancy Load Calculation Explanation (PDF)

City of Buffalo Code

The City Code (zoning) is actually a collection of Building and Maintenance ordinances from the City Charter - mainly Section 103 - plus the zoning or land use ordinances found in Green Code (Chapter 496 - Unified Development Ordinance). Zoning is performed by the permit office and the planning board. Plan review checks for conformance to the drawings approved by the planning board.

Local Standards

  • 48 inch frost depth
  • 90 miles per hour wind speed
  • 50 pounds ground snow load