WHITTIER, CALIF.—For the construction industry, it’s officially time to say goodbye to the old New York codes. The 2008 New York City Codes went into effect across all five boroughs on July 1, 2008. The first major modernization of the city’s building codes in nearly 40 years, the 2008 New York City Codes are based on the 2003 International Building, Plumbing, Mechanical, Fuel Gas, and Fire Codes.

"Any code that’s designed to protect the public safety in a way that developers, homeowners, and others in the building process can understand is a breath of fresh air," said Rick Bell, FAIA, executive director of the American Institute of Architects New York Chapter.

Bell explained that adopting the new codes in New York City is important for several reasons, but especially because more firms in New York are practicing nationally, even globally. The new codes, he said, coordinate better with those used in other jurisdictions.

"Codes at home were so different from codes in every other city in the land," Bell said. "Bringing the International Building Code to New York provides greater flexibility and comparability. It means that now, when architects move to work in New York from other areas, they’ll be trained and familiar with how to look up the code. That’s very important."

The 2008 New York City Codes also include updated materials acceptance criteria. As long as a particular material or equipment meets the necessary laboratory approvals—often already nationally attained—specifiers won’t have to resubmit it through New York’s materials acceptance program.

To purchase the 2008 New York City Codes, visit the International Code Council website at www.iccsafe.org/nyccodes or call 800-786-4452.