The careful examination of:

  • Critical building materials and their proper installation
  • The erection/modification of structural components and their connections
  • The overall, independent review of select field activities for compliance with construction documents
  • Mechanical systems, their components and proper installation

Special Inspections were mandated since the 2008 NYC Building Codes, and they are essential as a quality assurance measure on construction projects. A special Inspector monitors and oversees the quality of construction, ensuring that the integrity of the approved construction plans, Building Department Code and relevant industry standards is maintained. Special Inspections are performed by accredited agencies licensed with the NYC Buildings Department. Aside from being the law, proper utilization of such measures provides additional, invaluable quality assurance benefits:

  • Clear communication between designers, contractors, building officials, and all other involved parties

  • Safeguards for the public and on-the-job hazards

  • Reduction of damage and losses

  • Support for maintaining project milestones and schedules


The need for stricter regulations arose during the 1970’s and early 1980’s as a result of several disastrous structural failures which gained national attention and resulted in many casualties and injuries.

  1. Hyatt Regency Walkway (Kansas City, Missouri) On July 17th, 1971
  2. Skyline Plaza Apartment (Fairfax County, Virginia): On March 27th, 1973
  3. Harbor Cay Condominium (Cocoa Beach, Brevard County, Florida) On March 27th, 1981

The then Chairman of the Investigations and Oversight Subcommittee presented the Report which stated: “For various reasons, the structural engineer of record or the designee is often not present on the jobsite during the construction of principal structural components. The absence of the structural engineer has permitted onsite flaws and changes to go unnoticed and uncorrected”.

The Subcommittee recommended provisions be “Written into the building codes and adopted in public forum which make the onsite presence of the structural engineer mandatory during the construction of structural components”.

Over the years, the Special Inspection requirements were revised and expanded to include new structural components.


The New York City Department of Buildings requires Special Inspections whenever building construction projects are designed by licensed Architects or Engineers.These inspections are required prior to closing out a project and getting DOB sign off.

In order to successfully obtain a permit for a building construction project, the owner is required to retain a Special Inspection Agency. Inspections fall under the following broad categories:

  • General Building Construction

  • Fire Protection Systems & Fire-Resistant Construction

  • Plumbing & Mechanical Systems

  • Structural Materials & Construction Operations

Special Inspections New York City


A Special Inspection Agency is an approved inspection agency employing one or more persons who are special inspectors and that met all requirements of 1 RCNY §101-06. Franklin & Oak is a New York City based specialty engineering firm focused on delivering solutions for our clients’ individual construction needs. Franklin & Oak is an NYC DOB licensed ( (#005758) Class 2 Special Inspection Agency, approved to work on all building construction project types in the 5 boroughs.


   Special Inspection Category

2014 Code Section

1. General Building Construction

Wall Panels, Curtain Walls, and Veneers BC 1704.10
Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems (EIFS) BC 1704.13
Chimneys BC 1704.26
Flood Zone Compliance BC 1704.29
Luminous Egress Path Markings BC 1704.30
Soil Percolation Test – Private On-Site Storm Water Drainage Disposal Systems, and Detention Facilities BC 1704.21.1.2

2. Fire Protection Systems & Fire-Resistant Construction

Sprayed Fire-resistant Materials BC 1704.11
Mastic and Intumescent Fire-resistant Coatings BC 1704.12
Smoke Control Systems BC 1704.15
Sprinkler Systems BC 1704.23
Standpipe Systems BC 1704.24
Fire-resistant Penetrations and Joints BC 1704.27
Emergency and Standby Power Systems (Generators) BC 1704.31

3. Plumbing & Mechanical Systems

Mechanical Systems BC 1704.16
Fuel-Oil Storage and Fuel-Oil Piping Systems BC 1704.17
Private On-Site Storm Water Disposal Systems and Detention Facilities Installation BC 1704.21.2
Individual On-Site Private Sewage Disposal Systems Installation BC 1704.22
Heating Systems BC 1704.25

4. Structural Materials & Construction Operations

Welding: Structural Steel BC 1704.3.1
Welding: High-Pressure Steam Piping BC 1704.18
Welding: High Temperature Hot Water Piping BC 1704.18
Welding: High-Pressure Gas Piping BC 1704.19
Welding: Aluminum BC 1704.28
Structural Steel – Details BC 1704.3.2
Structural Steel –High-Strength Bolting BC 1704.3.3
Structural Cold-Formed Steel BC 1704.3.4
Concrete – Cast-in-Place & Precast BC 1704.4
Concrete – Prestressed BC 1704.4
Masonry BC 1704.5
Wood – Installation of High-Load Diaphragms BC 1704.6.1
Wood – Installation of Metal-Plate-Connected Trusses BC 1704.6.2
Wood – Installation of Prefabricated I-Joists BC 1704.6.3
Subsurface Conditions – Subgrade Inspection BC 1704.7.1
Subsurface Conditions – Fill Placement & In-Place Density BC 1704.7.2
BC 1704.7.3
Subsurface Investigations (Borings/Test Pits) BC 1704.7.4
Deep Foundation Elements BC 1704.8
Vertical Masonry Foundation Elements BC 1704.9
Underpinning BC 1704.20.3
Structural Stability – Existing Buildings BC 1704.20.1
Mechanical Demolition BC 1704.20.4
Raising and Moving of a Building BC 1704.20.5
Excavations – Sheeting, Shoring, and Bracing BC 1704.20.2
Seismic Isolation Systems BC 1707.8
Post-installed Anchors BC 1704.32