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DOB releases real-time map of essential construction sites

 Department of Buildings Commissioner Melanie E. La Rocca today announced the launch of a new interactive map tool that identifies construction sites that are considered emergency or essential work during the COVID-19 pandemic, and therefore allowed to continue working.

This map presents constantly updated data from multiple sources to create an evolving database of essential and emergency construction projects throughout the City as defined by the Governor’s Order and guidance from ESDC and DOB.

 You can see the map here.


“An unprecedented crisis requires an unprecedented response,” said Commissioner La Rocca.

“To help keep New Yorkers safe during these uncertain times, we will be out in force to confirm non-essential sites have been closed down, and essential construction work continues in a safe manner. At the same time, this real-time map will provide the public with greater transparency about ongoing construction across the city. Anyone breaking these rules should expect stiff enforcement – we simply cannot afford to continue business as usual.”

This interactive, real-time map identifies essential and emergency construction work involving affordable housing, hospitals, health care facilities, and utilities.

It also includes emergency work to protect the safety or health of building occupants, restore essential service like heat and electricity, or projects where stopping the work would create an unsafe condition. 

It does not include construction sites not under DOB jurisdiction – for example, sites in NYC under the jurisdiction of Port Authority, the MTA or the Federal government.

The map will be updated daily as we receive new information through inspections, requests for projects to be deemed essential, notifications of projects through our sister agencies, or as work is completed on different sites. 

You can read more about DOB’s specific guidance to implement this ban on non-essential construction here.  

DOB is regularly conducting inspections of sites citywide to ensure compliance with this ban.

Any construction site that has been halted due to this emergency order must be properly secured and maintained at all times in order to safeguard the public throughout the duration of time while operations at the site are suspended. The owner of the site is legally responsible to ensure the sites are kept safe.

In addition, all sites that remain open must also maintain appropriate social distancing measures, including for construction elevators, meal areas, and egress routes. Non-compliance will lead to a violation and fines of up to $10,000.

DOB also rescinded all previously issued After Hours Variance (AHV) permits in New York City. Going forward AHV permits, required to perform any work at night or on the weekend, will only be issued for approved essential or emergency work.

Work sites that wish to continue operations but are unsure if they are considered essential, as well as all emergency work and solitary work applications must submit a request with the Department and obtain approval before work can resume. 

DOB is encouraging any member of the public who suspects that a construction site is not in compliance with this emergency order to contact the Department of Buildings through 311, so that the department can route an inspector to the scene to investigate.

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