New York City adopted ASME A17.3 of 2002, as modified by Chapter K3 of Appendix K Section 3.10.12 of the New York City Building Code, which requires retroactive elevator upgrades to some equipment prior to January 1, 2020.

This code applies to all existing automatic passenger, service and freight elevators. Depending on age, the equipment may require modifications to the existing controller system or upgrade/replacement if it is an older system. Again, this requirement applies only to automatic elevators. Buildings with manual passenger or service elevators that have manually operated doors and gates do not have to meet this new code requirement. The requirement is to prevent the elevator from operating under any circumstance with its doors open.

All controllers built to meet the A17.1-2000 Code should have the door lock monitoring provisions built in. Prior to that, NYC followed the A17.1-1996 Code which makes it probable that older equipment does not meet the new standard. There is a great deal of equipment that only requires minor software/hardware tweaking in order to bring it into compliance; this should be evaluated by your elevator vendor.

Since some equipment will require undergoing major modernization, it would prudent to be mindful of the January 1, 2020, compliance deadline. Thereafter, the City will enforce by use of violations and cease of use orders for non-compliance.

The process to demonstrate compliance is as follows:

  • Application must be filed by an elevator agency director approved by the Buildings Department, rather than a design professional, if changes are being made.

  • Design drawings, including approval letter(s) from the controller manufacturer or registered design professional, are not required to be submitted to the Department, but must be kept in the premises’ machine rooms and made available to the Department upon request.

  • Tests and inspections must be performed by an approved elevator inspection agency (applicant) and witnessed by an approved elevator inspection agency not affiliated with the agency performing the test.