NYC building code - stair skylight


So I'm trying to design a skylight over a staircase as per NYC building code and they want 1/8" plain glass with a mesh beneath it no greater than 1" and able to support 300 lbs. Apparently I can't use insulated glass, tempered glass or wire glass, it has to be 1/8" plain. This seems absurd to everyone in my office, as 1/8" glass is so fragile that hail could destroy it and has no insulation whatsoever and 1" mesh is ugly as sin. Is there some way to get around this archaic code? Thanks for any help you can give!

Feb 25, 08 12:50 pm
el jeffe

wow, i've never hear of this (but i've never lived in or practiced arch in NY). what's the basic idea behind this?
is it to allow firefighters to punch a stairway roof for a smoke & heat vent but prevent them from falling through the opening?

Feb 25, 08 1:15 pm

Yeah, that's the concept...however firefighters can still break much thicker pieces of glass with their carbide tipped hammers...and what about maintanence people on the roof, they will be there much more frequently and they will have to be very careful around a 1/8" glass skylight.

Feb 25, 08 1:31 pm

We did a skylight over my stairs (not inspected yet) and we used 2" lam glass with no mesh. however we were required to use mesh over the elevator mesh. Now you got me worried.

Feb 25, 08 1:47 pm

why don't you just incline greater than 60 degrees from horizontal?


Did a three family dwelling in Queens. Detail showed 1/8" plain, 5 sq.ft max noted- Note:1)All galvanized steel #16 G.A. Min. designed for 300 lbs.load on 1ft X 2ft area. 2) 3/4"X3/4" min.-1"X1" max. #12 gauge non-corrosive wire exterior screen. (with new roof flashing) Hope this helps. Email me if you have any further questions.

Feb 25, 08 2:46 pm

Correction: Detail has interior and exterior...Sent detail...

Feb 25, 08 3:33 pm

could you resend? the email address i had on file was not current, thanks!

Feb 25, 08 3:46 pm

Also found out that I need 144 sq in of open area in a ventilator as well!!! It's always good to directly induce NYC air into a luxury townhouse!!! F'ing building code!!!!!

Feb 25, 08 6:57 pm

I am an architect in Queens and going through same crap with a 2- to 3-family conversion now.


144 s.i. 26ga. duct for f.a.i. in boiler room and I think I can not vent into my side yard.


for all multi-family dwelling (more than 2 families ) , you can't get away without a mesh screen.

Feb 25, 08 10:24 pm

It's a single family dwelling, but it is 4 stories and 50 feet tall.

Feb 25, 08 10:28 pm

OP - pretty sure you also need a smoke vent... it can be designed a skylight per the code. Are you using 68 or 2014? Also, how are you complying with Energy Code? Tabular Analysis or ComCheck? If tabular analysis, there is a prescribed u-factor for the skylight. Are you meeting that?

Apr 25, 19 8:12 am

OP was 11 years ago. I don’t think they would be following the 2014 code. I’m hoping they came up with a solution by now.


Seriously, how do you manage to find and necro a thread like this? And to what end?

I think it was bgdavi with their inline replies that necro'ed the thread, not Bulgar.


Ah, my mistake.

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