A penthouse is a structure on or above the roof of any part of a building. The term includes all structures previously regulated as “roof structures” prior to January 8, 2016 by § 411 of the 1958 Regulations. Skylights, gooseneck exhaust ducts serving kitchen and toilet ventilating systems, roof mounted antennas, and plumbing vent stacks shall not be considered as penthouses.

A penthouse, when not in conflict with The Height Act, may be erected to a height in excess of the building height authorized by the zone district, in accordance with the conditions specified in Subtitle C § 1500.


Except for compliance with the setbacks required by Subtitle C § 1502 and as otherwise noted in this section, a penthouse that is less than four feet (4 ft.) in height above a roof or parapet wall shall not be subject to the requirements of Subtitle C § 1500.

For residential buildings, the construction of penthouse habitable space, except penthouse habitable space devoted exclusively to communal rooftop recreation or amenity space for the primary use of residents of the residential building, is subject to the Inclusionary Zoning set-aside provisions of Subtitle C, Chapter 10 Inclusionary Zoning.

For non-residential buildings, the construction of penthouse habitable space, including all forms of habitable space, shall trigger the affordable housing requirement as set forth in Subtitle C § 1505.

For more information on the following topics, please see the corresponding referenced sections:

  • Affordable Housing Production Requirement Generated By Construction on  a Non-residential Building of Penthouse Habitable Space – Subtitle C § 1505