Commissioner for the NYC Buildings Department
Robert D. LiMandri was appointed as Commissioner of the Department of Buildings in October 2008. Commissioner LiMandri leads an agency with nearly 1,100 architects, engineers, inspectors and attorneys whose mission is to ensure public safety and facilitate construction at more than 975,000 properties throughout New York City. Commissioner LiMandri has 20 years of experience in the real estate and construction industry,and under his leadership, the Department has become a worldwide leader in construction safety and digital development.
Since his appointment, Commissioner LiMandri has implemented a series of new initiatives to improve – and digitize – the construction process for all New Yorkers, including the opening of the NYC Development Hub, a state-of-the-art facility in Lower Manhattan that has accelerated the project approval process like never before. With the use of digital construction plans, virtual conferences and increased collaboration among government and industry stakeholders, paperless projects submitted to the NYC Development Hub are approved up to three times faster, generating hundreds of millions of dollars in potential economic activity.
The concept of the NYC Development Hub stemmed from the success of an innovative pilot program called Get It Done. Together., which Commissioner LiMandri created as a way to bring together design professionals and senior City officials after normal business hours in order to resolve regulatory conflicts and approve pending construction projects. The Department’s online permitting efforts also have expanded significantly under Commissioner LiMandri – with more than 150,000 construction documents now prepared and submitted online each year.
Construction is vital to the economic growth of New York City, but this work must be done safely at all times. That’s why Commissioner LiMandri has raised industry safety standards and increased oversight of the most high-risk construction operations. Since 2008, the Department has implemented more than 25 new safety laws, formed specialized inspectorial units to target industry trends and launched never-before citywide safety campaigns that have educated thousands of New Yorkers on the safest ways to work on a construction site and protect your family at home. With an intensified enforcement approach, inspectorial sweeps are now regularly conducted and licensed professionals are disciplined when their work violates the law and impacts the public’s quality of life.
Using the latest technology, Commissioner LiMandri is increasing transparency and accountability for members of the Department and the construction industry. New Yorkers can now view diagrams of any new proposed building online before the first shovel hits the ground and issue a zoning challenge. And when construction begins, New Yorkers can use their smartphone to scan Quick Response (QR) codes on every construction permit to retrieve information instantly about the project, including its contractor, licensed professional and property owner. To better ensure the integrity of inspections, the Department now tracks the on-duty locations of all inspectors using Global Positioning System technology installed in their cell phones.
Under Commissioner LiMandri, the Department has played a key role in the implementation of Mayor Bloomberg's PlaNYC initiative which seeks to improve the City's environment. The Department is setting guidelines to install green roofs, solar panels and Microturbines, while its Buildings Sustainability Board studies cutting-edge green technology and materials to determine appropriate standards and approve their use. The Department also coordinates the NYC °CoolRoofs program, which is designed to reduce energy use and costs by coating rooftops with reflective materials, and manages other programs to encourage the beautification of construction sites.
Commissioner LiMandri joined the Department in 2002 and was appointed to First Deputy Commissioner in 2005. He was appointed to Acting Commissioner in April 2008. Prior to the joining the Department, Commissioner LiMandri was a Director at RealFoundations, a real estate and construction consulting firm and Vice President at OpsXchange, an e-procurement solution firm. From 1997 to 2000, Commissioner LiMandri was a Vice President at Jones Lang LaSalle, where he was a manager and consultant to leading institutional investors. Prior to Jones Lang LaSalle, Commissioner LiMandri managed the Science and Engineering buildings at Columbia University (1990 to 1997).
Commissioner LiMandri received his Master's degree in Real Estate from New York University and his Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Clarkson University in Potsdam, NY. He resides in Queens with his wife and two children.
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