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Commissioner's Column
Commissioner Robert LiMandri

he men and women of the New York City Department of Buildings made significant strides in 2009 to increase construction safety throughout the five boroughs and reinforce accountability within the industry and our own agency. From the enactment of new safety laws to a citywide worker safety campaign to the use of GPS technology to track the on-duty locations of all inspectors, this Department has become a leader in construction safety. Our staff has worked closely with contractors, developers, licensed professionals and

other agencies from around the world to improve construction operations so we can better protect New Yorkers than ever before.

We all understand the devastating consequences that can result from shoddy work or shortcuts taken on the job site. Most construction accidents can be prevented, and all of us have a responsibility to make sure that they are. In 2009, construction-related fatalities dropped a remarkable 84% compared to the previous year, and we must work together to ensure that trend continues in 2010.

Construction is critical to the economic future of this City, but there is no reason why it cannot be performed in a safe and lawful manner. A safer construction site means a safer city.

Stay safe,


Robert LiMandri

Upcoming Projects & Initiatives
The Department is implementing several key initiatives and projects in 2010, including new laws for sprinkler and standpipe systems and a City energy code. See more information below.

Registration for Special Inspection Agencies
The Department will begin electronic registration of Special Inspection Agencies later in the year. Agencies must meet all qualifications outlined in the Special Inspections Rule. Under the new NYC Construction Codes, Special Inspections, which replace Controlled Inspections, are an important verification that work considered critical to life safety and property protection has been or is being conducted according to approved plans and specifications.

New Regulations for Standpipes and Sprinklers
New standpipe and sprinkler piping laws go into effect beginning February 2010. Building owners and contractors must be sure their properties and projects comply with these new laws. The Buildings Department participated in the multi-agency advisory group that proposed these new safety standards. Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg appointed Deputy Mayor Edward Skyler to lead the the Construction, Demolition and Abatement Working Group, which generated 33 recommendations to make construction, demolition and abatement sites safer, including the laws outlined below.

View our Fact Sheet for more details.

6th Annual Construction Safety Week
The Department will host its 6th Annual Construction Safety Week, providing contractors, builders, licensed professionals, workers and owners the opportunity to join Department experts to discuss the latest building trends. Safety Week 2010 runs from April 26 - April 30 with events to be held in all five boroughs.

Staggered Facade Inspection Cycles
Cycle 7 of the Department's Facade Safety & Inspection Program begins February 21, 2010. This cycle is staggered into three sub-cycles which allows for better Department oversight and helps lower costs for building owners.

New York City Energy Conservation Code
The New York City Energy Conservation Code (NYCECC) becomes effective July 1, 2010. The NYC Energy code will apply to all new building and alteration work.

Service Updates
OP-98 Notification
The Call Center now only accepts electronic submission
of OP-98 forms as proof of notification. If you do not receive a Rejection Notification or an Acceptance Confirmation, you must contact the Call Center within 24 hours of submission.

Stalled Sites
The Department is now accepting applications for the
Stalled Sites Program. Owners who opt into the program must create in-depth site safety maintenance plan tailored to their sites' specific challenges. In exchange, their active work permits can be renewed for up to four years. View the Service Notice and Buildings Bulletin 2010-001 for more details.

ZRD1 & CCD1 Guidelines
View guidelines on when to use the ZRD1 and CCD1forms.
Asbestos Exemption
Applicants must use the revised ASB4 form when
indicating that their project is exempt from asbestos investigation. View Buildings Bulletin 2009-31 for details.

PW3 Form
As of February 1, 2010, only the 1/10 version of the PW3
will be accepted in the borough offices.

HMO Class C Licenses
The Department now accepts documentation from the Crane
Institute Certification (CIC) in addition to the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO) for Class C HMO licenses.

Fire Alarm Plans
Fire Alarm plans are now reviewed by FDNY. There are
several new requirements that must be followed with this change.

Rear Yards
Buildings Bulletin 2009-30 clarifies the level at which a
residential rear yard is required for a mixed building.

Alternative Materials
The Department recently issued three Buildings Bulletins
that address a number of alternative materials. These bulletins are:
  • 2009-27 - factory-built grease ducts
  • 2009-28 - fire-rated flexible duct wrap insulation and
  • 2009-29 -fire-rated rigid air duct ventilation assembly
Keep reading Buildings News for new information and updates.
Staff Spotlight

Anthony Thompson
Plumbing Inspector

The Department’s plumbing inspectors play a vital role in ensuring public safety by inspecting the construction of plumbing and fire protection systems throughout the City.

Next month, Plumbing Inspector Anthony Thompson, who is in the U.S. Army Reserves, will take his skills overseas to help protect the health and safety of his fellow soldiers in Afghanistan.

Following in his younger brother's footsteps, Inspector Thompson enlisted in the Army Reserves in 2007, the same year he joined the Department. He endured weeks of combat training in 2008 and now will leave for additional training in the coming days before heading to Afghanistan. His engineering unit will be dedicated to building plumbing systems for military facilities and nearby towns. Read more.

Did You Know... that Department inspectors issued nearly 10,000 full and partial Stop Work Orders in 2009? A Stop Work Order is issued when unsafe conditions are found at a job site.
Department of Buildings

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January 22, 2010