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Finalists Announced for urbanSHED Competition

Three finalists have been selected to continue to the second stage of the urbanSHED International Design Competition, which seeks to create a new standard of sidewalk shed design that improves the pedestrian experience while maintaining or exceeding the required safety standards in New York City. The finalists are:


Developed by Kevin Erickson, Brodie Bricker, Dan Campbell, Johann Rischau and Mathew Strack of KNEStudio in New York, NY, urbanCLOUD is a floating translucent scaffolding above the street that is suspended from the roof using a standard outrigger beam system. This design allows pedestrian traffic to flow unobstructed.

 Urban Umbrella

Developed by Young-Hwan Choi from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA, Urban Umbrella is made of carbon fiber and opens like an umbrella. This design supports the load of the scaffold and reduces the number of columns, bringing more light and air to the sidewalk below.

 Tripod MOD(ule)

Developed by Jonace Bascon, AIA, Derrick Choi, AIA, Lynn Hsu, RA, Stephen Lew, PE, and Andrew Stark, PE, of XChange Architects in Brookline, MA, Tripod
MOD(ule) includes an angled fabric screen which allows businesses to be visible to pedestrians and enables more daylight to reach the walkway.

Additional information about the winning designs can be found at DOB's website or
Legislation to Increase Safety at Stalled Construction Sites

On Wednesday, October 12, the New York City Council voted to adopt Introduction 1015-a regarding stalled construction sites. The legislation allows for developers to quickly restart stalled construction sites by agreeing to increased safety standards while construction is suspended. The legislation will create a new program

through the Buildings Department in which participating buildings will be required to notify DOB when work has stalled and to develop and submit a detailed safety monitoring and inspection plan to ensure the site is secure. Developers participating in the new program would be allowed to renew building permits at stalled sites for up to four years, as long as the program's safety requirements are met.

Owners are responsible for maintaining their sites safely, regardless of whether the site is active or not. View a list of stalled construction sites on DOB's website.

New Asbestos Abatement Technical Review Unit
On Tuesday, October 13, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) launched a new unit which is responsible for reviewing and permitting asbestos abatement projects. The new Asbestos Technical Review Unit (A-TRU) includes staff from both DEP and DOB.
A-TRU also includes a new state-of-the-art, online Asbestos Reporting and Tracking System (ARTS) through which contractors will obtain asbestos abatement permits. DEP has created a new comprehensive technical guide that will help industry members adapt to the new permitting process.

The unit, located at DEP headquarters in LeFrak City, was developed as part of the implementation of the 33 recommendations issued by the Construction, Demolition and Abatement Working Group created by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and led by Deputy Mayor for Operations Edward Skyler after the fire at the former Deutsche Bank building in lower Manhattan in August 2007.

Visit the Construction, Demolition and Abatement section of DOB's website for more information on these new rules and filing requirements.

Energy Code Seminar
To train design professionals on the energy code, the American Institute of Architects (AIANY), American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and the Urban Green Council are offering three five-part programs that cover topics including energy code requirements, preparing submittals and documenting compliance. Continuing education credits will be offered for attending.

The first program will run from October 26

through November 4. Each session will run from 8:30am to 10:00am and will be held at the Center for Architecture, located at 536 LaGuardia Place in Manhattan. Advance registration is recommended.

The second program will be a full day session held on December 2 at the Center for Architecture. The third program will be announced soon.

Service Updates
Concrete Retesting
On September 2, the Department announced a
new concrete re-testing protocol for 82 buildings and construction sites under the City’s jurisdiction that were named in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office indictment of Testwell Laboratories and are a part of the Testwell investigation. Applicants must now use updated versions of the TR1, TR2 and TR3 forms to support the new testing requirements. The Department has compiled Frequently Asked Questions to assist owners.

Penalty Relief Program
As part of the NYC Penalty Relief Program, which runs

through December 21, individuals who failed to attend ECB hearings and have had the "default" penalty imposed may be able to reduce the amount of fines owed.

Buildings Bulletin 2009-018
On October 6, the Department issued Buildings Bulletin 2009-
018 which is a reference guide for the design, installation, operation and testing of fire alarm systems in high-rise buildings.

Keep reading
Buildings News for new information and updates.

Buildings Around Town

34th NYSA Technical Forum
Facade Safety Seminar

On October 22, the Department will host a seminar with the New York Society of Architects (NYSA) to review new rules and policies for facades that have been implemented since the launch of the 2008 NYC Construction Codes.

The seminar will run from 4:00pm to 7:00pm and three hours of continuing education credits will be granted for attending.

Registration is required, and seating is limited.

Staff Spotlight

LaToneya Burwell
Training Associate
Buildings University

On Thursday, October 8, Buildings University Training Associate LaToneya Burwell was honored at the Second Annual Mayor's Excellence in Customer Service Awards Program hosted by the Mayor's Office of Operations and held at Brooklyn's Borough Hall.

The event recognizes programs and teams, as well as individuals, which have demonstrated innovation in customer service. The Mayor’s Office received over 60 submissions for the awards program and presented 25 awards.

Buildings University is the Department's in-house training facility for Buildings employees. As a training associate, LaToneya coordinates and schedules professional and development programs for all Department staff.

Recently, LaToneya led a six-month management training program for 17 Department directors, borough managers and service managers in the five borough offices. She also helped in the development and operation of a citywide customer service training program as part of the Mayor’s Office of Operations Customer Service Group.

"Customer service comes naturally to her," said Lisa Lewis, the Buildings Department's Director of Customer Service. "She exudes not only excellent customer service to external customers, but she also provides excellent customer service to internal customers - her colleagues at Buildings."

Did You Know... that there are more than 26,000 landmarked buildings in New York City, all identified by an L in the Department's online database BIS?
Department of Buildings

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October 21, 2009