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For Immediate Release
August 27, 2013

BUILDINGS COMMISSIONER ROBERT LIMANDRI ANNOUNCES RELEASE OF NEW GUIDE TO HELP CONTRACTORS PREPARE IN CASE OF SEVERE WEATHER

New Weather Guide Designed to Enhance Pre-Storm Planning at Construction Sites Citywide

Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri today announced the release of an extreme weather guide to aid contractors and construction site managers in safeguarding construction sites during potential severe weather events. As a precaution, contractors must always properly secure and prepare construction sites to withstand high winds and rain. These safety measures also include taking steps to ensure the safety of areas accessible to pedestrians and other properties adjoining construction sites. As a part of the weather guide, responsible contractors and construction site managers should develop an action plan that includes proper task-planning, pre-storm preparation, an emergency response team and post-storm inspection and repair procedures for their construction sites.

Before severe weather events, the Department issues a weather advisory to thousands of property owners and contractors, warning them to properly secure their buildings and construction sites. This new guide expands on those advisories and provides more detailed information about the precautions necessary to protect construction sites and fellow New Yorkers. To sign up for the Department’s weather advisories, visit www.nyc.gov/buildings.

"Hurricane Sandy presented our City with unprecedented challenges, and this new guide is designed to help builders prepare for the next serious storm based on what we have learned,” said Commissioner LiMandri. “The key to any pre-storm plan is to anticipate the unexpected and take the necessary steps to make sure pedestrians and adjacent properties are protected. Property owners and contractors are responsible for their sites – and they must do everything they can to ensure public safety. Simply put – always prepare for the worst."

The Department recommends that an action plan be initiated in three major areas including, but not limited to:

  • General Construction: Remove construction materials from the perimeter of the building and tie them down. Secure steel frames, metal decks, planks and plywood to supportive structures. Provide shoring and bracing for areas under construction or demolition; and cover open areas to protect against water infiltration.
  • Temporary Installations: Secure tiebacks on supported scaffolding and increase attachments on construction fences and barriers. Remove any temporary structures or add-ons not engineered to withstand high winds. Remove concrete formwork not weighted down in consultation with an engineer. Ensure netting is cleaned of debris and retracted. Anchor sidewalk shed deck parapets against displacement.
  • Material and Personnel Hoists: Crane engineers and contractors must implement pre-storm procedures that are a part of approved plans for the securing and storing of cranes and derricks. For construction hoists, properly secure mast connections, overhead protection, nettings, outriggers and landing plates.

The Department’s weather guide is the latest in a series of materials produced by the Department to better prepare the construction industry for potential severe weather events. In June, the Department released a “Guide to Rebuilding after Sandy” to help industry and design professionals navigate new Building Code and zoning standards.

To view the full weather guide, as well as other materials from the Department, visit www.nyc.gov/buildings.

Contact:    Tony Sclafani/Kelly Magee                               (212) 393-2126
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