FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 8, 2008
MAYOR BLOOMBERG SWEARS-IN ROBERT LIMANDRI AS NEW YORK CITY BUILDINGS COMMISSIONER
Nineteen-year Industry Veteran has Served as Acting Commissioner since April
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg this morning swore-in Robert LiMandri as Commissioner of the Department of Buildings . LiMandri, who has more than 19 years of engineering, real estate and construction management experience in the private and nonprofit sectors, has served as Acting Commissioner since April 2008 and has been part of the Department of Buildings' senior management since 2002.
"The Buildings Department is on the front lines of public safety, and they are working to ensure there are no shortcuts when it comes to protecting the 125,000 construction workers in this City and the millions who live here," said Mayor Bloomberg. "As Acting Commissioner, Bob has demonstrated expertise, energy, and most importantly an intense commitment to construction safety as the Department's top priority. Under Bob's leadership, the Department has launched innovative enforcement programs to tackle high-risk construction activities, and by doing so, he is already raising the standards of safety and improving industry accountability. I am confident that he will continue to do so in his tenure as Commissioner."
"I would like to thank Mayor Bloomberg for this important opportunity to lead the Department," said Commissioner LiMandri. "Construction, especially in tough economic times like these, is vital to the future growth of this City, but there is absolutely no reason why we can't build safely. The mission of this Department is to protect workers and New Yorkers, and we are accomplishing that by increasing safety regulations, arming our inspectors with state-of-the-art technology and working with law enforcement to hold builders accountable for unsafe work. We have come a long way, but more work lies ahead. Now is the time to work with the community and the industry to ensure the development that drives this City continues in the safest way possible."
As Commissioner, LiMandri will be responsible for setting local construction standards, enforcing the Building Code and Zoning Resolution, and regulating New York City's construction industry to further the safe and lawful use of New York City's 975,000 buildings and properties.
On September 22, Mayor Bloomberg signed three new pieces of legislation into law that improve the safety of crane operations throughout New York City. Local Law 44 of 2008 requires at least 30 hours of Department-approved training and an eight-hour refresher course every three years for all workers involved in the erection, jumping, climbing, rigging or dismantling of a climber or a tower crane. Local Law 46 of 2008 requires rigging and jumping plans to be submitted to the Buildings Department prior to the erecting, jumping, climbing, rigging or dismantling of a tower or climber crane. Local Law 45 of 2008 prohibits the use of nylon slings unless the manufacturer's manual specifically states or recommends their use and softening mechanisms have been applied to all sharp edges. The legislative actions are a part of the larger construction safety plan announced by Mayor Bloomberg, the City Council, the Buildings Department and industry leaders and builds upon a $4 million investment by the City to conduct an in-depth assessment of high-risk construction activities.
As Acting Commissioner, LiMandri strengthened the Department of Building's infrastructure, bringing in new management and reorganizing the agency to empower borough leadership and hold management more accountable. LiMandri also increased the overall efficiency and quality of the agency's processes by streamlining and reworking operational procedures at nearly every level. By setting consistent expectations and standardizing methods of measurement, LiMandri's efforts have improved the quality of services and increased productivity to a level not before seen in the agency's history.
To raise construction safety standards and improve industry accountability, LiMandri has significantly increased the agency's enforcement presence by targeting resources to areas most at risk of noncompliance. Under LiMandri's guidance, the Department launched its Special Enforcement Plan, dedicating 10 newly-formed teams to advance construction safety by aggressively halting dangerous work and raising the construction industry's level of care. This plan was backed up with $12 million in new funding for 144 dedicated staff lines, including new inspectors and auditors, organized into multi-disciplinary investigative and enforcement teams.
To identify ways to make New York City construction safer, LiMandri also launched an unprecedented top-to-bottom analysis of three high-risk areas of construction: concrete, excavations and cranes operations. Under this $4 million Construction Analysis and Oversight Plan, about 20 engineering experts are examining the systems, protocols, tools and management of these forms of high-risk construction, while simultaneously studying the Department's own processes - ultimately enabling the Buildings Department to determine what areas the industry needs to improve to minimize risk and how the agency can best oversee and regulate these types of construction. Finally, recognizing there is much more to do, LiMandri is implementing the Department's 2006-2009 Strategic Plan to continue to increase transparency and accountability at all levels of the agency.
Commissioner-designate LiMandri joined Buildings as Deputy Commissioner of Operations and was appointed First Deputy Commissioner in July 2005. Prior to joining the Buildings Department, LiMandri was a Director at Real Foundations, a management-consulting firm, where he counseled real estate companies in areas including leasing, deal analysis, management and construction. He was a Vice President at OpsXchange, an e-procurement solution firm, from 2000 to 2002. From 1997 to 2000, LiMandri was a Vice President at Jones Lang LaSalle, where he was a manager and consultant to leading firms and was responsible for Class A office buildings. Prior to Jones Lang LaSalle, LiMandri utilized his engineering background, managing the Science and Engineering buildings at Columbia University from 1990 to 1997.
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, New York. He lives in Queens with his wife and children.
Stu Loeser/Marc La Vorgna (Mayor) (212) 788-2958
Tony Sclafani (Buildings) (212) 566-3473