For Immediate Release: October 4, 2021
Contact: email@example.com, (212) 393-2126
DOB LAUNCHES “HACK THE BUILDING CODE” INNOVATION CHALLENGE
Innovators are Invited to Submit Ideas to Enhance Building Safety, Improve Regulations, and Make Buildings Greener; Winners Will Present at DOB Conference in November
New York, NY - The Department of Buildings today announced the launch of the agency’s second-annual “Hack the Building Code” Innovation Challenge, sending out an open call to the public for ways to improve our city’s built environment. This contest is a partnership between the DOB, the NYC Economic Development Corporation and Urban Tech Hub @ Company Ventures.
Building on the success of our first ever “Hack the Building Code” innovation challenge held last year, DOB is once again seeking ideas on the best ways to improve how we design, construct and maintain our city of over 1.1 million buildings. Submissions for the challenge can incorporate a wide range of ideas, including new technologies, resiliency standards, building sustainability, construction site safety, public safety, public quality of life issues, removing inefficiencies in the development process, and modernizing construction techniques. The winners of this innovation challenge will receive DOB technical support and assistance in introducing their technology to NYC's design and construction industries. In addition, winners will be featured in upcoming DOB industry seminars and events highlighting how NYC’s Building Code keeps New Yorkers safe.
“Time and time again we have seen that the best ideas can come from anywhere. That’s why we’re challenging New Yorkers to share their proposals for how we can make New York a safer and more sustainable city,” said Buildings Commissioner Melanie E. La Rocca. “We want to leverage the creativity of the city’s design and construction industries to keep us at the forefront of innovation, protect the public and help New York continue to lead the fight against climate change.”
"The Urban Tech Hub @ Company Ventures is proud to continue to partner with the Department of Buildings to surface innovative ideas to modernize construction techniques and sustainable practices and to create more resilient spaces in the wake of COVID," said Robinson Hernandez, Executive Director of Urban Tech Hub @ Company Ventures. "We're calling on New York City's tech and real estate communities, as well as the general public, to help us update and modernize the city's Building Code so that it better serves everyone."
The “Hack the Building Code” Innovation Challenge is seeking proposals in categories including, but not limited to:
Judging for this competition will be led by DOB’s Code Innovation Committee, comprised of DOB staff and representatives from the construction, design and real estate industries. Finalists will be selected after review by the Committee and will present their proposals at a virtual DOB conference to be held in November.
New York City’s Building Code is one of the nation’s earliest and most comprehensive set of rules regarding construction in both new and existing buildings. Updated regularly, our Codes set a strong framework for how buildings are designed and maintained in our unique urban environment. Earlier this year, the Department announced sweeping revisions to our existing Codes, with more than 600 major changes to existing regulations, which we look forward to the City Council passing them into law. Regulations in our Codes frequently inform model codes on the national and international levels.
The second-annual “Hack the Building Code” Innovation Challenge is part of DOB’s ongoing commitment to create a safe, sustainable city. Last year, winning proposals to improve building and worker safety and increase energy efficiency among NYC’s buildings included a wide range of measures to improve our city’s built environment. In addition to showcasing the 2020 winners at digital industry conferences, the agency also issued Buildings Bulletins in support of these innovators, official guidance documents which provide technical approvals in New York City for the use of products, processes and technologies that are not specifically enumerated in our Codes.
Urban Tech Hub is home to 50+ startups working on the future of smarter cities alongside corporate partners and NYC government agencies, helping the city to capitalize on innovations that address the most pressing urban challenges.
"There is no problem too big for New Yorkers to solve, and the Hack the Building Code Innovation Challenge offers a way to tap our city's creativity to improve the building code," said Lisette Camilo, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services. "New York City has over a million buildings, and even small changes to the building code can make our city safer and more sustainable."
Council Member Robert E. Cornegy, Jr., said, “NYC must continue to lead the way in advancing new technology development, awareness, and adoption. This ‘Hack the Building Code’ Innovation Challenge harnesses expertise across industry to keep us on the cutting edge in addressing climate change challenges, upgrading construction safety, and maintaining the quality life of our communities. I look forward to solutions this innovation challenge will uplift and to all the advancements this innovation challenge will spotlight to better serve the needs of all New Yorkers.”
"New York City has a deep bench of talent, so it's great to get ideas for moving the city forward in safe, innovative and sustainable ways from those who work in design and construction. This is a wonderful program that will help cut down on bureaucracy and streamline the building process," said Council Member Robert Holden.
“Innovation and sustainability go hand-in-hand. We’re excited for challenges like these to bring new and creative thinking to make NYC more sustainable, resilient and safe,” said John Mandyck, CEO of Urban Green Council.
"It is critical to the well-being of our communities to promote the modernization of the built environment in New York,” said John Evers, President & CEO, American Council of Engineering Companies of New York. "Our organization will continue to partner with the DOB and Commissioner La Rocca on initiatives such as the ‘Hack the Building Code’ challenge, which promotes greatly needed innovation and resiliency efforts."
“Innovation is an essential part of the real estate industry’s efforts to advance sustainable development, promote construction safety and maintain state-of-the-art buildings for residential and commercial tenants,” said Zachary Steinberg, Senior Vice President of Policy at the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY). “We applaud DOB for leading this exciting initiative and look forward to the proposals it will generate as we continue working together to modernize our built environment and strengthen communities across New York City.”
“The BTEA is proud to once again participate in the Department’s “Hack The Building Code” innovation challenge. It is exactly these collaborative efforts that help to move both the Industry and the Department forward. We look forward to hearing and seeing more fantastic and innovative concepts,” said Donald Ranshte, Building Trades Employers Association, Executive Vice President.
“After last year’s incredibly successful launch of the ‘Hack the Building Code’ Innovation Challenge, I am honored to represent the Structural Engineers Association of New York (SEAoNY) on the Board of Judges once again,” said Jonathan Hernandez, PE, former President of SEAoNY and Partner at Gilsanz Murray Steficek. “We are proud to be involved in such a unique program that strives to enhance the building standard for the great city of New York and create a safer, more sustainable, and prosperous environment for our community.”