The Year in Buildings
As we welcome the new year, let's take a look back at a few of the important achievements at the Department of Buildings in 2015!
Commissioner Chandler's plan of fundamental reform to enhance public safety, reduce wait times and delays and modernize all aspects of our agency is being implemented through many of the accomplishments listed here!
In December, we launched Inspection Ready, a new system that allows building owners, design professionals and licensees to request inspections online and receive results nearly in real time. Rollouts of new technology are rarely perfect on "day one", but we’re pleased with the results so far. We’re making improvements, many of which were suggested by our customers, and will continue to do so as we expand the program.
We launched a redesigned website. The new site has a fresh new look with more user-friendly features. Information for business owners, property owners and industry members is easily accessible from the home page. Through Buildings 411, visitors can view upcoming changes, read technical reference guides or learn about employment opportunities.
Customer Service Enhancements
To improve customer service, we've installed "Q-Matic" systems in our Manhattan, Staten Island, and Bronx borough offices. The expected launch dates for Queens and Brooklyn are January 8th and January 15th respectively. Launch dates for central offices will be announced in the coming weeks.
Please scan your DOB-issued ID card at our new self-service kiosks and receive a numbered ticket. Visual displays in our customer service areas will show your place in line and when you’re next to be called.
We’re also redesigning our borough offices to make them more welcoming. As part of this effort, we're installing TV display screens with useful information: for example, at our Cranes & Derricks Unit, the screens show information on fee schedules, required documents, and the Unit’s latest service notices. Keep an eye out for this new resource the next time you pay us a visit.
Experience is Not Enough
Buildings cares about the safety of construction workers. In 2015 we expanded our multi-lingual campaign with new safety reminders.
Industry Code of Conduct
The Department released a first-of-its kind Code of Conduct for construction professionals.
Tenant Anti-Harassment Campaign
DOB investigators were proud to join Mayor de Blasio's task force against unscrupulous landlords.
Homeowners and Residents Night Expansion
Borough offices stayed open even later every Tuesday evening to provide assistance at times convenient for residents.
After Hours Inspections
We rolled out a program in the Bronx allowing customers to request an inspection evenings 4:30pm-7:00pm and weekends 8:00am-5:00pm for all permitted projects.
Job Fairs/ Hiring
Our Human Resources Unit held job fairs for new inspectors, architects and engineers. In fact, the first job fair of 2016 will be held this Friday, January, 8th. Details are available under the 'Buildings is Hiring' heading in this newsletter.
These step-by-step guides, written by Department experts, simplify the permit process for common construction jobs.
Cooling Tower Registration
Local Law 77 of 2015 was enacted to track and manage the maintenance of cooling towers, fluid coolers and evaporative condensers in the City.
Construction Safety Week 2015
DOB hosted another successful Build Safe Live Safe conference where Commissioner Chandler and Department experts reinforced the importance of safe construction practices and attendees earned professional credits.
The Commissioner also visited construction sites in each borough to promote construction site safety by reminding workers to practice safety first.
Small Business Owners
2015 was a year of collaboration for DOB and Small Business Services. We worked together to streamline processes for the city's entrepreneurs.
Small Businesses also joined homeowners for after hour assistance in our borough offices held every Tuesday night. No appointment is needed to attend.
Get Back To Building
To accelerate development in the city, the Department met with applicants after hours in May and June to get delayed projects to approval.
Know Your Construction Professional Database
In June we introduced a comprehensive directory of all construction professionals monitored by the Department, easily accessible for public research.
This year our Licensing Unit updated forms, applications, examination information and other helpful guides.
Living Safely Campaign
Just last month we continued our annual multi-lingual campaign to alert residents to the dangers of substandard living conditions.
New Crane Rule
of Compliance for Service Equipment
Debit Cards with
Credit Card Logo
2015-035: Establishes acceptance criteria for installation requirements of gas-fired direct vent space-heating appliances manufactured with a CO detector and used for providing heat in rooms for sleeping purposes in accordance with the NYC Construction Codes.
2015-034: Establishes revised operational procedures as to when a Letter of No Objection (LNO) shall be issued from the Department of Buildings for the purpose of obtaining a license from the New York State Liquor Authority.
2015-033: Establishes requirements for developing and applying for acceptance of an equivalent adhesive anchor installer certification program.
2015-032: Rescinds 1 APPN and 17 OPPNs that are no longer applicable under any code.
2015-031: Clarifies the submittal and permitting process for projects that require Structural Peer Review per BC Section 1617. Supersedes BB 2013-014.
2015-030: Clarifies the accessibility requirements for detectable warnings at pools.
2015-029: Clarifies the planning required for construction sites to prepare for high-wind events.
2015-028: Establishes special inspection requirements for certain prescribed materials.
2015-027: Establishes clarification on the use of adhesive anchoring systems.
2015-026: Establishes revised operational procedures as to when a Letter of No Objection (LNO) shall be issued for conforming Zoning Resolution Uses from the Department of Buildings for a license from the Department of Consumer Affairs.
2015-025: Clarifies the types of work involving an existing fire alarm system designed and approved under the 2008 building code or prior codes.
2015-024: Establishes acceptance criteria and test methods for solar collectors.
2015-023: Establishes standards for fuel-gas fired ceramic kilns used for hobby and non-commercial purposes.
Buildings is Hiring Construction & Plumbing Inspectors
The Department of Buildings offers excellent benefits, competitive salaries and training and certifications for career advancement. Join our team of construction professionals who work to make our city safe.
Inspector Job Fair
Friday, January 8, 2016
To register, send your resume to Careers@Buildings.nyc.gov
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New York State Coastal Erosion Hazard Area Training
Bill de Blasio, Mayor
Rick D. Chandler, P.E., Commissioner
photos by samantha modell