Buildings news

February 2019

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Construction Safety Week and Build Safe | Live Safe Conference 2019

Mark your calendars: Construction Safety Week is May 6-10, 2019, during which staff will visit construction sites to promote safety during our annual multi-lingual Experience is Not Enough campaign.

"The purpose of Construction Safety Week is to remind the industry of the Department's efforts to promote safe worksites and protect the public, which is our highest priority, and a responsibility we take very seriously," says Acting Buildings Commissioner Thomas Fariello, RA. "No building is worth a life, and tha's a belief every person in the development industry should keep in mind whenever they step onto a construction site."

Construction Safety Week in NYC culminates with the Department's annual Build Safe | Live Safe Conference 2019, a daylong series of seminars, where Department experts discuss industry trends and highlight safe construction operations. This year's conference will take place on Friday, May 10th from 8am-4pm at Convene, a conference center located at 117 West 46th Street in Manhattan. Tickets are on sale now, and the schedule and credit information will be coming soon.

Sign Amnesty Program and Moratorium on Accessory Sign Violations

Pursuant to Local Law 28 of 2019, as of February 9, 2019, the Department is no longer imposing civil penalties for work without a permit violations for business storefront signs that are smaller than 150 square feet and less than 1,200 pounds in weight.

Those who received these violations on or after December 28, 2017, and have not paid the penalties, may submit an L2 to request a penalty waiver. The form is available online and at DOB's borough offices.

In addition, LL28 has also imposed a moratorium on accessory sign violations that is in effect from February 9, 2019 through February 9, 2021. During the moratorium the Department will not issue violations for business storefront signs that existed on or before February 9, 2019, unless the sign creates an imminent hazard to public health or safety, or the Commissioner determines the sign is not otherwise eligible for the moratorium.

DOB Celebrates the Contributions of Black Architects and Engineers

In honor of Black History Month, DOB is celebrating the contributions of notable African-American design professionals, including:

Norma Merrick Sklarek, who was a pioneering American architect. Sklarek was the thrid black woman to be licensed as an architect in the United States, after Beverly Loraine Greene and Georgia Louise Harris Brown. Sklarek, who was born in Harlem in 1926, was the first woman to become a licensed architect in the state of New York (1954) and later the first woman to be licensed in the state of California (1962). She remained the only licensed black woman in California until 1980. Author Anna Lewis calls her "The Rosa Parks of Architecture." Sklarek's notable projects include San Bernardino City Hall in San Bernardino, CA (1963-65), the Embassy of the United States in Tokyo, Japan (1976-78), and the Mall of America in Minneapolis, MN (1989-92).

Beverly Loraine Greene, who is believed to have been the first African-American female licensed architect in the US. She was born in 1915 in Chicago, IL, and became a registered architect with the State of Illinois in 1942. She completed her master's degree in architecture at Columbia University in 1945, and joined the firm of Isadore Rosefield. She also worked with Edward Durrell Stone on planning the Arts Complex at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, NY (1952), and with Marcel Breuer on designs for the UNESCO UN Headquarters in Paris (1956).

J. Max Bond, Jr., who was born in 1935 and was educated at Harvard University, where he was awarded a bachelor's degree in 1955 and earned a master's degree three years later. In 1970, together with Donald P. Ryder, he founded the architectural firm of Bond Ryder & Associates which was responsible for the design of the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change in Atlanta, and the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute in Birmingham, Alabama, as well as Harlem's Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. The firm was merged with Davis, Brody & Associates in 1990. Bond became a partner at the newly combined firm of Davis Brody Bond, which had been best known for its work at Manhattan residential developments at Riverbend Houses, Waterside Plaza, and Zeckendorf Towers, and was responsible for the museum component at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum at the World Trade Center. Bond also served as chairman of the architecture division at the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture and Planning from 1980-1984, and as dean at the City College of New York School of Architecture and Environmental Studies from 1985-1992. He served as a member of the New York City Planning Commission from 1980-1986.

Lewis H. Latimer, who was a self-taught draftsman and designed some of the 19th Century's most important inventions. In 1874, he co-patented (with Charles W. Brown) an improved toilet system for railroad cars called the Water Closet for Railroad Cars, and in 1876, Alexander Graham Bell employed Latimer, then a draftsman at Bell's patent law firm, to draft the necessary drawings required to receive a patent for Bell's telephone. In 1879 Lewis was hired as assistant manager and draftsman for the U.S. Electric Lighting Company, a company owned by Hiram Maxim, a rival of Thomas A. Edison, and in 1881, Latimer, along with Joseph Nichols, invented a light bulb with a carbon filament, an improvement on Thomas Edison's original paper filament. The Edison Electric Light Company in New York City hired Latimer in 1884 as a draftsman and an expert witness in patent litigation on electric lights. While at Edison, Latimer wrote the first book on electric lighting, Incandescent Electric Lighting (1890), and supervised the installation of public electric lights throughout New York, Philadelphia, Montreal, and London.

Major Disciplinary Cases

  • $66,250 in total penalties issued to 138 Blossom Inc., owner of 134-34 Blossom Avenue, Queens, for illegal transient use violations after multiple short term rentals, advertised online, were found on three floors of the four-story building occupied by tenants without long-term leases.

  • $25,000 in penalties issued to Construction Superintendent Frank Deblanco for failure to perform his required duties on a construction site at 42 Sharron Street, Brooklyn, after DOB observed a 40 foot wall at the site without proper bracing or support, causing it to be in danger of collapse.

  • $23,500 in total penalties issued to West 47th Street Assoc., L.P., owner of 321 West 47th Street, Manhattan, for the illegal transient use of three apartment units occupied as illegal Airbnbs.

  • $5,000 in penalties issued to Forest City Jay Street Assoc., owner of 1 Metrotech Center, Brooklyn, for a privately owned public space (POPS) that is missing amenities, and signage that failed to state the POPS is "open to the public."

DOB publishes monthly bulletins detailing the agency's efforts to sanction and deter bad actors in the construction industry. You can find this information posted on the Enforcement Action Bulletin page of our website.

Additional Disciplinary Actions & Voluntary Surrenders

Industry Code of Conduct for Construction Professionals

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Service Updates

Electronic Registration Renewal: Class 2 Code and Zoning Representative

Cranes & Derricks Forms Updated

2014 Construction Code Updates

Update Page # 71 reflects changes made by Local Law 28 of 2019 (effective 2/9/2019), in relation to establishing temporary programs, conducting education, establishing a task force related to accessory sign violations and waiving penalties for violations for signs that are accessory to a use on the same zoning lot.

Update pages are printable inserts to keep your hard copy Construction Codes up to date.

All update pages for the 2014 NYC Construction Codes.

Local Laws

Local Law 28 of 2019 (Int. No. 728-B) A Local Law in relation to establishing temporary programs, conducting education, establishing a task force related to accessory sign violations and waiving penalties for violations for signs that are accessory to a use on the same zoning lot.

Hearings + Rules

1 RCNY 105-03 Construction Site Safety Training Rules (Department-Approved Courses Amendment)

Public Hearing: 03/08/18 @ 10:00 125 Worth Street, 2nd Floor Auditorium

1 RCNY 3321-01 Construction Site Safety Training Rules

Public Hearing: 03/08/18 @ 10:00 AM 125 Worth Street, 2nd Floor Auditorium

1 RCNY 103-07 Amendment of Rules Regarding Energy Audits and Retro-Commissioning

Public Hearing: 03/12/19 @10:00 AM Spector Hall, 22 Reade Street, 1st Floor

All Department Rules

Buildings Bulletins

All Buildings Bulletins

Website Updates

Language Access Plan

Cranes & Derricks Forms

Local Law 78 of 2017 Incident Report

DOB NOW: Inspections User Manual

ERIC Meeting Minutes


Department Approved Course Providers

Become a Course Provider

Registration Renewal: Class 2 Code and Zoning Representative

Approved Agencies to Qualify Pipe Welders

Did You Know?

DOB has produced an ongoing series of DOB NOW video tutorials, providing step-by-step instructions for a variety of DOB NOW functions, from submitting compliance filings, to responding to objections to job applications and paying fees online. Tutorials are available on DOB's YouTube page.

Thomas Fariello, R.A. Acting Commissioner

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