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July 2, 2020


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DOB Seeks New York's Next Top Building Design Code Innovator

The Department of Buildings is inviting submissions of new ideas on the best approaches to improve the city's 1.1 million buildings, keep construction workers and the public safe, and modernize the construction process. On Monday, June 29, 2020, the DOB, in partnership with the NYC Economic Development Corporation and the Urban Tech Hub, announced the first ever, "Hack the Building Code" Innovation Challenge, which gives entrants the opportunity to offer proposals on how to improve and modernize the city's Building Code.

The winner of this innovation challenge will be supported for inclusion in the 2020 NYC Building Code, agency Buildings Bulletin, or industry best practices guidelines. The winner will also be featured in upcoming DOB industry seminars and events highlighting how NYC's Building Code keeps every New Yorker safe. For more information on how to enter, visit Help Hack the Building Code. All entries must be submitted online by August 21 2020. The winner will be announced this Fall.

The Challenge

"Hack the Building Code" Innovation Challenge is seeking proposals on:

  • Improving worker safety
  • Identifying new regulations that would foster innovation or new technology, plus finding outdated regulations that are impeding innovation
  • Minimizing the effects of construction (ex: noise, dust, vibrations)
  • Creating innovative fire-resistant and construction techniques
  • Designing new fire resistant materials
  • Innovating façade inspections and repairs
  • Developing adaptive architecture
  • Facilitating design-build collaborations
  • Creating new takes on business processes to improve customer experience and become more efficient
  • Incorporating Building Information Modeling (BIM), digitizing the workplace and other design innovations
  • Developing safe work practices to continue preventing the spread of COVID-19


Who Decides the Winner?

This competition will be led by the Department of Buildings and the Code Innovation Committee, comprised of representatives from the construction, design and real estate industries. Finalists will be selected after review by the committee and will present their proposals at DOB's Build Safe/Live Safe Conference on September 25, 2020.

Press Release

Melanie E. La Rocca Commissioner

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