Project Categories: Construction Equipment - Temporary Chutes
Construction chutes are temporary installations used to remove rubble, debris, and similar demolition and construction waste materials safely from taller buildings without affecting loads on the structure. They are required to have a smooth, open shaft without offsets, bends or interior protrusions and are used in multistory buildings to convey construction waste from upper floors to a collection point.
Temporary construction chutes can consist of the following types:
Exterior Construction Chutes. A chain of cylindrical or conical plastic tubes, tied together to form a long flexible tube hung from outriggers supported at windows, parapets, winches, or flat or pitched roofs, extending down the side of the building from a window, roof or other opening. The lower end of this tube is placed over a waste dumpster, debris box, skip or other receptacle, and the waste materials are dropped in from above.
Vacant Building Construction Chutes. In a vacant building, an empty elevator shaft whose openings are blocked off and floor properly buffered/protected from falling debris may be temporarily utilized as a construction chute.
Interior Construction Chutes. The temporary removal of subfloor(s) for use as a chute with solid plank covering when not in use. When the building is more than six stories in height, fall protection shall be provided by an enclosed shaft way around a continuous vertical opening with guards around floor openings that are solidly planked over when not in use.
A temporary construction chute project may be part of a new building or an alteration project for multi-level buildings. Construction chutes are required to have a permit based on drawings prepared and submitted by a registered design professional unless the chute is less than 40 feet in height above the adjoining grade, it has been designed and installed by an approved manufacturer, or it is not attached to or supported by a scaffold.
Department of Buildings’ Role
New York City's Administrative Code, under the jurisdictions of the Department of Transportation (DOT), Department of Buildings (DOB) and Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), has rules governing the design, location and operation of construction chutes. The Department of Buildings regulates construction chutes on demolition and construction sites in accordance with NYC BC 3305 to ensure properly and safely disposed of demolition or leftover scrap materials. The Department acts as the primary approval and enforcement entity for compliance with applicable rules and regulations, and coordinates the requirements of all involved City agencies.
While the Department of Transportation requires approval and a permit for encroachments onto a public right-of-way or for a dumpster, projects where a permit is already required by DOB are exempt from requiring a permit from DOT.
Where a chute is being used to load trucks and falling material can present a hazard to the truck operator, a substantial gate and an employee to operate the gate would be required by OSHA.
In buildings more than 25 feet high, any exterior opening within 20 feet of a floor-opening chute shall be boarded up or covered, unless other proper protection from falling debris is in place.
OSHA regulations prohibit workers from occupying the space(s) below such openings while they are in use.