Permitting

By: Rebecca Reilly with Scott Walker of Outsource Consultants Inc.

Significant changes to the building code requirements over the past year have impacted most construction projects, including building envelope restoration. Awareness of these changes can save time and money throughout permitting and construction. Sullivan Engineering interviewed Scott Walker of Outsource Consultants to clarify these changes.

Filing a site safety plan is still required for buildings that are 15 stories or higher; however, the site safety supervision requirements have been modified. The change gives contractors and building owners performing facade restoration projects that do not involve recladding more flexibility to comply with site safety oversight requirements. While it is still required to designate a formal site safety manager on the permit application, the manager can now limit the time they are required to physically be on site to the initial inspection at the start of the project, and a re-inspection within 24 hours of a hazardous violation issuance. After work is underway, the responsibility of day to day safety oversight can now be delegated by the manager to a licensed rigger, designated rigging foreman or others that meet certain requirements. They are required to have 40 hours of site safety training and 32 hours of OSHA training. This change provides owners significant construction cost savings. Additionally, it reduces construction delays that are due to the lack of site safety managers.

Building managers of co-ops and condos should be aware of the changes made to the Department of Buildings permitting forms over the past year. The PW1 form  (Plan/ Work Application) now requires a second signature of a board member. Previously, an owneras representative was permitted to be the only signer of the forms. Delays in the filing process can be avoided by knowing this ahead of time. Additionally, a new field, indicating whether faAade work is included in a project, has been added to the form.

Following Hurricane Sandy, the DOB began requiring that flood maps be added to all sets of drawings. The DOB has since amended this requirement. If a building is located within a flood zone, the flood maps are required. If a building is not within the flood zone, the designer is only required to add a note on the title page that states that the building is not in a flood zone.

A significant change to the FISP program this year was the facade amnesty program. The faAade amnesty program allowed cycle 8 FISP reports to be filed early for buildings that did not file a FISP cycle 7 report. The late fees and penalties must be paid, prior to filing the report. This program ends on June 30th, and, it should be noted that the DOB claims this is a one-time offer. Building owners should not expect amnesty programs for future FISP cycles.

The filing requirements of FISP reports had changed as well. Previously, hard copy submissions of reports were required; however, FISP cycle 8 reports must be submitted on CDas.

If you have any additional permitting and building code questions, please feel free to contact Scott Walker of Outsource Consultants at swalker@OutsourceConsultants.com.

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