The Department of Buildings recently implemented Local Law 78 of 2017 creating new guidelines for the reporting of injuries on construction sites. The law expands requirements for injury reporting in an effort to increase transparency in construction safety. The Department updates incident lists every month.

Types of Injury

Local Law 78 expands reporting of injury subjects beyond construction workers to include any injured subject, including bystanders. Any construction injury requiring ambulance transport to an off-site medical facility is now required be reported. (more...)

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It’s no coincidence that New York City has seen a proliferation of yoga studios in the last several years. This is largely due to the Department of Buildings distinguishing yoga studios from their “physical culture” brethren–the massage parlors, bathhouses and gyms that require BSA approval.

According to Zoning Resolution 73-36, physical culture establishments are only allowed in districts C1-8X, C1-9, C2, C4, C5, C6, C8, M1, M2 or M3 by BSA approval. Buildings Bulletin 2013-010 makes the argument that because yoga studios do not require exercise equipment and accept walk-in customers, they can be classified under use groups 6C (retail or service establishment) or 9A (retail establishment studio, art, music, dancing or theatrical). (more...)

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The Scaffold Law is a 1885 New York State Law the places liability on owners and contractors for injury stemming from the failure to provide scaffold safety protections required by building codes. In later years, the courts added the terms “strict” and “absolute” to liability, thus eliminating any ruling of shared liability between owner/contractor and injured worker. This is currently a hot button issue as owners, contractors and insurance companies feel scaffold related injury cases are a slam-dunk for the injured, who receive exorbitant settlements that in turn increase construction costs. (more...)

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In an effort to curtail the recent surge of construction injuries, the DOB has ramped up its stop work order issuances. Stop work order issuances increased three times faster than permit issuances from 2012-2016. Following approved plans and construction safety measures can prevent stop work orders. Project teams lose money when construction is stymied by a stop work order. Getting construction crews back up and running is critical. Here are some tips on how to do so. (more...)

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Prospective building owners should do their homework before pulling the trigger on a purchase. There could be restrictions on the property or fees unrecognized in the sales price. Large buildings will typically get a due diligence report from an expediting company. Here are five things owners have to look into before buying New York City property.

Is the site on a zoning lot merger?

Buildings on a zoning lot merger may be restricted from expanding. If the purchase site lies on a lot with another site, the shared air rights could have been used up. (more...)

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Hostels, those bunked up dormitories filled with weary travelers easily recognized by their Ghostbuster sized backpacks, are common in many European and American cities. In New York City there only a handful remain. Is New York City hostile to the hostel?

The major piece of legislation that stamped out hostels was New York State Senate Bill 6873-B, commonly known as the “Illegal Hotels Bill.” The bill is famously cited for making the short-term rentals found on apartment share sites illegal. (more...)

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The combining of residential units has become increasingly popular in New York City. Residential combinations can range from the joining of two apartments to turning a larger multiple dwelling into a single family home.

Combining residential units can be tricky. Major upgrades to fire and life safety systems, accessibility and egress may be in order. Here are the leading issues surrounding residential unit combinations.

Is There a Change in Use, Egress or Occupancy?

If a residential unit combination requires a change in use, egress or occupancy then the building is required update to 2014 accessibility. (more...)

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