Legislative Update: Letter to Commissioner Fariello

Please see the link below for a copy of a letter sent to Thomas Fariello, RA who has assumed the duties of Commissioner of NYC Department of Buildings following the decision by Rick Chandler, P.E. to step down.  We are awaiting a reply to our request for a meeting.  NYSSPE is hopeful that the meeting will lead to additional improvements at the DOB squarely focused upon the elimination of inordinate delays in the plan approval process.  Thanks to everyone who has helped with this initiative.  We will keep everyone apprised.

Letter from NYSSPE to Thomas Fariello, RA 

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Note: NYSSPE facilitates posting on this blog, but the views and accounts expressed herein are those of the author(s) and not the views or accounts of NYSSPE, its officers or directors whose views and accounts may or may not be similar or identical. NYSSPE, its officers and directors do not express any opinion regarding any product or service by virtue of reference to such product or service in this blog.

The Impact of the 2016 NYS Energy Code Updates will be Presented by Chairman of the ASHRAE Technical Committee TC 7.6, Dennis Landsberg P.E. at The 2019 National Engineers Week Celebration Event in NYC

By the PEs in Construction Group,  January 2019.   

Chairman of the ASHRAE Technical Committee on Building Energy Performance (TC 7.6), Dennis Landsberg P.E.  will discuss the Impact of the 2016 changes to the NYS Energy Code on building design at NYSSPE’s 2019 NYC Engineers Week Celebration Event, which will be held on Monday February 18th, 2019 at the Time Square Marriott Marquis in New York City.  The presentation will focus on changes covering each building system and how that may impact building design choices.  The 2016 State Code is based upon the 2015 International Code and 90.1-2013.  The code has provisions for Residential buildings, which are defined as single family and multi-family buildings of three stories or less, and commercial buildings, which are all buildings not defined as residential buildings.  To achieve compliance, there is a prescriptive path, a component performance paths allowing tradeoffs and a custom path that relies on modeling.  ASHRAE also has workbooks for specific building types that achieve 30%, 50% or more above code, and that can be downloaded for free.  Topics covered include a brief introduction of the  code that the NYS standard adopts, the new compliance paths, the three climate zones in NYS, full/part load efficiencies for Unitary Air Conditioners, major changes to Energy Recovery Ventilation and new categories introduced to Domestic Hot Water.

The presentation on the design implications of the 2016 Energy Code updates will be part of a series of 6 presentations (6-PDH) celebrating Engineers Week on Monday February 18, 2019 with some very interesting topics focused on infrastructure improvements and green/energy efficient measures.  The PE’s In Construction Group of NYSSPE is organizing this presentation series in conjunction with the Association of Towns of the State of New York (AOT) at the AOT 2019 Training School and Annual Meeting.  This will be the Association of Town’s 86th Annual Meeting. The event attracts elected and appointed officials from more than three-quarters of the state’s 932 towns.

To find out more information about the presentations and the 2019 National Engineers Week celebration event in NYC, CLICK HERE [Read more…]

Required 1-PDH Engineering Ethics Lecture to be Presented At The 2019 National Engineers Week Celebration Event in NYC

By the PEs in Construction Group,  February 2019

Lewis Tesser, Former Chair of the New York State Bar Association’s  (NYSBA) General Practice Section will discuss and answer questions regarding ethical and legal aspects required by (and expected of) professional engineers and architects at NYSSPE’s 2019 NYC Engineers Week Celebration Event, which will be held on Monday February 18th, 2019 at the Time Square Marriott Marquis in New York City.  The purpose of the engineering ethics presentation is to provide an overview of ethical conduct and legal aspects required of professional engineers with primary emphasis on the big picture of being a professional in New York State. Mr. Tesser will discuss concepts and/or nomenclatures of:  What it means to be a professional; obligations; licensed vs. unlicensed Engineer; what requires an engineer’s stamp; attaining License in other States; exemptions from licensing requirements; hiring unlicensed engineers; unprofessional conduct; avoiding problem areas and communicating.

The engineering ethics presentation will be part of a series of 6 presentations (6-PDH) celebrating Engineers Week on Monday February 18, 2019 with some very interesting topics focused on infrastructure improvements and green/energy efficient measures.  The PE’s In Construction Group of NYSSPE is organizing this presentation series in conjunction with the Association of Towns of the State of New York (AOT) at the AOT 2019 Training School and Annual Meeting.  This will be the Association of Town’s 86th Annual Meeting. The event attracts elected and appointed officials from more than three-quarters of the state’s 932 towns.

To find out more information about the presentations and the 2019 National Engineers Week celebration event in NYC, CLICK HERE. [Read more…]

2018 Changes to Special Inspections Requirements To Be Offered At The 2019 National Engineers Week Celebration Event in NYC

By the PEs in Construction Group,  January 2019Lawrence J. O’Connor P.E., L.S., Lead/Technical Assessor of the International Accreditation Service (IAS), the organization in charge of accrediting Special Inspections Agencies will discuss the 2018 rule changes in performing Special Inspections.  The presentation will be given at NYSSPE’s 2019 NYC Engineers Week Celebration Event, which will be held on Monday February 18th, 2019 at the Time Square Marriott Marquis in New York City.

To find out more information about the presentations and the 2019 National Engineers Week celebration event in NYC, CLICK HERE

This presentation will provide an overview of some of the changes made to the requirements and practice of Special Inspectors as well as discuss the affected rules of Chapter 17 of the Building Code.  The 2018 amendment to the rule of section 101-06, Chapter 100 of the rules of NYC affecting Special Inspections can be reviewed in this link.  Topics to be covered include changes to Special Inspections rules including qualifications of inspectors, frequency of inspections, changes to local laws etc. Participants will learn about the sequence and organization of the SI Rule, differences between the prior and current rules, discuss a summary of the impact of the changes in various SI rules, the criteria and classification of Special Inspections, some of the differences between inspection requirements, summary of some of the code sections impacted by the changes in SI rules, and a brief overview of the process of becoming an Accredited Special Inspection Agency in 2019.

The rule changes to Special Inspections presentation will be part of a series of 6 presentations (6-PDH) celebrating Engineers Week on Monday February 18, 2019 with some very interesting topics focused on infrastructure improvements and green/energy efficient measures.  The PE’s In Construction Group of NYSSPE is organizing this presentation series in conjunction with the Association of Towns of the State of New York (AOT) at the AOT 2019 Training School and Annual Meeting.  This will be the Association of Town’s 86th Annual Meeting. The event attracts elected and appointed officials from more than three-quarters of the state’s 932 towns.

To find out more information about the presentations and the 2019 National Engineers Week celebration event in NYC, use the following link:  http://www.cvent.com/d/pbqbmv

Mr. O’Connor has over forty years’ experience in New York as a Civil Engineer working in government, industry and consulting. His career has a broad scope including roles in design, research, land and hydro-graphic surveying, infrastructure management and nuclear power quality assurance.

Since 2010 he has served IAS in several roles. In New York City he is focused on Special Inspections for Building Construction, bringing ISO standards to the building industry in New York. In addition to assessments for the accreditation of 130+ Special Inspection Agencies in New York, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Florida and Dubai, Larry teaches seminars on the importance of Special Inspections and Chapter 17 of the IBC. [Read more…]

Former NYC DOT Traffic Commissioner, Sam Schwartz P.E. will Discuss Autonomous Vehicles at The 2019 National Engineers Week Celebration Event in NYC

By the PEs in Construction Group,  January 2019.   

Former NYC DOT Traffic Commissioner, Sam Schwartz P.E.  will discuss the pros and cons of driver-less cars at NYSSPE’s 2019 NYC Engineers Week Celebration Event, which will be held on Monday February 18th, 2019 at the Time Square Marriott Marquis in New York City.  Mr. Schwartz will discuss the adaptability of driver-less cars to urban roads and lay out the future of driver-less traffic.  While there are some major benefits—fewer crashes, less parking, and greater productivity while motoring, there is also a need to be aware of the big concerns. Autonomous vehicles (AVs) will affect family and work life, business, politics, ethics, the environment, travel, and health. City planning will change significantly as AVs will dominate transportation over the next generation. The streets cape, as we know it today, may be dramatically altered.  Mr. Schwartz will provide an overview of the concepts discussed in his latest book NO ONE AT THE WHEEL which will provide a road map for how to respond to the inevitable changes that autonomous vehicles will bring.  Stakeholders and citizens will need to work together with government to maximize the benefits of this technology while minimizing its downsides.

The autonomous vehicles presentation will be part of a series of 6 presentations (6-PDH) celebrating Engineers Week on Monday February 18, 2019 with some very interesting topics focused on infrastructure improvements and green/energy efficient measures.  The PE’s In Construction Group of NYSSPE is organizing this presentation series in conjunction with the Association of Towns of the State of New York (AOT) at the AOT 2019 Training School and Annual Meeting.  This will be the Association of Town’s 86th Annual Meeting. The event attracts elected and appointed officials from more than three-quarters of the state’s 932 towns.

To find out more information about the presentations and the 2019 National Engineers Week celebration event in NYC, CLICK HERE

Mr. Schwartz is currently President, and CEO of Sam Schwartz Transportation Consultants, a firm that specializes in transportation planning and engineering. In addition to his 1982 to 1986 post as Traffic Commissioner at the New York City Department of Transportation, he has served as an adjunct professor of engineering at Cooper Union, Long Island University, and Brooklyn College.  Mr. Schwartz is also the Inaugural Ted Kheel Fellow at Hunter College’s Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute. Among the many roles he has held throughout his career, he is the acclaimed author of Street Smart: The Rise of Cities and The Fall of Cars, and No One at the Wheel: Driver-less Cars and the Road of the Future (2018). He also pens the “Gridlock Sam” and “Transit Sam” columns in the New York Daily News and Downtown Express.   [Read more…]

NYC DOB and DDC to Address Design Professionals on October 19th at NYC Design Professionals Day.

On Friday October 19th, the New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) will provide several presentations to inform design professionals and the construction industry about important design considerations and about conducting inspections in the City, as well as about the recent initiatives by the department. The event will be held at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering (NYU-Poly), Pfizer Auditorium, 5 Metrotech Center, Brooklyn, NY 11201. For more information and to RSVP to the event CLICK HERE.

The full day event will begin with a keynote speech by DOB’s First Deputy Commissioner Thomas Fariello R.A., who will discuss recent developments and an update on the online filing system being implemented by the department. DOB’s Chief Structural Engineer Dan Eschenasy, PE, F.SEI, SECB, will provide an overview of post fire structural investigations by design professionals (1 PDH). Chief of DOB’s Forensic Engineering Unit, Tim Lynch PE, will discuss Building Typology and NYC’s building classifications system (1 PDH) as well as lessons from the recent damage assessments in Puerto Rico (1 PDH). In addition, DOB’s Director of Sustainability Enforcement, Holly Savoia PE will discuss TR-8 energy progress inspections conducted by design professionals in New York City (1 PDH).

In addition, the Deputy Commissioner of the NYC Department of Design & Construction (DDC) Eric Macfarlane, PE, M.ASCE, will provide an overview of New York City’s efforts to engineer sustainability and resiliency in the face of Global warming and associated sea level rise projection and extreme weather events (1 PDH). Mr. Macfarlane will discuss NYC’s emissions reduction efforts to date and NYC’s Roadmap to 80% GHG reduction by 2050. Also discussed will be a few DDC projects and case studies related to sustainability and resiliency and 80X20 efforts to preserve and improve the quality of life for NYC residents. For more information and to RSVP to the event use the following link: RSVP to Event.

The presentation by DOB’s Director of Sustainability Enforcement, Holly Savoia PE will include a discussion on changes in the energy code and the continually evolving knowledge base of design professionals in an effort to improve energy performance and sustainable building practices in construction. Strong enforcement and education are a necessary component of this effort, and TR-8 progress inspectors play a crucial part in the bridge between the design phase and construction. The presentation will identify the resources available to design professionals for the conduct of progress inspections with respect to the energy code, the administration process to be followed, lessons learned by the Department of Buildings during a recent pilot study of alteration projects, a discussion of challenges, and what is coming up on the horizon.

The presentation by DOB’s Chief Structural Engineer Dan Eschenasy, PE, F.SEI, SECB, will include an overview of Post Fire Structural Investigations. Material specific methods of post-fire inspection and evaluation will be presented. Following a fire incident structural engineers are called to evaluate the structural stability and condition of the remaining structure and determine the needs for structural repairs. Fire characteristics and the effect of fire on various construction materials will be discussed (steel, concrete, stone and wood). [Read more…]

Engineering Firms Are Invited to Attend, Network and Exhibit at Engineering Expo, White Plains, NY – Sunday April 15th, 2018.

By the PEs in Construction Group, NYSSPE.

Engineering firms as well as the construction community at large are invited to attend, network and exhibit at the Lower Hudson Valley Engineering Expo on Sunday April 15th in White Plains, NY. At least 40-50 engineering firms, contractors and public agencies are expected to participate and present interactive displays, innovations and exhibits focusing on engineering opportunities for the challenges of today’s economic uncertainties and international competition for engineering services. This is a great opportunity for small to mid-sized engineering firms to network, collaborate, learn and interact with dozens of other small to large engineering entities, agencies, as well as an opportunity to display their recent accomplishments and look for future project opportunities. Attendance to the Engineering Expo is free.

Among the engineering firms anticipated to be participating this year are: Arup; Arcadis of NY; Brooker Engineering; Corning Inc.; H2M Architects + engineers; HDR; Skanska USA; WSP USA; OLA Consulting Engineers; Sikorsky Aircraft; SUEZ; New York Power Authority; The Whiting-Turner Cont. Co. ; Hazen and Sawyer; Divney Tung Schwalbe; McLaren Engineering Group; Provident Design Engineering; Kiewit; STV Group; City of White Plains Department of Public Works, Bureau of Engineering; Orange County Water Authority. NYSSPE will be participating at the expo and will provide a membership information booth.

NYSSPE members as well as any businesses in engineering, construction and technology to network and join with leading engineering universities to support Engineering Expo by becoming an exhibitor or a Silver to Platinum sponsor of the event. The overriding effort of this event, is to provide a forum where students can meet with engineering businesses and colleges, to get a real understanding of what engineers do, and to also learn what universities might be of interest to them. Your participation (among others) will help accomplish this effort.
Display booths for small engineering and construction firms are still available starting at $300 as well as prime anchor booths for leading firms. NYSSPE will be volunteering and participating again at the Expo and will be presenting their banner and recent accomplishments in a display booth to be announced. To register for a booth or to sponsor, click here

[Read more…]

NYC DOB Invites NYSSPE to Industry Meeting to for DOB Progress Report Presentation

The office of New York City Department of Buildings (NYC DOB) Commissioner Rick Chandler, PE invited the New York State Society of Professional Engineers (NYSSPE) to attend an industry meeting held on Tuesday October 31st, 2017 which was intended to provide a presentation of DOB’s Progress Report highlighting their new online platform DOB NOW that continues to be improved.  Attending the meeting on behalf of NYSSPE were Anthony Fasano PE, Executive Director, Joseph Pasaturo PE, Treasurer, and Rudi O. Sherbansky PE, NYC Regional Vice President.

During the meeting, Mr. Chandler discussed the DOB’s improvements made in reducing the time for DOB to accept development filing (first response) and perform required DOB inspections throughout the City.  The slide presentation by Mr. Chandler showing DOB’s progress report will be available online on DOB’s websites within the next few weeks.

The presentation included statistical charts showing that the average time for a DOB plan examiner to respond with comments/objections to a New Building or Alt Type 1 filing was reduced from 11 days in 2015 to just 5.2 days in 2017.   Alt Type 3 average response time was reduced to about 1 day.  There were no statistics available regarding the total time it takes from initial filing to obtaining final plan approvals.

DOB Boiler inspections average response time in 2017 was about 3.1 days, Construction inspections average response time 2.3 days, cranes 2.2 days, electrical inspections 5.4 days, elevators 2 days, and plumbing 3.4 days.    DOB Complaints response time was about 0.4 days for an A-Type complaint (hazardous) and 19 days for B-Type Complaint (administrative complaints, e.g. work w/out work permit).  There were no statistics available regarding response time for Stop Work Orders and Site Safety Reviews.

The Presentation included an update on DOB Now filing system.  DOB Now is accepting filing of required self-inspection reports for plumbing, elevator, cranes, facades, emergency response and boilers (among others).  In 2017, about 10,000 boiler inspection reports and 6,000 facade inspection reports were filed through DOB Now.    Additionally, DOB Now is accepting filing of plan applications for plumbing, standpipes, antennas, curb cuts, sheds, fences, scaffolds and signs.    In or about December 2017, DOB Now will start accepting the filing of electrical and elevator work online.

[Read more…]

“Joel A. Miele, Sr. Pedestrian Bridge,” renaming approved by City Council

 

The pedestrian bridge at 99th Street and 163rd Avenue, seen here, will be renamed in honor of former Community Board 10 Chairman and city Commissioner Joel Miele Sr. Miele lived near the bridge and his son and widow still do. Photo Credit: Anthony O’Reilly, Queens Chronicle

The City Council last Wednesday unanimously approved the renaming of a pedestrian span connecting Old Howard Beach to Hamilton Beach to the “Joel A. Miele, Sr. Pedestrian Bridge,” in honor of the former Community Board 10 Chairman and commissioner of two city agencies who died four years ago.

The law clearing the way for the renaming was introduced by Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park).  “He was the embodiment of public service who dedicated his entire adult professional life to serving our city and community,” Ulrich said in a social media post shortly before the Council’s vote. Ulrich added, “A special thank you to Community Board 10 Chair Betty Braton who spearheaded this effort.” [Read more…]

NYSSPE Co-signs Letter to The Department of Buildings (DOB) with Respect to Proposed Fee Increases

The New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) is proposing to add fees for variation of the Construction Codes, the 1968 or prior Building Code, or section 277.16 of the New York State Multiple Dwelling Law (MDL) for Article 7B buildings; predetermination requests with respect to the Zoning Resolution, Construction Codes or 1968 or prior Building Code; and appeals of objections that were affirmed (click here for information).

The New York State Society of Professional Engineers (NYSSPE) is in opposition of the proposed fee increases and recently co-signed a letter with several other organizations in an effort to meet and discuss our view with the DOB.  These other organizations include: The American Institute of Architects (AIA), Society of American Registered Architects NY (SARA), Architects Council of New York City, Inc., and the American Council of Engineering Companies of New York (ACEC).

Click here to read the letter. [Read more…]