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…]

NYSSPE Awards Project of the Year Award to the New NY Bridge Project

NYSSPE Awards Project of the Year Award to the New NY Bridge Project Team

NYSSPE Awards Project of the Year Award to the New NY Bridge Project Team

“You know how I operate, all of the plans that come across my desk, must be sealed by a licensed professional engineer.”

Those were the words of Jamey Barbas, PE, and Project Director for the New NY Bridge project as she accepted a special award on June 8th from the New York State Society of Professional Engineers (NYSSPE).

The New NY Bridge, one of the largest bridge projects in the US, was awarded the NYSSPE Project of the Year award, which is selected and presented by the Professional Engineers in Construction (PEC) interest group of NYSSPE.

PEC was honored to present the New York State Thruway Authority, Tappan Zee Constructors, HDR, COWI Buckland & Taylor, GZA GeoEnvironmental, AECOM/URS and Greenman-Pedersen with the 2017 Project of the Year Award at last week’s 2017 Annual Conference in White Plains, NY

The New York State Thruway Authority (NYSTA) is replacing the existing Tappan Zee Bridge with a new 3.1-mile state-of-the-art, twin-span bridge across the Hudson River between Rockland and Westchester counties.  The $3.98 billion New NY Bridge project is the largest single design-build contract for a transportation project in the United States. Located 20 miles north of New York City, the cable-stayed span crosses one of the widest parts of the river and will be the largest bridge in New York State history. Construction started in fall 2013 and the project remains on schedule and within budget. More than 6,300 people have worked on the bridge to date. [Read more…]

Safety a Major Theme at the 2016 NYSSPE Design Professionals Day

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The New York State Society of Professional Engineers (NYSSPE) recently held the 3rd annual New York City Design Professionals Day at NYU Tandon School of Engineering.

The day started with an inspiring kick-off speech by New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) Commissioner Rick Chandler, P.E. and was followed by technical sessions from DOB, Department of Design and Construction (DDC), and Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) representatives.

It was clear that the running theme for the day was: SAFETY in engineering…. [Read more…]

NYSSPE NYC Lobby Law Update September 2016 and FAQ

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The above NYSSPE legislative video discusses the 2013 revisions made to the New York City Lobby Law, which may be implemented in the near future. Many engineering companies are concerned that these revisions may hamper their ability to communicate effectively with officials, as they broaden the definition of lobbying.

Click here for a full FAQ on lobbying for architects and engineers and please  comment below this video with your thoughts on this issue, so we at The New York State of Professional Engineers, can consider your opinions and experiences on this issue when we make our decisions moving forward.

CLARIFICATION ON 9-30-16

To be clear the New York City law is presently in effect and in a number of respects parallels the state law.  However, the laws do have material differences.  An engineer or architect must comply with each law on a stand alone basis.  Each law must be independently analyzed to determine whether a lobbying registration requirement (or restriction) is triggered.  This can result in the need for filing in both jurisdictions or solely in one jurisdiction. Efforts are underway to amend the laws to offer an integrated approach statewide.  NYSSPE is assisting in this effort. Currently in New York City architects, engineers, and their respective firms are only required to register with the NYC Clerk’s Office if they anticipate earning or incurring more than $10,000 for lobbying activity.  The New York State threshold is $5,000.  An amnesty program in New York City has recently expired. The statewide amnesty program expires on September 30, 2016. More information about the statewide program can be found at: http://www.jcope.ny.gov/pubs/eblast/Final%20Lobbying%20amnesty%20extension%20eblast%206.30.16.pdf and at: http://www.jcope.ny.gov/Application%20Requesting%20Amnesty%206_29_16.pdf [Read more…]

New York City Department of Buildings Announces Several Improvements including DOB Now

DOB NOWOver the last year and a half the New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) has launched several initiatives to attempt to improve how they engage with design professionals. These initiatives seek to reduce  reliance on paper-based processes, replace outdated systems with more dynamic ones, and enhance the DOB’s ability to share information.  DOB Commissioner Rick Chandler, PE will discuss some of these initiatives at NYSSPE’s Design Professionals Day on October 25th.

The newest DOB initiative, is called DOB NOW, which is an interactive, web-based portal that will transform the DOB’s traditional in-person, paper-based interactions and allow you to do all your business with DOB online. [Read more…]

Tappan Zee Bridge Crane Accident still under Investigation

erial photo's of a construction crane that has collapsed onto the Tappan Zee Bridge. (Photo: Credit: NBC4 New York)

Aerial photo’s of a construction crane that recently collapsed onto the Tappan Zee Bridge. 

You probably heard about the recent construction  accident on the Tappan Zee Bridge where a crane boom collapsed.  The New York State Society of Professional Engineers has been monitoring the situation and keeping up to date with all news relating to the investigation.

While there has been some talk about rushed construction, due to the large fines being imposed on the contractor for delays in re-opening the existing bridge lanes, nothing has been confirmed.  We will continue to monitor the situation as the health and safety of the public is always our primary mission. It is nothing short of a miracle that there were no major injuries.

Click here for a recent article on the accident from The Journal News.

Photo: Credit: NBC4 New York [Read more…]

New York City Queens Chamber of Commerce Invites NYSSPE to Participate in Real Estate EXPO

thumbnail_2016 Queens Chamber of Commerce RE EXPONYSSPE participated and held discussions with several NYC developers and real estate managers attending the New York City (NYC) Queens Chambers of Commerce Real Estate Expo in June, 2016. Among the notable developers attending and speaking at the Expo were Patricia Dumphy of Rockrose Development, Chris Capece of Avalon Bay Communities, Tyler Morse of MCR Development, Michael Mattone of The Mattone Group, Michael Meyer of the F&T Group and Seth Pinsky of RXR Realty. John Banks, President of the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) was a speaker/moderator. Additionally, Queens Borough President, Melinda Katz attended the event.

The developers’ speaker panel discussed the current Queens real estate scene to understand projected growth patterns over the next 10 and 15 years in office, commercial, residential and retail development in Queens County and the impact of transportation projects, zoning issues and affordable housing as it relates to continued growth.

A second speaker panel that included Richard Smyth of Port Authority NY/NJ, Ryan Prime of Skanska and Peter Byrme of VHB held discussions on the topic of Port Authority’s plan of embarking on a major modernization and redevelopment program to position LaGuardia airport to meet the needs of the 21st Century. This panel discussed the aspects of “LGA Re-imagined,” the timeline of events, and how these projects will affect the surrounding real estate community, as well as how can property owners and managers plan for these developments. A third speaker panel that included Louis Rizzo of National Grid, Ron Spinelli of Con Edison and Marshall Haimson of E-Captial Development held discussions on the topic of energy incentive programs to help offset energy costs. Click here for more information. [Read more…]

NYC Dept. of Design and Construction (DDC) invites NYSSPE to a Networking Fair With DDC Commissioner and Director, Providing Information on Open Positions at DDC for Professional Engineers

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NYC DDC Commissioner, Dr. Feniosky Peña-Mora and Executive Director Dalela Harrison, met with NYSSPE Vice Presidents, Dave Macedonio PE and Rudi Sherbansky PE at DDC’s June 2016 networking fair for City engineers and employees in design and construction, as well as construction management. The importance of PE licensure at DDC, as well as continuing education opportunities for DDC engineers were discussed with the Commissioner. In addition, DDC provided NYSSPE with a list of open positions at DDC for qualified professional engineers. Among the 20+ open positions for PEs, the positions of Deputy Director, Executive Director, Program Executive, Project Executive, Administrative Engineer and Administrative Project Manager are available. Salaries range from $48,000 to $152000. Click here to see available PE jobs at DDC.

DDC is looking for professional engineers to oversee and administer capital construction programs, including sewer, water main and roadway projects, planning and monitoring projects, administration of design, renovation and construction of public facilities, monitoring the life-cycle of projects, collaboration with other City agencies, performing funding analysis, risk analysis and scheduling reports, and oversight of consultant produced master plans. Projects include pedestrian bridges, step streets, retaining walls, public buildings and roadways from initiation through design and construction completion. [Read more…]