New Department of Buildings Enforcement Programs

To Our Clients, Co-Counsel and Friends:
We write to provide you with important updates relating to recent initiatives of the New York City Department of Buildings (“DOB”) arising out of various new Local Laws of the City of New York.

The DOB is enforcing new Local Laws pertaining to standpipes and sprinkler systems that go into effect during 2010. Additionally, the DOB has recently begun enforcing the 2007 New York State Energy Conservation Construction Code in an effort to reduce carbon emissions.

Effective February 4, 2010 Local Law 63/09, regulating pressure testing of standpipe and sprinkler systems, now requires that such testing be performed by either a licensed master plumber or a licensed fire suppression contractor. For new buildings, hydrostatic pressure testing must now be conducted at 75 feet, 175 feet and for every 100 feet thereafter. Also effective February 4, 2010 Local Law 64/09, regulating Standpipe Pressurized Alarm Systems, has been revised to require that
a registered design professional file the installation application. Further, the following parties are now required to have a permit for installation: licensed electrician, licensed master plumber and licensed fire suppression contractor. Before any planned deactivation of the system or upon discovery of an out of service standpipe, the fire department must be notified.

Effective March 2, 2010, pursuant to Local Law 58/09, all exposed standpipes and sprinkler pipes must be painted red and the valve handles must be color coded as follows: red for a designated standpipe, green for a designated sprinkler and yellow for a combination. These color code requirements apply to all buildings regardless of size or occupancy. Existing buildings must be brought into compliance no later than June 2, 2010. Compliance for new buildings should be certified by the special inspector prior to enclosing the wall. Compliance for existing buildings should be certified by one of the following persons: licensed master plumber, licensed master fire suppression piping contractor, registered design professional or a person with appropriate fire
department certification of fitness. The Color Coding Certification must be kept on the premises at all times.

Finally, the DOB has begun enforcing the 2007 New York State Energy Conservation Construction Code which applies to all new buildings, residential or commercial, and to substantial rehabilitation of existing buildings (defined as Alteration Types 1, 2, or 3). The Code includes detailed requirements for envelope systems, HVAC and hot water systems, and lighting and power

If you have any questions regarding this Update, a particular building or a general construction issue, please do not hesitate to contact us.