The latest news on New York architecture.

  • An Overview of Construction Management

    An Overview of Construction Management

    Construction management encompasses all aspects of a construction project, from bid through completion, including:

    • Staffing
    • Construction
    • Oversight
    • Documentation
    • Permits
    • Quality control/quality assurance
    • Drawing preparation

    Based on a client’s desired level of control, a skilled construction manager is responsible for, first and foremost, acting as the owner’s representative throughout the course of the project and providing cohesion from bid through delivery. Additional duties include preparing drawings to technical specifications and coordinating and overseeing scope, special conditions, documentation, and pricing considerations. The manager also examines contractor and material supplier pre-qualifications and ensures that projects meet all specifications and requirements.

    There are two broad phases involved in construction management in which construction managers involve themselves: pre-construction and construction/delivery.

    Pre-Construction Phase

    During the planning, design, and pre-construction phase, the manager works with the client and architect in order to define the project’s scope, budget, and other preparatory factors such as energy efficiency, design, structural integrity, market value, space used, and mechanical and electrical systems before construction begins. The manager also ensures that materials adhere to specifications and fall within the desired budget.

    Construction/Delivery Phase

    As would be expected, this phase addresses the actual construction based upon the specifications, plans, and budgets discussed in the previous phase. The construction manager coordinates and oversees:

    • On-site construction supervision and coordination
    • Scheduling
    • Cost accounting and other financial records

    With respect to cost control records, the construction manager is responsible for:

    • Evaluating actual versus proposed costs
    • Adhering to the budget
    • Developing and maintaining the construction schedule
    • Monitoring construction progress
    • Arranging inspections
    • Dealing with any change orders by the owner
    • Coordinating product delivery, storage, and security
    • Obtaining the necessary equipment
    • Assisting the owner with occupancy, systems operations, and any other post-construction concerns.

    Quality Control

    During and following the project’s completion, quality assurance and control is critical to ensure that the finished product meets the original requirements, specifications, and subsequent performance expectations. Construction managers make sure that the project not only falls within the proposed budget but that the finished project is structurally sound and adheres to all specifications and codes.

    For more information about the construction management services we provide, please contact us.


  • Avoid NYC Building Violations: An Overview of Local Law 11

    Avoid NYC Building Violations: An Overview of Local Law 11

    In May, 1979, a piece of lintel became detached from the eighth floor of a Columbia University-owned apartment constructed in 1912 and fell, fatally striking a passing college student. To ensure that history would not repeat itself, New York City passed Local Law 10 the following year . The law stated that the street-facing facades and side walls of every building more than six stories would be required to be inspected every five years. If the inspection revealed any defects or deficiencies, reconstruction and an additional inspection would be required.

    Local Law 11

    Eight years later Local Law 11 was introduced to address emerging problems and potential issues, expanding the requirements of Local Law 10 to include the following:

    • Expanded the façade inspection to ALL façades and appurtenances; except walls 12” or fewer inches from an adjacent building
    • Required scaffolding at each inspection
    • Required a written report on any deterioration and its causes
    • Required a timetable for any repairs, and staggered these dates throughout the year
    • Established a building classification system—“safe”, “unsafe”, or “safe with a repair and maintenance program (SWARMP)”—and eliminated “precautionary”

    Local Law 11 also requires that any SWARMP-designated buildings which are not fixed in a timely manner receive an adjusted designation of “unsafe.” Any required repairs must be completed within 30 days of the initial report, to then be followed by another inspection and report filing. The Department of Buildings (DOB) charges $265 for the initial report and an additional $100 for amended and subsequent reports.

    The Façade Inspection Safety Program (FISP)

    The Façade Inspection Safety Program (FISP) oversees adherence to Local Law 11. Among the FISP requirements are:

    • Technical Report (form TR6)
    • Qualified Exterior Wall Inspector (QEWI) and owner contact information
    • Current and clear photographs and/or sketches of unsafe conditions
    • Repair timeframe
    • Scaffold drop and location
    • Any report findings that are inconsistent with photographs

    Failure to file results in a $1,000 fine per year plus $250 per month for every month the report is overdue.

    Today, over 12,500 New York City buildings are subject to Local Law 11.

    For more information about Local Law 11 and/or obtaining a qualified exterior wall inspector, please contact us.