The latest news on New York architecture.

  • Historic Building Preservation Today

    Historic Building Preservation Today

    Humanity is immortalized through art, language, knowledge and architecture. Through the built environment, we are able to contextualize certain elements of culture, identify different civilizations, and understand how the world has changed over time. Whether it’s the Taj Mahal or the Guggenheim, buildings are a way for the past to both communicate with and project to the future.

    Early builders used archaic techniques; architecture was a form of defense, and provided protection against the elements. Fast forward to the renaissance and we see how architecture begins to follow certain rules and proportions. Building typologies begin to emerge and reflect ideologies. Thanks to architects, we are able to associate the church’s elaborate use of light and buttressing as a way of communicating the importance of religion at the time.

    Today, architects are fully credentialed and licensed by the state, with all necessary technical and theoretical experience. However, all formalities aside, architects are craftsmen and artists at heart. Oftentimes, historic structures must be brought into the modern era. The average architect can make a building safe and functional, but what makes an architect great is a deep awareness of why cultural preservation is so important, especially in the age of globalization.

    Scott Henson Architect, recipient of the prestigious Palladio Award, respects and honors the past. We have an extensive portfolio of projects which show our work in historic building preservation and renovation, as well as all other types of architectural design. For information on the preservation and renovation of historic buildings, please contact us.

  • File Your Application for a New Building the Right Way

    File Your Application for a New Building the Right Way

    To build any structure in the state of New York, it is a legal requirement to have a permit or license. Most construction requires a Registered Architect (RA) or Professional Engineer (PE) recognized and licensed in the city to file all the plans and application permits before the project begins.

    Different permits exist for various projects. There are two primary permits an RA or PE need to file before they begin any construction work. The New Building (NB) permit, and either the ALT 1, ALT 2 or ALT 3 Alteration Type permit. The former is for when you are constructing any new structure. The latter is for any construction changes that affect the structure, each type depending on extent of changes the building will undergo. This article will, however, focus on how to file a New Building Application Permit properly.

    According to the Department of Buildings (DOB), you’re going to need a few documents to pre-file the application. It is advisable to hire a Registered Architect or NY State Licensed Professional Engineer to help you obtain building plans, which include energy calculations. You will also need to pick up a copy of the Work Approval Application (PW1 form) from the DOB offices or download one from the website. After filling out this form, you might need to attach Schedule A and Schedule B. An asbestos form is another requirement that will come up during pre-filing.

    Three copies of each of these documents must go to a pre-filer for verification, along with a cost estimation, and determination of the type of job.  After basic job information is entered into the Building Information System (BIS), the pre-filer will give you the application fees and BIS job number. It is your job to then take the application folder and payments to the cashier and update the data in the system which will undergo yet another verification step.

    This next phase will involve a Department Plan Examiner, who will review the plans you’ve submitted for compliance with appropriate prerequisites, and he/she will update you on any missing requirements through the BIS (required items). If everything is in order, the DOB approves your plan and gives you the approved forms. If not, you’ll have to fulfill all requirements for authorization.

    Next, the Record Room perforates approved plans which means your New Building permit is ready. You will then submit it to the permit clerk along with a PW2 and PW3 form and a microfilming fee, and the clerk will check for payment balances and insurance. If the applicant meets all conditions the clerk generates the permit and updates the information in the BIS, you are ready to begin construction.

    This process can be long and overwhelming if you do it yourself, but don’t worry, Scott Henson Architect can do it all for you. Our technical team provides DOB New Building application filing among other city and government agency filing services. We offer professional certification and will expedite the filing process so that you can start and finish your project on time. For more information, contact us.