The latest news on New York architecture.

  • The Guide to Facades: NYC Department of Buildings

    The Guide to Facades: NYC Department of Buildings

    The NYC Department of Buildings has issued guidelines for facade safety and the requirements for filing inspection reports. The department is responsible for issues of public safety where building facades and appurtenances can pose a risk to the public. The department mandates a five-year cycle of exterior inspections for building owners. 

    Owners of buildings greater than six stories are required to hire a private qualified exterior wall inspector (QEWI) every five years, according to a rotating yearly scale based on building number. This private inspector verifies that no element of the facade has deteriorated or become unsafe, and has no risk of detaching, falling, and becoming dangerous to residents or the public on the streets below. Even strong materials such as brick, masonry, and tile can become degraded or damaged after exposure to pollutants and the weather, and some issues, such as water incursions into the facade, are not easily visible to the naked eye.

    QEWI inspectors are required to submit either a Safe, Safe with Repair and Maintenance, or Unsafe report. If the report meets reporting requirements, it is accepted by the department and further action is scheduled. Any unsafe report has a scheduled DOB inspector visit the site and make recommendations for the building owner. When repairs are made, an amended report is filed, and another DOB inspector is scheduled.

    In addition, a DOB inspector schedules an inspection visit when a facade report is not filed when due or a shed removal request is made. It is a common fine for building owners to not file the facade report on time for their building, and this oversight comes with significant monetary fines which are ongoing until the situation is corrected. There are also significant fines associated with unsafe facades which are not repaired and re-inspected as required.

    Violations written by the Department of Buildings for facade safety violations are serious, but also suggest that the building owner is at risk for liability issues if a member of the public is injured when the owner is not in compliance with requirements. Knowing when the building is due for an inspection, filing reports in a timely manner, and meeting various requirements for facade safety is a complex process that is critical for building owners. 

    Can we assist in a facade issue? Please contact us for more information, or to make an appointment.

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  • Building Owner Representation Services in Construction

    Building Owner Representation Services in Construction

    Construction can be complicated.

    Each phase of construction requires specialized knowledge to ensure it runs smoothly, but hiring an expert for every phase of the construction process can become expensive and overwhelming. That's why an increasing number of property owners are turning to building owner representation services for their construction projects. 

    An owner representative manages all aspects of design and construction on behalf of the property owner or developer. From hiring qualified contractors to managing the construction process, an owner representative will act as an advocate for the property owner throughout every phase of construction. Building owner representation helps property owners to eliminate risks and surprises, while ensuring that construction is completed on time and within their budget. 

    Scott Henson Architect offers a full range of construction services, including building owner representation. Our construction services include:

    • Full and phased cost estimates
    • Qualified contractor selection assistance
    • Competitive bidding
    • Construction management
    • Owner representation
    • Site safety plan preparation
    • Demolition plan preparation

    We have over fifteen years of experience with general contractors, craftsman, artisans, and preservation specialists. When you hire Scott Henson Architect for owner representation, you gain a full-service team of problem-solvers and professionals who will manage your construction project from conceptualization to completion so that you can focus on running your business. 

    We use our experience with comparable projects and our knowledge of current market prices to provide you with accurate construction cost estimates, bid recommendations, and contract negotiations.

    You'll never have to wonder what's going on with your construction project, because our firm always maintains an open line of communication. We provide you with detailed progress reports and project documentation throughout every step of the process.

    We approach every project with the same level of care, dedication and enthusiasm. Whether your construction project is commercial or residential, Scott Henson Architecture can help you. 

    Contact us today for more information about our construction and owner representation services. 

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