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    On October 7, 2021, the New York City Council passed sweeping updates to the City’s building codes. The comprehensive revision to the Codes contains 600 major updates and thousands of smaller changes, intended to improve safety and incorporate the latest in building technologies.

    The code revisions are the first holistic update to the entire set of NYC Administrative, Plumbing, Building, Mechanical and Fuel Gas Codes since 2014. The revisions were drafted by technical committees comprised of engineers, architects, attorneys, planners, tradespeople, representatives of the construction industry, labor, real estate industry, utility companies, as well as DOB and interagency stakeholders.

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    “New York City’s far-reaching climate laws will have a significant impact on developers, architects, engineers and the other members of the construction industry,” noted  Michael De Chiara, Senior Partner at Zetlin & De Chiara. Mr. De Chiara and a panel of industry experts expanded on the changes at a recent workshop on Contracts, Climate, & Compliance sponsored by the Building Energy Exchange’s Architect Advisory Council (AAC) in cooperation with AIA New York and ASHRAE New York.

    The panel provided a detailed look at the legal risk and responsibility of high performance design and construction, as well as how to improve compliance with NYC climate legislation, including its forthcoming predicted energy use code (Local Law 32 of 2018) and the groundbreaking building carbon emission limits of 2019’s Local Law 97.

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    In April of 2021, the New York City Department of Buildings (the “DOB”) announced five bills and sweeping updates to New York City Construction Codes related to construction safety.[1]  The simultaneous announcement of the New York City Council’s introduction of the legislation along with the revisions to the construction codes intend to further the objective of increasing the protections afforded to the general public and construction professionals on all construction sites throughout New York City. However, with the enactment of the new legislation and the comprehensive updates to the construction codes, there will be an increase in the obligations placed upon professionals within the industry and an inevitable impact on the industry as a whole.  This client alert serves to provide an overview of the legislation and highlight some of the major amendments and updates to the construction code.

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    ABA Forum on Construction Law | Design Professional’s Guide to Construction Law

    Jaimee Nardiello, Partner and Patricia Harris, Special Counsel authored a chapter in the ABA published book,  Design Professional's Guide to Construction Law.

    Chapter Abstract: The licensing of design professionals can be a confusing patchwork quilt of disparate state regulations. States have professional boards or registration agencies that handle licensing, disciplinary proceedings and other professional matters. Most states have separate legislation and supporting regulations for the design professions such as architecture and engineering.

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    New York City developers collectively sighed with relief when 200 Amsterdam, a mixed-use, high-rise building on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, was saved from the guillotine when a New York State intermediate appellate court reversed a lower court’s decision that retroactively revoked the developer’s building permit for an as-of-right development. The affirmance of the controversial ruling, issued by the New York County Supreme Court on February 27, 2020, would have resulted in the demolition of more than 20 top floors of the fully-constructed 668 feet high 55-story tower.

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