Site Safety Plan Facade Alteration Filing Option Changes

By Brian Redlein

Site Safety is a Big Deal in New York City. With so many job sites woven so tightly into the urban fabric, it becomes impossible to limit the safety impact of a single job site to within the areas bounded by its property lines.

To minimize risk, the City insists that Site Safety Plans (SSPs) be filed with DOB and reviewed by the Building Enforcement Safety Team (BEST Squad).  SSPs are Logistics Plans, showing where different pieces of construction equipment and safety gear shall be oriented during different phases of construction.

An SSP shows everything from the jersey barriers blocking off part of the street for site deliveries to the individual trucks, cranes and machinery required for construction.  When done as 3D Revit models,  SSPs can sometimes resemble a child’s construction playset as equipment is moved about from phase to phase.

Whether or not a Job requires an SSP depends on how much of the scope could affect the safety of those adjacent to the property but scaffolding required for façade restorations always required SSPs to be reviewed by BEST Squad, until now.

The City now gives the option that any SSP Application filed in conjunction with another Alteration application where the work is limited to just the façade may be filed as a professionally certified Alteration Type 3 (Alt 3).  The SSP that would normally have to reviewed by BEST squad, can now be skipped entirely thanks to the professional certification option. In plain English, this means that scaffolds can be thrown up in days, not weeks.

Professional certification is a means of giving licensed design professionals –  architects and engineers – plan approvals based solely on trust.  The licensed designer and owner sign and seal a form saying that the work as proposed is 100% compliant with the all the Codes, Resolutions, and Rules of the City and therefore the City’s plan examiners, whether they be BEST Squad or any other examiner, do not need to bother with reviewing the plans.

The City approves professionally certified applications right on the day they’re filed and the contractor can pull his permit the next day provided all the insurance and paperwork is in order.  Of course, one can still have plans audited and wind up with a dead job site while the designer revises the drawings but one is still given ten days to respond to an audit before the Stop Work Order actually hits.

Architects and engineers can professionally certify all sorts of DOB applications, from New Buildings to Alteration 2s and after this month they’ll be able to professionally certify Site Safety Plans as Alteration 3s, so long as work is limited to the façade.

For more details, please click here.