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October 29, 2019
by Adam Roberts
The NYC Department of Buildings (DOB) has now largely completed and released its long in-development online filing system, DOB NOW. Image courtesy of DOB.

Over the last few years, New York City government agencies have sought to update their long-existing online systems and move much of their interfacing with design professionals online. These are welcome changes and, in the long-term, they should make designing and building in New York City less time-consuming and expensive.

The NYC Department of Buildings (DOB) has now largely completed and released its long in-development online filing system, DOB NOW. DOB NOW is intended to allow owners, design professionals, and tradespeople to collaborate on submitting applications and receiving approvals from DOB. Simultaneously, it is also intended to make searching for information on buildings and property throughout New York City more user-friendly, replacing BIS.

DOB’s transition to DOB NOW has not been seamless; as the system nears completion, DOB has committed itself to receiving public feedback to make improvements to the systems. To provide your input on DOB NOW, please register for a DOB NOW Feedback Session.

Meanwhile, the Mayor’s Office of Contract Services (MOCS) is in the midst of moving its functioning online with the release of PASSPort. With its completion, design professionals and other city contractors should be able to procure city contracts almost entirely online. PASSPort is now moving toward the final stages of its rollout, which will allow contractors to track progress of their contracts online. In order to provide feedback for the final release of PASSPort, please join AIANY and MOCS for a listening session at 8:30 am on Wednesday, January 15 at the Center for Architecture.

Despite some issues with the City’s new online systems, they represent a much-needed change in the way oversight and procurement are handled by agencies. Other agencies still require that much of their interfacing with design professionals occur on paper, though this will hopefully be changing in the coming years.

Pulse Points:

  • The December 1, 2019 deadline to comply with the Site Safety Training requirements of Local Law 196 of 2017 is fast approaching. Architects who act as Site Safety Managers, Site Safety Coordinators, Concrete Safety Managers, Construction Superintendents and Competent Persons designated by Construction Superintendents must complete the training. AIANY is offering both parts of the required training—the 30 hour OSHA portion and the 32 hour Supervisor portion.
  • A number of City agencies have released job openings over the last month. DOB is recruiting architects to fill positions related to LL97 of 2019, a bill that requires retrofitting of large buildings in New York City. Please follow these links for additional openings at the NYC School Construction Authority (SCA) and the NYC Department of Design and Construction.
  • AIANY Committee on the Environment (COTE) Co-Chair Clare Miflin recently wrote about the importance of conserving space within buildings. In particular, she argues that conservation of space should be considered an integral part of mitigating climate change. AIA National has featured the article; please click here to read it.
  • On the seventh anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, the AIANY Design for Risk and Reconstruction Committee invites you to read the AIANY Post-Sandy Initiative report, which brought together stakeholders from across the AEC industry, city agencies, and federal agency representatives to create a robust set of recommendations aimed at advancing resiliency.

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