‘Self-Certified’ NYC Building Plans Rife With Violations

May 27, 2008

  • May 27, 2008 at 2:16 am
    Darwin says:
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    Hello!!! Is Anyone There??????

    I thought “architects” and “engineers” held state issued licenses; based on their “professional” qualifications. Am I wrong?

    8 out of 10 strkeouts on building plans? These people charged big bucks for bad plans? And, now the taxpayer has to plan for reviews. Hey, charge the “professionals”, and take away their license – see just how fast things change.

  • May 27, 2008 at 2:38 am
    Dan says:
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    I’m shocked and dismayed that in the great city of New York there is incompetence, greed, corruption, and deceit. Who was the genius that came up with the concept of “self-certification”? What’s next? Self-trials and sentencing? This city is a cess pool crawling with trades that are always looking for an angle. I’ll bet none of the NY building inspectors is in bed with the trades either.

  • May 27, 2008 at 5:03 am
    Realist says:
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    At Albertson’s I check out my groceries myself. What’s the big deal?

  • May 28, 2008 at 7:16 am
    GH says:
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    I did a self certification of a very simple permit and was audited by an over zealous inspector who provided a cease and desist. After reviewing with the Department management, permit was reinstated because of his errors and misinterpretation of building code. It only cost my client another $500, plus all the additional time to reinstate becasue of the Departments errors. – Bottom line, dont accept these statistics as gospel, there are two sides of every story

  • May 28, 2008 at 12:51 pm
    Alex K says:
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    Any connection between this little tidbit of news and the construction cranes in NY City that have been toppling over of late?
    Looks to me like there needs to be better oversight of architects, engineers and contractors in that area.

  • May 28, 2008 at 1:15 am
    Roger says:
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    The Building Code is based on a check & balance system. There are many ways to design with the code, that’s the design professionals job. The building officials job is to double check and verify that the plans do indeed meet the code. NYC should read the Building Code.

  • May 28, 2008 at 1:21 am
    Concerned Citizen says:
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    What’s the big deal? You have got to be kidding, right?

    They gave the number on zoning violations in this article, but what about that surely upspoken building violations that they found as a result?

    When you’re checking out in your local grocery line do you have to shop for potentially 10’s of thousands of people? And do you have to make what you’re buying last for 50-100 years – like when an architect certifies building plans?

    Even an 8th grade technology class could tell us that a structure can only be as strong as it’s weakest link.

    Say some architect under high pressure to meet a deadline miss calculates the structural stability of a load bearing wall? Opening day the building fills to its limit and that miscalculated wall buckles sideways. This starts a chain reaction that knocks over dozens of surrounding structures, killing 100’s and wounding twice that many.

    All because of the arrogance of those that didn’t like to have their work proofed before handing it in.

    Again, are you really serious about your analogy of buying a loaf of bread to the safety of thousands of people in a building? Probably like the one you’re sitting in right now reading this.

  • May 28, 2008 at 2:27 am
    Dan M says:
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    I would be interested in knowing how many building code violations are in buildings that were reviewed and inspected by Code Officials before “self-certification” occured.

    I am willing to bet that there are as many if not more violations in those buildings as in the self-certified buildings.

  • May 28, 2008 at 3:34 am
    Sam DiCarlo says:
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    Any building code official or any architect can walk into any building, whether approved previously or not and find a violation of some sort.
    I wonder if, before a rush to judgement, we could find out exactly what the discrepancies noted are so a rational comment can be made? Some Codes can honestly be interpreted differently for different circumstances. If however the violations do involve life safety issues from professional neglect, then these should be reviewed very seriously. I hope that a great city like New York will take the time to analyze in depth the self-check program before casting further doubt and possibly ending future potential.

  • May 28, 2008 at 5:33 am
    LeeRay says:
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    Rather than talk about understanding the violations before rushing to judgement; isn’t it reasonable to assume that the New York Building Officials should be doing their job? In their haste to clear up a backlog of permits they appear to have abandoned their duty to the public.
    I would think Code Officials are obligated to provide checks and balances between Architects, Engineers and the public. The public has entrusted them with a regulatory responsibility the same way it has entrusted the fire and police departments with certain responsibilities.
    Randomly checking plans for 20% of the projects borders on the criminal. Did the entrusted Architects also recieve reduced plan review fees? Did New York also choose to “randomly” perform building inspections?

  • May 28, 2008 at 6:00 am
    Dave B says:
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    Well, duh!

  • June 4, 2008 at 3:46 am
    Luis says:
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    A/E are not Gods; they are like the rest of the gentiles. That is why organizations like the ICC exist; they promote the development of “inspectors and plans examiners” who double check their actions and request corrections accordantly. In the rush of getting started, any time saving strategy is viewed as desireble by investors and savings by the A/E.

  • July 9, 2008 at 7:30 am
    John J. Garcia says:
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    Dear Councilman McMahon:
    It has always been transparent to investigate matters that are obvious and those that are not; however, I have attempted to resolve this matter both professionally and legally with the of your office, and that of the t+
    Then State Attorney General of The State Of New York, as well as other agencies.
    We were told by Susan Scharbach “Assistant Attorney General,” that you have good cause, but we don’t have the staff, funds or engineer’s to help you. Well, that does not equate the balance of justice. It is unjust to sign off on the “Self Certification Agreement,” that allows a “Builder,” to built fitting the “City,’ minimum requirements, but the “City of New York,” failed to provide funding to ensure that the “Builder,” is being truthful and accurate. The “City of New York,” can not have it both ways. We must hold both the “Builder,” and the “City of New York,” accountable for there actions or lack thereof.
    There has been a deprivation of the “Quality of Life,’ rather then the greed for wealth. I continue to be at a lost because this Nation’s creed is that the truth shall prevail and overcome injustice. We must promulgated the fact that we are govern by the United States of America Constitution which gives American citizens a venue for fair and equal rights by way of the 14th Amendment of due process, to the Bill of Rights of the 8th Amendment of cruel and unusual punishment, 6th Amendment of right to a trail of your peers, to the 4th Amendment of legal rights in our local, State and Federal levels of our government.
    Therefore, we have been force under this destructive “program”. The “Self Certification,” that violates our constitution right to own property free of tyranny, by either The City of New York, State, or a Builder. I have made my case clear concise and to the point. It is troubling that our elected official’s standby and many home units are in a state of purgatory.
    This “Self Certification Program,” has resulted in people getting hurt either, financially, physically, and including the lost of lives because the” The City of New York,” has failed to protect its constituents’.
    Please review attached documents; and feel free to contact. The statue of limitations is running out by 2/09, and we need to do something.
    John J. Garcia Builder 718 524-0193
    646 217-2499

  • May 24, 2013 at 1:02 am
    GAEL GIBNEY says:
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    Self-certification makes the property owner, not the architect or engineer, responsible for rectifying errors. If the architect’s self-certified plans and subsequent building permits are approved and construction based on the permits begun then found in error, the property owner, not the architect or engineer, is responsible for making corrections and/or returning the property to its original condition. The architect or engineer is civilly not criminally liable. Lawsuits can take up to five years to wend their way through the courts if the property owner has the fiscal means to file suit while paying to return his property to its original condition. If he lacks the means to file suit, he’s out of luck, but still responsible for restoring his property.



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