What Do The Provisions Of Local Law 26 Mean For Your Construction Project?

What Do The Provisions Of Local Law 26 Mean For Your Construction Project?

For the last decade or so, the term that has been on the tongues of professionals in the construction industry has been Local Law 26 and, as things appear, it is going to continue to be so long into the foreseeable future. The fact that the deadline for the implementation of the retroactive requirements of the law is quickly coming up does not mean that once it comes the laws will cease to exist. On the  contrary, that is when they will properly come into place since it is expected that all buildings in New York City at that time as well as any new ones still under construction will be in full compliance with the law.

What Is Local Law 26 And What Does In Mean For Your Building?

Local Law 26 was the result of a task force that was set up after the terrorist attacks that took place in 2002 and marked a turning point in the city’s construction industry. The purpose of the task force was to look into ways of improving safety in buildings within the city in the event of unexpected fires and they did so by coming up with the laws which took effect in 2004. Local Law 26 of 2004 stipulates conditions and requirements that are to be met by all existing buildings at the time as well as buildings that would be constructed in the city in future. For buildings that existed at the time, the law stipulated retroactive requirements which had to be complied with within specific deadlines.

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The deadlines for compliance with the retroactive requirements ranged differently and the longest one was 15 years. This particular requirement is expected to be fully complied with by July 1, 2019 and buildings that have not yet fully complied with it are supposed to submit a report by July 1, 2018, a deadline that seemed far back then but which is now approaching very fast. Under this requirement, all buildings in the city that were over 100ft in height and which were primarily business occupancies were required to fully install automatic sprinklers before the expiry of the deadline. Only buildings whose interior architecture is deemed as historically significant and those whose structures would be compromised by such installation are exempt from this requirement.

The proactive requirements of Law 26 came into effect right away and apply to all new construction projects that would take place in the city after the enactment of the law. They also apply to any major renovations to buildings that were already in existence and, during such renovations, superseded the retroactive requirement deadlines meaning that the latter have to also be met at the time of renovation. Most of the provisions under the proactive requirements of Local Law 26  have now become standard construction protocol and there is no way any new building in the city will receive approval from the authorities without full compliance with this requirement and full inspection.

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