Given all the grief the Department of Buildings has given us, I was a bit bowled over recently when a building in our neighborhood got a new C of O after a renovation that included ripping out the sprinkler system and not replacing it.
I’m sorry, but multiple people at DOB reviewed this project – a plan examiner, a C of O inspector and the DOB’s FDNY rep just to name a few. How did this happen? The information was right there staring the DOB folks in the face. A quick look at the “Actions” section for the building on the DOB’s own web site shows that there was an existing sprinkler system in the building…
Now, I don’t blame the homeowners. Having been through the process your architect hands you a pile of papers and tells you to sign at the X. If you find the paperwork overwhelming you might not look at what you’re signing. Ultimately I blame the architect – they signed the paperwork as well (and even stamped it). I think architects who lie about life/safety issues should have their licenses revoked.
Still, it’s the job of the DOB to find problems like that. If they’re not there to find life/safety issues like ripping out sprinkler systems, why do they exist? If multiple people can’t find a really obvious problem like that, then they’re just completely broken.