The NYC DOB Is Completely Broken

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…

Building actions section showing sprinklers existedThat shows that a sprinkler system existed in 1941 and 1945. But when the homeowner submitted the paperwork to the DOB they flat out lied and said they were not permanently removing sprinklers…

No permanent sprinkler removalNow, 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.

2 thoughts on “The NYC DOB Is Completely Broken

    • Nothing happens. They have their C of O. The DOB isn’t aware anything happened. And that’s precisely the problem – the people who are supposed to figure out there’s a problem didn’t figure it out.

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