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Hurricane Sandy Spurs Resiliency Laws in NYC

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NRMCA has long advocated for increased stringency of building codes as a strategy for disaster resilience. Now, the New York City Council recently approved building requirements based on changes suggested by a task force formed after Hurricane Sandy. New residential projects are required to comply immediately with the building codes and existing structures will be given eight years to do so.
The following are some changes in the NYC Administrative Code that directly affect material decisions for adopted or proposed construction projects:
• Law 82/2013 directs the NYC Department of Buildings to create a flood protection manual;
• Introductory Number 1056 will update the reference for flood-damage resistant interior and exterior finishes, as well other building materials;
• Introductory Number 1088 requires a study and pilot program on use of permeable materials on roadways and sidewalks;
• Introductory Number 1090-A requires a a study on the effects of wind on existing buildings;
• Introductory Number 1095-A requires the creation of a manual on flood construction and protection standards; and
• Introductory Number 1087 (proposed) requires roof coverings shall have: (1) a minimum initial solar reflectance of 0.7 or (2) a minimum SRI of 78.

Building codes are effective for reducing disaster risk. Building codes sets standards that guide the construction of new buildings and, in some cases, the rehabilitation of existing structures. Instead of setting minimum construction standards for life safety, these "code-plus" updates increase the functionality of structures after a hazard event.

Click here for more information on the new resiliency laws being proposed in New York or contact Tien Peng at or 206-913-8535.

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