New York City Building Resiliency Task Force Summary Report

New York City's Building Resiliency Task Force coordinated with the NYC Special Initiative for Rebuilding and Resiliency, to study how to improve citywide infrastructure and building resiliency, as well as how to help communities become more resilient overall. While focused on New York City and its specific environment and building codes, this report may also be useful to other cities that wish to improve their resiliency.

Task Force members were selected by the Urban Green Council in consultation with the Speaker’s Office and Mayor’s Office, and then divided into three Working Groups and four Committees. Working Groups determined what could be done to improve building resiliency, while Committees considered planning for each building type. Technical experts were organized by building system into three Working Groups: Structure, Façade, & Interiors; Electrical & IT; and HVACR, Plumbing, & Fire Protection.

The 33 proposals in this report address resiliency in commercial buildings, multifamily residences, hospitals, and 1-3 family homes. This report recommends a range of voluntary practices for buildings to adopt beyond basic code requirements, including simple, low-cost measures. Most code changes recommended by the Task Force would affect only new buildings and existing buildings when they are renovated. In a few crucial cases, such as providing for basic water supply and lighting in residential buildings during blackouts, buildings may need to undergo retrofits to supplement their current resiliency features.

For the Commercial sector, Task Force recommendations are intended to minimize interruptions to building functionality while allowing the market to dictate the need to implement resiliency measures. Recommendations for multifamily residences, dorms, hotels, and adult care facilities regard providing for essential needs such as safety, drinking water, habitable temperatures, and functioning stairs and elevators. The proposals for one- to three-family homes are focused on protection against storm damage and adequate emergency planning.  

This report is the result of the time and effort of more than 200 dedicated volunteers who are leading experts in their fields. These Task Force members include real estate owners, property managers, architects, engineers, contractors, utility representatives, subject matter specialists, city officials, code consultants, cost estimators and attorneys, who devoted nearly 5,000 hours over five months to discuss and develop proposals.

Publication Date: June 2013

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