Architecture: Controlled inspections - An integral part of design services to protect the public

July 30, 2013 - Spotlights

William Gati, Architecture Studio

Special inspections are conducted during most construction processes in NYC to verify that work is being done in accordance to approved plans and specifications. Special inspections must be performed by special inspectors on behalf of a special inspection agency and prepare a TR-1 Form that is required in order to clear up violations and obtain sign-offs.
A special inspector is a qualified individual employed by a special inspection agency.
Special inspectors must have all required certificates as outlined by the N.Y.C DOB rules.
Class 1 special inspection agencies must be accredited by the International Accreditation Service, Inc. (IAS) or an equivalent accreditation agency accrediting to ASTM E329-07. Special Inspection Agencies must obtain accreditation for all class 1 inspections.
Professional liability/errors and omissions insurance policy for a minimum of $500,000 (occurrence based), for the term of the registration.
Insurance required by the provisions of the New York State Workers' Compensation and Disability Law. All Special Inspection Agencies must have workers' compensation insurance or a waiver.
General liability insurance of at least $1 million per occurrence is already required for licensed trades.
Agencies whose director is not a registered design professional and limited to performing inspections of the:
* Fuel-oil storage and piping
* Fire alarm tests
* Sprinkler systems
* Standpipe systems
* Emergency power systems
* Site storm drainage disposal and detention system installation
A special inspection agency must have one full-time primary director and can have up to four alternative full-time directors. The directors must not be an employee of any other agency that provides special inspection or testing services.
* Fuel oil storage and piping
* Fire alarm tests
* Standpipe systems
* Sprinkler systems
* Emergency power systems
These agencies may have a director who satisfies the requirements of inspection supervisor for such tests and inspections as set forth in the qualifications.
A registered design professional with relevant experience may perform most special inspections in connection with the construction or alteration of Occupancy Group R-3 buildings, three stories or less in height. Additional qualifications are needed to perform special inspections in connection with excavation and foundation activities.
Architecture Studio has just received their approval from the N.Y.C DOB to be a N.Y.C special inspection agency to perform most inspections in class 2 and 3. This allows us to go to the field and observe the construction to make sure that all necessary policies and procedures are being met for every inspection we sign-off.
On most construction projects, there are numerous controlled inspections throughout the process that maintains the quality of the work and maintains the integrity of the construction in order to secure the safety of the public. The building department wants to make sure that all the inspectors are qualified and have the necessary insurance to inspect the construction project for compliance with the approved plans
Controlled inspections are an integral part of design services and to maintain the necessary experience and credentials are essential in order to protect the public.
William Gati, AIA, is the
president of Architecture Studio, Kew Gardens, N.Y.

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