New Building Code for New York

New Building Code for New York

A new building code has just been adopted to make New York City a safer place in which to live.

It is the city’s first completely revised code of this kind in twenty-one years. It was passed after a delay of four years caused by obstruction of political and other interests, and becomes the law on January 1, 1958.

The Board of Aldermen enacted the bill and it became law when signed by Mayor LaGuardia. It is the result of painstaking effort and community cooperation. Outstanding engineers, architects and other specialists gave their services without stint to help draft the document, thus refuting the often heard statement that New Yorkers lack community interest.

Changing methods of construction and types of materials during recent years had caused much confusion under the heretofore existing code.

Fire prevention in all its phases is covered in the legislation. Fire-resistant roofing continues mandatory in new construction. The wooden shingle roof is barred entirely in new structures.

The ordinance insists that all materials in walls, flooring and foundations be subjected to the sternest fire tests before their use is permitted. Roofing on dwellings must be of fire-resistant material.

New Building Code for New York

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New Building Code for New York

A proposed building code, prepared by a joint committee representing organizations of engineers, fire underwriters, architects and trade employers, was presented to the New York board of aldermen last week. The joint committee consisted of representatives of the following organizations: New York and Brooklyn chapters of the American Institute of Architects, the Building Trades’ Employers’ Association, the New York and National Boards of Fire Underwriters, the American Institute of Consulting Engineers and the New York Society of Architects. The five borough superintendents of buildings and also the chief inspectors of buildings in Manhattan and Brooklyn took part in the drafting. In a statement given out with the code the committee declares that it has attempted to place every building material on such a basis that it may be used up to its safe carrying capacity, preference being given to no material. All questions of strength of materials and the bases of calculation have been passed upon by the structural engineers on the committee, and private interests, it is declared, have not been consulted. To fireproof materials is given the preference over non-fireproof materials, so that the investors may be encouraged to use fireproof materials rather than others. In other words, an attempt is made to make fireproof construction as cheap as possible. “The protection of the public,” says the committee in its statement, “has been the prime consideration in the settlements of debated points.” Large floor areas is factories are practically prohibited unless the buildings are completely provided with automatic sprinklers and the floors subdivided by fire partitions. The matter of fire limits is left with the board of aldermen and can be taken up at any time in the future and settled upon its merits, as also the suggestion made that fire zones be established in the city, the inner zone in this case to be limited absolutely to fireproof buildings.