M+S Architecture’s role in reviewing a proposed alteration focuses on delivering an opinion as to whether the work proposed by the Architect of Record for the project would have a negative effect on a building, and/or the habitability of other occupied/ common areas of the building. This private review shall not be confused with the mandatory DOB plan review conducted by a plan examiner during review of the construction documents (drawings and forms) filed by the Architect of Record for a renovation project. Our review is coordinated with the architect of record so the aesthetic elements of the plans, costs and feasibility of its construction are not affected. Depending on the scope, M+S also conducts site observations at critical construction milestones to confirm that construction complies with the submitted documents. A plan review is recommended to maintain the integrity, safety, and accurate record keeping of any building.
Architect of Record is the architect or architecture firm whose name appears on a building permit issued for a specific project on which that architect or firm performed services. This architect is hired by the shareholder proposing the renovation project.
Building Architect is the architect or architecture firm hired by the Building's Board/Managing Agent to review an application for renovations in a building.
Plan Review: When hired as Building Architects our review begins upon receipt of alteration agreement forms, and construction documents (filing forms and drawings) provided by the Owner, Managing Agents or president of the Board.
Typically in Cooperative and Condominium buildings; the shareholders will request the review of ALT-2 applications. ALT2 applications are filed for scopes of work that include “multiple types of work, not affecting use, egress or occupancy”. ALT1 applications are filed for “major alterations that will change use, egress or occupancy”.
The Limited Alteration Application (LAA) is used for plumbing work, fire suppression piping replacement and repairs, and oil burner installations that do not include construction work. Generally, with the exception of some minor new installations, LAA work is restricted to repair and/or replacement of existing equipment and does not require a Professional Engineer (P.E.) or a Registered Architect (R.A.).
Our review is focused on compliance with the building alteration agreements, safety, related codes, and industry standard details that may be detrimental to the performance and maintenance of the building.
Alteration agreements are contracts between the shareholder and the building in which the shareholder agrees to comply with applicable regulations, codes, and that the building will not be damaged by the proposed renovation. The agreements may include the allowed work hours, areas to be used as storage, modifications prohibited in the building, and so on.
Report: Upon review of the documents, M+S delivers a written report that includes an detailed list of items that will require clarification/revision by the architect of record. The report’s conclusion indicates weather the approval of the alteration is recommended to the Board (so Architect can file the job), or if it requires additional revisions to comply with building rules and other applicable standards or codes.
We are aware that the additional revision process can delay any project; therefore, we encourage scheduling a meeting or phone call with the architect of record to expedite scope clarifications and approvals.
Visits: Depending of the scope of work filed by the shareholders, we would recommend that site observations are scheduled at least at the following construction milestones.
Asbestos and Lead: Asbestos and lead testing is recommended if the project requires demolition as dust infiltration to adjacent apartments and common spaces is one of the most common problems during renovations.
Note that every repair, maintenance, renovation, or remodeling project that requires a DOB work permit also requires an asbestos survey. New York City Local Law 76/85 requires sampling and testing of materials to be disturbed during construction to verify that no asbestos is present, before the construction work begins.
M+S requests that an ACP-5 (asbestos form) is submitted during the review process to verify that the proper asbestos sampling/testing has been conducted.
If asbestos is found present, an environmental hygienist shall be engaged to prepare a remediation plan. If lead is found present, site specific lead safe work practices should be implemented by the contractor. A remediation project that requires asbestos remediation and/or lead safe practices may impact significantly the cost and timeline of the projects.