Mengqing Chen, MLA I 2017
Organization: NYC Housing Preservation and Development (NYC HPD), New York, NY
Sponsor: Harvard Club of New York Foundation
Codes and Standards
“One of my projects for the BLDS division of HPD is to put together a codes and standards comparison chart. The 10-page chart compares codes and standards from the Fair Housing Act, ANSI A-117.1-1986, NYC Building Code 2014, ICC A117-2009, Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards, all the requirements needed by the state and federal government for accessibility in affordable units.
One of the major responsibilities of BLDS is to review architectural drawings and design to check if they meet accessibility requirements in affordable housing units. Once approved by BLDS, the project could be financed either by HPD or sister agencies. A lot of back and forth happens due to confusion about code requirements during the review, which slows down the whole process. The comparison chart lists all requirements and sorts them into categories based on public and private usage and types of functionality. Hopefully the chart will be a useful tool for architects, developers and HPD reviewers to clear the confusion and shorten the review process.
In order to monitor the contractors before and after construction, project managers and field inspectors also need some knowledge of the codes and standards. A comprehensive chart will be helpful for them to do the inspection, which will accelerate the whole process.”