Are you planning to build an office building in NYC that is higher than 100 feet? You may have to adhere to the Local law 26 (LL26) of 2004. This law is to strengthen the fire safety requirements of all existing office structures across New York City.
There are a couple of things you need to know to make sure your building is complaint with the LL26. These include:
New York City Fire Codes
The New York City Fire Codes are the strictest fire codes in the country because of the dense population of the city and the number of high-rise structures that it houses. Fortunately, most new structures are complaint with these codes. However, not all older buildings are. Especially after the 9/11 attack, the NYC government is determined to provide adequate security for the occupants of commercial buildings through these fire codes.
Installation of sprinkler systems
If you haven’t installed a sprinkler system, you will have to do so before 1st July 2019. In case you are not yet ready to make these upgrades, you may have to file an interim report by 1st July of2018 giving details about your plan of action and the progress of the sprinkler upgrades. As a commercial building owner if your building is not compliant with the LL26, it is high time you start working on formulating the plan of action and get ready to file your report. In case you already have installed a sprinkler system, you may want to check if it is as per the exact specifications of the Local Law 26.
Wondering if there is an exception to this rule? Yes, there is. You can actually obtain a waiver from these strict LL26 requirements if your office building is designated as a historical landmark and if installing the sprinkler system as per the LL26 requirements will alter the building drastically. Alternatively, if you have enough evidence to prove that it would be impractical to install a sprinkler system in your building because of its structural limitations, you can be exempted from the hold of LL26.
There are a lot more retroactive changes and requirements brought in by the local law 26 with respect to exit signage, elevator vestibules, scissor stairs, and so on. However, most of these requirements are already in place. The good news however is that these compliances are applicable to you only if your building is classified for business occupancy and if it is at least 100 feet tall.