Robinson+Cole’s Construction Group hosted its fifth Construction Industry Roundtable on June 15, 2021. The Roundtable was conducted virtually for the second year in a row, which allowed representatives of major design and construction industry organizations and stakeholders throughout the Northeast to participate. The discussion focused on the state of the regional market, nationwide trends, and
As our previous post stated, the commercial use of drones, or small unmanned aerial systems (sUAS), for urban real estate and construction has gained some traction with the passage of the New York City Council’s bill requiring the Department of Buildings (DOB) to study the feasibility of using sUAS to inspect building facades. With this new bill, as well as other metropolitan cities surely following suit, one of the biggest issues on the forefront for the public at large is privacy.
Continue Reading Guidance on Using Drones for Real Estate and Construction in Dense Cities: How Much Does the Public Value Privacy? (Part II)
Robinson+Cole’s Construction Group hosted its fourth— but first ever virtual — Construction Industry Roundtable on July 14, 2020. Representatives of major design and construction industry organizations and stakeholders in the Northeast were in attendance to discuss the state of the regional market and to look ahead for trends to watch for 2021.…
Continue Reading Robinson+Cole Hosts Fourth Construction Industry Roundtable
This post was co-authored with Jonathan Schaefer, who is a member of Robinson+Cole’s Environmental, Energy + Telecommunications Group. Jon focuses his practice on environmental compliance counseling, occupational health and safety, permitting, site remediation, and litigation related to federal and state regulatory programs.…
Continue Reading OSHA’s COVID-19 Guidelines for the Construction Industry are Generally Consistent with New York State’s and New York City’s Existing Guidelines
In anticipation of reopening all construction activities statewide, on May 22, 2020, Governor Cuomo announced that construction staging activities would be allowed to commence before the Regions officially reopen. On May 31, 2020, the New York Empire State Development (“ESD”) updated its Guidance on Executive Order 202.6 (“NY Guidelines”) to provide specifications regarding construction staging. With most Regions currently in Phase One or Phase Two, the staging guidance is most applicable to New York City which is currently restricted to conducting only essential construction until it is cleared for a Phase One reopening. The allowed activities include the following:…
Continue Reading New York Empire State Development Issues Guidance for Construction Staging Activities
COVID-19’s impact in New York has been particularly region-specific. To address the disparity, Governor Cuomo created a four-phase reopening plan to be implemented where geographic regions meet their required “health metrics.”
Each phase correlates with a group of industries in which their non-essential businesses may permit the return of their in-person workforce – under certain conditions – in qualifying regions. (As of the date of this publication, the regions that have qualified based on their health metrics are the Capital Region, Central New York, Finger Lakes, Mohawk Valley, North Country, Southern Tier and Western New York.) Construction is one of the industries comprising “Phase One.”
Construction companies within an eligible region may reopen so long as they satisfy the specific construction industry health and safety guidelines in four categories: physical distancing, protective equipment, cleaning and hygiene, and communication. The guidelines outline the mandatory requirements and provide additional recommended “best practices,” as follows:…
Continue Reading New York’s Multi-Faceted Approach to Reopening “Non-Essential” Construction
As we began to describe on March 18, the economic impacts of the ongoing coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic on the construction industry are becoming more severe as the pandemic continues and spreads. Substantial uncertainty remains, however – as of the date of this post, the “peak” of the pandemic in New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts is expected to occur (depending on which reports you read) in mid-April, late-April or May, respectively. It appears increasingly likely that proactive, protective measures in these states, along with their restrictive effects on the economy and construction activity, will continue through the end of April and into May.
Continue Reading Ongoing Impacts of the Coronavirus Pandemic on Construction Projects in Major Markets
Following Governor Cuomo’s order and the Empire State Development (ESD) guidance on March 27, 2020, which provided that all “non-essential construction” except “emergency construction” must shut down, this week the Commissioner of the New York City Department of Buildings issued clarification about the terms “emergency” and “essential” construction (the “Bulletin”).
Continue Reading New York Clarifies “Emergency” and “Essential” Construction
With many New York City construction projects deemed non-essential, owners find themselves with partially completed work coupled with legal obligations to maintain the safety of the property. The temporary shutdown shifts responsibilities (and liability) for maintaining the safety of the property and the public to the owner. From maintaining permits to weekly inspections and weather protection, owners are now tasked with numerous roles and responsibilities more typical of those of a general contractor. Failure to understand and address these requirements places the owner at risk of noncompliance and potential delays when work is ready to resume if for example, permits have lapsed or areas of the site are no longer code compliant. The full New York City Building Department bulletin (the Bulletin) issued last week provides guidance to owners and contractors regarding the minimum requirements for maintaining construction and demolition sites when operations are suspended.
Continue Reading New York Construction Building Owners Assume New Roles and Responsibilities in Wake of Construction Shutdowns
Although Governor Cuomo put “New York State on PAUSE” a week ago, at that time, “construction” was not specifically exempted from his Executive Order and the Empire State Development’s (ESD) guidance on what businesses were subject to the 100 percent workforce reduction. Yet, pursuant to a further directive from the Governor, on March 27, 2020,…