By Frank Fortino
On September 21, 2023, representatives of the New York City Department of Buildings met with members of the New York Coalition of Code Consultants (NYCCC) at the Penn Club of New York. We came together with the common goal of making the construction industry more efficient and more effective for all stakeholders, from owners and developers to property managers and filing representatives.
As advocates and advisors for the property owners and construction professionals who rely on the DOB NOW platform, NYCCC representatives provided detailed feedback and user insights to inform the ongoing evolution of the DOB’s web portal. Among the areas discussed were the following:
- How to handle multiple TCOs/COs for buildings
- Opportunities to promote industry communication and partnership
- New and improved filing processes and system functions
- Enhanced site safety at job sites
- Open communication with city agencies
Working Toward a Modern, Transparent DOB
DOB NOW represents a significant investment in the city’s quest to make the construction process more transparent and easier to navigate. Since launching the platform’s pilot program in 2016, the DOB has continued to expand and improve the functionality and usability of the public portal. Not surprisingly, the transition to an online, self-service system has presented challenges. The city’s famed skyline doesn’t change overnight; neither does an agency founded in 1866.
However, the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 seemed to accomplish just that as the DOB, like many organizations, quickly migrated to virtual operations. The agency’s rapid transformation not only allowed the construction industry to resume operations with minimal disruption but also paved the way for greater industry cooperation.
As a result, today’s DOB is strategizing on how to improve the customer service experience for everyone who works with the agency, including industry professionals and city residents alike. DOB NOW plays an important role in this effort, and the DOB welcomes the informed perspective of industry representatives to help them achieve this goal through system enhancements.
I’ve had the privilege of serving on the board of the NYCCC as a founding member. We incorporated the organization in 2014 to represent the industry through advocacy and partnership, and we are excited to collaborate with the DOB and other city agencies to create a smoother, better process that benefits all New Yorkers.