Tony Saporito of the MCA of New York, Inc and Stewart O’Brien of the Plumbing Foundation of NY have co-authored a piece entitled A Dangerous Lower Standard for the Commercial Observer detailing the associations’ efforts on behalf of licensed construction in the Fire Suppression and Plumbing industries.

Architectural Plans Modular Construction

Recent code interpretations by the NYC Dept. of Buildings have allowed owners to circumvent the licensing requirement when building modular construction. Innovation that promotes efficiency is always welcomed in the construction industry, but it should not come at the expense of safety.

Would you want your children and family to occupy a building whose critical life safety systems were put in place by an untrained, unlicensed worker? Or what if the hospital or nursing home your loved one was a patient in had a fire?

The NYC Building Code requires that plumbing work, including connections to domestic water supply, gas piping, medical lines, and back-flow devices in medical facilities, be performed by a licensed firm.  Similarly the Building Code also requires that fire suppression systems that automatically detect and then control, suppress, or extinguish fires, helping prevent fatal accidents, only be installed by licensed fire suppression contractors. The obvious reason is safety.

Licensed master plumbers and mechanical contracting firms are trained and qualified to ensure the city’s gas and steam piping are properly welded, so that the public is protected from leaks that lead to explosions. Does it make any sense to have two regulatory systems—one that requires certain buildings to be constructed using licensed firms and other buildings that can be constructed using unlicensed people?

Read the full article A Dangerous Lower Standard.