The New York City Department of Buildings (NYCDOB) has introduced an interactive map showing the location of all building construction projects across New York City where it has issued permits allowing construction work to proceed outside of normal business hours.
The map, which is updated daily, includes links to the Department’s Buildings Information System (BIS) public database, which has further information about these permits, including what type of work is being performed, the hours of the permitted work, and the reason why the after-hours permits were granted. The new map will provides the public a tool to confirm whether construction projects on their block have the proper permits to work at nights and on weekends. An after-hours variance (AHV) permit is required to perform any building construction work in New York City before 7:00 am, after 6:00 pm, or on the weekend.
“This real-time map will provide New Yorkers with greater transparency about after-hours construction in their neighborhoods, and give the public a new data-driven tool to determine whether the work they see or hear has the proper permits,” said Buildings Commissioner Melanie E. La Rocca. “Our principal concern in regulating construction is the safety of everyone who lives, visits and works in our city – and After Hours Variance permits are another tool to ensure the safety of all New Yorkers.”
After-hours variances are granted primarily when it’s safer or less disruptive to a neighborhood to perform the work at night or on weekends. For example, variances are granted for work done near schools or public spaces, for heavy construction work that might require sidewalks to be closed to protect pedestrians, or for work that would cause traffic gridlock if it’s done during the day. Certain types of work such as concrete pours and adjustments to cranes need to be performed when there is minimal pedestrian and vehicular traffic in the area, or when stopping them midstream may pose a hazard to workers and the public.
In addition to the release of this public real-time map, the NYCDOB will also be issuing weekly reports on AHV permits to local elected officials and community boards citywide, so that they have relevant data about late night construction going on in their districts. These moves are aimed at bringing an added level of transparency to New York City’s construction industry.
DOB issued 18,866 initial AHV permits in 2018, a 24 percent decrease from the 25,005 initial AHV permits issued in 2012. Each of these initial AHV permits is issued for specific dates, usually over a weekend or a week. In 2018, DOB received 3,729 public complaints through the 311 system regarding construction work illegally performed after hours. These complaints were investigated by the Department’s After Hours Variance Enforcement Unit, who handle these specific complaints. Each AHV permit is issued for specific days and times during the week, and must be renewed if contractors wish to continue working outside of normal business hours.
The new map is the latest in a series of interactive dashboards, reports, and data tools released by the Department to give the public access to information about the city’s built environment, and builds off the successes of our real-time map series, which show the location of DOB complaints, inspections and violations from the last 12 months, active major construction projects citywide, Site Safety Training (SST) construction sites where city-mandated safety training is required, and the locations of the more-than 9,000 permitted sidewalk sheds around the five boroughs.