DOB Sued for Violating Its Own Safety Codes at Atlantic Yards Project Site

By Janet Upadhye on July 11, 2013 8:39am 

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 Atlantic Yards' modular rental tower will be the world's tallest modular building.
Atlantic Yards' Modular Rental Tower
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PROSPECT HEIGHTS — The Plumbing Foundation and Mechanical Contractors filed a lawsuit against the city to stop construction on Forest City Ratner’s 32-story modular residential building at the Atlantic Yards

The suit claims that the Department of Buildings violated its own safety codes when it approved construction on the high-rise rentals without the supervision of licensed plumbers and contractors.

"It’s a dangerous path we walk down when the city appears to be willing to circumvent the clear words of the law so that wealthy and influential developers can make a few extra dollars by using lower paid and untrained assembly line workers over skilled and licensed trades people,” Stewart O’Brien of the Plumbing Foundation said in a statement.

“Everyone should be concerned when gas pipes are installed by unlicensed people rather than employees of trained and licensed plumber or fire suppression contractors. This is how accidents happen and people die.”

But DOB said that since most parts of the pre-fab building are being constructed in factories off-site, different rules apply.

"Licensed plumbers and fire suppression contractors in New York City are responsible for installing these systems at a construction site, not the manufacturing or assembly of these systems before they reach the site," DOB Spokeswoman Gloria Chin said.

She added that all modular project safety codes will be followed during on-site installation.

Construction on the Atlantic Yards residential buildings broke ground earlier this year. The rental tower, named B2, is set to be the world's tallest modular building.

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