NYC Allows BIM For Site Safety Plans

The New York City Department of Buildings has entered the realm of Building Information Modeling (BIM) for site safety plans related to construction projects in the city. Announced in late April, this safety initiative, 3D Site Safety Plans, allows contractors on the City’s largest construction projects to submit interactive 3D images of a project’s required site safety plan.

Three-dimensional site safety plans enable Department inspectors to take a virtual, step-by-step tour of how a new building or major renovation will be constructed, visualize its complexities and challenges, and review critical safety measures— from the placement of the crane to the construction of the standpipe system to the installation of the sidewalk shed. This is expected to increase the overall safety of the construction process while accelerating Department plan approvals.

The first projects to submit site safety plans under the new program are being handled by Turner Construction Company. The projects are the Energy Building at NYU Langone Medical Center and a new building for NYU’s College of Nursing that will also provide expanded facilities for the College of Dentistry and create space for a new multi-school bioengineering program.

New York is among the first cities in the world to accept and review 3D site safety plans for construction operations and approvals. Site safety plans are required for the City’s largest construction projects before permits can be issued. This includes:

  • the construction of new buildings 10 stories and higher;
  • gut renovation of buildings 10 stories and higher that involve mechanical demolition;
  • façade restoration of buildings 15 stories and higher; and
  • buildings with a footprint of 100,000 square feet or more.

The 3D site safety plans are created with BIM software and can be uploaded to a secure, shared website where Department plan examiners can review them in an electronic format. Due to the evolving conditions on any major construction site, contractors can submit amendments to their site safety plans, and with the use of 3D images, revised plans can be submitted and approved in a more timely fashion than with the use of plans on paper.

This image below was part of an April 23, 2012 presentation by Christopher Santulli, PE about the Safety Plan Reviews in 3D. The images show the difference between and 2D and 3D safety plan graphic.


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