Viridian Future 1

Aiming to be not just the most environmentally sustainable townhouse in Manhattan, but a net zero energy home.

Now i am getting angry

We were so excited and proud to have won the approval for the two elements under 'determination'. The glass elevator will be an eye catching feature to our development, as will the open metal and wood staircase. Having learned that we had been granted these two determinations, we understood that we needed one more meeting with the examiner to get the stamp of approval, 'a mere formality'.

When the examiner arrived a few minutes late for the meeting, apologizing that an internal meeting had overrun, she had absolutely no idea which case she was dealing with. She had clearly not looked at the papers since the determinations, in fact since our last meeting. She could not remember even her own comments and concerns and took some time to learn the details of the project. She then proceeded to look thru a whole host of elements, some of which had already been discussed and agreed, some of which had never been raised before, and some of which were irrelevant. I could not work out whether she has a checklist that she has to follow to ensure she has covered everything, or whether she was thinking ad hoc. I now wonder whether, given that the meetings are limited to one hour, if any one meeting identifies some issue that need addressing, the examiner doesnt actually cover everything, but uses the hour and stops. They then pick up at the next meeting, look at the responses to the previous questions, and carry on with the process of looking thru the project until they come to more issues.

So instead of being a mere formality, this meeting required us to send more documentation, and the examiner has raised concerns over the firemen putting their ladder up to our roof, the shape of which has not changed since we put in the application last year.

Up until now, I have observed the bizarre complications of New York building code with the wry smile of an outsider who knows how others do things, and wonders why this country, that claims to be advanced, is so badly run.

Now I am just getting angry. New York, which claims to be the premier city in the world, has building codes written by the plumbing union and other self interest groups, doesnt supply enough examiners to handle its building activities, and hasnt maintained its roads for decades. I am angry, and disappointed in this city. All we are trying to do is renovate an old house, to add value to the city as well as to the house, and model some systems that will eventually become standard.

This is all so unnecessary. It puts blockages in the way of businesses throughout the city, it slows down development, and it adds costs, all of which reduces the efficiency of the economy, and limits the tax the city could receive. It also explains why I see so many empty businesses around the city, that are clearly waiting for approval before they start work on remodeling their property.

This process has taken so long, with the house sitting empty, that a local vagrant has parked his shopping trolley in our front yard.

Web Design by Abel B'Hahn, with grateful thanks to The Story of Us | VIRIDIAN FUTURE 1 | New York, New York, USA