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City Council Approves New Post-Sandy Building Requirements

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In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the city put together a task force to come up with ways to better New York City's buildings and infrastructure from future storms, and yesterday, the City Council approved some of the first changes to building codes. The Times outlines a few of the bigger alterations:

· Residential buildings five stories or taller must install faucets in common rooms on lower floors (like laundry rooms) so all residents have access to running water if the power goes out and electric pumps stop working. New construction must do this now, while existing buildings have eight years to comply.
· New and existing hospitals located in food zones must install a temporary boiler and generator systems that would allow for fast and easy hookups in case of a power outage. This is effective immediately for new buildings, but existing structures must do it within 20 years.
· Temporary flood barriers are allowed on sidewalks without the need for a special permit.
· It will now be easier to install regular and backup generators that run on natural gas, a cleaner and more reliable fuel source than diesel.

The Times points out that the cost is pretty high—one faucet for 100 people would cost about $16K for a 20-story building—but it seems like most landlords are on board with the changes because they saw how bad it could be during Hurricane Sandy.
· New Building Codes Passed After Lessons From Hurricane Sandy [NYT]
· Hurricane Sandy coverage [Curbed]