In This Issue                                                                                                                                   Issue 1  Fall 2008
greenpin.gif (614 bytes)Our New Website greenpin.gif (614 bytes)Building Code Information greenpin.gif (614 bytes)Merger & Consolidation

JRS in the News

Long Island Business News recognizes Madison National Bank as a “Top Commercial Construction Project”.  October 2008

New Jersey Banker Magazine “Bankers turn Green with New Designs".  Fall 2008

 People of JRS

John R. Sorrenti, FAIA , Founder Was bestowed with the Lifetime Achievement Award from AIA Long Island Chapter. John has also been appointed Chair of NCARB's Committee on Professional Development.

We are proud to acknowledge our newly accredited  LEED Professionals: Mario Censullo, Jr. and Nicole M. Jui.

Congratulations to Chris Rudman and Jason DeGiovine on achieving their Architecture license.

Milestone anniversaries:
Robert Morrisey, Principal
-20yrs Ryan Pili, Jr. PM, NJO - 5 yrs  Roman Podoliuk, PM, LIO - 5 yrs,

  Projects of JRS

Overview of projects we are currently working on across industries:

JPMorgan Chase  – Corporate Interior         

Mandell School – Education / New  School   

St. Joseph’s College – Education /     Field House

American Community Bank – Financial / New Office

1st National Bank of Long Island - Financial / New Office

Time-Cap Labs – Healthcare

Neurological Surgery - Healthcare

Nassau County DPW - Bedell House –Restoration/Preservation

Jenny Craig - Retail Stores 


New Website for JRS Architect, P.C.

JRS Architect has a brand new look.  It is with great pleasure that we announce the launch of our completely redesigned website which can be accessed by visiting www.jrsarchitect.com.

Creative and technical assistance for this effort was provided by NYC based web designers Blank Mosseri.  Their understanding of how people interact with information is demonstrated throughout our site, particularly with regard to its ease of navigation and the ability of visitors to “drill down” to deeper levels of content.

For example, clicking “Featured Projects” on our home page will bring up current or recently completed assignments for all the primary sectors we serve including Corporate, Education, Financial, Healthcare, Hospitality, Retail, and Historic Preservation. 

Want to know what’s cutting edge in school design?  Click on “EDU” to find out about Mandell School’s newest Manhattan location and some of the innovative features and “green” materials we’ve utilized throughout the facility. 

Or perhaps you’re interested in historic properties and how these can be adapted for modern living while remaining true to period design.  Stay in Featured Projects to take a fascinating photographic tour of our 1860’s Pennsylvania farm house restoration.

Another area ripe for exploration is the section on “Specializations.”  Even clients we’ve worked with for years may not be aware of the diversity of services JRS provides.  Did you know that JRS is one of the leading designers of High-Technology centers in the region?   Go to “Selected Projects” then “Specializations” to read about our mission critical projects and the facilities that will be driving the economic life of the 21st Century.

Visitors with an artistic bent may be surprised to learn about another JRS offering – Fine Art Consulting.  Click on this heading to view original artwork we’ve created for corporate clients or to read about the boutique hotel that doubles as one of the largest private galleries in New York City.

There's more to experience in Specializations so here's a link for a quick overview of the sections which includes; Accessory Spaces, Art Consulting, Lobbies, Preservation, Technology Centers and Start-Up Banks.

Those familiar with our earlier website will notice a major change in orientation with an expanded focus on the people of JRS.  Whether you’re a client, future client, or simply curious, you can get to know our Principals, project architects, and staff in a more personal way.  Candid photos show team members in action and written profiles highlight unique credentials, workplace philosophies, community and professional activities, and even hobbies.

The website will be updated regularly so everyone is encouraged to check in often to track our latest projects, read about JRS in the news, or download archived editions of this newsletter.  Your feedback and questions are welcome and valued – just go to the “Contact” section and any of our three offices is a mouse click or a phone call away.

New Procedures and Requirements for Building in New York City


With a sharp increase in volume and pace of construction activity in recent years and the introduction of a new building code, New York City Department of Buildings has entered a new era and a period of fast changing procedures. Presently, Directive 14 filing is not available for projects using the new (2008 IBC based) Building Code. However plans prepared based on the old building codes of the City of New York (prior to 2008) can still be filed under Directive14.

Directive 14 of 1975 (Dir. 14/75) is a filing procedure that allows the applicant to assume responsibility for conducting the required inspections while reducing the extent/depth of the plans examination by the Building Department (limited examination). Two major changes in the filing procedures of New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) are the controlled inspections (TR-1 Form) and the cost affidavit (PW-3 Form).

 2006 Mayor’s Management Report, Department of Buildings section

Controlled inspections are a series of required inspection which may vary based upon the scope of the project/proposed work. Conducting these inspections could be deferred to individuals/entities not employed by the DOB also known as third party inspection(s).  Although the controlled inspections are still valid for existing applications (approved prior to June 30th, 2008), the 2008 Building Code acknowledges the third party inspections as the special inspections. Special inspections are successor to the controlled inspections.

Technical Report – Statement of Responsibility (TR-1 Form) has been revised to indicate this change and currently there are 53 special inspections listed on this Form out of which 8 are progress inspections.

Aside from the revised TR-1 Form, the accepting and reporting (by third party) procedures have been revised.  The new TR-1 Form has a three (3) stage process: 

    1. Prior to Approval filing (Application Processing/Plan Examination): The P.E. or R.A. responsible for plans shall identify the
        required controlled/special inspections/tests prior to permit.

    2. Prior to Permit filing: The Controlled Inspection Applicant (third party inspector) shall identify date and responsibility for
        performing the required controlled inspections/tests at permit.

    3. Prior to Sign-off: When all or a portion of the required controlled inspections have been satisfied, the Controlled/Special
        Inspections Applicant shall date and certify completion of the specified items.

Cost Affidavit (PW-3 Form) must be submitted for all applications where fees are assessed based upon construction costs. It must be completed by the responsible individual(s) as determined by filing type and phase of submission in order to provide a detailed construction cost breakdown for the work being submitted. Cost affidavit procedures and its form (PW-3) were revised in August 2008. The revised PW-3 is required at the following phases: Initial Filing (Document 01), for all changes affecting costs including Prior to Approval Actions and Post Approval Amendments (PAAs) and to obtain Sign-off. It will no longer be required at time of permit for any job. Even though this new procedure requires the design professional (applicant) to initially file PW-3 at the time of applying for the approval(s), the owner is ultimately responsible for the accuracy of the PW-3, as he or she is most knowledgeable of the actual value (cost) of work performed under the permit(s) issued. The owner must file the Final Cost affidavit in order to obtain the required sign-offs and the Certificate of Occupancy or the Letter of Completion (for Directive 14 applications). As per §28-112.3 of the NYC Administrative Code, cost estimates must include the total value of work (including materials and labor) for which the permit is being issued. In addition, the NYC Construction Codes include regulations for these finishes, which must be shown on the plans. 

Application fees are calculated by DOB according to the type of work. Enlargement fees are calculated based on additional square footage and are separate from the alteration fee. When filing an enlargement, the estimated cost on the PW-3 should include items for work on existing construction, such as removing or altering walls, while the square footage for the planned enlargement will be calculated separately. The fee for the enlargement will be added to the alteration fee. The new DOB policies and procedures require a considerable involvement and participation of the (project) owner in the permitting process and awareness of the newly implemented rules and regulations. 

Please feel free to contact your Project Manager with any questions, comments or concerns you may have. 


JRS Poised to Help in Merger and Consolidation Transitions


Many companies are looking to reevaluate their space needs due to mergers or as part of a consolidation/efficiency strategy in light of the current economic situation. Common needs include:


Surveying:  Existing Interior & Exterior Conditions
                   ADA Review
                   Furniture Inventory
                   Lighting including ATM
                   Traffic Flow

Branding Consistency Analysis

Building Department Searches (i.e. check for open permits, violations)

Code Review

Integrated Standards Implementation

Retail Facility Consolidation/Expansion Analysis

Space Utilization Assessments and Recommendations

JRS brings to the table over 20 years of such industry experience and a track record of assisting clients through multiple mergers, consolidations, acquisitions, and restructurings. The firm’s credentials in providing critical assistance during these special transactions are well established by work performed for Fortune 500 companies over the years.

JRS project teams assigned to institutions will be selected for their depth of experience in the respective industry projects thus eliminating the need for a costly and time consuming learning curve. In addition to mainstream space issues, JRS consultants are prepared to provide expert guidance with such specializations as Bank Branches, Corporate Offices, Computer Rooms, Lobbies and Public Spaces, Cafeterias and Eateries, Technology Centers, Meeting Spaces, and Façade Renovation. Additional support will also be available from our LEED Accredited and Historic Preservation groups.

These next weeks and months will be determinative as merged and consolidated entities begin to grapple with evolving brand identities and changing real estate portfolios. Actions taken during this time will impact profit margins for years to come.

Given the urgency to address these situations in a timely manner, the principals, John R. Sorrenti, Alex Hadjiyane and Robert S. Morrisey are inviting these businesses or their real estate professionals to contact any one of them directly by calling 516-294-1666 to arrange for strategy meetings at their locations or at any JRS office.


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