Articles by Chet Vogel

New York City Council Committee on Housing and Buildings



Chairman Dilan and Council Members of the Committee on Housing and Buildings:

My name is Chet Vogel, P.E., a Fellow of the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) and of the American Society of Heating Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Engineers, President of M-E/Vogel Taylor Engineers P.C., a NYC consulting engineering company, and Chairman of the Mechanical/HVAC/Boiler Committee of the New York City Model Code Program and of the ACEC Mechanical Code Committee. I have practiced in the NYC Construction Industry for almost 50 years, including several years in construction activities, and for the past 45 years as a member of the engineering consulting and design community.

Shortly after my start in consulting, and coincident with becoming a professional engineer, the current NYC Building Code was introduced to the industry in 1968. Although I did not participate in the development of this Code, I took a great interest in its interpretation and application, and soon thereafter took an active role in Code Committee activities, in concert with the NYC Dept. of Buildings (DOB). During the past 12 years, I have assisted the DOB with the preparation of Technical Policy & Procedural Notices (TPPN’s) clarifying mechanical fire and safety requirements, I participated on the World Trade Center Sub-Committee for Ventilation, culminating in 2002 in the current Code Reference Standard 13-1 for the Installation of Air Conditioning and Ventilating Systems, and I assisted in the implementation of the World Trade Center Building Code Task Force recommendations for fuel oil piping and air intake locations included in Local Law 26 of 2004.

Approximately 3-1/2 years ago, and shortly after the Mayor’s Advisory Commission issued it’s recommendation to adopt a Model Building Code based upon the International Building Code (IBC), I assisted the DOB in forming the Mechanical/HVAC/Boiler Committee that would be needed to review the International Mechanical Code (IMC), and the related Subchapters, Reference Standards and TPPN’s of the NYC Building Code, as well as mechanical portions of the International Fuel Gas Code (IFGC). Representing Labor, Industry, Engineering Design, Real Estate and Construction, as well as NYC Government Agencies, 35 leaders with interest and expertise in Mechanical, HVAC, and Boilers were selected, and agreed to participate on the six Panels required to review this material.

These six Panels – General Requirements, Ventilation, Boilers and Chimneys, Equipment, Refrigeration, and Piping, including Fuel Oil Piping and Storage, have, during the

past 3-1/2 years, met as a group once a month, and in addition, met as Panel sub-committees once or twice a month, to reach consensus on the acceptability of, or recommended changes to, each and every section and sub-section if the IMC, as well as Chapters 2, 5 and 6 of the IFGC. Nearly 200 amendments have been written to these ICC Codes, to include important safety and “good design practice” requirements that the Committee, the DOB and the FDNY determined were important to include in the Model Code for NYC. Our Committee has completed its work and submitted all of the recommended text to the NYCDOB and the Model Code Management Committee for approval, prior to its finalization by the DOB Law Department.

Some of the highlights of the proposed new NYC Mechanical Code include improved ventilation standards in accordance with ASHRAE Standard 62; kitchen ventilation and exhaust standards consistent with ASHRAE Standard 96 and current FDNY requirements; fuel oil piping and storage, and fuel oil tank construction Standards, in accordance with NFPA requirements and FDNY recommendations; boiler and burner designs, and chimney construction, in accordance with national standards and current technology, and consistent with environment criteria.

We believe we have helped the DOB to meet its goal of a comprehensive Mechanical/HVAC/Boiler Code, with the required modifications necessary to enhance public safety and encourage economic growth, through the use of national building standards and technology. The IMC and IFGC, and their amendments, are extensive and written in code language, with reference to national standards, such as those currently and commonly in use in NYC from ASHRAE and NFPA, when appropriate. Our work was closely coordinated with the NYC Plumbing Code (Local Law 99/05), and the NYC Building Code, before you for consideration today.

Therefore, for the reasons stated above, and in order to acknowledge the extraordinary efforts to date of the more than 400 volunteers involved in the development of a Model Code, and the City’s commitment to a new Model Code this year, I strongly recommend your support and the adoption of Intro 578.

Thank you.

Respectfully submitted,

Chet Vogel, P.E.
417 Fifth Avenue - 5th Floor
New York, NY 10016-2204
(212) 725-6800 - ext.179
C.T. Vogel, PE Consulting Engineer