regarding the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic – 3/18/20 (3/23/20 update)
First of all, if you are reading this, I hope this note finds you and all the people in your life healthy and safe.
Currently, both locally in the New York City area and across the world, we are facing a historic pandemic that will affect how we all live, work, and exist. Reality has structurally changed in the short term and it’s incumbent on all of us to do our best to act responsibly to keep each other safe.
I understand that this time can be very concerning, and as an architect that you have trusted with a project that is important to you, I want to do my best to reassure.
The studio is open, and should remain so unless something drastic happens. I am currently working from home and am available to address issues both via email and phone. I am continuing to work on projects and am currently updating all my clients to the best of my ability as to open issues and what we can continue to advance as the situation evolves.
In a technical sense, first things first.
A. State / City Agencies:
The NYC Department of Buildings (DOB LINK) and the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC LINK) are both attempting to streamline their permit review process to emphasize digital filings. What this will mean to help is still evolving, but our filing representative colleague is currently trying to ascertain how much this will help.
DOB will continue to evolve their procedures, here is a digital clearing house (DOB LINK)
B: Policies currently (3/23/20 date):
sun|tect will be moving our filings as possible to online if feasible for that filing. Our filing representative partners will do their best during this transition.
Site Visits / Inspections:
In an attempt to reduce transmission of the virus, sun|tect will not be conducting in person site visits unless absolutely necessary. If a pending inspection is required on the rare jobs that are continuing, please work this out on a case by case basis.
Jobs in pre-filing / design:
This work continues as schedules allow, please ask questions as you see fit.
Jobs in construction:
Construction throughout the NYC area is mostly reduced and/or stopped. I will answer questions as needed on the few jobs currently still going.
Jobs in pre-contract:
I am available to answer questions / concerns, please reach out as needed.
Collaborators / Colleagues:
This is going to be a very stressful time for all of us. Some people will be working fewer hours, some will be unable to travel due to infection and/or being immunocompromised. Some will be unable to find child care.
We will get through this together. Please understand we will all do the best we can on these projects, but there may be issues we will solve together.
As a small business who offers competitive rates, our margins (like most architecture / design firms) are fairly small. That’s ok and a unfortunate part of the model. C’est la vie.
I ask a simple thing. I will be issuing invoices on work done during this time. Some of you will be okay financially, some will not. I only ask you to be honorable. If you can afford to pay, please do so the doors can remain open. If you cannot afford to pay, please just let me know and we will figure it out. Again, we’re all in this together, so if I get some payments, I can continue to service you all.
C: Issues outstanding:
It also bears mentioning that addressing this pandemic is developing quickly out of necessity. Federal, state, and local officials are doing their very best to ensure our safety which means certain measures will be taken in the coming weeks and months that may affect our project.
This may manifest itself in many ways. Agencies may place movement restrictions that lessen the hours of, or even close, job sites. We may face shortages of necessary materials due to supply chain breakdowns in other regions. Lead times of key items may lengthen. Administrative partners in both building management and government officials may have delays due to staffing or illness.
We cannot anticipate all problems, and some will be beyond our ability to alleviate fully.
But, I will make you all the same promise I make all my clients.
You will get the best effort I have on your projects.
Often, that will be enough to keep the ball moving.
With that, I will continue to work. You have put your trust in sun|tect to get a job done. We will continue to pursue the goals of our clients in the hopes of giving you all one less thing to worry about.
With that, be safe, be well, and keep each other in your thoughts.