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(l-r) Mick Carnevale, Tom Unsinn, Joe Corrado, Charanjeet Singh, Dmitri Dits and Joseph Caracappa

NYARM hosts elevator panel to discuss looming DLM compliance.

The New York Association of Realty Managers (NYARM) presented a forum, “NYC ELEVATORS. . . to Modernize or, NOT to Modernize?” on the wintry evening of February 11. With New York City’s (NYC) new door-lock monitoring (DLM) rules set to go into effect in less than a year, a panel of elevator experts came together to discuss and update NYARM membership on the NYC Department of Buildings’ upcoming compliance mandate. More than 40,000 elevators in NYC must have the devices installed by January 1, 2020.

The panel was made up of various industry professionals who walked building managers through the process of scheduling modernizations and planning shutdowns. Members included Joseph Caracappa of Sierra Consulting Group (moderator); Mick Carnevale and Tom Unsinn of Joseph Neto Associates/ Lerch Bates, Inc.; Joe Corrado of Champion Elevator Corp.; Dmitri Dits, assistant commissioner of Central Inspections (elevators) with the NYC Department of Buildings (DOB); Charanjeet Singh, PE, executive engineer, Elevators Plan Examination Unit, DOB; plus, legal counsel and senior property management.

Caracappa asked the panel to take on and explain the reasoning for the code, the products available for compliance, and the NYC Department of Buildings’ opinions. The panel said close to 50,000 elevators in the city fall under the requirements to be updated for DLM. The compliant DLM can be as simple as unlocking a code already imbedded in controllers (made within a certain timeframe), providing software updates to certain controllers (again made within a certain timeframe) or having to install a separate module for older controllers to bring them into compliance.

The panel also gave the audience (made up of approximately half NYARM and half elevator-industry people) ideas on costs and timeframes of installation for these updates. However, another aspect from the panel’s point of view was that it is now the time for some building owners to modernize their current equipment. This would not only have their elevator equipment comply with DLM, but also bring their equipment to the current standards, which the panel suggested would ultimately provide better service and meet all safety requirements. The panel also stated that no matter what work is to be completed, a full survey of the equipment should be done to specify any DLM compliance required.

The audience question period was heavily focused on the general requirement that the DLM must be complied with by a hard deadline of December 31, 2019. The two representatives of the NYC DOB were asked if any penalties would be delayed if a permit is issued for a modernization. Though this question was asked in several different ways, Dits’ response, “This compliance has been known for several years, and do not expect an extension of the deadline date for compliance,” never wavered.

The last and final response from the elevator panel was that building owners should be asking their elevator contractors for an assessment and proposal for compliance so it can be validated. Then, they should sign their contracts to get the permit process toward compliance moving.

Margie Russell, executive director of NYARM, thanked the 75-plus attendees for being present, calling the gathering “our biggest crowd yet.”

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