Construction Innovation and Safety Conference

This year’s "Hack the Building Code" winners include innovations to prevent construction worker falls, capture carbon emissions, expedite the building-permit approval process and closely track activity on construction sites


The Department of Buildings’ virtual construction innovation and safety industry conference took place on November 15-19. The free-to-attend and open-to-the-public online featured a series of educational online seminars for industry professionals, focusing on development, innovation, construction safety and the latest building regulations in New York City.

This educational event offered licensed design professionals the opportunity to learn more about important industry changes such as the new 2022 Construction Codes, building energy efficiency grades, the Major Projects Development Program, DOB's drone study and much more.


During daily multilingual virtual safety sessions, DOB experts demonstrated critical safety procedures and answered questions about staying safe on the job.

“There are exciting changes happening in our city’s development community, as the economy continues its steady recovery, and we enact consequential changes to improve the safety, efficiency, sustainability and resiliency of our City’s built environment. Our digital conferences, have proven to be a consequential link between DOB and the industry professionals, construction workers, and members of the public that we serve,” said Buildings Commissioner Melanie E. La Rocca.


Seminar and Session Topics

• 2022 Construction Codes

• Drone Study and Façade Safety

• Major Projects Development Program

• Building Energy Efficiency Grades

• Local Law 97 Updates

• Protecting Tenants in Occupied Buildings During Construction

• Construction Worker Safety Sessions

• 2021 Hack the Building Code Winners Presentations


“Hack the Building Code” Innovation Challenge Winners

Now in its second year, the “Hack the Building Code” Innovation Challenge was first launched in 2020 in partnership with the NYC Economic Development Corporation and the Urban Tech Hub @ Company Ventures. This challenge invites the public to submit ideas on the best ways to improve how we design, construct and maintain our city of over 1.1 million buildings.


This year’s winners include innovations to prevent construction worker falls, capture carbon emissions, expedite the building-permit approval process and closely track activity on construction sites.




SafeRise - A standardized, reusable, and lockable barrier that could prevent worker and material falls in elevator and other shaft ways. Constructed of steel, the SafeRise barricades are designed with safety features to restrict access to only pre-approved construction workers.


SiteSafety - Specific changes to the NYC Building Code to require horizontal safety netting to be installed every thirty feet in shaft way openings on active construction sites. The proposed change is intended to catch falling construction workers and prevent work site fatalities.


noya - New direct air capture technology to retrofit existing cooling towers to capture carbon emissions from building HVAC systems. With a compact design to fit on NYC rooftops, this innovative idea could accelerate the city’s transition to carbon neutrality.


Future Insight and AoRa Development - A digital platform that could expedite the building permit approval process via the use of building information modeling (BIM) drawings that could be checked automatically against existing building codes and development regulations.


Kwant.ai - An interactive network of smart badges, sensors, and mobile-phone alerts to track construction workers' locations. This technology could enable automated headcounts, store and display site safety/training certificates and other compliance documents, alert site personnel when falls or other safety hazards occur, and collect data for predictive analytics.

The five winners of this year’s innovation challenge will receive technical support and assistance from the Department in introducing their technology to NYC's design and construction industries. The Department does not offer contracts to the winners of the “Hack the Building Code” Innovation Challenge, and they will not receive monetary compensation for their participation in the challenge.