Steel Decks with IPE Wood decking are becoming popular in all neighborhoods in NYC.
On July 1st, 2008 the NYC fire department adopted a new fire code based on the model code of the International Fire Code (IFC). One of purposes of the new code is to protect neighboring houses from catching on fire when another is burning. When applying for a new permit to renovate the fire department in conjunction with the NYC Building Department is requiring sprinkler systems and non combustible materials for decks in some instances depending on the distance between neighboring houses.
IPE hardwood also known as Ironwood is naturally resistant to fire, moisture, insects and can be used in ground contact without preservatives or additional treatments. It is rated in the same class as steel and concrete.
The initial capital investment will be greater to build with steel and IPE wood and in the long run your cost per year will decrease given that you will probably never have to replace the deck or decking.