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Understand NYC Regulatory Management for Local Laws
Facade Inspection Safety Program (FISP), formerly known as Local Law 11/98, requires an inspection of a building's exterior facades every five (5) years.
Changes for the 9th Cycle of its Façade Inspection & Safety Program (FISP) were adopted:
A FISP condition certificate must now be displayed in the lobby of subject buildings similar to current elevator certificate requirements.
Close-up inspections (scaffold drops, platform truck, etc.) must now be performed at intervals of 60’-0” (or less) for each façade facing a public right-of-way (public street, roadway, sidewalk, etc.)
All cavity wall masonry façades will now require probes at every close-up inspection location to verify and document wall ties and relieving angles. These probes are required starting in the 9th cycle and every ODD Cycle thereafter.
Photographic proof of individuals performing physical inspections will now be required.
The DOB has increased civil penalties for missed filings, late filings, and failure to correct unsafe items in an effort to encourage prompt restoration of issues.
All unsafe items will now require a recommended time frame to resolve conditions. More than 5 years will no longer be acceptable and time frames to repair will be strictly enforced.
The DOB is increasing the required qualifications to become a Qualified Exterior Wall Inspector (QEWI). PVE meets and exceeds these updated requirements and staff fully capable and qualified professionals available to assist with your compliance needs.
It’s recommended to have a licensed engineer retained 18 months prior to your sub-cycle inspection period.
The inspection covers the envelope of all building facades taller than six stories, including parapets; balconies; railings; fire escapes; and balcony and greenhouse enclosures. Hands-on facade inspections, which can be conducted by industrial rope access, motorized scaffolds, and boom lifts, are required along street and public-right-of-way facing facades. The remaining facades are usually inspected by binoculars.
The engineer documents the condition of the walls with notes and photographs; the written inspection report that is filed with the Department of Building (D0B) must include photographs reflecting the existing condition of the building.
There are three (3) options to describe the status of the building:
1)SAFE: A Safe building needs no further action.
2)SWARMP: A safe with a repair and maintenance program (SWARMP) building must be repaired in the time frame established in the filed report. Although, SWARMP buildings don’t pose an active risk to the public, they do have minor problems that, with time, could eventually become hazardous. The timeframe for repairs cannot be less than 12 months from the date of filing of the report at DOB.
3)UNSAFE: Unsafe buildings must be repaired within 30 days, although owners can request extensions from the DOB as long as adequate safety measures are in place to protect the public. As soon as an Unsafe condition is identified, the owner must install a sidewalk shed to protect the public where the condition occurs along a street facade and/or adequately block access along facades not facing a street.
Any Unsafe conditions observed must be immediately reported to the DOB via a Notification of Unsafe Conditions—known as a FISP3 form. Submission of a FISP3 triggers a violation, and a DOB representative often inspects the Unsafe conditions within 24 hours of notification.
Once a building has filed an Unsafe Report, the owner must either complete the required repairs within 30 days, or where 30 days is not a sufficient amount of time to complete the work (as is most often the case), submit to the DOB an extension request.
The DOB typically grants a 90-day extension, as long as adequate safety measures are in place and an appropriate repair timetable is established. Additional extensions can then be requested and granted every 90 days as needed, until the work is completed.
Buildings have overlapping two-year windows for filing, and are grouped according to the last digit of their block number:
For the 9th Cycle of inspections:
Block numbers ending in 4, 5, 6, or 9:
Reports must be filed between February 21, 2020 and February 21, 2022.
Block numbers ending in 0, 7, or 8:
Reports must be filed between February 21, 2021 and February 21, 2023.
Block numbers ending in 1, 2, or 3:
Reports must be filed between February 21, 2022 and February 21, 2024.
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