Services / Inspections / New York Façades
why WAS THE façade Inspection Safety Program (FISP) / New York Local Law 11 PUT IN PLACE?
The New York City Department of Buildings’ (NYCDOB) Façade Inspection Safety Program (FISP) and its predecessor, Local Law 10, were put in place to assure that local building façades were structurally sound and to reduce the risk of a falling-debris hazard to the pedestrians around the perimeter of the structure.
What buildings are affected?
Who can perform these inspections?
Required façade inspections and maintenance shall be performed by a Qualified Exterior Wall Inspector (QEWI). This individual must be a licensed New York architect or professional engineer, and have their qualifications pre-approved by the New York City Department of Buildings in order to file a report.
What does this inspection entail?
The examination consists of visual observations of all exterior walls, with an additional arms-length, close-up examination of the entire height the street-facing façade(s). This includes all balconies, railings, fire escape stairs, and any other appurtenances on the building’s façades. The close-up examination can be performed from a suspended scaffold, house rig, boom lift, fire escape, or other viable means of access to a continuous full-height portion of the street-facing façade from grade to roof level.
What does the report entail?
The resulting report is a summary of the inspection and is formatted to meet all the required documentation laid out in the guidelines. Based on the findings of the examination, the QEWI’s Critical Examination report classifies a building’s façades into one of three categories: “SAFE”, “SAFE WITH REPAIR AND MAINTENANCE (SWARMP)”, or “UNSAFE”.
If an UNSAFE condition is observed during the inspection, the QEWI must immediately notify both the building owner and the NYCDOB via an FISP-3 (Notification of Unsafe Conditions) Form. The owner is then responsible for putting in place safety measures (such as a sidewalk shed) to protect the public from potential hazards.
UNSAFE conditions are expected to be repaired within 30 days unless the building owner files for an extension (up to 90 days). This is granted by the NYCDOB if the owner requires additional time to make the repairs or if the owner can show that he-she is making a real effort to address the conditions. Requests for extensions of time are made using FISP-1 (Initial Extension of Time Request) and FISP-2 (Additional Extension of Time Request) Forms.
If an UNSAFE report is filed, the NYCDOB will typically send an inspector to verify the extent of the UNSAFE conditions and to confirm that adequate safety measures to protect the public have ben put in place. The inspector will also follow the progress of the repairs being made address the condition(s). Even if the measures are in-place and the work is progressing, the inspector may still issue a NYCDOB violation for “failure to maintain” or may issue more severe penalties if work is not progressing as stated.
when IS MY REPORT DUE?
To make things easier, the façade report and maintenance/repair deadlines are divided into cycles. A building’s sub-cycle is arbitrarily assigned by the last digit of the its NYCDOB Block Number. For example, Cycle 8 began February 21, 2015, and runs through February 21, 2020. The Department has added sub-cycles to make it easier for owners to hire qualified professionals and contractors. The last digit of a building’s block number determines if the property falls into sub-cycle A, B, or C.
All FISP reports must be prepared and filed electronically on-line via the DOB NOW Safety portal (www.nyc.gov/dobnow). Mailed or emailed reports will not be accepted. Additionally, the DOB NOW system requires that both the QEWI and Building Owner are registered in advance with NYCDOB. The close-up examination must be performed within one year of filling the report, and the visual examination within 60 days of filing the report.
Initial FISP Filing for New Building
For a new building greater than six stories or for alterations of an existing building that involves an increase in height greater than six stories, an initial Critical Examination Report must be filed in the next applicable FISP Cycle that occurs on the fifth anniversary of the first Temporary Certificate of Occupancy (TCO). If the fifth anniversary occurs during that building’s applicable sub-cycle filing window, the building must file at that time.
New Building Filing Guidlines
We Can Help!
PVE has extensive experience in helping building owners with the FISP process. Our services consist of the FISP critical examination itself, as well as assistance with all required follow-up work, including preparing documents for necessary repairs, assisting in bidding and negotiation process with qualified contractors, and performing construction phase services.
To arrange for a FISP examination, or if you have any questions regarding the process, contact our office on 646-602-4999 or email firstname.lastname@example.org