Services / Inspections / San Francisco Façades

What buildings are affected?

Buildings that are five or more stories and that are of construction Type I, II, II, or IV are required to have façade inspection and maintenance undertaken in accordance with San Francisco Existing building code Chapters 4E, 4, and Administrative Bulletin 110 (AB-110)

Who can perform these inspections?

Required façade inspections and maintenance shall be performed by, or under the direct supervision of, a qualified professional whom is a licensed California architect or professional engineer.

If the building is designated as a historic resource by San Francisco, the qualified professional must have expertise in the structural inspection and maintenance of historic structures, which is subject to the approval of the Director at the Department of Building Inspection (SF DBI). Expertise shall consist of documented history of successful projects and/or detailed investigations of historic structures consistent with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties.

What does this inspection entail?

The inspection process entails the inspector to perform both up-close “hands on” inspections via scaffolding, bucket trucks, or other means of façade access to meet the minimum requirements permitted in ASTM EE2270-14, as well as inspections from all other available vantage points. The number of up-close “hands on” inspections required is determined by building age, material, and noted conditions while on site.

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 AB-110. The overall report conclusion is classified into three different tiers, granted no UNSAFE conditions are found. These reports also provide recommendations of remedial action and suggested timelines.

UNSAFE status – this is not an accepted report conclusion, and if an UNSAFE condition is found on the building, immediate notification must be given to SF DBI, and mitigation actions are required to begin immediately.

Accepted report conclusions:

  1. Repair/Stabilization following Temporary Mitigation of UNSAFE Conditions: A building in this category has exhibited deterioration which was deemed UNSAFE but has undergone actions to mitigate and repair the UNSAFE conditions. There may still be other items requiring maintenance, and recommendations/timelines for all items, including history of mitigations, must be provided within the report.

  2. Requires Repair, Stabilization and Maintenance: A building in this category exhibits deterioration that is not currently UNSAFE, but if not repaired or addressed within the recommended timeline will become UNSAFE prior to the next inspection.

  3. Ordinary Maintenance: A building in this category shows no major deterioration but will still require the recommended standard maintenance and care to ensure its integrity.

When is my Report Due?

Building Construction Date *
Deadline for Inspection and Report Submission
Prior to 1910
December 31, 2021
Between 1910 and 1925
December 31, 2023
Between 1926 and 1970
December 31, 2025
After 1970
December 31, 2027

* The building construction date refers to the date the Department issued the Certificate of Completion for the original building or other Department documentation showing the date of completion of the original construction, regardless of the dates of any additions or alterations.

Reports can be turned in any time, but the initial report must be filed prior to the above deadline based upon the building’s original construction date, which refers to the original Certificate of Completion issued by the city. Reports are then required to be filed on a minimum 10 year interval thereafter.

We Can Help!

PVE has had extensive experience in helping assure that owners remain in compliance with the San Francisco façade safety requirements. Our services consist of the 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 an examination, or if you have any questions regarding the process, contact our office at 628-243-6445 or email

Additional Information:

Click here to learn more about the San Francisco Department of Building Inspection.

Click here for more information about San Francisco Ordinance #67-16.

Click here to learn more about ASTM E2270.

Click here to view the San Francisco City Website with Ordinance.