To keep buildings safe, owners of properties higher than six stories must have exterior walls and appurtenances, such as balconies, inspected every five (5) years – and they must file a technical façade report with the Department. See NYC Construction Codes §28-302.1 and RCNY §103-04.
Property owners must repair dangerous conditions within 90 days of filing a technical report. Once the work is finished, owners must file an amended report within two weeks.
All façade compliance filings must be submitted in DOB NOW: Safety. In DOB NOW: Safety you can:
- Submit façade compliance filings and report unsafe façade activity
- View and search information related to your façade filings
- View the status of a façade filing
- Receive emails at milestones throughout the filing process
Register with eFiling, today!
Log into DOB NOW: Safety
Inspection & Report Deadlines
Façade report and maintenance/repair deadlines are divided into cycles. 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.
||Last Digit of
||4, 5, 6, or 9
||February 21, 2015 – February 21, 2017
||0, 7, or 8
||February 21, 2016 – February 21, 2018
||1, 2, or 3
||February 21, 2017 – February 21, 2019
The required façade inspections are called critical examinations and may only be performed by a Qualified Exterior Wall Inspector (QEWI). QEWIs are New York State licensed Professional Engineers (PE) or New York State Registered Architects (RA). After performing an inspection, the QEWI must file an electronic technical report through DOB NOW: Safety
indicating the façade’s condition and classifying the building with one of three ways:
- Safe: No problems and in good condition; or
- Safe With a Repair and Maintenance Program (SWARMP): Safe, but requires repair/maintenance; or
- Unsafe: Problems/defects threaten public safety.
With an Unsafe classification, the owner must
immediately install protection, such as a sidewalk shed, construction fence, etc.
- The technical report must be submitted by a Qualified Exterior Wall Inspector (QEWI) through, DOB NOW: Safety.
- Owners are subject to Environmental Control Board violations and penalties if they don’t meet the deadline or fail to make timely repairs.
- Owners with a building filed as Unsafe may request an extension if the repairs cannot be completed and an amended report cannot be filed within 44 days from the original filing date.
- The condition of window air conditioner units may be classified as SWARMP.
- SWARMP filings must include a statement that ‘There are no unsafe conditions.’
- If the QEWI believes the condition will deteriorate and become hazardous in less than 12 months, then the façade report must be filed as Unsafe.
- If all necessary repairs aren’t completed before the next cycle, file the next report as Unsafe.
General Façade Report Reminders
- Buildings with ongoing construction may not be designated as Safe.
- Provide color photos and a location diagram.
- Include a statement on water-tightness.
- Submit a certification that repairs identified in the prior cycle have been finished.
- Cite the cause and description of the deterioration.
- Include the QEWI’s projection of the month and year when the defects will become hazardous and cause the façade to be classified as Unsafe.
- Cite which repairs will need a Department-issued work permit.
- Provide details about appurtenances.