The Department of Buildings is monitoring the impact of the COVID-19 state of emergency on the recently announced amnesty period and the FISP Cycle 9 requirements. Updates will be provided as needed and as sub-cycle deadlines approach.
As stated in the COVID-19 FAQs, the repair of unsafe facades is considered essential construction and may proceed. Additionally, there are no restrictions on FISP inspections or the installation of suspended scaffolding or other means of access in order to conduct the FISP inspections.
UPDATE: New Façade Rule in effect February 20, 2020. See FAQs for information on 1RCNY 101-07 and 1RCNY 103-04.
To keep buildings safe, owners of properties higher than six stories must have exterior walls and appurtenances 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
Log into DOB NOW: Safety
Inspection & Report Deadlines
Façade report and maintenance/repair deadlines are divided into cycles. 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.
Cycle 9 Sub-Cycle Diagram
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 must request an extension if the repairs cannot be completed and an amended report cannot be filed within 104 days from the original filing date.
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.