Community Alerts

Enhancements for Façade Inspection Program

Feb 5, 2020
a sidewalk shed stands around a construction site downtown
The New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) has published a new amended rule governing exterior wall inspections and repairs, strengthening the existing Façade Inspection & Safety Program (FISP). The rules will be in effect on February 20, 2020. For details of this rule change, see DOB's Press Release from late DecemberYou can read the final rule in the City Record here.
Known as "Local Law 11" inspections, this program requires all owners of buildings over six stories tall to hire licensed professionals to perform a comprehensive façade inspection every five years, and submit these FISP reports for DOB review. Among other changes in the new amended rule, FISP reports will now require more up-close, hands-on inspections, as well as enhanced experience requirements for privately contracted Qualified Exterior Wall Inspectors (QEWI), increased penalties for property owners who fail to make repairs to unsafe façade conditions, and a new requirement for landlords to post information on the status of the façade in the lobby of the building.
The final rule, published in The City Record, is part of a slate of recent actions DOB has taken to increase façade safety in New York City, following a December 2019 fatal façade collapse that occurred in Midtown. DOB has also, in response, doubled the existing dedicated façade inspection team with the addition of 12 new staff to the unit. For more information, visit DOB's website and read the recent Press Release
In light of these changes, property owners are already being asked by the City to erect sidewalk sheds for repairs and inspections. Recently, a modern scaffolding supplier company called Urban Umbrella won the City's urbanSHED Design Competition. With this in mind, Urban Umbrella's designs are a great option for property owners looking for more attractive scaffolding and sidewalk shed designs (see below). 
renderings of fancy white scaffolding on a sidewalk
Photo credit: DOB