The New York City Department of Buildings requires that owners of buildings greater than 6 stories must have their buildings’ exterior walls and appurtenances inspected once every 5 years and file a technical report to the Department of Buildings.
The current Inspection Cycle 8 runs from February 21, 2015 to February 21, 2020.
The last digit of the building’s block number determines the sub-cycles in which the report must be filed.
Cycle 8 is staggered into 3 sub-cycles:
|Sub-cycle||Last Digit of Block Number||Filing Period|
|A||4, 5, 6, or 9||2/21/2015 – 2/21/2017|
|B||0, 7, or 8||2/21/2016 – 2/21/2018|
|C||1, 2, or 3||2/21/2017 – 2/21/2019|
The inspection (critical examination) must be performed by a Qualified Exterior Wall Inspector (QEWI) - a New York State licensed architect or engineer.
The status of the façade can be classified in three ways:
Safe– The façade has no problems and is in good condition
Safe With a Repair and Maintenance Program
Unsafe– The façade has problems/defects that pose a threat to public safety
If unsafe conditions are found, owners must file the report as 'Unsafe' and immediately install public safety measures, such as a sidewalk shed, construction fence, etc.
Unsafe conditions must be corrected within 30 days from the date of filing the report and an amended report filed with the Department within 15 days of completing the repairs. In total, repairs must be corrected and an amended report filed within 45 days of the initial filing.
If the conditions will take longer than 30 days to repair, the QEWI may submit an extension of time request and the DOB may grant an extension of up to 90 days, provided that the premises have been secured by the installation of a shed, fence, etc. Further extensions will only be considered with evidence of unforeseen circumstances or if the nature of the repairs require more than 90 days. There is a filing fee for each extension request, and extensions will need to be renewed until the Unsafe conditions are corrected.
If a building owner files a report as Unsafe and fails to correct the conditions and file an amended report within the allotted time (and does not obtain an extension), the building owner is subject to a monthly penalty for every month the unsafe conditions are not corrected.
Penalties apply after the filing period ends.
Link: Inspection Cycle & Filing Period
|Late Filing (intial report)||$250 per month|
|Failure to File (initial report)||$1,000 per year|
|Failure to correct unsafe conditions||$1,000 per month|
For new construction above 6 stories, the owner has 5 years from the date that a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy (TCO) has been issued to file the first FISP initial report. This means that any new building that received its TCO between February 21, 2010 - February 20, 2014 may need to file its first report during Cycle 8, depending on the last digit of the tax lot.
During Cycle 7, the Department of Buildings issued a new requirement that balcony railings and guards must be inspected for structural stability and code compliance, if not already included in the initial Cycle 7 inspection and report.
In Cycle 8, balcony railings and guards will be incorporated into the FISP inspection and technical report.
Window-mount air conditioning units will be included in the FISP inspection performed by the QEWI, and will therefore be classified as Safe or Unsafe. The Department of Buildings issues guidelines for installing window-mount air conditioning units, including:
Support the unit from underneath with metal brackets or firmly fasten it from inside with angles - any supporting hardware should be structurally fastened to the building (not the window frames) and must be strong enough for the weight of the AC unit.
Install the AC unit so it remains in place when the window is opened, or affix it so that the window cannot be opened accidentally.
Do not use loose objects, such as wood blocking, bricks, telephone books, or gypsum board to support the leveling of an AC unit.
Beginning September 12th, 2016, the New York City Department of Buildings (NYC DOB) will require building owners, managers, and design professionals to use the new online portal, DOB NOW: Safety, to submit compliance filings for the Facade Inspection Safety Program (FISP), more commonly known as Local Law 11.
With this new requirement, Owners, Licensees, Filing Representatives, Registered Architects, and Professional Engineers must register in e-Filing to access DOB NOW and submit facade compliance filings.
The key change is that Owners and/or Owners’ Representatives, now must sign reports electronically, and to do so MUST be registered in e-Filing.
Effective 31 August 2016, facade compliance filings or extension requests, for Cycle 6 and beyond, will no longer be accepted in person and will no longer be available for review in the Building Information Systems (BIS).
To learn more about DOB NOW: Safety, sign up to attend an information session, or visit the DOB NOW: Safety Resource Page for helpful links and instructions.
To view FISP (Local Law 11) Projects click here.
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