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Compliance With Local Law 11 Cycle 8

By: Scott Henson

Henson Architecture can help you come into compliance with Local Law 11, Cycle 8, as well as complete any Cycle 7 repairs.

New laws are often enacted after there has been some tragedy. Local Law 10, later 11, is no exception.

In 1980, a piece of masonry fell from a building, and a pedestrian was killed. To help prevent this from happening again, The New York City Council amended the building code. Building exteriors had to be inspected by a properly licensed engineer or architect. This was called the Local Law 10 of 1980.

The Local Law 10 of 1980 was amended and became the Local Law 11 of 1998. It is also called “FISP,” the Facade Inspection Safety Program.  It represents the nation’s oldest enforced facade inspection law, with over 12,500 buildings under its jurisdiction.

There have been different inspection cycles under this law. Cycles 1 through 7 ran from the law’s inception until February 2013. Cycle 8 began on February 21, 2015, and will run until February 21, 2019.

These rules apply to buildings that are higher than six stories in height. If there is a question about whether inspection and reporting are applicable, there is a website where the current FISP status can be checked. That website is here. A licensed inspector, a Qualified Exterior Wall Inspector (QEWI), must contain the exterior walls and appurtenances. There is a two-year window within which this inspection must be done, and this window cycles every five years. All exterior walls must be examined.

A Critical Report must be filed with the Department of Buildings (DOB). The classifications in the resultant report are Safe, Unsafe, or Safe with a Repair and Maintenance Program (SWARMP).

  • Safe applies to a building that will not become unsafe within the next five years
  • Unsafe is a condition of a building wall, any appurtenances to that, or any part thereof, that is hazardous to persons or property and requires prompt repair.” An unsafe condition must be corrected within 30 days. Extensions are permitted if certain conditions are met.
  • SWARMP is safe during inspection but will need repair or maintenance within the next five years.

There are filing fees that apply to these reports.

When it comes to Cycle 8, there have been some changes that affect report filings.

  1. Before Cycle 8, if an air conditioner was considered unsafe, that designation applied to the whole building. Now, an unsafe air conditioner is permitted a SWARMP designation.
  2. Reports must be filed within 60 days of completion, or a new examination is required.  This keeps reporting up-to-date and accurate.
  3. The third change involves fees. If a report has been rejected twice, a new fee is charged to cover the cost of the third report review.

If you are still finishing taking care of business from Cycle 7, it is time to finish that now. The Sub-Cycle 8A runs from February 21, 2015 to February 21, 2017.  If your building comes up for inspection, and you still have not completed a Cycle 7 SWARMP, you can see the potential problem. Cycle 7 repairs need to be completed now.

Contact us so we can help you comply with Local Law 11, Cycle 8, and complete any Cycle 7 repairs.

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