Local Law 11/
Facade Inspection & Safety Program (FISP)
As experts in façade restoration and repair, KTA is also heavily involved in Local Law 11/FISP work. Please review the following information to learn more about the FISP program.
What is Local Law 11/FISP?
New York City Local Law 11 requires a Façade Inspection & Safety Program (FISP) for the protection and safety of the public from unmaintained buildings.
The law and inspection program resulted from the tragic death of Grace Gold in 1979, when a piece of masonry killed Grace at Columbia University.
Who Qualifies for FISP?
The FISP program requires NYC buildings that are higher than six (6) stories to have their exterior facades, balconies, and other appurtenances inspected every five (5) years by a Qualified Exterior Wall Inspector (QEWI).
How Does FISP Work?
Owners of buildings above six stories must register their building with the Department of Building’s (DOB) façade unit. Registration and reporting can be completed on DOB’s online portal, DOB Now: Safety.
2. Note Your FISP Deadlines
FISP inspections are required every five years by a Qualified Exterior Wall Inspect, which includes façade architects and engineers. The deadlines of your FISP inspection and report are based on the last digit of your building’s block number (to figure out your block and lot number, search your building’s address on the DOB’s website under “Building Information” click here.)
Below are the Cycle 8 and Cycle 9 FISP Deadlines:
3. Hire a QEWI
Hire a QEWI, like Kamen Tall Architects, to inspect your building and submit the FISP report with the DOB. The QEWI will provide you with a proposal for the work.
The QEWI will need your FISP report from the previous cycle before inspecting the building for the new cycle.
Access will be required for a QEWI to perform the FISP inspection. FISP inspections require 1-2 hands-on inspections on street-facing facades and will need inspection at facades facing areas residents or the public access, such as courtyards. Sometimes inspections can be done by existing fire escapes, however oftentimes additional access will be required. The owner will need to hire a contractor to provide scaffolding for the inspection. The QEWI can assist the owner with getting a scaffolding proposal from a contractor. An alternative for some buildings is utilize rope access instead of scaffolding.
5. FISP Reporting
After the inspection, the QEWI is to submit a report on the DOB Now: Safety portal. The QEWI will submit photos, supporting documents, and an analysis of the building based on the inspection. Before the QEWI files the report, the Owner will need to log onto the portal to submit their signature and pay a filing fee.
6. FISP Classifications
The QEWI will need to file the building as Safe, SWARMP, or Unsafe.
Safe: No problems and in good condition; or
Safe With a Repair and Maintenance Program (SWARMP): Safe, but requires repair/maintenance within the next five years; or
Unsafe: Problems/defects threaten public safety
If the building is Safe, the Owner is done with the program until the next FISP Cycle in five years.
If the building is SWARMP, the Owner needs to repair the areas the QEWI identified as SWARMP within the next five years. These repairs need to be completed before the next FISP Cycle is filed, or the building will be considered Unsafe.
If the building is Unsafe, the Owner must install a sidewalk shed or protection immediately. Once the DOB receives an Unsafe report, the DOB inspector will visit a building and give the building a violation. Additional violations will be given for unsafe buildings not protected by a sidewalk shed.
The unsafe conditions are required to be repaired within 90 days of the report. After the unsafe conditions are repaired, a revised report must be submitted within two weeks after the repair. If the unsafe conditions are not repaired within 90 days, the QEWI must submit extensions until the repairs are made.
Click here to learn more about the FISP program.