Amendment of Rules Governing Exterior Wall Inspections and Repairs

Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments (View Public Comments Received:21)

Comment By: 
Monday, December 30, 2019


Statement of Basis and Purpose of Rule


The purpose of these proposed rule amendments is to clarify the qualifications and responsibilities of qualified exterior wall inspectors, as well as the requirements for exterior wall inspections and repairs.  Recent inspections have revealed significant deficiencies in façade compliance reporting by registered design professionals; therefore, the Department is enhancing the qualified exterior wall inspector qualifications, inspection requirements and civil penalties against owners to ensure public safety.


The rule:

  • adds new requirements regarding the experience and responsibilities of the Qualified Exterior Wall Inspector (QEWI) to ensure inspectors have appropriate knowledge of exterior walls and how to conduct inspections of those walls;
  • adds a new requirement that owners post and maintain the building facade status in the lobby in a manner similar to elevator certificates, to alert the building occupants of the exterior wall status;
  • adds a new requirement for close-up inspections to be performed at intervals of not more than 60’-0” fronting each public right-of-way in order to allow for more thorough inspections of the exterior wall;
  • adds a new requirement that the QEWI probes whether ties are present and in good condition at cavity wall buildings in every odd cycle because there have been recent failures of cavity walls due to missing or deficient ties;
  • requires photographic evidence of close-up inspections in progress to guard against false filings;
  • increases civil penalties and adds a new one for failure to correct “safe with a repair and maintenance program” (SWARMP) conditions to compel owners to maintain exterior walls in a safe condition;
  • modifies the criteria for waiving civil penalties; and
  • makes plain language revisions throughout. 

The Department of Buildings’ authority for this rule is found in sections 643 and 1043 of the New York City Charter and Article 302 of Title 28 of the New York City Administrative Code.


New material is underlined.

[Deleted material is in brackets.]



Public Hearing
Public Hearing Date: 
Monday, December 30, 2019 - 10:00am

No contact

Department of Buildings
280 Broadway, 4th floor Reade Street conference room
New York, NY 10007