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Adopted Rules: Closed to Comments

Adopted Rules Content: 

Statement of Basis and Purpose of Rule

 

The purpose of these 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; 
  • expands the list of who can perform inspection tasks; 
  • 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; 
  • clarifies which façade elevations are required to have close-up inspections; 
  • 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; 
  • adds exceptions to the requirement for probes; 
  • requires photographic evidence of close-up inspections in progress to guard against false filings; 
  • increases civil penalties because the increased responsibilities for the building owners require corresponding increases in the penalties.  Comments received at the public hearing favored the Department’s taking additional enforcement actions against noncompliant owners by increasing penalties from what they were in the proposed rule.  In response, the penalty for failure to file is being increased from $2,000 to $5,000 and the monthly penalty for late filing is doubled; 
  • adds a new civil penalty 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.] 

 

Effective Date: 
Thu, 02/20/2020

Adopted Rules: Closed to Comments

Adopted Rules Content: 

 

 

Statement of Basis and Purpose

 

The following rule amendments are promulgated pursuant to the authority of the Commissioner of Buildings under Sections 643 and 1043(a) of the New York City Charter and Article 302 of Title 28 of the New York City Administrative Code. Article 302 requires inspection, maintenance, repair and reporting of the conditions of exterior walls (façades).

 

With these amendments to the rule regarding the periodic inspection of facades of buildings greater than 6 stories, the Department is addressing some administrative issues that are not covered in the current requirements. The amendments:

 

  • Delete the prohibition on designating the condition of an air conditioner as Safe with a Repair and Maintenance Program (SWARMP). These automatic "unsafe" designations were being applied to the entire building even where the only issue was a minor air conditioner defect. This deletion will allow air conditioner conditions to be designated as SWARMP.

 

  • Add a requirement that the Qualified Exterior Wall Inspector (QEWI) must inspect the structural soundness and connections of the balcony enclosures even if a report for cycle seven, which runs from February 21, 2010, to February 20, 2015, has been filed for the building. A recent balcony accident highlighted that many balcony railings are uninspected and may be unsafe. With this rule, the Department specifically requires all owners to check periodically the adequacy and structural integrity of all of their balcony railings. This new provision in no way affects the existing requirement to check periodically the adequacy of all aspects of the façade and its appurtenances.

 

  • Clarify that if the QEWI does not file a report within 60 days of a critical examination, a new examination is required. This will ensure the information on the report is recent and accurate.

 

  • Allow the Department to charge a new, separate filing fee that owners must pay to the Department's Facade Unit. If the Department has rejected a façade inspection report twice previously, the Department will review it completely upon the third resubmission. The fee covers the administrative cost of that third review of the report.

 

  • Fix some minor citation issues.

 

 

Effective Date: 
Fri, 05/17/2013

Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments

Agency:
Comment By: 
Thursday, January 10, 2013
Proposed Rules Content: 

 

 

STATEMENT OF BASIS AND PURPOSE

 

 

The following rule amendments are proposed pursuant to the authority of the Commissioner of Buildings under Sections 643 and 1043(a) of the New York City Charter and Article 302 of Title 28 of the New York City Administrative Code. Article 302 requires inspection, maintenance, repair and reporting of the conditions of exterior walls(fayades).

 

With these proposed amendments to the rule regarding the periodic inspection offacades of buildings 7 stories or higher, the Department is addressing some administrative issues that are not covered in the current requirements . The proposed amendments would do the following :

 

·       Delete the prohibition on designating the condition of an air conditioner as Safewith a Repair and Maintenance Program (SWARMP) . These automatic "unsafe"designations were being applied to the entire building even where the only issue was a minor air conditioner defect. This deletion will allow air conditioner conditions to be designated as SWARMP and repaired in the next cycle.

 

·        Add a requirement that the Qualified Exterior Wall Inspector (QEWI) must inspect the structural soundness and connections of the balcony enclosures even if a report for cycle seven, which runs from February 21, 2010 to February 20, 2015, has been filed for the building. A recent balcony accident highlighted that many balcony railings are uninspected and may be unsafe. With this rule, the Department specifically requires all owners to periodically check the adequacy and structural integrity of all of their balcony railings.

 

·       Clarify that if the QEWI does not file a report within 60 days of a criticalexamination, a new examination is required. This will ensure the information onthe report is recent and accurate.

 

·       Allow the Department to charge a new, separate filing fee that owners must pay to the Department's Facade Unit. If the Department has rejected a fayade inspection report twice previously, the Department will review it completely upon the third resubmission. The fee covers the administrative cost of that third review of the report.

 

·       Fix some minor citation issues.

 

 

 

Subject: 

Opportunity to comment on proposed amendments to rule 103-04 relating to facade inspections

Location: 
Department of Buildings
280 Broadway 6th Floor
New York, NY 10007
Contact: 

Timothy D. Lynch, P.E.
Executive Director
Forensic Engineering Unit
New York City Department of Buildings
280 Broadway, 4th floor
New York, NY 10007

Download Copy of Proposed Rule (.pdf):