What is the Façade Inspection Safety Program (FISP)?
FISP, formerly known as Local Law 11, is a program that was put in place by the DOB that requires owners of buildings six stories or more to have the building's exterior examined by a professional engineer or architect once every five years. The main objective is to ensure that building facades are maintained appropriately to reduce the risk of any falling debris-hazard to the public. Facade report and maintenance/repair deadlines are divided into cycles for the convenience of building owners when hiring qualified professionals and contractors. The new cycle began in February, 2020 and continues as listed in the chart below.
After the inspection, an FISP report must be filed with the DOB. The reports must follow the sequence and labeling outlined in 1 RCNY§103-04. Through this report, buildings are classified as Safe, Unsafe, or Safe with a Repair and Maintenance Program (SWARMP). Further details of the classifications are listed below:
- Safe is defined as a condition of a building wall that does not require any maintenance to sustain the structural integrity of the exterior of the building and that it will not become unsafe during the next five years.
- Safe with a Repair and Maintenance Program (SWARMP) is defined as a condition of a building wall that is safe at the time of inspection, but requires repair or maintenance during the next five years in order to prevent its deterioration into an unsafe condition during that five year period. For any SWARMP condition, a Qualified Exterior Wall Inspector (QEWI) is to provide a deadline for correction that is to be listed in the façade report.
- An unsafe condition is defined as a condition of a building that is hazardous to persons or property and requires prompt repair. This must be repaired within 90 days. Additionally, any condition that was reported as SWARMP in a previous cycle that has not been corrected at the time of the inspection is to be reported in the Critical Examination Report filed with DOB.
SWARMP CONDITIONS CONTINUED
For all SWARMP conditions, it is the owner’s responsibility to ensure the conditions are corrected by the next façade report filing cycle. The DOB will issue ECB violations if this has not been repaired in time. As recently announced by DOB and effective February 21, 2020, failure to correct these conditions will also result in a civil penalty of $2,000 and require that the building be listed as unsafe. If an owner receives a violation in error, it can be challenged with sufficient proof and completion of a Facades Waiver of Civil Penalties Form sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.