Façade Rules nyc (NYC Construction Codes §28-302.1 and RCNY §103-04.)

 Local Law 11 of 1998 Facade, retaining wall inspections-NYC Construction Codes §28-302.1 and RCNY §103-04

Façade Safety Report


In order to ensure the safety and structural stability of New York City buildings, owners must comply with Local Law 11 of 1998 which requires inspections of building exterior walls and appurtenances of buildings which are greater than six stories in height. General information on façades as well as detailed instructions on façade compliance filings are available on the DOB Façades 


UPDATE: New Façade Rule in effect February 20, 2020. See FAQs for information on 1RCNY 101-07 and 1RCNY 103-04.

To keep buildings safe, owners of properties higher than six stories must have exterior walls and appurtenances inspected every five (5) years – and they must file a technical façade report with the Department. See NYC Construction Codes §28-302.1 and RCNY §103-04.

Property owners must repair dangerous conditions within 90 days of filing a technical report. Once the work is finished, owners must file an amended report within two weeks.

All façade compliance filings must be submitted in DOB NOW: Safety. In DOB NOW: Safety you can:

  • Submit façade compliance filings and report unsafe façade activity
  • Make payments
  • View and search information related to your façade filings
  • Upload documents
  • View the status of a façade filing
  • Receive emails at milestones throughout the filing process

Log into DOB NOW: Safety

Inspection & Report Deadlines

Façade report and maintenance/repair deadlines are divided into cycles. The Department has added sub-cycles to make it easier for owners to hire qualified professionals and contractors. The last digit of a building’s block number determines if the property falls into sub-cycle A, B, or C.


Façade Classifications

The required façade inspections are called critical examinations and may only be performed by a Qualified Exterior Wall Inspector (QEWI). QEWIs are New York State licensed Professional Engineers (PE) or New York State Registered Architects (RA). After performing an inspection, the QEWI must file an electronic technical report through DOB NOW: Safety indicating the façade’s condition and classifying the building with one of three ways:

Safe: No problems and in good condition; or

Safe With a Repair and Maintenance Program (SWARMP): Safe, but requires repair/maintenance; or

Unsafe: Problems/defects threaten public safety.

With an Unsafe classification, the owner must immediately install protection, such as a sidewalk shed, construction fence, etc.


Local Law 11 of 1998 (Facade, retaining wall inspections)-due date February 21: Compliance deadline for owners of all buildings over six stories to inspect the exterior walls and file a facade inspection report. Cycle 9 begin February 21, 2021 and runs through February 21, 2025. Sub-cycle 9A – Building block ending in 4, 5, 6 and 9 must file between February 21, 2020 through February 21, 2022.

Facade Inspection Safety Program (FISP/Local Law 11/98) Cycle 8B

Building manager or board member managing a New York City building, you might know the drill already. But, in case you don't, here's everything you need to know about the Facade Inspection Safety Program and how to prepare for it.

Commonly known as Local Law 11/1998, this program requires owners of buildings greater than six stories to have their buildings' exterior walls and appurtenances inspected once every five years and file a technical report to the Department of Buildings (DOB). This report must be prepared and submitted by a licensed architect or engineer, also known as QEWI (Qualified Exterior Wall Inspector).


§28-302.1 General

A building's exterior walls and appurtenances thereof shall be maintained in a safe condition. All buildings greater than six stories shall comply with the maintenance requirement of this article.

Exception: The requirements imposed by this article shall not apply to any part of an exterior wall that is less than 12 inches (305 mm) from the exterior wall of an adjacent building.

§28-302.2 Inspection Requirements

A critical examination of a building's exterior walls and appurtenances thereof shall be conducted at periodic intervals as set forth by rule of the commissioner, but such examination shall be conducted at least once every five years. No later than January 1, 2009 the commissioner shall by rule establish staggered inspection cycles for buildings required to comply with this section. The initial examination for a new building shall be conducted in the fifth year following the erection or installation of any exterior wall and/or appurtenances as evidenced by the issuance date of a temporary or final certificate of occupancy or as otherwise prescribed by rule.

  1. Such examination shall be conducted on behalf of the building owner by or under the direct supervision of a registered design professional with appropriate qualifications as prescribed by the department.
  2. Such examination shall include a complete review of the most recently prepared report and an inspection.
  3. Such examination shall be conducted in accordance with rules promulgated by the commissioner.

§28-302.3 Immediate Notice of Unsafe Condition

Whenever a registered design professional learns of an unsafe condition through a critical examination of a building's exterior walls and appurtenances thereof, such person shall notify the owner and the department immediately in writing of such condition.

§28-302.4 Report of Critical Examination

The registered design professional shall submit a written report to the commissioner within 60 days of completing the critical examination, but not more than five years following submission of the preceding report of critical examination, certifying the results of such critical examination as either safe, unsafe or safe with a repair and maintenance program. The report shall clearly document the condition of the exterior walls and appurtenances thereof and shall include a record of all significant deterioration, unsafe conditions and movement observed as well as a statement concerning the watertightness of the exterior surfaces. Such report must be professionally certified by such registered design professional.

§28-302.5 Repair of Exterior Walls, Unsafe Condition

Upon the notification to the department of an unsafe condition, the owner, the owner's agent or the person in charge shall immediately commence such repairs, reinforcements or other measures as may be required to secure public safety and to make the building's exterior walls or appurtenances thereof conform to the provisions of this code.

  1. All unsafe conditions shall be corrected within 90 days of filing the critical examination report.
  2. The registered design professional shall reinspect the premises and file an amended report within two weeks after the repairs have been completed certifying that the unsafe conditions of the building have been corrected.
  3. The commissioner may grant an extension of time of up to 90 days to complete the repairs required to correct an unsafe condition upon receipt and review of an initial extension application submitted by the registered design professional together with such additional documentation as may be prescribed by rule.
  4. The commissioner may grant further extensions of time to complete the repairs required to remove an unsafe condition upon receipt and review of an application for a further extension submitted by the registered design professional together with such further documentation as may be prescribed by rule.

§28-302.6 Safe Condition With a Repair and Maintenance Program

The registered design professional shall not file a report of a safe condition with a repair and maintenance program for the same building for two consecutive filing periods unless the second such report is accompanied by his or her professional certification attesting to the correction of all conditions identified in the prior report as requiring repair.


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For more information about what is required, see the laws that are referenced and the rules applicable to your city and state. This page is for informational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice, professional advice or a statement of law. You may wish to consult with an attorney.