Façade & Local Law

Façade Safety and Inspection Program (FISP)

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. The current Façade Rule was last revised on November 11, 2021. See FAQs for information on 1RCNY 101-07 and 1RCNY 103-04.

Property owners must repair unsafe conditions within 90 days of filing a technical report. Once all unsafe conditions have been corrected, 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 conditions
  • 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

Login to 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. See Cycle 9 Sub-Cycle Diagram.

Façade Classifications

The required façade inspections are called critical examinations and may only be performed by a Qualified Exterior Wall Inspector (QEWI). Prospective QEWIs must be New York State licensed Professional Engineers (PE) or New York State Registered Architects (RA) in good standing with the New York State Education Department and New York City Department of Buildings. They must meet the qualification requirements outlined in 1 RCNY 101-07, and be approved to file façade compliance reports by the Department.. 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. A condition of a building wall, any appurtenances thereto or any part thereof not requiring repair or maintenance to sustain the structural integrity of the exterior of the building and that will not become unsafe during the next five years.

  • Safe with a repair and maintenance program (SWARMP). A condition of a building wall, any appurtenances thereto or any part thereof that is safe at the time of inspection, but requires repairs or maintenance during the next five years, but not less than one year, in order to prevent its deterioration into an unsafe condition during that five-year period.

  • Unsafe. A condition of a building wall, any appurtenances thereto, or any part thereof that is hazardous to persons or property and requires repair within one (1) year of completion of critical examinations. In addition, any condition that was reported as SWARMP in a previous report and that is not corrected at the time of the current inspection must be reported as an unsafe condition.

With an Unsafe classification, the QEWI must indicate the type and location of public protection, if required. The owner must immediately install protection, such as a sidewalk shed, construction fence, etc.

General Information

  • The technical report must be submitted by a Qualified Exterior Wall Inspector (QEWI) through, DOB NOW: Safety.
  • Owners are subject to Environmental Control Board violations and penalties if they don’t meet the deadline or fail to make timely repairs.
  • Owners with a building filed as Unsafe must request an extension if the repairs cannot be completed and an amended report cannot be filed within 104 days from the original filing date.
  • Find a DOB-approved QEWI

General Façade Report Reminders

  • Buildings with ongoing construction may not be designated as Safe.
  • Provide color photos and mapping locating each observed condition.
  • Include a statement on water-tightness.
  • Submit a certification that repairs identified in the prior cycle have been finished.
  • Cite the cause and description of the deterioration.
  • Include the QEWI’s projection of the month and year when the defects will become hazardous and cause the façade to be classified as Unsafe.
  • Cite which repairs will need a Department-issued work permit.
  • Provide details about appurtenances. Acceptable forms of public protective measures:
    • Sidewalk shed
    • Fence
    • Structural Netting

All require Department of Building permits.


More Information

Additional Resources