What is FISP?

FISP is the New York City’s “Façade Inspection Safety Program” (FISP) formerly known as Local Law 11 of 1998. Pursuant to FISP, Owners of buildings greater than 6 stories in height must have their buildings’ exterior walls and appurtenances inspected once every 5 years and must file a technical report that includes the facade inspection findings with the NYC Department of Buildings (DOB)

When and why was FISP initially enacted?

The New York City’s “Façade Inspection Safety Program” (FISP) began in 1980 and was known as Local Law 10 of 1980. Local Law 10/80 required all street facing facades (including 25 feet of adjacent side walls) of all buildings greater that six (6) stories in height to be visually inspected. Local Law 10 of 1980 was signed into law in 1980 by then Mayor Ed Koch after a tragic incident occurred when a piece of terra cotta fell from the façade of 601 West 115th Street and took the life of Grace Gold, a Barnard College student in May, 1979.
Local Law 10 was later revised in 1998 after several façade related incidents occurred. Local Law 11 of 1998 revised and replaced Local Law 10 of 1980. Local Law 11/98 expanded the inspection requirements. Local Law 11/98 required the inspection of all building facades (not just the street facing facades) and the performance of at least one representative scaffold/platform inspection along a street elevation.
It is noted that buildings with individual walls greater than six (6) stories in height with a partial basement floor that is more than half above grade, ALL walls of the building are subject to inspection and outlined in the recent changes made to FISP (even walls that were previously exempt from inspection).

Who can file the required FISP Technical Report?

The technical examination report must be filed by a Qualified Exterior Wall Inspector (QEWI) who must either be a New York State Licensed Professional Engineer (PE) and New York State Registered Architect (RA) that has meets the requirements of Administrative Code and 1 RCNY §103-04, retained by or on behalf of the building owner. It is noted that the NYC Department of Buildings requires the Professional to have at least seven (7) years of relevant experience.

How are FISP Technical Reports to be filed?

FISP reports must be electronically submitted using the DOB NOW Safety online portal. The filing of paper copy reports is no longer applicable and all documents must be filed through the DOB NOW Safety online portal.
FISP reports are filed with one of three types of filing classifications as follows

  1. Safe (Safe filings require no further action)
  2. Safe with a Repair and Maintenance Program -SWARMP (When a building is filed with a SWARMP Classification, the QEWI is required to set include a date that the SWARMP conditions must be repaired by and the Owner must complete the required repairs by the noted SWARMP date)
  3. Unsafe (When a building is filed with an Unsafe Classification, the Building Owner is required to repair all unsafe conditions within 90 days from the submission of the report. If, due to the scope of repairs, the unsafe conditions cannot be repaired within 90 days, the Owner can request a Time Extension from the DOB provided that all appropriate safety measures have been installed at the property.

What is a FISP Inspection Cycle?

Inspection Cycles have become known within the industry as the period for which buildings are required to file their façade inspection reports with the NYC DOB. The current Inspection Cycle (Cycle 9) runs from February 21, 2020 to February 21, 2024.
The 8th Cycle is separated into three (3) staggered two year sub-cycles (Cycles 8A, 8B and 8C). The report filing period for each of the three (3) sub-cycles is determined by the last digit of the building’s Block Number. The introduction of the sub-cycle system and staggering of the filing periods for the sub-cycles was introduced in the 7th Cycle.
The chart below illustrates the two-year filing periods for the three (3) sub-cycles filing periods for the 9th Cycle.

Sub-cycle  Last Digit of Block Number Filing Period
9A 4, 5, 6, or 9 02/21/2020  –  02/21/2022
9B 0, 7, or 8 02/21/2021  –  02/21/2023
9C 1, 2, or 3 02/21/2022  –  02/21/2024

Note: Owners who fail to file a technical report within the specified filing period are subject to monthly late penalties until an acceptable report is filed with and approved by the NYC Department of Buildings