SERVICES // Local Laws

States, cities and municipalities may have certain laws that will require the building/structure owner to provide documentation that the building/structure is safe for the general public within the guidelines of the law. These laws usually require an Engineer/Architect to provide certifications of compliance that must be filed by a certain timeframe.



Façade Inspection Safety program (FISP) - LOCAL LAW 11

In 1979, an 18-year old college student was fatally struck from a piece of masonry that fell off a building causing the city to enact the first façade inspection law, Local Law 10/1980 now known as Local Law 11/FISP. Local Law 11/FISP applies to all buildings taller than six (6) stories, including the basement, regardless of the Certification of Occupancy, within all five (5) boroughs. Local Law 11/FISP requires that buildings taller than six (6) stories must comply with having a Qualified Exterior Wall Inspector (QEWI), which is a NY licensed Professional Engineer or Architecture with a minimum of 1 year relevant experience, to inspect all exterior walls and appurtenances along the building façade and file a report with the NYC Department of Buildings listing the building as Safe, Unsafe or Safe With A Repair Maintenance Program (SWARMP) on a five (5) year cycle. Non-compliance will result in monetary penalties. The Falcon Group conducts façade inspections and repair maintenance programs to building owners to stay in compliance with this law.

To check if your building is required to have a FISP inspection and to find out which sub-cycle the inspection is to performed in, visit the NYC Department of Buildings website at: http://www1.nyc.gov/site/buildings/index.page

Sub-Cycle Last Digit of Block Number Filing Period/Deadline
B 0, 7, or 8 February 21, 2016 – February 21, 2018
C 1, 2, or 3 February 21, 2017 – February 21, 2019
A 4, 5; 6; or 9 February 21, 2018 – February 21, 2020
B 0, 7, or 8 February 21, 2019 – February 21, 2021
C 1, 2, or 3 February 21, 2020 – February 21, 2022

LOCAL LAW 87 – Energy Audits and retro-commissioning

Local Law 87 requires covered buildings over 50,000 gross square feet to file an Energy Efficiency Report to the NYC Department of Building once every ten year. This report is compiled of annual energy and water consumption, energy surveys and retro-commissions, which is the process of ensuring correct equipment installation and performance. The report provides the building owner with an understanding of the energy consumption and allows them to compare it to similar buildings in the same area. A registered architect or licensed professional engineer for the State of New York must perform or supervise the necessary work to conduct the energy audit and retro-commissioning. The report must be filed by December 31 of the year based on the last digit of the buildings tax block number. See chart below:

Year EER is due 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027
Last digit of tax block year 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17

For more information on Local Law 87 visit: http://www.nyc.gov/html/gbee/html/plan/ll87_about.shtml

LOCAL LAW 84 – Energy Benchmarking

The New York City Benchmarking Law, also known as Local Law 84, requires building owners to annually report their energy to the City of New York using the U.S. EPA’s Portfolio Manager Tool. Buildings 50,000 square feet and larger are required to comply with this law; however, beginning in May 2018, the City will require mid-sized buildings of 25,000 square feet to also comply with Local Law 84. For multi-family buildings, this also includes all building tenants’ energy and water consumption. We understand that these requirements can be time consuming and daunting. At The Falcon Group we have a team of experts well-versed in all local laws and their requirements to assist you.

WHO MUST COMPLY?

Commercial and multifamily residences that have a total square footage that meets or exceeds 50,000 square feet. Starting May 2018, buildings with 25,000 square feet and up will also be required to comply.

WHAT INFORMATION DO I NEED?

You are required to provide the energy (electric, gas, steam, heating oil, and water) usage for your ENTIRE building, including all tenants.

WHEN SHOULD I HAVE ALL THE DOCUMENTS PREPARED BY?

The portal opens up in the spring. It will take time to accumulate all the needed documentation so it is best to start as soon as possible.

DO I NEED AN ENERGY CONSULTING FIRM TO HELP ME WITH THIS?

The city’s requirements for this law are extensive. Having a professional assist throughout the process ensures that the law will be complied with and penalties will be avoided.

WHEN IS THE DEADLINE?

The deadline for submitting your Benchmarking Report is May 1 each year.

Special Inspections

Certain construction projects in New York City require Special Inspections be conducted to verify that work was performed in accordance with approved plans and specifications. Special Inspections must be performed by Special Inspectors on behalf of a registered Special Inspection agency. The purpose of Special Inspections is to enhance the safety of construction project by improving the quality of inspections and tests as well as preventing unqualified technicians from evaluating specialized construction projects.

The role of the Special Inspector is to step in and oversee construction that requires specific knowledge and expertise exceeding the level of scrutiny that the NYC Department of Buildings is responsible for providing. A special Inspection is required of materials, installation, fabrication, erection, or placement of components, assemblies, and connections requiring special knowledge and expertise to ensure compliance with approved construction documents and other applicable standards. The Owner must retain a registered Special Inspection Agency to perform all required inspections throughout the project. The Special Inspector will provide an Inspection Report noting any deficiencies to the Building Department and all parties involved. The Falcon Group is a registered Special Inspection Agency with the New York City Department of Buildings. We have designated Special Inspectors qualified to inspect General Building Construction, Fire protection equipment, Plumbing and Mechanical Systems, Structural and Construction Procedures.

PHILADELPHIA MAINTENANCE CODE PM-315 formally PM-304.10

Since 2010, the City of Philadelphia began requiring periodic façade inspections by issuing an ordinance amending the Philadelphia Building and Occupancy Code. The ordinance applies to all buildings six (6) or more stories and any appurtenance in excess of sixty (60) feet in height. The Philadelphia Building Construction and Occupancy Code “General Property and Structural Maintenance,” states that these inspections must be completed by a licensed Professional Structural Engineer or a Registered Architect knowledgeable in the design, construction and inspection of building façades. The Professional Engineer or Registered Architect will inspect the façade periodically, note deficiencies and submit a report on their findings to the building representative and the City of Philadelphia. The report is intended to provide a summary of the assessed condition and review the water-tightness of the exterior surfaces. Conditions will be deemed safe, safe with a repair program or unsafe. Any unsafe condition must be reported to the city. The intent of this regulation is to minimize the risk of façade components falling off a building and causing injury to the pedestrian traffic at the street level.

The filing deadlines for all applicable buildings are based on a 5-year cycle determined by the age of the building. All buildings built in 2006 and later are required to submit their initial report ten (10) years after receiving their Certificate of Occupancy and every five (5) years after.

Construction date Initial report Second report Third Report
Prior to and including 1950 June 30, 2011 June 30, 2016 June 30, 2021
1951–1970 June 30, 2012 June 30, 2017 June 30, 2022
1971–1980 June 30, 2013 June 30, 2018 June 30, 2023
1981–1990 June 30, 2014 June 30, 2019 June 30, 2024
1991–2005 June 30, 2015 June 30, 2020 June 30, 2025
Constructed after 2005 Initial report Second report Third Report
2006 June 30, 2018 June 30, 2023 June 30, 2028
2007 June 30, 2019 June 30, 2024 June 30, 2019
2008 and later Follow the same schedule noted above Follow the same schedule noted above Follow the same schedule noted above

PHILADELPHIA fire Escape ordinance F-1011.1

Life safety is the biggest concern and the code was written after Philadelphia experienced a fatal fire escape collapse. The Philadelphia Fire Code, section F-1011, requires the inspection of fire escapes and fire balconies to confirm its structural integrity and safe operation. The code defines a fire escape as “a system of metal landings, balconies, stairs or ladders attached to a building that are not classified as an exterior stairway and are intended or designed to aid in egress from a building in an emergency.” A fire escape balcony is defined as “a balcony that projects from the building face and is intended for use in conjunction with a fire escape, an exit stair or an area of refuge.” While we typically see metal fire escapes attached to a building, a fire escape and fire balcony may be constructed of other materials such as concrete and wood. Regardless of what material and how it is attached to a building, they must be inspected every five (5) years in accordance with the Philadelphia Fire Code. According to the code, the owner of a building with a fire escape or fire escape balcony is responsible for retaining a Professional Structural Engineer to conduct the inspection. The initial report shall be filed on or before July 1, 2017 and every five (5) years after the initial report.

PHILADELPHIA ENERGY benchmarking

Building owners should be aware that Philadelphia’s Energy and Benchmarking Disclosure Law requires commercial and multifamily buildings 50,000 square feet and larger to report their energy and water usage annually to the City of Philadelphia using the U.S. EPA’s Portfolio Manager Tool. For multi-family buildings, this also includes all building tenants’ energy and water consumption. We understand that these requirements can be time consuming and daunting.

Benchmarking allows building owners to better understand their energy performance in relationship to their peers and identify opportunities for cost savings through energy efficiency. Let Falcon collect your building’s annual energy utility data and utilize EPA Portfolio Manager tool to create the energy benchmark report and submit it to the City of Philadelphia on your behalf by the required deadline. Falcon will also analyze the energy consumption data to determine if your building is a viable candidate for energy savings via energy conservation measures and provide recommendations for further consideration.

WHO MUST COMPLY?

Commercial and multifamily residences that have a total square footage that meets or exceeds 50,000sf.

WHAT INFORMATION DO I NEED?

You are required to provide the Energy and Water usage for your ENTIRE building, including all tenants.

WHEN SHOULD I HAVE ALL THE DOCUMENTS PREPARED BY?

The portal opens up in the spring. It will take time to accumulate all the needed documentation so it is best to start as soon as possible.

DO I NEED AN ENERGY CONSULTING FIRM TO HELP ME WITH THIS?

The city’s requirements for this law are extensive. Having a professional assist throughout the process ensures that the law will be complied with and penalties will be avoided.

WHEN IS THE DEADLINE?

The deadline for submitting your Benchmarking Report is June 30, every year.

Florida 40/50 year recertification inspection

The recertification inspection is a requirement that both Broward and Miami-Dade Counties have enforced. These requirements are for buildings over 40 year’s old and determine the buildings structural integrity and their electrical safety. These inspections must be done or under the supervision of a qualified, professional engineer (PE) or registered architect (RA). Our experts are well-versed in the requirements of each county and can assist with the entire recertification process as well as cost effective remediation designs of any issues that may arise.

Click here to learn more about 40/50 Recertification Inspections.

Florida Threshold Inspection

THRESHOLD INSPECTIONS – CHAPTER 553

The State of Florida Building Construction Standards enacted Chapter 553 in order to ensure structural component conformance of larger structures. A threshold building is defined as: “Any building which is greater than three stories or 50 feet in height, or which has an assembly occupancy classification that exceeds 5,000 square feet in area, and an occupant capacity of greater than 500 persons”. Chapter 553 requires threshold inspections resulting in a final conformance certificated provided by a qualified Special Inspector. The purpose of the structural inspection is to provide specific inspection procedures and schedules so that the building can be adequately inspected for compliance with the permitted documents. This process involves an agent, who performs the majority of the work, working in conjunction with a Special Inspector. Our agents at Falcon have the ability to reduce staffing needs by performing material testing which results in savings for the client in both time and monies spent.

Engineered Life Safety System (ELSS) Compliance

Florida Fire Prevention Code requires existing high-rise buildings to be protected by an approved Automatic Fire Sprinkler System installed by December 31, 2019. Even if your building has successfully “opted-out” of installing a complete automatic fire sprinkler system, you may still be required by the municipality to implement an ELSS, or some other form of fire prevention or fire safety mechanism. A Professional Engineer who is familiar with the Life Safety Codes, as well as local and municipal codes and requirements, should be contacted to determine how best to move forward for compliance and the safety of the building’s occupants.