In order to ensure the safety and structural integrity of parking garages, a new rule has been implemented in New York State that requires owners to have their garages inspected by a professional engineer every three years. This regular inspection aims to identify any signs of deterioration or unsafe conditions that may pose a risk to the users of the facility, reducing the risk of accidents and potential harm to the public.
The professional engineer conducting the inspection will assess various aspects of the garage, including its structural integrity, foundation, electrical systems, ventilation, and fire safety measures. If any issues or deficiencies are identified, the garage owner will be required to address them promptly to ensure the safety of the facility's users. The implementation of this rule reflects the State's commitment to enhancing public safety and preventing potential disasters in parking garages.
What does it take to meet the requirements?
Parking garage owners and operators are required to hire a qualified engineer to conduct an on-site inspection and evaluation of the parking garage. This condition assessment serves the purpose of identifying any signs of deterioration, unsafe conditions, or indications of structural instability. Deterioration can manifest as weakening, disintegration, corrosion, rust, or decay of any structural element or building component within the garage. After the initial assessment, parking garages must undergo regular condition assessments every three years. However, additional assessments may be necessary under certain circumstances. For instance, if the engineer recommends another assessment before the next scheduled one, or if new or increased deterioration is observed and mandated by the authority having jurisdiction. By adhering to these guidelines, parking garage owners and operators can prioritize the safety of their patrons and prevent any accidents or structural failures. *Note all parking garages need a permit to operate*
Conditions Assessment Report:
Upon the conclusion of the investigation, the inspecting engineer is required to draft a comprehensive Condition Assessment Report. This report aims to provide a thorough evaluation and description of various aspects, including unsafe conditions, conditions that demand immediate repair or maintenance to avert unsafe situations, as well as any other forms of deterioration or conditions that may potentially lead to unsafe circumstances. Additionally, the report must propose suitable corrective measures along with a recommended timeline for addressing unsafe and potentially unsafe conditions. It is crucial to highlight the risks associated with neglecting these issues. The report should also encompass recommendations concerning preventative maintenance, confirmation that the engineer has reviewed all previously prepared condition reports, and a suggestion for the timing of the subsequent condition assessment.
Am I affected?
Owners of parking facilities in New York State must comply with this law, which applies to any building or structure used for parking or storing vehicles. Exceptions include parking lots (only level that is used for storage or parking on grade), attached garages in one-to two-family homes, and townhouse units with exclusive attached parking.
What are the Deadlines?
- New Parking Garages: Initial Condition Assessment needs to be completed prior to obtaining a Certificate of Compliance or Certificate of Occupancy.
- Existing Parking Garages: Must complete an initial Condition Assessment per below:
Subsequent inspections and filings are required at least every three years after the date of an initial inspection.
Failure to Comply:
Those in charge of parking garages in New York State MUST address any issues and hazards found in the assessment report. Failure to do so may result in enforcement measures taken by the authorities, such as putting a halt to the garage's operations or even revoking its permit.