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The Sky is no longer Falling - Local NYC Law 11

Why all the scaffolding, drilling and banging in NYC? 

Over the years there have been numerous cases of dangerous debris falling from deteriorated New York City building facades.

In 1997, an accident occurred on Madison Avenue, where a portion of a building collapsed, taking with it part of the front of the building, and out of that came an awareness that it was not sufficient to merely inspect the facades above the street. Local law 11 became a law in 1998.

Prior to local law 11, local law 10,  New York City's initial façade inspection law required only the front façade (or street level facades) of buildings greater than six stories in height be inspected every five years visually by a licensed professional engineer or a registered architect.” 

Today, owners of buildings greater than 6 stories must have their buildings’ exterior walls and appurtenances inspected once every 5 years and file a technical report to the Department of Buildings.

It's often hard to tell when a facade needs work. Most landlords, coop and condo boards are shocked at the cost of repairs. The main culprit  is the weather, specifically water seeping into cracks and the expansion and contraction attributable to freezing. 

 As a byproduct of Local Law 11, there’s an emphasis on repairing leaks or water penetration, because water is known to cause the kind of structural defects that could lead to materials falling from the facades.

Before any repair work can begin, permits are needed from the DOB. If your building happens to be a landmarked building, it requires one from the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) as well.

Facade restoration is time consuming and costly. From the time of inspection to work beginning can often be many months.  

My building, a condop on the Upper West Side, built in 1989 is currently about 1 year into a 24 month $million+ noisy and dusty project. 
Local Law 11 and its predecessor Local Law 10 has helped make the glass, stone and steel buildings of New York City safer for the men, women and children on the ground below. 

The sky is no longer falling in NYC.

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