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By: Brian Sullivan

August 27, 2020

Now that we are six months into the 9th cycle FISP and have successfully navigated through many of the recent changes, we want to provide an update on how the changes are impacting building owners and property/facility managers, especially in light of our FISP inspection services.

In addition to performing inspections for many buildings and providing proposals for many others that have been deferred to 2021 or beyond, we have also had conversations with members of the DOB FISP team, competitors, contractors, and clients. Furthermore, we have hosted multiple webinars, (link to YouTube webinar if it’s posted) including some that are individually customized for specific clients, BOMA webinars, and generic versions that we share via YouTube. Based on the discussions we have had, we have been able to obtain the perspectives of all associated parties.

To date, the biggest surprise to clients still seems to be the overall cost, which, in some cases, has increased by 3x to 4x the cost of their 8th cycle inspection. Sometimes this price can be more, depending on the number of close up inspections required. Conversely, we do have some projects where there was only a minor increase in the total costs for various reasons. Some of those reasons include: a relatively small amount of façade frontage above a public egress, the use of SPRAT and/or a boom-lift in lieu of suspended scaffolds, or recent completion of 8th cycle repairs that allowed the use of the close-up inspections performed during construction to be utilized for the FISP inspection. We recommend that facility/property managers obtain proposals for their FISP inspection, as soon as possible, to ensure they include the appropriate amount in their budget rather than simply carrying the same cost as the 8th cycle inspection.

As a reminder, the NYC DOB has again developed an Amnesty Program for building owners that failed to file a FISP report in the previous cycle. Any owner that did not file an 8th cycle report can file a 9th cycle report until September 2020, regardless of the building’s sub-cycle.

The following is a summary of the changes in the 9th cycle:

  • Closeup inspections (scaffold drops, boom-lift, SPRAT, etc) will be required at intervals of 60′ o.c. or less
  • QEWIs (Qualified Exterior Wall Inspectors), professionals approved by the DOB to submit FISP reports will be required to have at least 7 years of relevant experience
  • Probes to verify and document wall ties in cavity wall facades will be required in the 9th cycle and every odd cycle thereafter
  • A photo of the individual performing the closeup inspection on each drop will be required as part of every filed report
  • A recommended timeframe to resolve unsafe conditions must be included in the report (more than 5 years will not be accepted)
  • Monthly civil penalties for unsafe conditions will accrue and increase annually at a linear rate that is based on the length of sidewalk bridge
  • The DOB will perform inspections for extension requests
  • A FISP condition certificate must be displayed in the lobby of the subject building

For the most part, building owners and managers have acknowledged that these changes will improve the quality of the inspections and reports; this is especially clear during our webinars when we identify the incidents that drove many of the changes. Most importantly, these changes will further protect building owners, occupants, and the public from unsafe conditions. If you would like to learn more about why the changes occurred, how they will affect your building(s), or would like us to host a webinar for your team, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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