By: Tom Khoudary Local Law 126
October 28th, 2022
Owners of parking structures are now required to hire a New York State licensed and registered professional engineer (PE), with the QPSI designation, to inspect the structure and file a condition assessment report with the Department of Buildings (DOB) every six (6) years. To complete a successful LL126 project, it’s important to know the various steps in the inspection process and the reporting guidelines as defined by the NYC DOB.
First, we need to confirm if the garage complies with the LL 126. If your building or portion of a building is used for parking or storage of motor vehicles, they are subject to the local law ordinance. Structures that do not qualify include automotive repair shops, showrooms, automotive service stations, garages with less than three (3) cars, parking garage lots on grade, and parking spaces that serve only one-two family homes. It’s also important to note that garages located in the five boroughs do not qualify for New York State Parking Garage Inspection Program, Title 19.
Similar to NYC’s FISP, the parking structure report deadlines are divided into cycles and further subdivided into three sub-cycles. The Community District in which the parking structure is located determines if the property falls into sub-cycle A, B, or C. Owners of parking structures located within Community Districts 1 through 7 in Manhattan will be required to have parking structures inspected and file the required report with DOB during Cyle 1A, due December 31st, 2023.
To ensure reports are filed on time, we recommend that Building Owners procure bids and schedule inspections several months in advance of the report’s due date. There are several variables that could delay the project including adequate access to the underside and topside of parking areas, moving cars, and the potential for more invasive testing. In addition to the visual inspection, the professional engineering firm must perform a physical examination of a minimum of 10% of the parking garage system including sounding, load tests, probes, and/or core sample tests. When deficiencies are found the QPSI must order any special or additional inspections, probes, and or tests. Coordinating this effort with a contractor will prolong the investigation stage and ultimately delay the report turnaround time.
We are also tasked with preparing a custom checklist for each parking structure. The checklist shall include diagrammatic floor plans of the garage mapping locations to be monitored. The annual checklist shall be performed by the anniversary date of the initial inspection and for every year thereafter for five (5) years until the next inspection and the report needs to be filed again with the DOB on the sixth year from the initial filing.
An annual inspection can be completed by the QPSI, Building Owner, or garage attendant, and checklist copies must be stored on-site and reviewed by the QPSI prior to Cycle 2 inspection.
Sullivan Engineering, A Rimkus Company, has performed several lunch and learn presentations with professional organizations such as BOMA NYC, and IREM NYC, and valued clients. If you are interested in scheduling a Lunch & Learn presentation for your team, please let us know and we will be happy to schedule it.