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If your Philadelphia building is six or more stories in height or has an appurtenance greater than 60 feet in height, the city of Philadelphia requires your building receives periodic facade inspections.
These periodic inspections should be performed by a Pennsylvania-licensed PE to conduct a review of exterior walls and any appurtenances, (except for those parts of any exterior wall which are less than twelve inches from the exterior wall of an adjacent building) and to prepare and file a report on such inspection with the owner.
Read below for the filing requirements and inspection schedule for Philadelphia.
Forms are to be submitted online using eCLIPSE by a Pennsylvania-licensed PE experienced in structural engineering or RA knowledgeable in the design, construction, and inspection of building facades.
A “Summary Inspection Form” must be submitted and include seventeen specified items of information including the classification of exterior walls and appurtenances as safe, safe with a repair and maintenance program (SWARMP), or unsafe.
Philadelphia requires an inspection every 5 years. The city also requires fire escape inspections, private bridge inspections, and waterfront structure inspections. Fire escapes are reinspected every 5 years.
For buildings built in 2006 or later, the initial inspection and required report must be completed within ten years of the certificate of occupancy being issued. According to the ordinance, a building built in 2012 would be required to have facade inspections performed and reports filed in 2022, 2027, and so on.
An affected building must be reinspected after the initial inspection, and the necessary report must be filed, on a five-year cycle based on the original timetable. If all of a building’s facades have been “significantly restored” in the five years prior to a necessary inspection, a waiver may be requested.
As Per Code Section A-601.3.16, fines of $2,000 on any violation with additional fines if those violations go unaddressed.