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Photo of City Hall at night in Philadelphia, PA

The city of Philadelphia began requiring periodic facade inspections in February 2010 by issuing an ordinance amending the Philadelphia Building and Occupancy Code, specifically the subcode Philadelphia Property Maintenance code to include section PM 304.10 Periodic Inspection of Exterior Walls and Appurtenances of Buildings. The ordinance applies to all buildings six or more stories in height or any appurtenance in excess of 60’ in height as well as additional buildings located within specific areas that have yet to be designated. The inspection must be performed by or under the supervision of, a Commonwealth of Pennsylvania licensed Professional Engineer experienced in the practice of structural engineering, or a licensed Registered Architect knowledgeable in the design, construction, and inspection of building facades.

The filing deadlines for all affected buildings are based on a five year cycle determined by the age of the building

Report to be completed no later than
Prior to and including 1950
June 30, 2016
1951 – 1970
June 30, 2017
1971 – 1980
June 30, 2018
1981 – 1990
June 30, 2019
1991 – 2005
June 30, 2020

These inspections must be accompanied by a report submitted to the Department of Licenses and Inspections describing the building as safe, safe with a repair and maintenance program or unsafe and shall include specific information identified in the ordinance. All conditions not classified as safe must also be individually identified with the applicable classification and photographed. All unsafe conditions must be identified to the building owner immediately and to the Department of Licenses & Inspections within 12 hours. Within 24 hours of being notified of an unsafe condition the Owner must take any necessary steps to protect public safety. Work to resolve the unsafe condition must commence within ten (10) days of the engineer’s notification to the Owner.

This information is provided as a courtesy to those reading it. Since this is an evolving ordinance please consult with the Philadelphia Department of Licenses and Inspections for updates or contact Sullivan Engineering, LLC.