LOCAL LAW 11 AND THE FACADE INSPECTION SAFETY PROGRAM

Building façades in New York City pose a potentially dangerous situation to pedestrians, as beautiful architectural ornamentation can quickly become deadly falling objects should the anchoring holding it in place fail. On May 16, 1979 that potential turned into a heartbreaking reality when a Barnard College freshman, Grace Gold, was struck and killed by a chunk of masonry that had detached from the 7th or 8th floor of 601 West 115th Street. In response to this tragedy and in recognition of the hazardous conditions it exposed, New York City has enacted legislation (first Local Law 10 and now Local Law 11/the Façade Inspection Safety Program) that safeguards the public from falling facades.

The Façade Inspection Safety Program (FISP), also known as Local Law 11 (LL11), requires that all New York City buildings greater than six stories high have the exterior walls and appurtenances inspected every five years by either a professional engineer or a registered architect. Information on when your building’s next Local Law 11 façade cycle is can be found here

Bellet Construction has been facilitating Façade Inspection Safety Program inspections since the original legislature for it, Local Law 10, was passed in 1980. Originally acting only as the operator of scaffold drops for Local Law 11 inspections or as the contractor in charge of façade maintenance after the Local Law 11 report had already been filed, Bellet Construction has recently expanded its offerings to include supplying a licensed professional to conduct the Façade Inspection Safety Program assessment. We can assist with all steps to the Local Law 11 filing and repair process, ensuring that your building remains up to code and that any necessary repairs are made swiftly and at minimal inconvenience to you or your tenants.

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Local Law 11 façade inspection reports are filed under three classifications:
1. “Safe”: A Local Law 11 façade inspection that results in a safe classification means that there are no repairs needed at this time.


2. “Safe With A Repair and Maintenance Program” (SWARMP): The Local Law 11 façade inspection found that the exterior walls and appurtenances are currently safe but there are areas that will need repair or maintenance during the next five years to prevent deterioration that could result in unsafe conditions.


3. “Unsafe”: A Local Law 11 façade inspection that results in an unsafe classification means that there is at least one area of the exterior walls or appurtenances that presents an immediate danger to property or the public and requires immediate repairs.

The following is a listing of common areas that are inspected during a Local Law 11 (LL11)/Façade Inspection Safety Program (FISP) assessment:

  • Bulkheads
  • Roofs
  • Parapet walls
  • Coping stones
  • Flashing
  • Pitch pockets
  • Skylights
  • Façade Brickwork
  • Façade Concrete
  • Facade Terra cotta
  • Facade stonework
  • Cornices
  • Ornamental metal
  • Decorative materias
  • Ledges
  • Water tables
  • Windows
  • Sills
  • LintelsBalconies
  • Terraces
  • Caulking
  • Mortar joints