The Latest Updates to FISP (Local Law 11)

January 4, 2021

The Department of Buildings has made changes to Cycle 9 of FISP (Local Law 11) effective February 21, 2020.

With these latest changes, the DOB requires more comprehensive façade examinations and more detailed reporting requirements with increased descriptions of observations and photographic evidence of inspections. 

Here is what you need to know about the latest changes to Cycle 9:

New and Increased Penalties  

Civil penalties have been increased and the DOB has started to apply violations for failure to correct Safe With a Repair and Maintenance Program (SWARMP) conditions. These include:

  • Increased Penalties for:
    • Failure to file = $5k/year (previously $1k) 
    • Late filing = $1k/month (previously $250) 
  • New Penalties include:
    • Failure to correct unsafe condition (applies only when extensions of time requests are not granted) = $1k/month,
      • After the first year additional penalties are applied based on the linear footage of sidewalk shed installed
    • Failure to correct SWARMP condition = $2k – This isn’t new, but it’s being more stringently enforced now. 

More In-Depth Inspections: 

More Inspections 

Physical inspection requirements have increased from a single scaffold drop (or use of other observation platform), to examinations performed at intervals of not more than 60 feet along all exterior walls fronting “public right-of-way.” This means any wall that a member of the public can directly access – even if it is on private property.


There is an increased focus on cavity walls commencing in Cycle 9 and every odd numbered cycle thereafter. At minimum, a single probe or investigation of the cavity wall, at the location of each physical inspection will be required, and there must be an adequate number of probes to determine the presence, condition, and spacing of wall ties. 

Exceptions include (acceptable proof needs to be provided):

  • Repairs addressing wall ties made within 10 years 
  • Building under 10 years old 

More Qualified Inspectors  

Cycle 9 has raised the bar for Qualified Exterior Wall Inspectors (QEWI’s). Requirements for their experience and responsibilities has gone from one (1) year of relevant experience to seven (7) years of relevant experience with buildings over six stories. QEWI’s must provide detailed resumes and prove to the DOB that they have relevant experience and knowledge of NYC building codes and façade rules and be approved by the DOB. 

  • QEWIs (Qualified Exterior Wall Inspectors) 
    • Professional license and 7 years relevant experience 
  • Other Inspectors (delegated by QEWI) 
    • 3 years relevant experience with A/E degree 
    • 5 years relevant experience without A/E degree 

More Transparency  

Building owners are now required to post and maintain the building’s façade condition certificate in the lobby in a manner similar to elevator certificates within 30 days of the acceptance of the report. 

This is mandatory even if the previous cycle has not been filed. A violation with a penalty of $500 can be issued every time the DOB visits the building if the Exterior Wall Certificate is not posted. 

For steps on how to access your Exterior Wall Condition Certificate, check out the step by step guide we created.

Additional Documentation

  • Plot plans must indicate length of each façade elevation 
  • Locations of all the SWARMP and UNSAFE conditions must be shown on drawings or elevation photos to document the locations of the conditions. 
  • If the building is not going to meet the SWARMP repair deadline, a subsequent report is required to change the repair date  or violations may be issued.

UNSAFE Buildings

If a building is considered UNSAFE, the QEWI must note type and location of protection recommended. 

  • Owner has 90 days to repair UNSAFE conditions or an extension of time request must be submitted. 
  • Unsafe conditions require a repair by date and extensions won’t be granted after the date expires.

If you have questions about these changes and how they affect your building, get in touch:

Recommended Articles

Sorry, we couldn't find any posts. Please try a different search.