Facade Ordinance Inspections

Building facade inspection programs are mandated by many cities in the United States to proactively identify unsafe conditions that may present a risk of causing injury or damaging property.

While the specific requirements of each city’s ordinances differ, all regulations stipulate that inspections be performed at regular intervals.

Vertical Access can assist with city-mandated inspections by using industrial rope access to gain hands-on access to building facades.

Rope access is a safe, efficient and cost-effective option for facade inspections particularly for getting to locations that would otherwise require scaffolding. Reports generated by Vertical Access for facade inspection projects include annotated drawings and photographs, as well as identification of condition priorities based on the specific facade ordinance.

Download Facade Ordinance Inspection Tech Sheet

The following cities have mandatory facade ordinance laws.

BOSTON, MA

Buildings over 70 feet in height, classified as high-rise structures, or greater than 35,000 cubic feet must be inspected every 5 years (yearly for unoccupied buildings) by a registered architect or engineer.

Code

Inspection of Exterior Walls and Appurtenances of Buildings Requiring Periodic Inspection
City of Boston Municipal Code Ordinance 9.9-12 (PDF)

More Info

website: Inspectional Services Department
phone: 617-635-5300
email: ISD@Boston.gov

CHICAGO, IL

Buildings 80 feet tall or more must be inspected. The frequency of the inspections varies between 4 and 12 years, based on the assigned category of the building.

Code

Maintenance of exterior walls and enclosures – Critical Examinations Rules and Regulations for Exterior Wall Maintenance (pdf)

More Info

website:  City of Chicago Department of Buildings Exterior Wall Program
phone: 312-744-3400
email: allison.sullivan@cityofchicago.org

CLEVELAND, OH

Structures that are at least 30 years old and 5 stories or 75 feet tall must undergo an exterior inspection every 5 years.

Code

Exterior Wall and Appurtenances Inspections

More Info

website: Building and Housing Ordinanaces
phone: 216-664-2000

Columbus, OH

Buildings more than 20 years old and located withing 10 feet of a public right-of-way, pedestrian walkway or plaza, excepting residential buildings up to 3 stories, must be inspected every 5 years. Those located in a designated downtown area must be inspected by a registered architect or engineer.

Code

Chapter 4109.073 / Ordinance 1296-85
Exterior Walls and Appurtenant Structures

More Info

website: Critical Observation Report

phone: 614-645-7433

DETROIT, MI

Buildings 5 stories or greater in height must be inspected by a qualified person every five years.

Code

Ordinance 15-88, Section 9-1-35
Inspection and Certification of Cornices and Other Projections attached to Buildings

More Info

website: Buildings and Safety Engineering Department
phone: 313-224-3235

MILWAUKEE, WI

Buildings of 5 or more stories and more than 15 years old must be inspected by a registered architect or engineer. The frequency of the inspections varies between 5 and 12 years, based on the assigned category of the building.

Code

Building Maintenance – Chapter 275 Secion 32-13

More Info

website: Department of Neighborhood Services
phone: 414-286-2268

NEW YORK, NY

Buildings of 6 or more stories, including basements, must be inspected by a registered architect or engineer every five years. Vertical Access holds two special rigger licenses with the NYC Department of Buildings and has a Qualified Exterior Wall Inspector (QEWI) on staff.

Code

Local Law 11 of 1998

More Info

website: New York City Department of Buildings: Facade Inspection & Safety Program

phone: 212-312-8000

PHILADELPHIA, PA

Buildings of 6 or more stories or with any appurtenance over 60 feet tall must be inspected by a registered architect or engineer every 5 years.

Code

Facade Inspection Code

More Info

website: City of Phildelphia – Department of Licenses and Inspections

phone: 215-686-8686

PITTSBURGH, PA

All buildings and structures shall be inspected by a licensed professional engineer or registered architect to determine the structural soundness of items covered in Sections 304.8, 304.9 and 304.11, and their reports shall bear their signature and seal. All inspections made prior to the adoption of this code shall continue on their previous schedule at five year intervals.

Code

Property Maintenance Code of the City of Pittsburgh, Chapter 1004

More Info

website: Department of Permits, Licenses, and Inspections
phone: 412-255-2175

ST. LOUIS, MO

Buildings of 6 or more stories must be inspected every five years.

Code

St. Louis City Ordinance 68791

More Info

website: Building Division

phone: 314-622-4671

SAN FRANCISCO, CA

Buildings of 5 or more stories must be inspected periodically by a licensed architect or engineer.

Code

San Francisco Building Code Ordinance No. 67-16

More Info

website: San Francisco Department of Building Inspection
phone: 415-558-6088

QUEBEC, CANADA

All buildings of 5 or more stories must be inspected by a licensed architect or engineer every 5 years.

Code

Safety Code – Building  Act

More Info

website: Facades – Maintenance and Inspection
phone: 314-622-4671