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ASTM Selected Technical Papers
Building Facade Maintenance, Repair, and Inspection
By
JL Erdly
JL Erdly
1
Masonry Preservation Systems, Inc.
?
Bloomsburg, PA
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TA Schwartz
TA Schwartz
2
Simpson Gumpertz & Heger, Inc.
?
Waltham, MA
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ISBN-10:
0-8031-3475-4
ISBN:
978-0-8031-3475-1
No. of Pages:
334
Publisher:
ASTM International
Publication date:
2004

Facade inspection laws exist at the complex intersection of politics, economics and engineering practice. Nowhere can this be better demonstrated than in a critical examination of New York City's facade inspection laws: their development and how they are practiced. Our experience in New York City can inform the development of a Standard Practice for Periodic Inspection of Building Facades by ASTM International, as well as contribute to the development of facade inspection laws in other municipalities. In New York City, which has the oldest continually enforced facade inspection law, Local Law 10 of 1980, there are over 11,800 buildings subject to inspection. This paper will address issues related to the code mandated “critical examination” of building facades, based on 20 years of front-line experience with New York City's facade inspection laws. During the most recent inspection cycle, the author's firm performed 225 critical examinations of building facades in New York City.

1.
Ditzen
,
L. Stuart
, “
Facades: Decoration or Danger
,”
The Philadelphia Inquirer
, Philadelphia, PA.,
06
10
2001
, p. B-1.
2.
For detailed information on the requirements of Local Law 10 of 1980 and Local Law 11 of 1998, see the website www.Locallaw11.com
3.
For background information on facade ordinances in these cities, see:
Petermann
,
Michael A.
, and
Normandin
,
Kyle C.
, “
The Role of Facade Ordinances in Preserving the Recent Past
,”
The Proceedings of The National Park Service Conference: Preserving the Recent Past 2
,
Philadelphia, PA
, October, 2000, pp. 2-131 – 2-139.
4.
For background information on facade ordinances in Chicago, see:
Chin
,
Ian R.
, Review of the 1996 City of Chicago “
Maintenance of Exterior Walls and Enclosures
,” Ordinance 16,
06
1996
. Published in
The Proceedings of the Chicago Committee on High Rise Buildings, Seminar on the 1996 City of Chicago Maintenance of Exterior Walls and Enclosures Ordinance
, pp. 1-1 – 1-8.
5.
Information obtained from the New York City Department of Buildings under the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL), in a letter to the author from Romona Franklin, Records Access Officer, dated
17
07
2002
.
6.
Fruchtman
,
Irwin, PE
, Commissioner New York City Department of Buildings, Board of Inquiry Report: 601 West 115th Street,
29
10
1979
, p.1 (included in “Bill Jacket” for Local Law 10 of 1980, of the NYC City Counsel Archives, obtained for the author by
New York Legislative Service, Inc.
, New York, NY)
7.
Fruchtman
,
Irwin, PE
, Commissioner New York City Department of Buildings, letter to Ms. Lisa Ruffo, Mayor's Legislative Unit to the City Council, re; Intro 748 of 1979 In relation to requiring periodic inspection of exterior walls, etc., dated
02
11
1979
(included in Local Law 10 Bill Jacket).
8.
Transcript of the Stenographic Record of the Hearing on Local Laws, etc., dated
21
02
1980
, prepared by the
Acme Reporting Service
, New York, NY, pp. 4–5. (included in Local Law 10 Bill Jacket).
9.
Transcript of
21
02
1980
hearing, p. 5.
10.
Local Law 10 of 1980 (the 10th law enacted during the year 1980) was an amendment to the “Building Code” portion of the Administrative Code of the City of New York. Local Law 10 added section C26-105.3. The code was subsequently re-numbered, so that the provisions of Local Law 10 are currently contained in administrative code section 27-129.
11.
“Rules and Procedures Relating to the Periodic Inspection of Exterior Walls and Exterior Appurtenances of Buildings,” promulgated by the Commissioner of the New York City Department of Buildings, dated July 7, 1980.
12.
“Rules and Procedures Relating to the Periodic Inspection of Exterior Walls and Exterior Appurtenances of Buildings,” as amended by the Commissioner, dated August 10, 1987.
13.
From the Testimony of Gaston Silva, RA, Commissioner, New York City Department of Buildings, re: Intro 97/98, dated January 30, 1998. (included in “Bill Jacket” for Local Law 11 of 1998, of the NYC City Counsel Archives, obtained for the author by New York Legislative Service, Inc., New York, NY)
14.
From Testimony presented by Deborah B. Beck, Executive Vice President, Real Estate Board of New York before the City Council Housing and Buildings Committee in Support of Intro 97-A, on February 13, 1998. (included in Local Law 11 Bill Jacket).
15.
Local Law 11 of 1998 (the 11th law enacted during the year 1998) was an amendment to the “Building Code” portion of the administrative code of the City of New York, modifying the language contained in administrative code section 27-129.
16.
“Rules and Procedures Relating to the Periodic Inspection of Exterior Walls and Exterior Appurtenances of Buildings,” Draft, dated October 6, 1998, as included in the“Notice of Opportunity to Comment on a Proposed Amendment to Rule 32-03 Relating to Governing Periodic Inspection of Exterior Walls and Appurtenances of Buildings,” undated. (Copy of document obtained by the author from the NYC Department of Buildings records under the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL).
17.
Draft of Rule 32-03, Section 32-03(b)(2)(iv).
18.
From Testimony by City Council member John D. Sabini, Chair of the City Council's Subcommittee on Landmarks, Public Siting and Maritime Uses. (Copy of document obtained by the author from the NYC DOB records under the FOIL.
19.
Draft of Rule 32-03, Section 32-03(b)(2)(v).
20.
Rule 32-03, as amended, Section 32-03(b)(2)(iv).
21.
Rule 32-03, as amended, part of Section 32-03(b)(2)(v).
22.
Fruchtman, letter to Ms. Lisa Ruffo, dated November 2, 1979.
23.
From Testimony by various speakers at the November 17, 1998 Public Hearing. (Copies of documents obtained by the author from the NYC DOB records under the FOIL.
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