Is it really safe to live between all those tall buildings including old ones? What if they start deteriorating and turn into a threat not only to their residents but also bystanders? Each of us has heard about incidents caused by high facades or appurtenances falling down on people. Who can guarantee it won’t happen to you?
The Law to Secure Pedestrians in New York
New York, the megalopolis full of skyscrapers, has a special law to regulate the condition of those buildings towering higher than six stories and, particularly of their facades and appurtenances. This law used to be called Local Law 11, but today it’s officially known as FISP – the Facade Inspection and Safety Program. This law requires every building higher than 6 stories to be professionally inspected at least every 5 years. The condition of every tall building in the city is reported on with the special service. All elements of buildings admitted to be unsafe have to be repaired within the period of thirty days.
The protocol of the program includes over 12 thousand NY buildings. In the absence of the law, they would be threatening to pedestrians walking between tall buildings. Local Law 10, originally enacted by Mayor of NY for public safety, has been revised in 1998 into Local Law 11, which is still in force.
If a building façade inspection shows any problems, the specialist who examined the building has to send a written notification thereof to the owner of the object and the Department of Buildings.
The most recent cycle of the inspection fell on 21st February 2020. It means that 2025 will be the year of another building inspection in the city.
Unfortunately, most of legislative initiatives are caused by any sad incidents or misfortune. Local Law 10 was not an exception. A college student had been killed by a piece of terracotta façade that fell on her not far from Broadway. Local Law 11 became a stricter and extended measure to further ensure safety of people in the streets. It was caused by a number of other incidents that seriously endangered pedestrians in New York.
Compared to the previous law, the newer one enacted in 1998, requires inspection of all sides of every tall building in NY, except those whose walls are twelve inches and less are from a neighboring house. Besides, the newer version of the law requires physical inspection of structures instead of visual one which was enough under the previous law. The technical report on the condition of the building became more detailed.
Addressing the FISP problem in the modern way
NY buildings are affected by a vast range of environmental conditions including the change of seasons and differences in temperature from freezing cold to hot and wet, polluted air, corrosion and salt. For owners of buildings in NY, these regulations actually turn into a headache. It’s rather expensive and time-consuming to ensure the good condition of structures every five years. Especially, when these buildings require certain repair works. Sometimes real property owners even have to take loans to solve the problem with the deteriorating building.
No wonder, they seek for solutions of efficient and cost-effective methods of inspection and address companies that provide special platforms for rent. It’s much more convenient, safe and efficient than scaffolding.
The works under Local Law 11 are performed by professional architects and engineers. They thoroughly check all potentially hazardous appurtenances that may fall down on people and urban objects. Ignorance of the law leads to high penalties.
Fortunately for property owners and citizens of New York, it’s not a problem to hire truck mounted boom lifts for execution of the works under Local Law 11. This solution allows to eliminate hazards in a timely and safe manner. In a number of cases, it is impossible to use scaffold due to peculiarities of buildings. Today 90% of property owners in NY hire aerial platforms to make an inspection and report on existing problems to the Department of Buildings. Using boom lifts, owners of buildings do not have to engage many people into the process and bring scaffolding inside the building. The process is organized much easier in this case. It’s faster, safer and more efficient.
Here, at Alpha Platforms we mainly recommend A-150 platforms to those who have to inspect buildings under Local Law 11. This boom lift is compact and light, its features are perfect for many urban works. The machine is highly versatile and reliable.
In New York our company is one of the best reputed providers of truck mounted boom lifts. Providing services to the best city of the world, we also stare at the moon and stars, and proudly participate in the SpaceX Starship Launch project. Starship is going to be the most powerful launch vehicle ever constructed and we love how large this project is!