News that New York City will soon mandate periodic safety inspections of parking garages, similar to periodic facade (FISP/LL11) inspections, has raised alarms that “garages are the new facades.”
These alarms are overblown for several key reasons.
Facades are constantly exposed to the elements, whereas most parking structures in the five boroughs are protected below grade. Many facades are more than 100 years old, and often incorporate relatively fragile materials (think terra cotta), while most parking garages are half that age (or newer). As horizontal structures, garages are more easily inspected—using a step ladder instead of swing staging or platform lifts.
So in most respects, garage inspections in New York City will be more easily accomplished—and potential defects more easily addressed—than their facade counterparts.
Whether you own a below grade garage in Manhattan or a free-standing parking structure in Brooklyn, here’s our advice: Be proactive in getting your garage inspected and repaired now. When the time comes, you’ll be able to file a “clean” report and avoid the inspection rush and repair headaches when demand will be high.
For more on the update to the NYC Building Code mandating garage condition assessments (Article 323, currently under review), see our previous post.
We’ll be updating these posts as detailed requirements come to light.
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