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June 26, 2019
The State of Parking Structures in New York

If you’re a garage owner—whether in New York City or the Empire State in general—you know that free parking is only a thing in Monopoly. Yes, parking structures are revenue centers, but all the more reason to inspect and maintain them—especially now that most will be subject to a new inspection program. Last year, in response to an upstate parking garage collapse, New York State passed a rule that amends its Building Code to mandate a garage inspection program. At SUPERSTRUCTURES, we have years of experience identifying and remediating parking garage problems using our team of New York State-licensed engineers and are ready to help garage owners fulfill this mandate.

This new State program requires two things: inspection by a qualified, New York State Professional Engineer and submission of their Conditions Report. The report should categorize any deterioration requiring immediate repair, identify conditions deemed safe once repaired, note problems which could lead to deterioration and unsafe conditions, and propose corrective options.

The New York City DOB is developing its own version of the State’s new inspection rule. Superficially, it may resemble the City’s Facade Inspection Safety Program (FISP, aka Local Law 11), already familiar to owners of buildings that incorporate parking structures. But keep calm and read on. Alarms that “garages are the new facades” are misleading for several key reasons: facades are constantly exposed to the elements, whereas most parking structures in the five boroughs are protected below grade; facades can be 100 years old or more, while most parking garages are half that age (or newer); as horizontal structures, garages are more easily inspected—using a step ladder instead of rigging or boom trucks; and garage inspections require a PE, whereas facade inspections allow either a PE or a RA. So in most respects, garage inspections in the City will be more easily accomplished—and potential defects more easily remediated—than their facade equivalents.

Whether you own a garage in White Plains that’s already subject to a schedule of inspections [see the State’s assessment schedule below] or have one in Queens and await the City’s adaptation of the program, here’s our advice: be proactive in getting your garage inspected and repaired now. File a clean report and avoid the inspection rush and repair headaches when demand is high.

We’ll keep you posted on this developing story and, if you own a garage that could be considered a “classic,” you should follow it closely.

For more information, please contact our Principal, Vikrant Sampat, PE at vsampat@superstructures.com.

Above: Parking structures are prone to several types of deterioration – we’ve encountered and addressed them all. See more on our Projects page


New York State Parking Garage Condition Assessment Schedule


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