A parapet is any portion of a wall extending above a roof. These portions of a building can deteriorate over time and create a public hazard. To prevent a danger to the public, New York City has initiated a new rule to require inspections of parapets within the city.
Beginning on January 1st, 2024, building owners must have an annual observation and report of the parapets on all buildings within New York City as per Section 28-301.1.1 of the NYC Administrative Code. The individual performing the observation must determine if the Parapet is Safe or Unsafe.
New York City takes building safety seriously because, on multiple occasions, pedestrians have been killed by falling debris from buildings. This new rule aims to protect the public by requiring observations of parapets by qualified individuals and repair of unsafe conditions.
I am Jorge Fontan, an architect in New York and owner of Fontan Architecture, an architecture firm based in Manhattan. At our office, we work on various project types, including building facade and parapet inspections. In this post, we will review the requirements of the new parapet law in New York City.
NYC Parapet Report Requirements
A report must be prepared for the parapet observation stating the condition of the parapet. The building owner must keep this report for at least six (6) years. These reports must be available to the Department of Buildings upon request.
The NYC Annual Parapet Report should include the following items:
- Building Address
- The name, Mailing Address, Phone Number of the owner, or Name and Title of Principal of the owner must be on the report.
- Name of the individual performing the observation, Business Name, Mailing Address, Phone Number, Affiliation to the owner.
- Date of the observation
- A Location Plan of the Parapet Observed within the report
- The report must describe the parapet construction with dimensions, materials, thickness, and any other pertinent information.
- The condition of the parapet should be identified as Safe or Unsafe. If Unsafe, a plan to remedy must be provided.
- The Parapet Report must list any repairs performed since the previous report.
- Dated Photographs taken at the time of the report to document the condition of the parapet.
What to Do if the Parapet is Unsafe?
As per 103-15(b)(4), the individual performing the observation must “Immediately notify the Department of Buildings” if the parapet exhibits an unsafe condition. Additionally, the owner must immediately install protection at the public right of way, such as a sidewalk shed, fence, and safety netting to protect the public.
Any unsafe conditions must be repaired within 90 days of the notification to the Department of Buildings.
Parapet Observations and Reports
The new Parapet Rules in New York City go into effect on January 1st, 2024. If you own a building with a parapet wall fronting a street, you must obtain an annual Parapet Observation Report and rectify any unsafe conditions.
Thank You for Reading Our Blog Post on The New Parapet Rules in NYC.
I hope this was helpful. Contact us at Fontan Architecture directly if you want to speak with an architect about a potential project.
This post was written by Jorge Fontan AIA a Registered Architect and owner of New York City architecture firm Fontan Architecture. Jorge Fontan has earned 3 degrees in the study of architecture including two degrees from the City University of New York and a Masters Degree in Advanced Architectural Design from Columbia University. Jorge has a background in construction and has been practicing architecture for 20 years where he has designed renovations and new developments of various building types.