--------------------- September 30, 2017 -------------------


How does NYC Local Law 11 Affect Railing Installations?


New York City Building Code requires that railings and parapets around stairwells, balconies, area ways, roofs, and other railings in similar locations shall be designed to resist the simultaneous application of a lateral force of fifty (50) pounds per linear foot (plf) and a vertical load of fifty (50) plf, both applied to the top of the railing.

These regulations are also known as New York City's "Facade Inspection Safety Program" (FISP)" and affect all property managers or owners of NYC buildings with 6 or more stories. Updated regulations require owners to submit detailed reports to NYC Building Commission in 5-year cycles or face sanctions (like losing their Certificate of Occupancy) and fines. Here's a quick overview of what should be considered in the inspection:

  • Impacts any NYC Building greater than 6 stories (including basement)

  • New buildings have 5 years to comply after certificate of occupancy is issued

  •  Railings must be inspected for code compliance - if deemed unsafe, all balconies terraces or exterior common areas must be vacated until fixed

  • All railings must be checked, not just a representative sample

  • Report should include photos and notes on any broken or missing components & connections to building

  • Also includes Fire Escapes & Balcony Enclosures

For more detailed information and links visit this resource page maintained by Howard L. Zimmerman Architects:

Presidential Aluminum Railing System installation in Long Island City, NY 

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