Following the tragic collapse of the Champlain Towers South Condominium in Florida in 2021, the city of Jersey City passed Ordinance 21-054. This ordinance calls for the inspection of both building structure and facade. Specifically, the structure must be inspected every ten years and the facade must be inspected every five years. The collapse in surfside occurred mainly due to a degradation in the concrete foundation and structure after years of corrosion and water damage. These concrete structures could have been restored if treated earlier. After the death of ninety-eight people, and four injured, this ordinance ensures that preventable tragedies such as this will never happen again. Below we have created a summary of the ordinance.
Ordinance 21-054 applies the following structural requirements for any concrete building that is more than six stories high. Something important to note is that the initial inspection must be completed by December 31, 2022. Following that, every ten years the building must be inspected by a licensed professional by December 31 of that year. Note that it is the property manager’s responsibility to pay for the inspection. Once a building has been inspected, within 30 days of the inspection the property manager must send a full report of the inspection to the Division of the Construction Code Official ; this report should be prepared by the licensed inspector.
If there are any repairs that the inspector finds necessary, the property manager is responsible for making those repairs in the timeline given by the inspector. If a property manager does not make the repairs then the city can shut down the building. There are severe penalties for any building that does not comply with this ordinance. Penalties may include a fine, community service, or even some jail time.
The facade requirements tied to Ordinance 21-054 are tied to any concrete building that is more than six stories high or a building with a masonry facade that is four or more stories high. The initial inspection must be completed by December 31, 2023. Following the initial inspection every five years the facade must be inspected by a licensed professional by December 31 of that year. As with structural inspections, the property manager is responsible for paying for the inspection. Also like the structural inspection, the property manager must send in a Facade Inspection Report – prepared by the inspector that documents the inspections and any repairs that must be made. If there are any repairs that must be made the property manager is responsible for ensuring that they are made in the timeline given by the inspector. There are penalties for violating any of the provisions in the ordinance, and the city can shut down the building.
At Thompson Exterior Services, we are qualified to do these safety inspections. We highly recommend you give us a call at (732) 997-8138 to set up an appointment. We can also work to help your building make any repairs that an inspection calls for. You can avoid a tragedy like the one in Florida by scheduling your routine inspections. Avoid the rush right before the 2022 deadline, and call us ASAP.