We are excited and optimistic about the upcoming year. This February, Structural Workshop will be celebrating 20 years in business. What a long, strange trip it’s been from our humble beginnings in a basement closet in 2004 to where we are today. Through ups and downs, we have consistently grown and improved. Great Employees and great clients are a big part of our success, and we would like to thank everyone who has been involved in this journey over the last 20 years!
The world of buildings and building codes is changing after recent building collapses. For the most part (with some exceptions) building codes have historically only been relevant during the construction of the building. The maintenance and repairs to the building during its lifetime was solely the responsibility of the Owner. That is rapidly changing as new laws and regulations are popping up everywhere. Here are some important takeaways:
- New Jersey now requires all condo buildings (with some exceptions) to be inspected at 15 years old and every 5 years max. after that.
- The new law also requires condo boards to have reserve studies performed and fund their reserves.
- New York City now requires every building with a street facing parapet to be inspected annually. This is in addition to any Local Law 11/FISP requirements.
- Jersey City just completed the first cycle of its façade and structural inspection program.
- New York City just completed the first cycle of its Parking Garage inspection program. There are also proposed changes to the program coming, including an annual inspection requirement for all garages.
- Florida continues with its statewide structural and electrical safety inspection program.
Stay tuned for more updates on these ordinances. For more information on these items, please visit our website or contact us directly with any inquiries you may have. We also will be publishing content on the newer and updated regulations throughout the year. Please click here to subscribe.
This trend is likely to continue and spread. Different areas have different exposures and risks, and the specifics will vary from region to region, but this trend will continue to have more regulation regarding inspecting buildings during their lifespan. The days of enforcement only occurring during construction are over.
Responsible homeowners and condo boards have always funded their reserves and maintained their buildings. These new regulations generally should not put any additional burden on them. They are aimed at the Owners and Condo boards who do not maintain their buildings. This can present a danger to the public and to the occupants. Falling debris from facades and parapets can cause major structural damage and injure (or worse) innocent bystanders. While building collapses are rare, especially in the US, we learn from failures and keep pushing to make incredibly rare into never.
We are optimistic about the economy and the year ahead. Real Estate has had a difficult 2 years with volatile and increasing interest rates and construction costs. It seems like we now have enough stability so projects and deals can get moving again, albeit at a slower pace than the pre-covid and covid years.
We hope to keep you updated on the changing world of regulation as this year progresses. Happy New Year to all!