In 1995, the City of Boston passes a “Facade Ordinance Code” requiring that exterior walls and appurtenances of “high rise” commercial buildings whose height is greater than 70 feet be inspected periodically for safety. In fact, the law requires inspection every year for “unoccupied” buildings and every five years for “occupied” buildings. A registered architect or engineer must perform this inspection and file a report with the city. The report shall include a record of all significant deterioration, unsafe conditions, and needed building repair as well as a statement regarding the water tightness of the exterior surfaces.
For all “technical” aspects of the inspection, an architect or engineer is, indeed, well qualified. However, masonry contractors like Abbot Building Restoration can team with the architect/engineer to help facilitate the practical aspects of the process. According to Abbot President, Michael Norman, “the masonry contractor can provide the architect/engineer with access to the building, utilizing aerial lifts, staging, and/or scaffolding, to assure a close-up inspection. For example, while a binocular inspection may indicate a minor crack in the masonry, a closer inspection may reveal a more severe problem”.
The contractor can also assist in the assessment of the extent of deterioration, and an outline of the scope of work required to restore the integrity of the façade. Conducting an inspection can save the owner fines, eliminate injuries, identify problems, and ultimately prevent expensive building repairs.
Whether your building falls under the Ordinance Code or not, now is an opportune time to contact Abbot Building Restoration at 617-445-0274 to arrange a safety inspection.