What is FISP?
New York City’s Façade Inspection Safety Program (FISP), also known as Local Law 11, requires periodic inspection of a building’s exterior façade by a licensed architect or professional engineer. FISP applies to all buildings in NYC’s five boroughs that are greater than six stories, regardless of square footage or usage. Every five years, each building must be inspected and classified as either Safe, Unsafe, or Safe With a Repair and Maintenance Program (SWARMP). Unsafe and SWARMP designations must have repairs made in the specified time frame to prevent further deterioration.
The goal of FISP is to ensure that aging façades are properly and regularly maintained, both to preserve the city’s historic architecture, and to reduce the risk of falling debris hazards to the public.
Why choose terra cotta for restoration?
Unlike other materials, architectural terra cotta is considered a 100-year product. In fact, the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission often insists that only terra cotta can replace itself due to its unique natural qualities, and advises against using alternative materials for in-kind replacement.
Boston Valley’s architectural terra cotta can:
- Last centuries with little to no UV fading when properly installed and maintained.
- Meet or exceed performance of the building’s original material.
- Replicate the building’s physical and aesthetic properties.
- Maintain the façade of buildings made with terra cotta, as the same material will perform best with the existing construction system.
- Withstand frequent freeze-thaw cycles, as our clay is developed to perform well in these conditions.
Boston Valley has specific equipment dedicated to fabricating replacement units for FISP projects. This allows us to quickly and efficiently produce architectural terra cotta for façade maintenance, despite large demand during the FISP cycle. These facilities are also well-suited to other small restoration projects that need a low number of units.
There’s no need to sacrifice the long-lasting durability of real terra cotta by using alternate materials, when true in-kind replacement can be achieved in a timely manner.
True in-kind replacement has several benefits:
- Value – Higher resale value and revenue generation from rent
- Material savings – Avoid subsequent repairs caused by in-kind replacement
- Sustainability – Terra cotta is a natural material that does not negatively affect the environment
- Heritage – Maintain and preserve our historic buildings
- Longevity – Boston Valley has the longest product warranty in the industry
As the only terra cotta manufacturer that uses four different forming methods in our fabrication, Boston Valley has the flexibility to determine the most efficient, multi-process approach for your project.
FISP buildings deemed Unsafe and in need of immediate repair benefit from our additional kilns, RAM presses, and production lines assigned specifically to these projects. With new technologies and advanced facilities — from drone photography to photogrammetry, 3D modeling, and 5-axis routers — Boston Valley can accurately assess and estimate drawings in real time to replicate existing units.
For buildings classified as SWARMP, we can work with your team to identify the units most in need, then strategize and estimate repair costs to fit your maintenance budget. We always coordinate with the restoration architect to identify and eliminate the underlying cause of the building’s deterioration, which is key to a successful restoration.
Contact our team early to plan your efficient maintenance program for a long-lasting repair, and stay compliant with NYCDOB regulations.
“Bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.” — Ben Franklin