As of August 29th, the conditions of parking garages in New York State will have to be assessed every three years. Parking Garage owners/operators will be responsible for providing the Department of State with condition assessment reports for their parking garages. The full rule can be found here, but, stated simply, it boils down to this: a professional engineer needs to be hired to perform these assessments and provide assessment reports.
As one may imagine, many parking garage owners and operators are not thrilled with the new rule; garage inspections and the repairs that may follow can be costly. Though it may be a difficult adjustment to make, this rule will serve our community well in the long run. This sentiment may come off as biased from a structural engineering firm – especially one who has done many parking garage assessments in the past – but the need is clear to see. Just months ago, we heard about the Irving parking garage collapse in Texas, and it isn’t uncommon to hear about several partial parking garage collapses within a year.
In hindsight, it is easy to say an issue with a parking garage could have been noticed before a collapse, but the reality is, assessments cost money. Most people are not going to get their garage inspected any more frequently than required by law. So, New York State has determined that using triennial inspections to head off the problem before it can occur will be more effective than looking at a collapse and saying, “If only we had noticed that spall sooner.”
For us here at KHH, this new rule not only puts our mind at ease, but also allows us to help keep our community safe and structurally sound.