I took these photos on one of my projects. These penetrations were not discovered during an inspection, nor could they have been without an intrusive inspection.
My reason for posting them is that in the event a fellow inspector has to inspect a high rise building, he should be aware that crap like this exists… even in the fanciest buildings.
In the 70’s, this Madison Avenue, NYC building was converted from an office/factory to residential. This period in NY’s construction history was filled with substandard work and mucho payola.
I have decided that I will include in any inspection report of this type of building, an affidavit for my client to have filled out from the building owner, that all fire penetrations have been repaired and sealed.
These “chaseway” holes originate in the basemand and continue to the roof (14 floors). In this particular unit, there are four different areas that have such “chaseways”. If you look into one of these holes, you are looking at the topside of the sheetrock ceiling of the apartment below.
Additionally, you can climb through the ceilings of all the units, the entire ceiling is open to the q deck above.
Sould there ever be a fire, it will sweep through the entire building like a chimney!