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E Permitting & Electronic Plan Review

EPermit_Permit_SourceBuilding Departments, like all local Government agencies, are looking at way to keep costs down. With the internet and the digital era in full swing, some are instituting electronic permitting and electronic plan review as a cost saving, more efficient way to process building permits and construction documents. Miami-Dade County was one of the first to start electronic plan review, several years ago. Boca Raton followed shorty after. Just recently, Pompano Beach, Town of Davie, Village of Wellington and Broward County initiated electronic plan review. As time goes on, more municipal building departments will be taking advantage of this technology.

Policies and procedures on E-Permitting (Electronic Permitting) and electronic plan review differ from municipality to municipality. This creates a new learning curve as apart of the Building Permit process. In most cases it does not eliminate the need for you to actually make a trip to the Building Department. Applications still need to be hand delivered, or in the case of Miami-Dade, electronic documents have to be physically submitted on a disc. They all do still allow manual submissions of paper documents, but they charge to have them scanned into a pdf digital format.

With electronic plan review the review time is less, since the plan can be reviewed by different disciplines simultaneously. There is also the advantage of not having to print, drag around, and microfilm the hard copies for achieving. For large projects this is a huge cost savings for the City, architect, contractor and owner. Large contracting, architectural and engineering firms all ready have the hardware and software for processing digital construction documents.

Electronic plan review has few advantages for the small contractor. The guy who does driveways, fences, windows or anything involving minor renovations that require plans. He may not have the hardware, or software to scan documents into a pdf  file format. He will also need to have the ability to print the full sized plans from a digital file. In addition, he will need someone in his office to have the computer savvy to be able to learn and understand the electronic plan review software and the policies for each municipality on E-Permitting. Another issue that pops-up for the small jobs, is an architect or engineer that does not have the ability to electronically sign and seal construction documents, but that is a discussion for another day.

If you need help, or you want someone to manage your E-Permitting. Give us a call. Permit Source has the experience and knowledge. Big jobs or little jobs!