Why Do You Need Electronic Plan Check?

WhyQuestion: Why do you need electronic plan check (ePC)?

Answer: ePC can help a city achieve tremendous cost savings and efficiencies over traditional plan check.

In a lot of cities, the traditional plan check process takes a few weeks to complete, depending on the scope of the project, and may work fine.  My Grandpa’s old gas guzzling Buick worked just fine too and made him believe that there was no need to change or upgrade.  However, like my Grandpa’s gas guzzling Buick, the traditional plan check process is outdated and inefficient.

The traditional City plan check process usually includes:

  1. Going to the Building Department at City Hall to submit an application for plan check;
  2. Submitting construction plans along with the application;
  3. Paying a plan check fee;
  4. Waiting for a couple weeks for the Building Department to call you to inform them that the plans are either approved or have corrections;
  5. Repeating steps 1-4, if there were corrections from the previous submittal.

In a white paper called Best Practices in Electronic Plan Submittal, Review, Tracking and Storage written by the Alliance For Building Regulatory Reform, it was documented that,

  • Electronic plans submittal, tracking, review and storage reduce traditional plan processing times by between 20 to 50 percent by reducing the number of physical trips to and from government offices and by making these services available 24/7/365 and enabling jurisdictions to shift staff resources to other areas in need of attention.–Alliance For Building Regulatory Reform

So while the old Buick’s of the world may work for years to come, there is no reason that the efficiencies of an electronic plan check system shouldn’t be explored to provide cost savings and other efficiencies for your Building Department.