The answer is that Electronic Plan Check can help a city achieve tremendous efficiencies and cost savings.
Traditional Plan Check
In many cities, the traditional paper plan check process takes a few weeks to complete. Depending on the scope of the project this may work fine. However, with the improvement in Internet technologies, the paper plan process is really becoming outdated.
The paper plan check process usually includes:
- A trip to City Hall to submit an application and construction plans
- Paying a plan check fee
- Waiting a couple weeks for the Building Department to complete the plan check
- Repeating steps 1 through 4, if needed
Electronic Plan Check
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.
So it is true that the paper plan check process will continue to work for years to come. However there is no reason that the efficiencies of an electronic plan check system shouldn’t be explored to provide some cost savings for your Building Department.