Benefits of Using SMARTreview APR


Architects are primarily tasked with the design of a project based on the owner's wishes. However, architects must also consider how their design complies with the International Building Code. Many architects and designers interpret the complexity of the International Building Code for themselves or entrust the compliance analysis of their project to third party contractors (or engineering firms). Typically project reviews are back loaded in the project schedule, waiting until the end of the design cycle before checking to see if the project violates the IBC. The reasons for pushing reviews until the end of the design cycle include:

  • time to review - comprehensive reviews take time due to the complexity of the design and the complexity of the IBC. Delaying the project timeline for multiple checkpoints or multiple reviews is not practical.

  • time to rework - since compliance reviews typically result in design rework (to bring the project into compliance), reviews are pushed to the end in order to consolidate rework into one effort.

  • cost of review - since reviews are conducted by highly specialized Subject Matter Experts (SME), the cost for the specialized resource is high (high labor rates)

In other words, the high cost of determining code compliance has driven the architect towards an inefficient model whereby tens of thousands of dollars are added to the project cost and weeks of analysis time and rework time are built into the project timeline.

Example Project

To best illustrate the difference between the current approach and the approach advocated by SMARTreview, consider the following:

Example Project Definition

An owner engages an architectural firm to design a new building that is 10,000 square feet in size and hosts a business and a mercantile area.

Traditional Approach

The architectural firm uses an independent contractor to review the design. The independent contractor charges $150/hour and, because of the complexity of the design, takes 5 days to review the project.

At the end of the review, the independent contractor provides the architect with a plan review document that identifies 20 items that are in violation of the International Building Code. The architect

The architect spends 2 days to make the corrections and gives the revised project documents back to the independent contractor for re-review. The independent contractor takes 2 additional days to verify that the reworked plan is compliant with the IBC and provides the architect with a plan review report indicating project compliance.


The architect purchases the right to use the SMARTreview APR/CPR on the project for the fixed price of $250.

As part of the natural design of the building, the architect regularly runs a compliance analysis of the design against the International Building Code and makes small corrections organically as they are identified by the SMARTreview APR software.

At the end of the design cycle, the architect is confident that the design is in full compliance with the International Building Code and generates a detailed Plan Review Report (CPR) based on the BIM which proves the project's compliance to the IBC.

Summarizing the two different approaches in a comparison table, the cost of each approach reveals that the SMARTreview APR costs less than 5% of the traditional approach, is organic to the design process , and saves 9 days off the project's design timeline.

Plan Review Cost Comparison
Review Duration
5 days
a few seconds
Rework Duration
2 days
Re-review Duration
2 days
Review Rate ($/hour)
Rework Rate ($/hour)
Total Review Hours
56 hours
< 1 hour
Total Rework Hours
16 hours
Total Review Cost
Total Rework Cost
Total Cost
APR CPR Pricing
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