Benefits of Using SMARTreview


Municipalities face the difficult task of being the gate-keepers for issuing building permits within their jurisdiction. During slow growth periods, municipalities may be over staffed for plan reviews. Likewise, during heavy growth periods, municipalities find that they are severely understaffed. In either case, the need to have building code experts remains.

The diversity of plans that are received by a municipality requires broad knowledge of the building code. The lack of standardized compliance reports and/or compliance reports submitted with very little information or with many errors causes backlogs to increase as those projects consume resources that could otherwise be used for reviewing competent plans. In some respects it is similar to a denial of service attack, where the review system is occupied by a many plans that are insufficient at time of first submittal. Since municipalities generally operate as a First In First Out queue, everyone suffers as a result of poorly described compliance reports.

Backlogs have significant economic cost for municipal governments. Delays impact the amount of tax revenue that is collected in a fiscal year, or can result in the municipality being non-competitive for large development projects. When developers look to the municipal permitting process and see 6 to 8 month delays, the developer may decide to take their project to a neighboring municipality where backlogs are significantly less.

The municipality typically has difficulty in adopting new processes and productivity enhancers as budgets are limited. SMARTreview seeks to bring efficiency to the municipality using the existing resources of the municipality. SMARTreview can reduce municipal permitting backlogs by:

Reducing the rejection rate of initial plan submission

A high rejection rate of initial plan submission is a result of a designer not understanding the complexity of the IBC or using the municipality as the initial plan reviewer. It is increasingly typical that initial plan review rejection rates are well above 50%, which causes significant delays across all projects.

With SMARTreview CPR, the design is already verified against the IBC and described in a very detailed and standardized report. Plans examiners will have all the necessary information in the initial submission to make a correct and accurate determination on releasing the permit.

Providing a standardized report

A standard report structure allows reviewers to become extrememly familiar with how to find information to make an informed decision. Seeing the same report structure over and over again leads to confidence that every aspect of the project was checked and verified, improving overall life safety of the project. At the same time, report familiarity and comprehensiveness of the report will reduce the time it takes to verify that the permit can be released.

With SMARTreview CPR, a very detailed and comprehensive plan review report is generated by the arthictect as a natural artifact of the design process. The report structure is consistent regardless of the complexity of the project and includes the following:

  • Project Summary - A summary of overall project compliance

  • Building Code Checklist - A checklist of each building code section and the projects compliance with each section.

  • Detailed Information - A detailed account of each building code section and proof of how the project complies with the provisions of the building code section.

Providing a comprehensive report

Having a report that describes the compliance with the International Building Code in extreme detail allows the plans examiner to quickly understand how the project relates to the International Building Code and to see the reasons why each provision of the International Building Code is satisfied. Putting the project in terms of the building code bridges the information gap between a design's intent and the building code. This allows the reviewer to quickly understand the project and it's compliance to the building code and therefore quickly release the permit for the project.

With SMARTreview CPR, every aspect of the project is described in the relevant building code section with calculations and other supporting data that proves compliance. The plans examiner is presented with descriptions and rationalizations for each design decision and will not need to idle the review process while additional clarification and data is solicited from the architect.
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