The economic recovery of our nation and our disaster resiliency depend not only on programs and policies that promote growth and sustainability but upon the existence and maintenance of an effective and efficient regulatory system to assure compliance. The “great” recession not only devastated the construction industry, but it also brought about reductions in land use, building code administration and enforcement staffs by as much as 80% in some jurisdictions.
Resilient communities depend not only upon the adequate staffing of our land use and building code departments, but upon making use of the latest technologies to assure effective and efficient codes administration and enforcement. This includes using the latest technologies to assure that builders understand the adopted building codes and standards in the communities where they are building.
Examples of time-saving information technology to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the building regulatory process include:
- Online electronic permit application and tracking
- Interactive voice response systems for scheduling inspections
- Electronic plan submittal, tracking and review
- Mobile field inspection technology and reporting
- Access to databases of adopted and enforced codes & standards in state and local communities across the nation
Individually each of these technologies increased the efficiency of building regulatory programs from 5% to 40%. In fact, if you review and streamline building departments that apply all these technologies reduced the time the building is within regulatory systems, by up to 80%, which provides tremendous savings to contractors, designers, owners, most importantly to the communities themselves.