As Commissioner for the Department of Buildings, I am committed to improving the overall experience from permitting to inspection. To accomplish this task, the Department of Buildings and the Zoning Division of the Department of Planning and Development maintain continued dialogue with industry partners to learn what their experiences have been with E-Plan, and to identify ways to enhance the E-Plan building permit process. We also routinely survey our staff to determine most common corrections issued to the design professional community. As a result, we would like to share with you our inaugural "Top 10 Tips for an Efficient Building Permit Review Process."

  1. Make sure to enter the current use and proposed use of the building in both the "Building Use" field and in the "Description of Work" field of the permit application.
    • Example 1: Interior renovation of existing tenant office suite on floors 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9. Renovation includes demolition of existing space in preparation for new interior partitions, ceilings, lighting and finishes, as well as the reworking of existing HVAC, electrical, plumbing, sprinklers and fire alarm. Current Use: Office / Proposed Use: Office
    • Example 2: Full building permit for new construction of 50-story retail/residential building with 300 dwelling units, 300 hotel rooms, 200 parking spaces and 25,000-square-foot vegetated green roof on former parking lot. Current Use: Parking Lot / Proposed Use: Mixed Use - Residential/Commercial
    • Example 3: Convert 1 residential and 2 commercial units into 3 residential units, includes interior renovation and basement indoor parking with architectural, mechanical, plumbing, electrical and structural to existing 3-story with basement masonry building per plans. Current Use: Mixed Use - Residential/Commercial / Proposed Use: Residential
  2. Be sure to label dimensions on all plans; i.e. building height, setback dimensions, parking lot dimensions, loading space dimensions, alley widths, driveway widths, etc.
  3. Be sure to include accurate zoning information in building/zoning matrix; i.e. zoning district, lot area, setbacks, building heights, FAR, etc.
  4. Be sure to label the use of each room on all floor plans.
  5. Make sure to state in building/zoning matrix or provide a note on plans if you are seeking an official denial letter for relief through Administrative Adjustment, Variation, or Special Use.
  6. Make sure plans are signed and sealed by licensed architect.
  7. Be sure to provide a recent (no more than 6 months old) plat of survey for new construction or projects which include additions.
  8. Be sure to submit a "House Number Certificate" for new construction projects.
  9. Make sure to provide clear color photographs of all exterior elevations for proposed work on existing buildings.
  10. Be sure to submit an electrical application, an MOPD form and an excavation certificate, if necessary.

Felicia Davis
Department of Buildings