Plan review is an essential part of executing construction project permits. As development increases in some parts of the country, many municipalities involved in the permitting process require multiple departments’ approval on permit applications and design schematics for buildings and other construction components. Plan review can be a tedious, inefficient process when done on paper. Some municipalities have decided to go digital in an effort to maximize efficiency across all departments involved in permit reviews.
The Bluebeam video, “A Tale of Two Municipalities,” details how Snohomish County in Washington State and the City of Westminster, Colorado improved their plan review processes by going digital with Bluebeam Revu.
Construction is booming in Colorado, and before implementing Bluebeam Revu, the City of Westminster had concerns that their development permit plan reviews were inefficient. According to Genevieve Pizinger, Application Specialist for the City of Westminster, there was a lack of shared standards across departments – from the planning and zoning division to the building division and others – which made it difficult to conduct permit reviews quickly.
Snohomish County faced similar problems. According to Michael Niemer, Senior Plans Examiner for Snohomish County, sharing standards was difficult, and they lacked a way to track what was being placed on the documents. Mona El Soussey, Training Coordinator, pointed out that everyone seemed to be reviewing in a different way, so markups were not standardized across the review workflow.
Implementing Bluebeam Revu offered a solution for many of the problems faced by Snohomish County and Westminster. By using Revu, markups are cleaner, more readable and standardized for everyone in the various departments reviewing project documents. Revu has maximized efficiency and kept development projects moving forward. The City of Westminster was able to process two thousand more permits than the previous year after going digital. Snohomish County had previously experienced customers requesting that they do reviews electronically. By switching to Revu, they were able to fulfill that need and work digitally with their customers.
While going paperless may seem like an arduous task, Snohomish County is a perfect example of effective implementation. Snohomish County developed a three-part course where workers/ reviewers are able to move at their own speed learning the Bluebeam technology. According to El Soussey, 70 percent of workers felt comfortable using Revu after only one course.
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Government is often thought of as slow to adopt new technologies, but Westminster and Snohomish County represent a positive shift in this age of technology. By making the move to digital design reviews, they are able to shorten the permit review timeline and review more permits faster.
If you’d like to explore first-hand the ways Bluebeam Revu can maximize design review for your staff, try Revu for yourself. You can download a full working version of Revu Standard, Revu CAD or Revu eXtreme on a 30-day free trial. When it’s time to convert that 30-day trial to a subscription or perpetual license, contact Applied Software and talk to a Bluebeam expert about your firm’s specific needs. Applied will help you champion innovation at your company.