Why do I have to have my plans reviewed?
The most obvious answer to this question is simple. It is our responsibility to protect the interest of our citizens and to the best of our ability, ensure the safety of the structures that they live and work in. For most citizens, their home is the largest investment they will ever make. For our small business owners, their business is what supports them and their families. Large commercial projects will offer services to many different people in the community.
The plan review phase of the process provides a second pair of ‘eyes’ to review the final construction documents and to insure compliance with locally adopted codes, and ordinances as well as sound structural practices. It has been proven that it is far less costly and complicated to gain compliance prior to the beginning of construction than after the project is underway. Erasers are much less expensive than jack hammering a slab because the footing is located incorrectly.
Plan Review also makes the inspection process flow more quickly and easily. When the inspector visits the job site, they are looking for compliance with the plans as approved. Plan review has hours to spend verifying compliance, while the inspector has only minutes. Plan reviewers have libraries of information and other staff available to discuss concerns. Often, decisions made prior to approving a plan are based on consensus supported by research. Construction processes are streamlined when field inspectors do not have to make "snap" field interpretations or put off the approval so they can do research.
Residential Projects: The most often missed items found during plan review are the connection details that provide information about how the structure needs to be put together in order to resist the wind forces we sometimes experience here in the valley.
Commercial Projects: These projects often have architectural and structural components that have not been coordinated. In most cases, the disciplines are from different offices and during the design phase when every good idea is being considered as an option, one may make a change that the others do not.