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  • Electronic Plan Check

    DWF vs PDF
    CIMG4254 (Large)
    Electronic Plan Check

    A traditional permit process involves submitting paper copies of plans.  When ‘parallell’ tracking is used, where multiple disciplines review plans simultaneously (instead of sequentially) a separate full set of plans is normally required for each reviewing entity or discipline, such as life safety, electrical, mechanical, fire sprinklers, civil, etc.  In larger jurisdictions this can mean 10 sets of plans for each review cycle, which involves thousands of sheets of paper.  Normally as the correction cycles proceed, much or all of this paper ends up as waste, as revised plans supercede previous submittals.  Some jurisdictions do not permit just changed sheets to be submitted; sometimes so many sheets are affected by a revision that full sets must be duplicated, at considerable expense.

    In the electronic plan check process, the submittal is a digital version of the drawings, either in virtual form (such as an upload to an FTP site) or in physical form (such as a burned dvd).  The jurisdiction distributes the electronic file to multiple plan reviewers who can work simultaneously, and comments are created in electronic form, including potential ‘red marks’ or notations in the electronic files to help the plan preparer understand the concern or question.

    Plan reviewers need large monitors to be able to effectively ‘flip back and forth’ though plan sets electronically; and often fast computers with large memory is also required to minimize delay in accessing the information.  Large plan sets and dense sheets can bog down systems even with fast processors.

    When expedited plan review is used that requires plan reviewers to work overtime at home, electronic plan review may not work as the equipment would ordinarily not be available.  Thus, in certain jurisdictions the fastest available permit processing excludes the use of electronic plan submittals.

    PDF’s are often used as a format for submitted documents; but all pdf’s are not the same.  Other formats can be used such as DWF.  See comparison here: https://www.cadmasters.com/class/dwfvspdf.htm and here: http://dwf.blogs.com/beyond_the_paper/2006/06/comparison_of_d.html

    DWF vs PDF

    Comments on electronic plan check?

    Comments PDF programs and approaches?

    Have you been required to use particular software, and arrange pdf’s in a particular format?

    How did the electronic review affect the time for permit processing?

    One thought on “Electronic Plan Check”

    1. DEW
      The Diamond Age of Architecture

      It is the best of times – ever!

      Mankind is making another giant leap for the betterment of human civilization, embracing profoundly efficient collaboration methods and technologies, to share in the ever-increasing wealth of knowledge gained from the proliferation of information generated from every source, to transform the built environment; and architects are leading the way.

      Ulysses Smart, AIA and the firm of U. Smart Architects, (USA) collaborating with every stakeholder involved, has successfully accomplished an unprecedented feat; much like many of the architecture firms implementing the Novus Modus Operandi de Jour; utilizing computers equipped with microscopic columns of flawless diamonds to process infinite points of data conveyed on ultra-high frequencies of pulsating laser light, empowering humanity to share information like never before.

      USA is reaping benefits of new revenue streams made possible from the Architects Information Exchange (A[I]A-X), the cache where information on Real Property and associated stakeholders are forever linked, facilitating the ultimate efficiency in all aspects of design, construction, and management by making accessible via the Internet CAD and BIM files of every project, to improve upon the work of other’s and truly “design a better world” – together.

      As a result of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) repositioning effort initiated 20 years ago, the Architects’ role has solidified as the stewards of the built environment information, and thus “facilitators of efficiency”; to wit, every AECOM professional, organization, and all those in the trades who rely upon, generate and share information about Real Property and its attributes (bim), are joining the AIA as members or allied members and granted access to the Real Property Information Network (RPIN) platform that has redefined the rules of collaboration.

      The Documentation of Existing Buildings Initiative (DEBI), a global endeavor for preparedness is nearly complete; three-dimensional laser scans of every structure, as-built models, drawings, sketches, notes, etc., etc., and identification of stakeholders who provision access to their digital information, are shared among members within the A[I]A-X; abiding by newly agreed upon copyright laws, errors and omissions liability, and other legal issues regarding Digital Rights Management (DRM), including the reuse and improvement of architect submitted electronic building permit files.

      Tracking the history in the virtual representation documentation of the built environment at each location and automating the process to perpetually compensate the producers of the work, as digital files are shared with every subsequent design reuse, best practices are naturally emerging and the construction industry is thriving.

      Architects working together to lead by making accessible their digital work for others to build upon and improve, are perceived by all humanity as instrumental for the immense value gained from efficiency due to their innovations in collaboration, stewardship of the built environment information, and mastery of advanced digital technologies and new super-materials; as such, USA has earned the first “Architects’ cut”, a residual income fee paid to architects at the transfer of any Real Property they have worked on – it is a great day to be an architect!