Free Tool to Assist with Building Plans and Approvals

Free Tool to Assist with Building Plans and Approvals

Over the past several years more and more Jurisdictions accept building plans electronically. Makes perfect sense in the digital age, but not without challenges. This comes as good news for staff with access to and fluency in CAD software. But, not everyone that reviews plans is an engineer.

We spoke to several of our customers recently and were surprised to hear that they preferred hard copies to review. Why? “How can I verify measurements, mark up the drawings or stamp received/approved/etc. I’m not an engineer and don’t have a license for their software.” One customer said. 

Did you know that the free version of Adobe reader provides a user-friendly way to accomplish all of this?

  • Verify Measurements
  • Comment
  • Mark up
  • Callout
  • Stamp

Many of our customers use adobe reader in conjunction with Codepal. It’s free and easy to learn!

PLAN REVIEW HELPFUL TIPS

Here are a few tutorials on how to use Adobe Reader for this purpose:

Open Codepal on half of the screen and Adobe Reader on the other half. Review your checklist and the reviews at the same time, side by side.

Measure Electronic Drawings

Adobe – Share, comment and review

Electronic Plans Review Best Practices

Stamp drawing with Adobe


Other posts related to this topic

Electronic Inspections: Paper vs Software

3 Reasons to Switch to Electronic Plan Review


Inspection of Plans

3 Reasons to Switch to Electronic Plan Review

Changing from paper plan reviews to an online electronic process is a quickly growing area of interest in the industries we serve. Emerging technologies have made this easier and more efficient. With the advances in technology providing large screen monitors, graphic design programs and the internet, we no longer need to rely on rolls of paper.

To make the decision easier, we’ve compiled the top 3 reasons to switch to an electronic environment. And not just for plan reviews.

1. Centralized Plan Management

Reduce Storage Space

Large plans require storage space until reviews are completed. With electronic processing, the space need is eliminated. For example, documents can be stored on a network, in a database, or in the cloud. No more storage room needed.

Document Security

Plans can be lost or misplaced when passing plans between departments. This adds time and frustration to your project. With digital storage, you will always know where the plans are. And everyone has access to them.

Access plans quickly

Accessing physical plans and documents can be a hassle. This is a hassle. Access your plans anywhere, anytime. This adds to the time saved. For instance, you will no longer need to swing by the office to pick up forgotten plans on your wait to an inspection.

Avoid loss, damage or delay after a natural disaster

Planning for a natural disaster is not a popular subject, however, it is one that should take place. Damage to a facility results in damage to stored assets. This adds time to an already lengthy process. With electronic storage, these items are safe from disaster. Immediately pick up where you left off.

Building Plans
Digital Building Plans are efficient

2. Review Management

Reduce processing time up to 50%

Time is money. Time to print multiple copies, deliver and distribute plans, share with other departments and request corrections. Rinse and repeat. And this can continue for up to 18 months. Instantly receive plans in numerous locations. Approve plans quickly with improved communications. As a result, faster review processes, lead to earlier development and tax collection for your city.

Skip the economic costs and wasted time. CAD programs can save digital plans. With plans submitted electronically, communications are instant for correction requests. Re-submit plans and finalize approvals faster.

Additionally, Codepal can reference your purchased codebooks instantly. No more digging for the code to refrence or misquoting code. Set up a list of frequent reference for a faster result.

Parallel reviews

Conducting plan reviews shouldn’t be like herding cattle. Digital files are easily shared and reviewed. Therefore, all departments are working simultaneously.

Coordinated Review Notes

During a plan review, multiple people in your city are handling the plans and making notations. This can be counter-productive to your communication efforts. For this reason, coordinating your notes in one accessible location breaks through the communication barrier.

3. Improved Service

Open 24 hours a day

For your community, having open hours to submit applications and plans are a huge success. For contractors, taking time from their heavy workload to stop by an office when it is open is inconvenient. Equally important, your staff will not spend their time working with customers, if they are collecting electronic documents online.

Communication abilities increased

As stated above, communication is challenging. With Codepal, your staff has access to a complete history. Also, you gain the ability to send communications with anyone detailing the entered notations. As a result, you will save time typing out communication for details you’ve already entered.

Reduced management and archiving costs

Storing and archiving plans can be labor intensive and expensive. Moving to an electronic environment eliminates this problem. Because filing and document tracking are automatic it eliminates the need for physical document management.

Economic Value

The economic value saved by gas cost for travel, printing costs for plans and documents, and storage space no longer needed adds up to substantial savings all around. Of course, this could fluctuate based on fuel costs, travel distance and copies. But the value adds up quickly.

The time and money saved using electronic plan reviews are obvious. The frustration saved is priceless.

Interested in more information about our Plan Review process? Click here for more information or call us at 217-787-1133


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