As more and more Jurisdictions throughout the United States are getting on board with Project Docs, the electronic submittal process for Building review, one may ask themselves, do I still need an expediter? The answer is yes. While hand delivering a project submittal to the Jurisdiction is one of the many benefits of having an expediter on board, there are still many responsibilities the expeditor takes on beyond the initial submittal that adds value to the project team and ensures project success.
Assessing submittal requirements
Understanding the submittal requirements is even more essential with electronic submittals because the jurisdiction will take any number of days to review the submittal items before beginning the plan check process. An incomplete submittal may lead to the Jurisdiction rejecting the submittal, requesting additional items and potentially delaying the review by many weeks. An expediter who understands the Jurisdiction’s requirements will ensure that all necessary items are included, so the submittal process goes smoothly.
Assessing permit review requirements
Understanding review requirements, time frames, and fees prior to submittal are necessary to ensure successful submittal, processing of permits, and scheduling of design and construction milestones. In our previously published article “Proper Planning for Permit Success” we discuss the necessary preparations to make prior to submittal to ensure timely permit issuance.
Entitlements must be in place prior to Building Submittal and typically do not take electronic submittals. Entitlements require Jurisdictional meetings, attendance of public hearings, and processing of conditions of approval. An expeditor will work with the Jurisdiction and Design team to ensure that hearings are scheduled, paperwork is being processed and the required documents are provided to the Jurisdiction.
Depending on the project scope, additional agencies outside of community development may need to review and approve construction documents. In many instances, Building and Safety does not route the plans to these agencies. It is the expeditors duty to identify and engage these agencies to coordinate their approval of the review project. These agencies may include city, county, state and federal departments.
The expediter will maintain lines of communication open with the Jurisdiction and design team to ensure the project is moving along as needed. This will include follow ups to push the review, organizing and reporting all comments and documents, Scheduling appointments, attending meetings and processing all documentation and sign offs such as affidavits, covenants, street closures, utilities, etc.
Having a knowledgable and qualified expediter on board is in some ways more essential for jurisdiction who implement the electronic submittal process because interacting with the Jurisdiction becomes even more difficult. With less human interaction, it becomes easier to miss some of the details that may need compliance for Permit Issuance. Expeditors pay an integral role with the design team and Jurisdiction to streamline reviews and ensure Permit Deadlines are met.