Building department accepting digital plans for commercial projects

by Laura Bednar

The Independence Building Department recently began accepting digital plans for commercial building projects.

According to building official Michael Gero, the Ohio Building Code requires all plans to be reviewed for code compliance. “Commercial plans are sent out for plan review; residential plans are reviewed by the building department,” Gero said. “Either can be submitted electronically.”

The city’s website states that plans must be submitted through PDF format or by sending a link to larger files. The files are sent to the plan examiner for review and, if changes are required, plans can be re-submitted without printing a new set. After approval, hard copies are required for permit processing.

According to the city website, “Commercial permits are issued for any tenant alterations, new commercial projects, or improvements in a commercial building. Residential permits are required any time there is an addition, alteration, repair or construction to your home or accessory structure.”

Said Gero, “Many building departments have already switched to electronic plan submittals, and most contractors are familiar with the process. [It] has cut the time and postage expenses incurred from sending the plans out by mail.”

He added that the building department has implemented a new software application which helped facilitate the transition to electronic submitting. “In addition, electronic submittals aided in providing a solution to some of the restrictions imposed by COVID,” Gero said.

Digital plan submittals include permit applications, digital plans and product specifications/cut sheets if applicable, according to the city’s website. Both commercial and residential project plans can be sent digitally to building@independenceohio.org. More information can be found at independenceohio.org/departments/building/commercial_information.php. ∞