Improved onsite inspections with mobile e-permitting
Sponsored by Cloudpermit
When municipal building inspectors arrive at a construction site, everyone involved is hoping that it will be swift, smooth, and uneventful. With mobile access to Cloudpermit on their tablets, that process is now much easier for inspectors at the Municipality of West Grey; they have all the documents they need, right at their fingertips.
“Everything is stored in one place, attached to the file. Of course, we would store the documents in a physical file before Cloudpermit, but if you got a last-minute call for an inspection, sometimes you would be onsite without it,” said Karl Schipprack, Chief Building Official at West Grey. “Some construction projects go on for years, so certain inspection reports might be missing in the file.” He explained that with the cloud-based system his team implemented in January this will no longer happen, no matter how many inspectors or contractors are involved in a project. The new system also ensures that all necessary reports are submitted in a uniform way.
West Grey, a mostly rural community with a population of 12,500, implemented the e-permitting system in January. The foresight of Schipprack and his team of two inspectors was excellent, because they were able to easily transition to remote work during the pandemic. The inspectors now leave their home offices to do inspections with all their required files accessible on their tablets.
For homeowners, contractors, tradespeople, and construction companies, mobile e-permitting has another important advantage. The moment a West Grey inspector submits a report, it is appended to a file that all stakeholders can view online. This means that everyone is informed in real time if there is an issue. Prior to implementing the Cloudpermit system, an inspector might speak with a plumber or contractor about a problem, but the details would not be immediately communicated to the homeowner or construction company. An inspector might make critical changes to building plans, and later discover that the contractors were not informed and continued to work from the original plan. Now, they are informed immediately through the system, so these oversights do not happen.
“The main driver for me for an online system was the mobile inspection option,” Schipprack said. “I could see it as a real time saver. Tracking all those inspections properly and having the information onsite has been a huge benefit for us.” MW
Jarkko Turtiainen is Vice President of Cloudpermit North America (cloudpermit.com).