Since 1996 the Department has actively encouraged design professionals to use Preliminary Code Reviews on their projects, working towards an agreement with the Department on a code complaint strategy as early as possible. There is no charge for preliminary reviews and past Department studies indicated that Architects and Engineers (AE’s) using Preliminary Code Reviews incur 25% fewer defects on their final review. Other benefits of Preliminary Code Reviews include;
Effective July 1, 2012, the Department implemented a new policy and supporting procedures with respect to Preliminary Code Review meetings, to assure the scheduling AE’s gain the most benefit from the meeting.
There are two kinds of Preliminary Code Reviews; required and optional.
Policy components, effective 7/1/2012:
a) All AE’s scheduling preliminary reviews will be required to submit the following advance documentation at least 48 hours before the meeting. This information may be placed on the application for Preliminary review or it may be emailed to the assigned coordinator at least 48 hours before the meeting.
b) In the meeting, AE’s will be asked to bring supporting drawings, and walk the assigned plans examiner thru the Appendix B and plans, before posing the questions e-mailed in advance.
c) If the AE doesn’t submit the advance documentation 48 hours ahead of the meeting, the meeting is cancelled and the AE is advised of same.
d) After the AE submits the advance documentation, it is forwarded to the assigned participating plans examiner(s) for review before the preliminary meeting.
e) The foregoing does not apply to CTAC project discussions or CTAC code interpretation requests.
While the Department encourages the use of Preliminary Code Reviews, we also emphasize that AE preparation for the meeting is critical to success. The AE is responsible for preparing a
written code analysis (sometimes also called a code logic summary or
Appendix B of the project outlining both the project scope as well as the related building attributes. The AE is also responsible for facilitating the meeting, and preparing an
agenda, presenting the project’s overall code compliance strategy, and following with key issues or code questions the AE wishes to confirm. This allows the assigned Code Official to gain sufficient project information to answer questions more accurately. It is unacceptable to simply unroll a set of drawings in the meeting and ask “what do you think”. This is not a new message, as the Director has emphasized this repeatedly to the local AE community since 1996.
Other steps AE’s can focus on to assure greater success both in the Preliminary Code Review meeting, as well as in the final plan review for permitting, include the following:
Inquiries on the Preliminary Code Review Policy and Procedures may be directed to any of the following;