How electronic plan review can improve building safety and compliance

March 10, 2023by e-PlanSoft™ Team

Few things are as vital as ensuring a construction project is both safe and compliant, following the necessary rules and regulations. Unfortunately, traditional paper plan sets rely on human measurements and recitation of codes to make sure this happens — which leaves room for error.

Maybe a measurement isn't precise enough, a markup is inaccurate or a regulation isn't properly cited, leading to problems down the line and a lot of wasted time and effort correcting the mistake.

That's where electronic plan review software, such as e-PlanSoft™ e-PlanReview®, comes in. With electronic plan review software, you can always be sure a measurement is exact because it's computer generated. Markups are always precise. Comments that cite codes are 100% accurate because they quote the regulation directly and automatically.

All of this adds up to a vastly superior plan reviewing experience, ensuring that building safety and compliance rules are followed perfectly. Read on to find out more about how electronic plan review can assist with these necessary components of construction.

What is the International Code Council (ICC)?

The International Code Council (ICC) develops standards, codes and solutions to ensure buildings and communities meet specific regulations when it comes to affordability, safety and sustainability. It's a highly-respected and often-used source to confirm all building construction meets the required standards for being safe and sustainable.

How does electronic plan review software such as e-PlanReview® ensure compliance with ICC codes?

e-PlanReview® implements the ICC's Code Connect API to ensure compliance with ICC regulations. Plan reviewers can then avoid making mistakes when citing codes. Sections within the guidebook can be automatically linked and you can copy and paste code content into items related to plan review, such as correction letters or other review documents.

How electronic plan review enhances building safety and compliance

One of the primary ways in which electronic plan review is superior to traditional paper plan review is its precision when making markups, leaving comments and collaborating with other plan reviewers who have full visibility into real-time changes made on the plan set.

With digitization comes precision

When plan review is done on a computer, users can make exact measurements without needing to be eyeballed as they do with pen-and-paper plan sets. Even the most careful plan reviewer with the steadiest hands can't be sure the lines they draw or the distances they measure are perfectly precise. That's why digital plan review is inherently superior for code compliance. If a building's plan set needs to have exact measurements to meet ICC codes, the only truly reliable way to do that is to have computerized lengths and drawings that are always correct.

Leaving comments

An innate part of e-PlanReview® is the ability to make and reply to comments by other plan reviewers. This ensures that everyone is on the same page and feedback can be promptly followed up on. But what if you need to cite an ICC code?

Being able to automatically cite a specific code saves time when you want to communicate with another plan reviewer. They can then adjust the plan appropriately to fit that particular regulation. e-PlanReview® has ICC codes and standard comments built-in, removing the risk of human error when citing such standards.

Finally, a log is kept of all comments so you can always be sure who left a comment and when it was made. This ensures enhanced collaboration and accountability.

Real-time collaboration on plan sets

With traditional plan review, there is always the latest version of a plan set. However, this requires passing the plans from reviewer to reviewer, who each make individual markups and then pass those again for review. The entire time, you can't really be sure if the markups or comments you're leaving are 100% accurate. You also can't be sure you're working with the latest version of the plan set. It's a convoluted and slow process that requires a great deal of organization.

Digital plan review is vastly more efficient. When you mark up a plan in an electronic plan review, those changes reflect instantly for all parties involved to see — even if they're working remotely. With the use of special electronic plan review software, everyone is always looking at the newest version of the plan set. This way, they can be certain that all the changes they make are viewable in real time.

To ensure code and regulation compliance, use electronic plan review

With so many features of plan review becoming digitized to make the process easier and safer, traditional plan review is being phased out in favor of electronic review to remove the element of human error when following ICC codes and other building regulations.

e-PlanSoft's line of products is a fully comprehensive eplanning solution. Request a demo today to learn more and get started.