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Tech Upgrades Help Protect Resources

The County and its contractors will use less paper and spend less money on architectural plans thanks to upgrades in technology that were prioritized in 2015.

The County reduced the amount of paper used and money spent on architectural plans submitted by contractors and reviewed by various County departments with the Airport Passenger Terminal Project, which used the County’s new Electronic Online Plan Review process. This project was completely paperless in 2015, saving applicants at minimum $3,000 to $10,000 in printing costs and saving 2,198 sheets of paper, helping in the County’s overall conservation efforts.

With Electronic Online Plan Review, the architect only has to provide a single set of plans when the permit is issued after the project is submitted. This set will be used for the job site copy of plans. The County copy of plans is then electronically stored. No documentation, such as soils reports, engineering, etc. need be provided as it has already been reviewed electronically and is stored in Tidemark. (No scanning of the plans required at final review. This saves time and money at the end of the project).

The airport plans included architectural, civil, structural, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, landscaping, and fire plans, which would have totaled 314 sheets of paper. Typically in a paper plan submittal for such a project, there would be an initial submittal of four complete sets of plans (totaling 1,256 sheets) to the County’s Planning and Building Department, CAL FIRE, and Public Works Department. A minimum of one set of corrected plans for back check (314 sheets), another single roll set for second back check, which is typical for larger projects (314 sheets) and the final sign-off sets of two rolls (628 sheets) of which one set would be the job copy of plans and the other the County file copy.

The County saved 2,198 sheets of paper for revisions to the plans and 2,512 sheets for a second round of revisions for this project.

Additionally, the architects and engineers, all of whom are located outside of the area, did not have to make any car/plane trips to SLO once the process began. The plans, conditions and corrections were transmitted instantly back and forth through this online permit submittal process, saving time, money and gas emissions.

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