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Building Safety Month: A Cause for Celebrating Community Development

This month, we celebrate Community Development agencies, who oversee the building and permitting codes that save lives and businesses. Accela software helps them do it.

May is Building Safety Month, a public awareness campaign driven by the International Code Council (ICC) to highlight the different elements needed to build safe and sustainable structures. 

As the ICC says, building codes save lives. We spend a significant amount of our lives inside structures, so having a safe place to live, work and play is crucial. Building codes, and the local Community Development municipal agencies that oversee and implement them, protect citizens and businesses from many dangerous events like fire, and extreme storms as well as from less visible dangers like indoor air pollution caused by dust, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), mold, formaldehyde and more.They can also ensure that our offices, stores and homes are optimized for efficiency – an important consideration since buildings amount for up to 40% of North America’s energy consumption. 2

The important work that community development, building, permitting and code enforcement departments do every day to keep their communities safe is empowered by best practices and technology.

Software for the Modern Community Development Agency 

Accela’s building and permitting solutions enable municipal agencies to ensure new construction and renovations are up to code by enhancing transparency and visibility—all appropriate personnel can view and mark up important documents such as building plans, orders, certifications and more. Officials and industry leaders can work collaboratively through Accela Citizen Access to exchange comments and information. The processes are consistent and auditable so that nothing is missed. Intelligent workflow—which might just be builders’ and residents’ favorite feature—ensures nothing gets lost or bottlenecked, helping construction break ground faster. McAllen, Texas, improved their turnaround for residential permits from three weeks to three days, and from two months to only 5-10 days for commercial permits.

Perhaps most importantly, in the field, inspectors have unfettered access to the database and all records associated with the site, as well as local code documentation. This helps them ensure that construction matches proposed plans and that the site truly is meeting safety requirements set by local standards.

Accela is proud to celebrate Building Safety Month and what community development departments do every day to support safe, sustainable and livable development. We look forward to continuing to enable these agencies with powerful tools to aid this important mission.

1 https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2014-08/documents/building_codes_and_iaq.pdf

2 https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.php?id=86&t=1

 

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