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ePermitHub was founded to pursue a mission: make the construction permitting and plan review process faster, more transparent and more efficient for all stakeholders. The company’s electronic plan review platform helps construction teams track and manage regulatory plan approvals by local government agencies while integrating the process into their Autodesk design tool workflows. Permit-issuing government agencies use the platform to host the regulatory plan review process online. The whole plan review and approval process progresses faster, with agencies gaining the ability to manage reviews and issues more collaboratively.
Whether you want to add a pool to your backyard or build a new hospital, you’ll need to get construction permits, along with approved construction plans. In the case of the hospital, you’ll need to submit hundreds—possibly thousands—of building plans for review by the local permitting agency. You submit plans using paper or PDF and wait. It’s hard to know where you are in the review process. Permitting and regulatory plan review is inefficient for agencies, too. With dozens of reviews and correction requests to manage, the agencies may struggle to keep the process moving for the many projects they must review. ePermitHub set out to bring more automation, control, and transparency to construction permitting and regulatory plan review.
The ePermitHub team decided early on that it would need to include model and CAD file viewing as part of its platform. But they had no intention of developing a viewer because they wanted to avoid the time and expense associated with maintaining a viewer for multiple file types. The team reviewed the viewers available on the market, and Forge won their attention. The Forge Viewer supports more than 60 design file formats. It, along with the Data Management and Model Derivative APIs, provide much of the basic functionality the team believed its platform needed to include to compete.
As the ePermitHub team worked with the Forge APIs, they found them easy to use. More important, the team could devote more time to developing innovative features—like collaborative issue management tools and enhanced digital signatures validation—that made ePermitHub stand out to its customers. Integrating these high-value features into the Forge APIs proved just as easy. Today, the ePermitHub team works with the BIM 360 API to more seamlessly connect Autodesk design tool workflows with regulatory permitting and plan review.
Take one permit issuer as an example. The City of Grand Rapids, MI, uses ePermitHub to host its ePermitHub Digital Plan Room. Construction and design teams submit their plans online. The platform automatically validates the readability of the submission. Submitters can easily track the progress of their plans online. Reviewers for the city use built-in viewing and markup tools to check and comment on the plans. They can easily track issues and manage corrections from submitters, helping to accelerate the permitting process. Grand Rapids is able to reduce their turnaround time on regulatory reviews and approvals by days, and in some cases with large commercial projects, by weeks. Further, the City estimates the Forge-based ePermitHub Digital Plan Room could save their customers $375,000+ annually in printing costs.
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