University of Minnesota to Automate Building Permits, Inspections with Accela Software

Accela-based system to provide 24/7 access to critical information and ensure code compliance for university's "municipal" building department

MINNEAPOLIS, Sept. 29, 2010 – Accela, Inc. today announced that the University of Minnesota’s Building Codes Division (BCD) has selected Accela Automation® software to form the cornerstone of a centralized, Web-based, e-permitting and inspection system that will serve all of the university’s locations within the state. The new system, expected to go live in the spring of 2011, is designed to streamline inspection processes, improve service and accountability, and ensure that construction projects are completed in compliance with regional building codes and university best practices.

Created in 1974, when the State of Minnesota declared the university a municipality for state building code enforcement, BCD is self funded and chartered to provide a high level of service to all university locations through the consistent and cost-effective application of state building codes. BCD today serves a student and faculty population of more than 70,000 across five campuses and at numerous research and outreach centers.

Accela Automation will replace BCD’s custom-built system with a one-stop solution that speeds up the process of getting from application to occupancy by automating key processes such as: application initiation and submittal, plan review, internal processing, field inspections, and finally permit approval and issuance. BCD also will deploy Accela Citizen Access™ to provide contractors, licensed professionals and other registered users with an online portal where they can apply for permits and track inspection status anytime and anywhere. Accela Citizen Access will also allow users to attach electronic documentation – such as photos, drawings or plans – to further expedite each step in the permitting process.

“Major universities today grapple with many of the same needs as cities,” said Accela CEO and President, Maury Blackman. “With large and diverse populations, extensive infrastructure requirements, and increasing competition for development dollars, many universities are looking for ways to achieve a leg-up by improving their processes and making it easier for students, faculty and on-campus businesses to thrive. Accela’s deep experience bringing advanced e-permitting technology to hundreds of municipal governments in the US and overseas will allow BCD to deliver a more business-friendly permitting process and help keep the University of Minnesota at the top of its game.”

Accela Automation provides a complete solution for automating critical tasks associated with permitting, code enforcement, community development and planning, inspections and investigations, licensing, asset and resource management, emergency response, and more. The software utilizes an open architecture and a centralized database, allowing information to be easily accessed across departments. BCD users will be able to create consistent methods for data submission and evaluation, and to easily configure application types, business processes, fees, and reports to match their specific needs. BCD also intends to leverage Accela Automation’s advanced GIS mapping functionality, which integrates with existing GIS systems to provide a geographic view of all land-use, zoning, and infrastructure information associated with a parcel, permit, inspection or plan.

RedMark Technologies, an Accela Certified Partner for implementation services, is providing system integration for BCD’s deployment of Accela Automation. 

###