Building Archives - Accela

Tag Archives: Building

Tackling our Housing Crisis with Technology

Gary Kovacs
America is facing a serious housing crisis. Cities from coast to coast are affected. In fact, no city or state in the country has an adequate supply of housing for the lowest income renters. Complicating matters further, often affordable housing construction is stifled by an arduous and outdated permitting process that can delay or halt progress altogether. We have yet to fully acknowledge and embrace one of the simple truths about this glaring problem: the important role technology can play in resolving it. May is Building Safety Month and this is an opportune time to discuss the proverbial “elephant in the room.” If we are serious about tackling this issue,… Continue reading

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Planning and Building: Pima County Spotlights 4 Benefits of Going Digital

Accela

Pima County Modernizes Planning, Permitting and Inspection Processes with Accela Community Development Solutions

Editor’s note: This is a case study of Pima County, Arizona, that used Accela to improve its permitting and planning department operations.Key Benefits: Staff save an average of 8-hours in processing time per week Reduced office foot traffic, and 24/7 online access to residents Quick reporting for better workload management Reduced permit turnaround times Pima County utilizes Accela Building and Planning for all permitting and planning functions including inspections, code enforcement, record searches and more. Each year, a total of 35,000 building inspections are conducted within the county limits, presenting processing challenges for the agency…. Continue reading

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Building Safety Month: Tips to Safeguard Your Community

Accela
Building codes can seem frustrating. They demand building plan approvals, collaboration with city planning and building departments and they create a chain of checkups and inspections along the way. Yet building codes also protect residents and save lives and this is why Accela celebrates May as Building Safety Month. The International Code Council (ICC) has set the time aside to call attention to the significance of building codes and provide education to governments and communities about how they can leverage this regulatory tool to protect residents during times of disaster. “All communities need building codes to protect their citizens from disasters like fires, weather-related events and structural collapse,” the ICC notes…. Continue reading

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Event Roundup: 4 Things I Learned at the 2019 National Planning Conference

Jason Christensen
high risers
Last week, city planners from across the country descended on San Francisco, CA for one of the largest planning conferences of the year – the 2019 National Planning Conference – hosted by the American Planning Association. As an attendee and exhibitor, I wanted to share some of the highlights from the show, along with some of my key learnings. Learning 1: The Downtown Paradigm Shift 15-20 years ago, one major concern for city planners was rescuing downtown areas. Today, however, this is no longer an issue. Yet due to evolving urban demographics and emerging technology, planners are being presented with a new set of unique challenges and opportunities,… Continue reading

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Speed, Service Quality, Agile Strategies: Manatee County Moves to the Cloud

Accela
Bradenton, Manatee County
Aging software and systems are a struggle for governments everywhere, but what do officials do when these same systems jeopardize essential services? They adapt. In this video, Manatee’s Director of Building and Development Services John Barnott explains how the county took 20-year-old systems and transformed them with the help of Accela’s cloud solutions for planning and building. This helped them save $250,000 annually and dramatically accelerate operations. Barnott said the county wanted to ensure services could meet the demands of residents, and many of the county’s older system were no longer supported by the vendors that had originally sold them. This meant constant fears of possible service outages and potentially high repair costs if a system went down…. Continue reading

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Digitize Your Government: 4 Benefits of Modern Planning and Building Tools

Accela
The pressure on planning and building departments is constant. They must oversee private development to ensure communities are safe. They prepare for escalating demands on infrastructure, review development plans, inspect building methods and materials, and navigate a labyrinth of incoming applications, approvals and information requests. To meet these needs many departments are modernizing, leaning on technology to fill service gaps, speed up processes and make services more accessible to residents. Yet the larger benefits of digital tools are not always apparent. Digitizing workflows and the logistics behind planning and building applications has the power to seed new opportunities for local governments to create a higher quality of life for residents…. Continue reading

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Research Shows How the 50 Largest Cities are Digitizing Land Management

Accela
Land management
Ask any contractor, and they’ll probably agree. The planning and permitting portion of a land management project has historically been a complex and time-consuming venture, riddled with inefficiency, manual processes and long waits for approval.For the average citizen (a.k.a. not an experienced contractor) trying to DIY a building project, it can be an even greater frustration. For the employees of city planning and other departments responsible for things like permitting, zoning and compliance, the sentiment is the same. Manual work, inefficient workflows and tedious processes keep governments from realizing cost efficiencies and best serving constituents.Fortunately, technology has helped eliminate inefficiency as cities adopt automated systems to streamline planning and development,… Continue reading

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Accela Offers California Cities Aid with New Building Permit Extension

Jason Shueh
planning, building, construction
Starting Jan. 1 cities and counties will be extending the time developers have to comply with building permit regulations and Accela is ready to assist governments that may need help adjusting services. California Gov. Jerry Brown signed California Assembly Bill 2913 (AB 2913) on Sept. 21, easing some of the tight building permit compliance deadlines placed on developers. Prior to the law, developers who received a building permit for construction were expected to comply with all building codes currently in force, no matter when those codes were added. This meant builders that received a permit were still required to comply with a code even if it had been added or updated after construction plans were approved or construction was underway. Continue reading

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Bernalillo County, New Mexico, Upgrades from Kiva to Accela Civic Platform

Accela

County Reduces time to Certificate of Occupancy with Concurrent Electronic Plan Review Across Departments

Bernalillo County, New Mexico, has a longstanding commitment to improving transparency and citizen engagement. In 1998, the County introduced Kiva to provide an enterprise computer system tool for land, permitting and request for service (RFS) information to its citizens. In 2004, KivaNet was introduced online. Rene Sedillo, Planning and Development Technology Manager with Bernalillo County, was on the team that originally selected and implemented Kiva. He and a business analyst were responsible for managing the system, including setting up all workflows, processes and record types. While the solution met Bernalillo County’s needs for many years,… Continue reading

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Two Planning and Building Applications Aim to Accelerate City Housing through Data, Mobile Apps and Analytics

Jason Shueh

Two new planning and building apps reduce overhead and maintenance costs, offering out-of-the-box tools

  To accommodate the heightened demand for housing, cities have employed a number of mechanisms, from policies that promote affordable housing and rent control, to economic development programs that seed new construction and support first time home buyers. Yet no matter the city or its preferred housing strategy, a common challenge faced by all cities is having enough capacity to process the many transactions required to build or modify their residential properties. For this, and other planning and building tasks, Accela introduces two simple, yet sophisticated, solutions: the Accela Civic Application for Planning and the Accela Civic Application for Building…. Continue reading

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