By Brian Foley
Now that the building plan review process in Fairfax County is completely electronic with ProjectDox, we are noticing designer participation in the ePlans process is not being fully utilized. It appears that permit expediters are the sole applicant in ProjectDox while the system is designed to have multiple applicants. Designers, and even building owners, are able and highly encouraged to have access to their own plan reviews in ProjectDox. Granting system rights to the entire design team allows up-to-date access to review comments including “changemarks” which are comments shown in the precise location on a plan sheet of a potential code violation. Then, upon subsequent submissions, the designers themselves can respond to the comments in ProjectDox rather than use the permit expediter as the go-between. This is a timesaver for designers and permit expediters and can ultimately speed up permit issuance.
The permit applicant (in most commercial cases this is the permit expediter) must add the designers’ names and email addresses during the initial plan upload in the “Add Group Members” fields as shown in the image above. In the pull-down under the “Invite to Group” heading, select “Applicant” so designers can have access to view changemarks and provide comment responses. For owners, contractors and other interested parties, select “Contractor” for read-only rights. Expanding a group after plan upload cannot be easily accommodated, so ensure all designers and interested parties are identified early.