Land Development Services

CONTACT INFORMATION: Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. and Friday, 9:15 a.m. - 4 p.m. Please note that visitors may not be added to in-person queues past 3:45 p.m.
703-222-0801 TTY 711
12055 Government Center Pkwy
Fairfax, VA 22035
Bill Hicks

Expedited Building Plan Review Program

graph showing time length of review
Commercial Permits - Peer Review. Click to Enlarge.

The Expedited Building Plan Review Program (EBPR) offers building permit applicants an opportunity for their plan review times to be cut in half while ensuring their plans are code compliant. EBPR program is available for all project types and is most effective for commercial tenant fit outs.

Keys to program success are the carefully vetted, Fairfax County certified “Peer Reviewers”. These are registered architects and professional engineers who are highly qualified through years of design and review experience, certification by the International Code Council and a record of success with the county building plans review process. Peer reviewer performance is monitored, and under-performers are invited to exit the program.

Owners and developers, especially those unfamiliar with the Fairfax County building permit process, are encouraged to employ peer reviewers during the initial design phase to help streamline the design/development process.

Peer reviewers are hired by the owner / developer to accommodate the design schedule and to enforce the Virginia Construction Code and Fairfax County requirements in the building official’s stead.

All are cautioned to remember that peer reviewers are not a part of the design team. Rather, they are a knowledgeable resource with code enforcement responsibilities like those of county staff. Read about peer reviewer conflict of interest below.

The process begins with the owner/developer decision to opt into the program. The Fairfax County building official allows all qualified projects admission to the program. Pre-approval is vested in the list of certified peer reviewers.

Once submitted, permit issuance is expedited as the peer reviewed plans are given priority status. Residential and complex commercial plans receive advanced placement in each respective queue. Non-complex interior alterations are generally administratively processed to further expedite the plan review.

Highly complex plans may not see time savings on the first county review; however, the number of reviews is expected to be fewer, yielding a lower overall time to permit.

If you have additional questions, please contact Building Plan Review at 703-222-0801, Option 2, Option 3.

How to Become a Peer Reviewer

If you are an architect or professional engineer and you wish to obtain certification as a Peer Reviewer, you must meet the minimum qualifications and program requirements listed below.

Licensed Professional

To be a certified Peer Reviewer you must hold a valid and current license in the commonwealth of Virginia as a professional engineer or architect.

ICC Certifications and Examinations

Each Peer Reviewer must hold certifications from the International Code Council as shown in the table below in order to be certified as a Peer Reviewer for the specific component. You may obtain International Code Council certification by successfully completing Professional Certification Examinations.

Experience in Code Application and Plan Check/Review

Provide an abbreviated resume to demonstrate a minimum of five years of experience designing, checking and reviewing using the Code(s) for the discipline(s) in which certification is sought. Include additional information that may be helpful evaluating your experience.

Provide three references with contact information that will verify your professional experience. Questions may be directed to the Expedited Building Plan Review Program manager at 703-324-1087, TTY 711.

Peer Reviewer Revocation

Fairfax County may revoke your certification as a Peer Reviewer if you do not consistently recommend drawings which meet the requirements of the building code, following the program guidelines or maintain the minimum qualifications for certification as listed above. The “consistently recommend drawings” means at least 4 plans per year effective July 1, 2023.

Initial Training

Once you have passed your required examinations, you must attend a Fairfax County initial Instruction session. Initial Instruction sessions are held by appointment and can be scheduled by contacting the EBPR Manager at 703-324-1087, TTY 711 or by email.

Annual Training

Certified Peer Reviewers are required to attend at least two round table discussions per calendar year with Building Plan Review.

  • Additional training sessions, as listed above, are offered on Friday mornings from 8 a.m. to 9:15 a.m. in Room 106 (unless noted otherwise) of the Herrity Building.
  • You must sign in upon arrival in order to receive credit.
  • If county offices are closed or on "unscheduled" leave due to inclement weather, classes will be canceled.
  • For more information, contact the Expedited Building Plan Review manager at 703-324-1087, TTY 711.


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