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Plan Review Ensures Code Compliance and Identifies Design Deficiencies
Plan review is commonly thought to be limited to Authorities Having Jurisdictions (AHJs), such as Building and Fire Officials; however, modern building approaches including design-build projects, third-party verification systems used by various government entities, and legal issues have expanded the role of plan review considerably. The expertise within JENSEN HUGHES allows us to support clients in a full range of service areas.
Plan Review for Authorities Having Jurisdiction
Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJs) can include Building Officials, Fire Officials, Federal government specialists, insurance purveyors and others. In all of these cases, code or standards compliance, particularly with any adopted amendments or design guidance directives, is the desired approach. Since JENSEN HUGHES staff have extensive experience with codes and standards, as well as highly-protected risk insurance requirements and approaches, reliable assistance can be provided for AHJs in many areas of the built environment. JENSEN HUGHES engineers often provide support to small and mid-size municipalities tasked to review large projects within their jurisdictions as well as providing augmentation support. As examples, our San Ramon, CA office has reviewed the new Apple Headquarters for the City of Cupertino, CA and our Denver, CO office has assisted over 20 departments and jurisdictions in Colorado, Wyoming and New Mexico.
Design Verification and Constructability Services
Services for owners, builders, design-build teams and others involved in the construction industry typically desire more than code compliance reviews. For these types of reviews, JENSEN HUGHES staff use their experience with system design, construction methods and engineering approaches to help ensure that buildings and systems are not only compliant with applicable codes and standards, but are consistent with design team specifications, can be tested and maintained easily and adequately in the future and are constructed from reliable equipment and parts in a quality manner. These types of services are often categorized under:
- Construction management services (e.g., shop drawing review)
- Design-build services
- Commissioning services
Post-Construction and Forensic Evaluations
Occasionally, plan review services are needed after construction is complete for a variety of reasons. As with the services provided during the design and construction phases, the skills and knowledge of JENSEN HUGHES staff can contribute greatly to the efforts of owners, legal counsel, fire/accident investigators, and others examining existing structures. Some functions we support from this perspective include:
- Occupancy change or update in existing buildings
- Support of legal concerns such as construction defects, noncompliant engineering or installation or system failures
- Input to post-accident investigations to reveal reasons for system design or building configuration
- Assist with forensic investigations to provide understanding why buildings or systems may be constructed