For Immediate Release - October 12 2006

Department of Building Inspection
Mayor Newsom’s Voices of the Administration Blog

October 12, 2006
By Amy Lee, Acting Director


The Department of Building Inspection (DBI) plays a vital and critical role in the on-going safety and well-being of all San Franciscans, particularly when you consider structural safety realities when building in one of the world’s most active seismic zones.  Just as the Police and Fire Departments are essential to public safety, what we do every day at DBI in terms of inspections, permit processing and ensuring the fair enforcement of complex and ever-changing building codes is a public responsibility we fulfill as professionally and efficiently as possible.

"DBI is increasing its leadership efforts on a number of fronts this year.  The Department has just issued a "Priority Permit Processing Guideline" with categories that allow certain permits to receive expedited review.  We’re working closely with the Mayor’s Office, the Department of the Environment and Planning Department to move San Francisco forward in terms of green and sustainable building standards and included priority permit review to all new and renovated buildings that qualify for the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, Gold rating or equivalent.  This means DBI is already implementing a new fast-track permitting process that will save both time and money -- delivering a substantial incentive for developers and builders to ‘go for the gold’ and ensuring that our City will have more energy-efficient and environmentally sensitive buildings in the near future.

In another leadership initiative, DBI is hosting its first “Meet the Professionals” Summit, a day-long event at the Bill Graham Civic Center Auditorium that will be held on October 25th from 8:30 a.m. until 6:30 p.m., when we’ll offer free public workshops on a broad range of departmental services as a way to pro-actively educate our public customers.  Many San Franciscans are confused by the often complex process involved in matters that range from home and office permits, to seismic safety and condo conversions, to highly technical matters involved in the increasing numbers of high rises that are changing the San Francisco skyline.  With the October 25th  “Meet the DBI Pros” Summit, we hope to get to know our customers better and to refine our procedures in ways that are more efficient, more responsive to housing and building needs, and fully compliant with the building safety codes DBI is charged with implementing for the long-term life safety future of our City. 

Please visit our web site for more information,