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Permit Sets vs. Issued for Construction

  • 1.  Permit Sets vs. Issued for Construction

    Posted 01-03-2017 10:56

    Does AIA or other design or build agency have wording that reflects that Permit Sets are not intended for Construction?

    Our experience is that Permit Sets can range from a 50 to 90 percent level of completion and are not intended to go right into Construction?

    Thank You


    Dennis O'Beirne AIA, LEED®AP


    Associate-Architecture Manager

    dd +1 248 936 8062 

    email  web


    IBI Group

    25200 Telegraph Road-Suite 300

    Southfield MI  48033  United States

    tel +1 248 936 8000 ext 51026  fax +1 248 936 8111




    NOTE: This email message/attachments may contain privileged and confidential information. If received in error, please notify the sender and delete this e-mail message.

  • 2.  RE: Permit Sets vs. Issued for Construction

    Posted 01-03-2017 11:30
    Not sure where you're headed with the question, but assuming that it is directed toward sealing of drawings, I would think that the authority on this subject would be your professional licensing board.

    Mike Leinback

  • 3.  RE: Permit Sets vs. Issued for Construction

    Posted 01-04-2017 18:16

    We only submit drawings as complete as possible. If you submit a drawing package anywhere near 50% complete, a good plan checker will just kick your package out & tell you to try again. It is not their job to tell you what information to put on the drawings & you will just piss them off. They will accuse you of wasting their they should.

    There is a simple way to make sure that what you submit for permit does not get used for construction...don't sign your plans. Some have electronic stamps that instead of having a signature line say "FOR PLAN CHECK ONLY", this will work too.

    Good luck, I hope this helps.  

    Michael P. Porter, LEED AP
    Architect C28927
    TAE Inc. Architecture & Planning
    195 N. K Street  Tulare, CA 93274
    P(559) 688-2071 F(559) 688-2073

  • 4.  RE: Permit Sets vs. Issued for Construction

    Posted 01-04-2017 19:06

    Some state regulations have requirements that drawings submitted for plan review are stamped or labeled as not for construction, or not for construction until approved.

    Some jurisdictions turn away drawings that are labeled "for permit, not for construction use"  on the grounds that if the documents aren't ready to build from (in the designer's eye), why are they being submitted ... or will the contractor be constructing from a different set of documents in the field, and ignoring any corrections noted on the jursidiction-approved set. 

    No simple, one-size-fits-all answer

    Joel Niemi AIA
    Joel Niemi Architect
    Snohomish, WA

  • 5.  RE: Permit Sets vs. Issued for Construction

    Posted 01-04-2017 22:23
    It is my understanding that drawings submitted for permit are, by definition, "not for construction" as they have not yet been approved by the building department.

    I recall in offices of yore, we interns would stamp sets as "Bid set only- not for construction." Only drawings stamped by licensed architects and engineers and approved by the permitting authority are considered construction sets.

    I agree with the comment below suggesting you contact your State licensing board and/or read the practice act. Another good resource would by CSI (Construction Specifications Institute) website and/or their CDT study guide book.

    As a last resort, you could also contact your Professional Liability Insurance company on industry standards.

    I would love to hear others' thoughts on the matter.

    Best regards and good luck,

    Tara Imani, AIA, NCIDQ, ASID, CSI
    Registered Architect + Interior Designer

    Tara Imani Designs, LLC
    10333 Richmond Avenue, Suite 170
    Houston, TX 77042

    Work/Mobile Ph: 832-723-1798

  • 6.  RE: Permit Sets vs. Issued for Construction

    Posted 01-05-2017 19:56

    I agree with Tara Imani with the following exception.

    The document notes the date and what it is for "Issue for Permit Application"

    Once the building department accepts the plans, and the permit is ready for pick up , then the next set is noted what it is for " Construction set " 

    R e g a r d s ,     N a n c y 
    N a n c y  H a r p e r 
    P h o e n i x  -  S c o t t s d a l e ,  A Z   
    4 8 0 - 9 4 5 - 0 1 6 2   c e l l u l a r

  • 7.  RE: Permit Sets vs. Issued for Construction

    Posted 01-05-2017 18:01
    In South Dakota, actions on permitting and construction documents are all over the place. Our licensing board collects fees for licences and punishes architects if late on their dues. From what i can tell, that's all they do. Unlicensed individuals appear to be able to offer and provide architectural services, and permits get issued with little to no certified engineering. Some work just gets constructed with partial sets. I have challenged our licensing board on these issues for years.  

    A local building department recently issed a permit for "demolition" to a young worker (not a construction company) with no plans or other information. Presumably this was for interior demolition as part of an intended remodel. While doing demo, that building collapsed and somebody died.

    As a profession, we should be screaming out about permitting without complete documentation; and unlicensed practice.  As a profession, we stand ready, prepared, and regulated to protect the life safety and welfare of the public but we can't do this if the system allows for bypassing us. 

    So far as I can tell, there is little to nothing being said.

    Sent from my LG V20, an AT&T 4G LTE smartphone

  • 8.  RE: Permit Sets vs. Issued for Construction

    Posted 12-04-2019 00:43
    Hi Robin,

    I'm just now reading your post. I agree with you that the situation you describe warrants our collective, immediate attention.

    I am appalled at how architects are penalized for trying to do our jobs while others "acting as wannabe architects" are allowed to get away with all kinds of HSW violations and the public is none the wiser.

    What can we do to address this?

    I'm ready to join arms, create a task force, and lead the way.

    Respectfully yours,

    Tara Imani, AIA, NCIDQ, ASID, CSI
    Houston, TX 77042

    Tara Imani, AIA, NCIDQ, ASID, CSI
    Principal, Founder
    Tara Imani Designs, LLC
    Houston, TX

  • 9.  RE: Permit Sets vs. Issued for Construction

    Posted 12-09-2019 09:20
    Tara, Thank you for your response.  In the three years since my original post, there has been little to no change.

    I believe the laws pertaining to the illegal practice of architecture and engineering are in-place.  What appears to be missing is the willingness of our licensing boards and permitting authorities to stop unlicensed practice and partial/incomplete services.

    At the 2019 AIA Convention, I talked to AIA National, NCARB, asking them to collectively take a strong stand for enforcement.  ICC appears to be the most concerned, followed by NCARB.  AIA appears to be afraid that some states may try to repeal licensure altogether.  The 4-5 SD State legislators that I have communicated with are appalled by the thought of repealing licensure and to a person, they agree that the laws they pass should be followed.

    What is needed is some kind of a mandate for State licensing boards (NCARB) to aggressively investigate and prosecute 1) unlicensed drafters, plan stampers, permit issuers (AHJs), and A/Es who do not perform CA per each individual State's statutes.  Fines should not be small.  They should be in the magnitude of the amount of fees that the offending party supposedly saved by non-compliance.  Those fees should then be used for further investigations.

    As members, we should be putting pressure on our club (AIA national, State, and local chapters).  Perhaps if we all speak up, more can be done.  Remember, this is not about making work, it's all about the life, safety, health and welfare of the public.  People die when corners get cut.

    Robin Miller AIA
    MSH Architects
    Sioux Falls SD

  • 10.  RE: Permit Sets vs. Issued for Construction

    Posted 01-04-2017 17:28

    Certainly in Texas, what you are trying to do would not be permitted.  TBAE, the licensing board here, requires that drawings be stamped and sealed, or have the notation "Not intended for bidding, permit, or construction".  You can have both on the documents.  Sealing them indicates that they are complete and ready for construction.  And you cannot generally submit unsealed documents to a jurisdiction.

     And, in general, my experience has been that AHJ's will not review or issue permits for documents that are not intended for construction.  In Houston for example, I have had plans returned because they said on them "Issued for Permit".  The City requires either "Issued for Permit and Construction" or just "Issued for Construction".  And, of course, they have to be sealed.

    It seems to me that it is not a very good practice to seal unfinished drawings.

    Kevin TenBrook AIA
    Houston TX

  • 11.  RE: Permit Sets vs. Issued for Construction

    Posted 01-06-2017 02:02
    Perhaps to get back to some possible reasons that Dennis is asking the question he asks, consider:

    1)  There is a lot of information in a set of bid/construction drawings that goes above and beyond the building permit plan reviewer's needs.  Paint colors, decor, you name it.  If "permit" drawings indicate that the toilet room walls are finished with ceramic tile (which could be by listing in a schedule), that is enough.  [ In some ways, not having all of the "aesthetic" information on the drawings might make the plan reviewer's job easier ... ]

    2)  We architects (admit it) often get behind in our work.  Creating the final set of drawings which shows all of the design intent is needed before they're used for construction, but not necessarily for permitting.

    3)  It may not be universal, but some areas, especially with a lot of construction and permitting activity, also have long permit review times, which seem to stretch out and get even longer.  Their "goal" is 4 weeks, the best case is 6 (other departments have to look first - two or three public works groups, etc.), and common is 8 or 10.  [When long review times like that are know, the prudent architect and owner work them into the project schedule and work around it.  "Permit Sets" are a coping mechanism.]  [Years ago, when such long review times were common in Western Washington (they're a week or two less, now), I was in another part of the state researching a project.  I visited The Building Official and as part of going over their process, asked what the review time might be.  He looked a bit crestfallen when he had to admit it was now taking 2 weeks for a major project .... ]

    3a) Since "we know" that the building official will have some comments, many firms have the practice of preparing and submitting a "permit set", which they continue to work on until they receive the "first round of plan check comments".  At that time, those changes and additions are made, and the project is resubmitted.

    4)  It also happens that at that point (first round of comments incorporated) that the drawings are issued for bid.  Are these ready for construction use? Well, probably not completely.  Could they be used as such? Yes, but how many change orders do you want to prepare?

    5)  The addendum phase of drawing modifications sets in next.  If lucky, the design team gets the "second round of plan check comments" back, and can put those into the drawings, so that the hapless bidder who started estimating when the drawings were first issued can either a) start over or b) find "gotchas" and holes in the bid if they happen to the the low bidder.

    Personally, I would have no qualms about applying for a building permit with a 90% set.  That 90% had better solve occupancy separations, exiting, accessibility, and sanitary finishes.  These days, thee will be a bunch of drawings up front in the set that exist for few reasons other than to speed up the plan review.  In days of yore, green eyeshades, and plastic lead hand-drafted on mylar, we didn't have pages showing the occupancy group, floor area and exiting load from every space - the plan reviewer redmarked that himself.  It's common now to see drawing pages with IBC text retyped and a narrative explaining how the design complies ... time spent creating those submissions takes away from getting to the 95% set.

    In >36 years in the field, I can think of only a handful of significant projects which were constructed from the permit-application set.  And we all know that even a perfect, 100% "complete" set still requires additional documentation for ASIs and RFIs.  It's sort of the nature of the beast.

    [As a former Texas-registered professional, I appreciated the TBAE's "labeling" requirements.  I saw them as verification that our work had value, and that my stamp and signature on the final set was important.]

    best regards,
    Joel Niemi
    - Architect

  • 12.  RE: Permit Sets vs. Issued for Construction

    Posted 01-04-2017 17:31

    Some jurisdictions require permit drawings be sealed and stamped "issued for Construction".  AHJ's do not want to waste their time reviewing incomplete drawings or doing multiple reviews - a reasonable expectation.   There are usually provisions for expedited reviews of partial bid packages (grading, foundation, etc...)  to allow construction start,  but always with IFC drawings.  The AHJ want their inspectors to have the drawings that the contractor is building from.  

    John Sparks AIA
    Associate Architect
    Burns & McDonnell
    Kansas City MO

  • 13.  RE: Permit Sets vs. Issued for Construction

    Posted 01-04-2017 17:52

    As both a licensed Architect and Licensed Building Official in CT, my firm performs construction document reviews for permit on behalf of Local Building Departments.  From that perspective, I have to say that documents submitted for permit should be 100% complete and ready for construction.  Unfortunately they are generally not approvable and are rejected for revision and resubmittal.  This reflects poorly on the Architectural Profession and the training or lack thereof in Code Compliance.

    Bruce Spiewak AIA
    Bruce J. Spiewak, AIA, Consulting Architect, LLC
    West Haven CT

  • 14.  RE: Permit Sets vs. Issued for Construction

    Posted 01-05-2017 19:18


    While I understand your sentiment, there are other problems as well; economics and competition and education of the public. Most architects want to produce complete CDs for a host of reasons. Most in the residential realm must compete with bottom feeder D/B companies who offer free or loss leader "design" to buy the construction (at over retail). Many architects charge way too little and in order to buy jobs end up having to cheapen the quality of the CDs to "basic permit set"... as basic as possible in order to come out at more than minimum wage for their work. Reviews requiring responses become less costly than the alternative of doing full CDs. 

    We do our best to educate clients about the very real benefits (and leverage) available to them when we do full construction docs. They might get it... but... the lure of cheap fees by people who are also licensed can put lots of residential architect out of business if they refuse to do "permit sets". 

    It does not help when permit departments allow non-licensed people to submit ANYTHING. If it needs a permit - it needs a licensed architect. Make that match and you, our clients/the public and we (architects in the trenches who only eat it if we can kill it) will be much better off. 

    Demand a stamp on EVERYTHING. Supply and Demand free market economics will take care of the rest. 


    John Hrivnak AIA
    Hrivnak Associates, Ltd.
    Saint Charles IL

  • 15.  RE: Permit Sets vs. Issued for Construction

    Posted 01-05-2017 16:56

    Your question is deeply disturbing to me as your professional colleague. The purpose for plan review by your local AHJ is to review Construction Documents for code compliance. By submitting incomplete Construction Documents, you are increasing the level of effort required to review your project and therefore delaying other projects from approval and souring the proverbial soup for the rest of the construction industry.

    How about this. If your Construction Documents are not at least 95% complete and coordinated, don't submit. If you didn't properly manage completion of your Construction Documents to meet your project schedule, that is not your Client's problem and it's not your AHJ's problem, it's no one else's problem but your own.

    You are from IBI? Hmmm, I'll remember that.

    Gordon Rogers AIA
    EAS Department Executive
    Kitchell CEM, Inc.
    Rocklin CA

  • 16.  RE: Permit Sets vs. Issued for Construction

    Posted 01-05-2017 17:52

    My take on this was that he was asking about language to place on sets that are 100% complete in terms of information required for permitting but not necessarily 100% complete in terms of information needed for bidding or construction.  For instance, all the finishes, light fixtures and cabinet details might not be complete.  There might be additional architectural details to be added to clarify design intent.  By definition, in my mind, a permit set is one that is complete enough to show compliance with the codes but does not contain all the details, material specifications and selections that will ultimately be added to the set.

    In the world of residences and small commercial work some clients only want permit level sets as they want to have flexibility to make their own choices.  In my world, it is common to submit permit sets for custom homes to get the process started while all the final details are getting sorted out.  I almost never get plan check comments back so my definition of a permit set is clearly one that is complete enough for it's intended purpose.  However, bidding or constructing from that set might not be a good idea as there would still be plenty left up to the imagination of the bidder which is never a good idea.

    I sign and seal the permit set and place a note across the title block saying that it is For Plancheck Only, is a Permit Set or whatever makes sense for the particular project.  In my world the approved permit set get's put away someplace safe and the bidders and builders work from sets that are marked Contract Set and dated.  Obviously the Architect has to make sure that we don't make any changes that would create a conflict with the approved work.  In my case, even my permit level sets are much more complete than the sets that some designers are submitting and obtaining permits with.

    It's amazing that everybody jumped to the conclusion that the original poster was trying to not seal the documents or get away with submitting incomplete work....maybe I'm just naive but I saw it completely differently and assumed he was looking for some clever and very legal sounding language to include on the set that would differentiate the approved set from the set with all the details and specifications that is intended to be out on the jobsite.

    Michelle Plotnik AIA
    Michelle Plotnik, AIA, Architect
    Murphys CA

  • 17.  RE: Permit Sets vs. Issued for Construction

    Posted 01-05-2017 21:14

    Understood Michelle, but the original question was written by an Associate - Architectural Manager at IBI - a global multi-disciplinary A/E firm that is not producing custom home documents for bottom feeding developers. Many of the public facilities they design are regulated by agencies who are significantly impacted with plan review backlog. Some of these agencies are required by statute to address comments on incomplete plans. The practice of submitting incomplete plans is counterproductive to our profession and only exacerbates delays in times of increasing escalation and costs.

    Many on the AIA Code committee would advocate putting forward a "one-and-done" plan check initiative on order to reduce plan check times and stop the crazy cycle of having multiple plan reviews on the same project. With our colleagues submitting incomplete plans, this will never become a reality and the backlog problem will only worsen.

    Gordon Rogers AIA
    EAS Department Executive
    Kitchell CEM, Inc.
    Rocklin CA

  • 18.  RE: Permit Sets vs. Issued for Construction

    Posted 01-06-2017 01:15
    This is turning out to be a fascinating discussion.

    Tara Imani, AIA, NCIDQ, ASID, CSI
    Registered Architect + Interior Designer

    Tara Imani Designs, LLC
    10333 Richmond Avenue, Suite 170
    Houston, TX 77042

    Work/Mobile Ph: 832-723-1798

  • 19.  RE: Permit Sets vs. Issued for Construction

    Posted 01-09-2017 21:16


    You are spot on!

    In fact we have a program in Northern California currently in use by 16 jurisdictions called PASS that focuses on document quality: content, completeness and organization and it is based on the logic you outlined.  A parallel program titled "One and Done"  will roll out this year.  It will indeed focus on getting permits processed in ONE cycle: One Review, One set of comments and then Done.  

    As you pointed out, you can't talk about 'One and Done' unless you have a very solid package or complete and clear documents.  One and Done also takes a willingness of the plan review jurisdiction to discuss and verbally vet responses before they go in.  It also helps if there is also a willingness to, if necessary, make minor 'red mark' adjustments when an issue is a simple 'clarification' or note addition that is a 'plan reviewer preference'.  

    More information on the PASS program is at  (The Streamline Institute is a 501c3 non profit that is hoping to help facilitate Architects as leaders in Permit Streamlining nationally).  I will be addressing this topic at the 2017 convention (Architect Led Permit Streamlining Steps to Success) if anyone would like to see this an example of how this type of advancement could occur in their own community.  Other examples of Permit Streamlining best practices I've gathered from around the country are on line here: PermitStreamline.Com

    Michael Malinowski AIA
    Streamline Institute

    Applied Architecture, Inc.
    Sacramento CA

  • 20.  RE: Permit Sets vs. Issued for Construction

    Posted 01-10-2017 12:42

    First off - in Pennsylvania all code submitted drawings, even progress type, require seals and signature. We do indicate "Progress Drawings" or at times "not for construction" but that is rare. 

    Perhaps, what I'm guilty of is actually creating permit drawings that will be directly used by a contractor who is filling in the blanks as part of a Design-Build. 

    We have also created progress drawings such as foundation drawings for fast track projects with most code agencies work with us.  This is the most hectic since we are making multiple submissions and we avoid this as much as possible.  Of course we perform many conventional projects which offer less stress.

    Let's just say we do our best to accommodate our client.

    Anthony Visco Jr AIA
    Anthony H. Visco Jr. Architects
    Williamsport PA

  • 21.  RE: Permit Sets vs. Issued for Construction

    Posted 01-10-2017 18:19

    Well Gordon,

    I agree that submitting incomplete work is a problem and one of my big pet peeves but not all small projects are done for bottom feeder developers.  While the original poster may be doing projects that should always have every casework pull specified before submittal there are many cases in which it might make sense to differentiate between permit/bidding/construction/contract sets.  One and done is always my goal when submitting plans for plancheck but that doesn't preclude adding additional information for construction.

    Again, I don't know the original poster and he doesn't seem to be back to clarify so I guess I'm done here,


    Michelle Plotnik AIA
    Michelle Plotnik, AIA, Architect
    Murphys CA

  • 22.  RE: Permit Sets vs. Issued for Construction

    Posted 01-10-2017 20:53

    Wow Gordon, that is a remarkably harsh answer to Michelle. "Bottom feeder developers"?!? How nice for you to be dealing with large government or Fortune 500 contracts so that you don't have the embarrassment of  dealing with the hoi polloi who build the houses, apartments,  and commercial building that house most of us or  our businesses and are the shops we use on a daily basis.

    Michelle makes a very accurate real world point. Moreover, there are increasingly more jurisdictions that give the architect the date to submit drawings which is ridiculous. It does not matter whether or not you as the design professional  think the date is reasonable, miss it and you are pushed back a minimum of of 3 months which may not be a big deal for a bottomless government contract but when an Owner is coming out of pocket for the carry, it can be a huge deal.

    There is clearly a divide in this discussion between those who handle large public building contracts pulling in 10 or 15% with generous timelines and those who are working with local or regional developers who pay way less, have much tighter budgets and timelines. Developers who are coming out of their own pocket know time is literally money so they  look to have the finishing of drawings, as Michelle indicated adding the non code issue information, added during the time lag of permit review.

    To answer the original question we label each sheet "Released for Permit" and once it is ready for construction we release a final set "Released for Construction".

    Nea Poole AIA
    Poole & Poole Architecture, LLC
    Midlothian VA

  • 23.  RE: Permit Sets vs. Issued for Construction

    Posted 01-13-2017 09:15
    This discussion has been interesting and educational.  In my 23 years in the architecture profession in Tennessee, I have never heard of separate permit and construction sets.  When we submit a set of plans for permitting, it is the final set.  If I happen to forget to turn the "NOT FOR CONSTRUCTION" layer off on a sheet when submitting to plans review, even if it has our principal's stamp and signature, it will be rejected.  And, as the plans (and specs) submitted for permit are stamped and have to be on the job site at all times, the field inspectors tend to get bent out of shape if anyone works off any drawings that do not match that approved set. 
    I asked another Tennessee architect, who has been working in the profession much longer than me, and he said in the past people would sometimes issue separate permit and construction sets, but as far as he is aware it is no longer allowed.  He agrees, our current system is easier and logical - everyone is working off the same set of documents.

    Daniel Scott Cooter Assoc. AIA Sparkman & Associates Architects, Inc. Knoxville TN

  • 24.  RE: Permit Sets vs. Issued for Construction

    Posted 01-16-2017 17:37
    At times in Florida the two terms can be used separately, typically in single family residential construction. A permit set may suggest a set of drawings that meet all the necessary requirements to receive a building permit. A construction set may suggest additional finish and interior elevations, sections, details and specifications with in the drawings - items not typically reviewed by the building department. The separation typically depends on the owner, builder and architect relationship, and or the cost and time available to develop the drawings. 

    Anthony Harrington AIA
    Design Methods, Inc.
    West Palm Beach FL

  • 25.  RE: Permit Sets vs. Issued for Construction

    Posted 01-17-2017 10:59
    Michelle and Nea - You are correct. Those are harsh words that I shouldn't have quoted from another post. I apologize and ask for the forgiveness of those offended.

    In fact, For more than 25 years, my practice produced plans for custom home, single-family and multi-family private owners & developers. I understand the business and economic pressures you cite from first hand experience and realize there are many other firms out there that are struggling to survive. In my practice,

    I sometimes felt like a slave to the demands of my few, but consistently producing clients. What I found was that I needed to gently and constantly educate them on the time requirements for what they were asking. I also became a much better administrator of scope where I would even the smallest scope changes with fee and schedule changes. Yes, this was not greeted with celebration, but  it only took one or two times before they started to realize that their actions also had consequences. With better understanding of the level of effort required and when given an accurate schedule, over time they became far more understanding and I think they actually respected me more as a professional. Once this type of trust relationship was established, we both were able to plan better and although the time and price pressures still remained, those relationships became very prosperous for both parties.

    My hope is that we all are  professionals who take their profession seriously enough to move the bar from being treated like commodities up to the place where we return to being viewed as fulfilling a noble and vital role in society. Our actions as professionals can have consequences to our clients, our fellow colleagues, and the AHJ community. I would recommend each of us attempt to better understand the consequences others will face as a result of architects advocating the submission of incomplete plans.

    Gordon Rogers AIA
    EAS Department Executive
    Kitchell CEM, Inc.
    Rocklin CA

  • 26.  RE: Permit Sets vs. Issued for Construction

    Posted 01-17-2017 19:20

    I appreciate the apology but it's really not necessary and you are responding to something I never said.  I'm old, I've been in this business for a very long time and have done everything from hospital renovations to custom home remodeling.  The level of detail needed for permitting versus bidding or construction just isn't the same for many kinds of projects and it makes sense to get the permitting process underway while final selections of fixtures and materials are taking place.  I never suggested that anyone should submit incomplete plans but there's quite a bit of room between complete enough for permitting (and even construction if you aren't fussy about the details) and complete enough for a detailed bid in some cases.  And even complete enough for bidding usually leaves some items to be selected later and only described with an allowance or performance spec.  I apparently mis-read the original posters question and assumed that he was trying to distinguish between a permit set and the set that went out in the field with all the extras included...that is easily enough accomplished with dating and labels.

    For the record, my clients are not generally a problem in this regard and mostly just go along with whatever I suggest...after all, they are paying me good money to give them advice.  That said, developers can be anxious to get started but I agree that submitting incomplete work is never a good idea and often backfires.  I'm guessing that my idea of a complete permit set is much more complete than many folks idea of a finished and ready for anything set so perhaps that's causing some confusion.

    Take care,


    Michelle Plotnik AIA
    Michelle Plotnik, AIA, Architect
    Murphys CA

  • 27.  RE: Permit Sets vs. Issued for Construction

    Posted 01-18-2017 20:03

    I totally agree with Michelle – thank you.  And I believe this is what happens in most of the industry today.   Especially in accelerated Design-Build contracts.  A one person practitioner is much different than an international company with several offices in several jurisdictions.  I am currently registered in 35 states and with a less than complete (100%) submission I don't recall ever being rejected by an AHJ for a Plan Submittal.  Again I don't think I have ever gotten a comment on a construction detail.  Only higher lever life safety, accessibility or energy related comments.  Again how do we "pray tell" tend to address comments from the AHJ on the documents if the Permit Set goes directly into Construction?  My government peers are unfortunately living in wish fulfillment utopia.  And in my next life I swear I'll have a government job J!


    Dennis O'Beirne AIA, LEED®AP


    Associate-Architecture Manager


    dd +1 248 936 8062 


    IBI Group

    25200 Telegraph Road-Suite 300

    Southfield MI  48033  United States

    tel +1 248 936 8000 ext 51026  fax +1 248 936 8111






    NOTE: This email message/attachments may contain privileged and confidential information. If received in error, please notify the sender and delete this e-mail message.

  • 28.  RE: Permit Sets vs. Issued for Construction

    Posted 01-19-2017 18:52
    Comments from the AHJ are easily addressed by making the revisions necessary, issuing copies of the new set containing revisions, and then submitting those copies to the AHJ for their stamp of approval and record. Happens all the time.

    Revision Stamp By AHJ
    Markings from the AHJ denoting that this is the set approved for construction.

    Attached is two images of markings an AHJ as left on a revised set indicating that this is the set approved for construction. As can be seen in the comments, a copy of these is to remain on site for reference during construction.

    Rudolph Beuc AIA, NCARB, CBO
    R. Beuc Architects
    Saint Louis MO

  • 29.  RE: Permit Sets vs. Issued for Construction

    Posted 01-22-2017 08:22
    And when changes or revisions are made over the course of the project and after permit?
    I rest my case.

    Dennis O'Beirne AIA
    IBI Group
    Canton MI

  • 30.  RE: Permit Sets vs. Issued for Construction

    Posted 01-23-2017 17:29
    If the AHJ demands it, provide an addendum.

    Again, it's not that hard.


    Rudolph Beuc AIA, NCARB, CBO
    R. Beuc Architects
    Saint Louis MO

  • 31.  RE: Permit Sets vs. Issued for Construction

    Posted 12-05-2019 18:47
    I disagree with some of the respondents here, from my perspective, there is a world of difference between an initial permit set and an IFC final construction set. It is common practice on the West Coast to submit for a Building Permit with documents that are about 65%-70% complete - particularly since these documents sit in the queue for a protracted amount of time prior to the first correction cycle review.  Our 65%-70% documents are very thorough with regard to land use and building codes [and of course life safety] but many of the details and drawings are still in progress. To a Plans Examiner, they are certainly complete enough for a first correction cycle. We typically receive a handful of correction comments on the initial plans examination, and we then re-submit ASAP with documents that are closer to 90%.  Waiting until documents were 100% complete for the initial permit submittal would result in a very serious and unwarranted project delay - this is just not how most of the real world operates - at least not in the High-Rise Residential Tower design world that I operate in.  To the initial question, we prefer to submit our initial building permit documents with a "Not for Construction" notation, but certain Plans Examiners object to that, so it really is a case by case situation.  Having served for 12 years [three terms] on the Washington State Board for Architects, I do not recall this subject ever coming up - except in the context that the Building Official of each jurisdiction can make such a call.

    Blaine Weber AIA
    Weber + Thompson PLLC
    Seattle WA

  • 32.  RE: Permit Sets vs. Issued for Construction

    Posted 12-06-2019 17:23
    I agree with Blaine completely.  This is standard practice in California, even for simple things like shade structures in parking lots.

    Bill Adelson, AIA MBA
    Solar Canopies and Carports
    760-994-8780 mobile

  • 33.  RE: Permit Sets vs. Issued for Construction

    Posted 12-06-2019 17:38
    Agree with submitting drawings to the building department only complete enough from their standpoint, so that they can issue a permit. Our bid documents (spec boilerplate) state that the gc shall build only from the bid set, however the approved building department set shall be kept open on the premises. 

    Paul Benowitz, R.A.
    Benowitz Shah Architects, AIA
    Mobile: 914 420 7977

  • 34.  RE: Permit Sets vs. Issued for Construction

    Posted 12-07-2019 07:19
    I have been following this discussion for some time now, and think I am probably number 33 or so. I am a Design-Build Architect with licenses in 35+ states & Province of Ontario. I have experienced every situation mentioned in the Blog, and then some.
    The core problem is that there are not enough plan reviewers and you probably will not get more, so the responsibility needs to come back to the Professionals preparing the documents.  I have worked in jurisdictions  where Self Certification or Peer Reviews are allowed. These types of drawing approvals work well and can get a project into construction more quickly.

    Michael Clark AIA
    Director Of Design
    H&H Design-Build
    New Albany IN