Plan Review Process
The office plan review process starts with triage. Upon receipt, each submittal is logged in and triaged within 48 hours by HCAI Architects, Engineers, and Fire & Life Safety Officers to determine if the submittal is complete. If any discipline can complete the review of the construction documents within 15 minutes, the review will be completed during the triage process; otherwise, each discipline will estimate the time needed for the review and record it on the triage form accordingly.
Triage & Review Results
The triage and review results criteria are as follows:
It is estimated the review will take longer than 2 hours.
Review can be done within 1 to 2 hours*
Review can be done in 1 hour or less. (2 hours for structural)**
Submittal is incomplete and should be returned
*All disciplines requiring review of the documents must mark either OTC or Expedite for the project to be eligible for an expedited or OTC review. Only first reviews will be expedited.
**All disciplines requiring review of the documents must mark OTC for the project to be scheduled for an Over-The-Counter review.
Once triage is complete, the review completion date is established based on either the Anticipated Date of Plan Approval or the 60/30/30 Turnaround Goal Program.
Plan Review Turnaround Goals
Anticipated Date of Plan Approval
The Anticipated Date of Plan Approval reflects the average total number of days for past similar projects, from the date the plans are accepted for triage until they are stamped approved, and includes HCAI’s plan review time as well as the design team’s response times. Therefore, it is important to make sure complete and comprehensive responses to HCAI comments are received in a timely manner and/or projects are closed for inactivity where responses are not received within 90 calendar days after date of return of checked construction drawings, unless the project is converted to a “managed” project or is a “seismic compliance” project.
The Anticipated Date of Plan Approval is determined by grouping historical project data (since 2012) into similar “Bins”. These bins are as follows:
- Kind of Project (Addition, Remodel, New Building, & Maintenance)
- Review Type (Paper or Electronic)
- Managed Project Approved (Yes or No)
- Office or Field Review (Office or Field)
- Primary Structure/Lateral Elements (Yes or No)
- Costs (See visualization below for cost bins)
An email is sent to the Design Professional of Responsible Charge with the Anticipated Date of Approval when a project is accepted for triage. To estimate your project’s Anticipated Date of Plan Approval, you may enter your project details in the tool below.
Plan Approval Date Estimator
Please note that this anticipated date of plan approval is an estimate only. Data does not include incremental, phased, and collaborative projects. Numerous variables affect the review and approval process. If your project requires more backchecks than the average, the number of days for plan approval will extend accordingly. Other factors that can affect the time it takes to review and approve projects include incomplete submittals, missing information, not responding to all comments on plans before submitting for backcheck, unusually complex projects, quality of design, and many others. Your attention to detail on your project can help assure the project will be approved on or before the anticipated plan approval date.
For projects that are not eligible for Anticipated Date of Plan Approval, see below.
For questions or comments related to the data on this page, please eMail the FDD Webmaster.
Incremental (I) Project Review Timelines
- Projects that include primary gravity and/or lateral load elements/systems (structural) will have a turnaround goal of 80 days for first reviews and deferred item reviews.
- Backchecks will have a turnaround goal of 40 days.
- The review schedules for Managed Projects will be negotiated between the Office and the Client.
If it is determined that FDD cannot meet any of the turnaround goals for a project, it is the Office policy to notify applicants with the date they can expect their project to be completed/returned.
If code violations or deficiencies are discovered during the various reviews, remarks will be placed on the construction documents indicating the exact deficiency and will include a reference to the statute or regulation that was violated. Construction documents will be returned to the applicant for correction. When the corrected construction documents are resubmitted for a backcheck review, ALL PREVIOUSLY REMARKED DOCUMENTS, ALONG WITH A COMPLETE RESPONSE TO EACH COMMENT, must be resubmitted for backcheck review. Written approval of the construction documents will be conferred when all comments are resolved AND the office has received a set of the stamped construction documents for its files.