ViewPoint Blog

Case Studies, Product Features, and Local Government Resources

New Technologies Driving Change in the Way Building Officials Work

Technology is driving major changes in building departments, introducing a whole new way to build our world. Two technologies in particular–cloud-based platforms for storing and sharing data and building information modeling (BIM)–promise to change not only the way construction projects are designed, but also the processes of building officials responsible for approving them. As a result of changing technologies, building officials will soon need to become more tech-savvy in order to take full advantage of the benefits that these new technologies bring.

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Five Foward-Thinking Ohio Cities Power ePermitting with ViewPoint Cloud

Population: 105,379 (total); 29,600 (average)
State: Ohio
Municipalities Involved: Hudson, Oxford, Upper Arlington, Wooster, Fairfield
Problems Addressed: Improving customer experience, integrating back and front end, moving to cloud-based software
Project Highlights:  Saving money on cloud-based software, improving process efficiency

Over a hundred years old and situated next to Ohio State University, the community of Upper Arlington, Ohio has seen recent rises in property values spurring new development, and in turn, permitting and licensing requests.

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Population: 20,540
State: Ohio
Departments & Divisions Involved: Building, Zoning, Planning, Code Enforcement, Special Events, Water/Sewer
Problem Addressed: Making internal processes more efficient; improving service to business community
Project Highlight: Wooster’s user-friendly permitting portal

The City of Wooster, Ohio has joined the ranks of more than 100 other governments across the country who use ViewPoint to power their ePermitting software. As the first in Ohio to do so, the City of Wooster has become a state leader in digitizing citizen services. 

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Population: 7,839
State: Massachusetts
Departments & Divisions Involved: Building, Fire Marshal, Health, Planning & Zoning, Police Department, Public Works
Problem Addressed: Connecting inter-departmental workflows
Project Highlight: Improving workflows and increasing tax revenue through move to ePermitting

A year after beginning the transition from paper permitting to permitting software, Tim Smith, Fire Marshal in Orange, Connecticut, shares their experience.

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The purpose of ePermitting software is to help make government departments more efficient. That sounds well and nice, but there are so many products out there that claim to increase productivity and efficiency.  So what does ePermitting actually look like in practice? And what makes it worth the cost of transitioning to a new system and training employees?

Let’s take a look at one city building department’s journey from paper permitting to ePermitting with ViewPoint Cloud.

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Population: 83,105
State: California
Departments & Divisions Involved: Building, Planning, Code Enforcement
Problem Addressed: Increasing citizen transparency and accessibility
Project Highlight: Saving money by switching to modern technology

Last summer, officials in Buena Park, Calif. knew it was time for change. Citizens were demanding greater transparency and accessibility from their government amidst an evolving technological landscape. In response, the city of 80,000 passed a strategic plan that made constituent service a priority, committing to research and develop new technologies to provide “service and information to all.”

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Bloomfield, Connecticut Turns to ViewPoint Cloud for ePermitting

Population: 25,000
State: Connecticut
Departments & Divisions Involved: Building, Engineering, Subdivision, Wetlands, Zoning
Problem Addressed: Digitizing Data with Online Permitting
Project Highlight: Active Partnership

A short drive from Hartford, the Town of Bloomfield, Connecticut is an actively growing community home to some 25,000 residents. After seeing permitting requests rise from an average of $600,000 annually to over $2.5 million, Bloomfield’s Building Department needed permitting technology that would allow customers to apply for permits online, while also reducing the internal workload for overburdened staff members.

Bloomfield has found success with the intuitive design of ViewPoint Cloud, after moving away from a legacy vendor that could not keep up with growing demand.

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In How ePermitting Makes Building Departments More Efficient, Part 1, we looked at how one client’s journey from paper to ePermitting with ViewPoint Cloud led to greater efficiency through:

  • Form consolidation
  • Logical organization
  • Automated workflow
  • Automated data entry

In this article, we’ll explore how they completed the transition with:

  • Expedited payment
  • Intuitive customization
  • Dynamic reporting & analytics
  • Electronic permit issuance

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Population: 7,839
State: Massachusetts
Departments & Divisions Involved: Building, Fire Marshal, Health, Planning & Zoning, Police Department, Public Works
Problem Addressed: Connecting inter-departmental workflows
Project Highlight: Rapid implementation

The Town of Orange, CT went live with online permitting today just 90 days after kicking off the process-improvement initiative.

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