Now in season three of ArchitectChats, we are continuing our Dissecting the Code series, which highlights leaders and initiatives in the AEC profession that are ensuring the structures that we design meet the evolving demands of today's world.

The building permitting process can be an arduous one, often requiring months to get the appropriate paperwork organized, submitted, reviewed, and approved (or denied). However, code officials in some jurisdictions have introduced alternative review processes to expedite and streamline this process, helping to keep projects on time and even on budget.

Lynn Underwood
Lynn Underwood

In Washington, D.C., chief building official Lynn Underwood has development a one-day plan review service for any project. Yes, that's one day. And in neighboring Arlington, Va., chief building official and inspection services director Shahriar Amiri has introduced an e-permitting process than minimizes review time to just 2 days for small projects. While these are not one-size-fits-all solutions, such initiatives can serve as inspiration and prototypes for jurisdictions around the country.

In this episode of ArchitectChats, the duo discuss their reasons for creating alternative permitting processes, the future of technology-integrated reviewing, and how architects can help streamline the process.

Episode 23: Dissecting the Code, Part 6 - Alternative Initiatives for Expediting the Review Process, featuring Lynn Underwood and and Shahrair Amiri, is available on SoundCloud and on iTunes.

Teams participate in the one-day review process in Washington, D.C.
Courtesy DCRA Teams participate in the one-day review process in Washington, D.C.


  • District of Columbia Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs' overview of the Velocity one-day permitting program
  • Arlington County Government's ePlan review system.

This episode of ArchitectChats was brought to you by the ICC Evaluation Service, and produced by Lauren Honesty, Henrietta Biayemi, Katharine Keane, and Wanda Lau.