Why municipalities should consider e-permitting for safe and remote processes during COVID-19

When the pandemic hit, municipal building departments were forced to choose between two options: digitalize or slow down.

E-permitting has helped them issue permits and perform inspections efficiently. And it’s helped them continue operating – despite shutdowns, border closures, and material shortages.

Benefits of E-Permitting

With e-permitting, municipal building departments and building communities can:

  • work safely and efficiently from home;
  • reduce in-person office visits to promote physical distancing;
  • eliminate paper by working collaboratively online; and
  • keep up with permit demand.

Municipal building departments using e-permitting are having an easier time during the pandemic than those using paper processes. E-permitting has become more relevant and necessary than ever as physical distancing, restrictions, and lockdowns continue to have an impact.

As Canadians stayed at home, many municipalities have experienced unprecedented building booms. In Ontario, the Municipality of Middlesex Centre and the Township of Huron-Kinloss offer two good examples.

“During the pandemic, Cloudpermit has been a significant health and safety tool by allowing the building community to submit building permit applications from the office or at home,” shared Arnie Marsman, Chief Building Official for Middlesex Centre. “Building division staff found a similar benefit by also being able to operate from home without paper touching several hands, which in turn, helps keep traffic in the municipal office to a minimum.”

“During COVID-19, we’ve had a non-stop stream of building with do-it-yourself projects and new developments,” voiced Matt Farrell, Chief Building Official for Huron-Kinloss and President of the Alliance of Canadian Building Officials’ Association (ACBOA). “Cloudpermit has streamlined our building permit process, allowing us to handle a higher volume of building permits.”

Municipal Building Departments Set Up for Success

As the demand to go digital intensifies, e-permitting can help set your municipal building department up for success this year. Some ways to get started:

  • Consult neighbouring municipalities that have gone digital.
  • Research different e-permitting solutions.
  • Talk to your municipal building department and council about its benefits.

To learn more about e-permitting and how it can help during COVID-19, remote demos are available at cloudpermit.com/book-a-demo.

Published originally in Municipal World March Issue: Building departments should digitalize now