Webinar Recap: Technology & Government Building Permitting in 2022

November 24, 2021

Webinar Recap: What Role Will Technology Play in Government Building Permitting in 2022?

In this live webinar presented by Clariti, hosts Jeremy Bosch and Clayton Walker discussed 5 key challenges building departments face heading into 2022, and how leading technology - such as Clariti’s newest solution for government building permitting - can help to alleviate backlogs, and speed up permit issuance times. If you didn’t get a chance to attend the live session, you can watch on-demand now, or continue reading for a recap of the discussion on the challenges governments face in meeting demand, and to get a closer look at the latest in building permitting technology: Clariti’s Government Building Permitting Solution. The 5 challenges covered, include:

  • Increasing citizen and contractor demands for digital self-service
  • Rising permit volumes due in part to rising need for affordable housing
  • Rapid changes in building codes
  • Expanding technology use and knowledge into the building department
  • Finding solutions to stand the test of time

Session recap: 5 building permitting trends and challenges governments face heading into 2022, and where technology fits in

From the pandemic abruptly shutting down offices, to dealing with record-setting building permit demand, to never-higher demands from the public for improvements to citizen services, government building departments across North America have had seemingly never ending challenges to deal with over the last few years. But to sum it up, our hosts broke it down into 5 building permitting trends/challenges many local governments are facing in (as much as we dislike saying it) today’s ‘new-normal’.

Trend 1: Increasing citizen and contractor demands for digital self-service

Even for late technology adopters, or those that were previously hesitant to participate in online services if they were available, the pandemic accelerated a shift to more widespread acceptance and adoption of digital services - even in the public sector. In 2021, citizens accessing digital services increased 18% over 2020, and now, heading into 2022, 67% of adults say that they prefer accessing services online. Digital-first services are what people expect, and building permitting is no different. Citizens, builders, developers, and contractors want an easy way to access the services they need online, from wherever they are. That’s where technology comes in.

With Clariti’s Building Permitting Solution, everything an applicant needs to manage their permit application online is easily accessible through the Community Portal. Accessed through any government website, applicants can apply and pay for a permit, and check the status of their application from any device. Skip to 9:17 in the video to see more.

Clariti's government building permitting softwareOnline Community Portal

Trend 2: Rising permit volumes due in part to increased demand for affordable housing

Throughout the U.S. and Canada, housing prices continue to soar, putting immense pressure on building departments to make improvements to often lengthy and complex permit approval processes. And it’s not just local building departments that are feeling the pressure - housing affordability remains a top priority for governments at the federal, state, and provincial levels. In the U.S., the Build Back Better Bill, if passed, would see $150 billion pumped partly into the rapid construction of affordable housing, causing a sharp spike in building permit demand. Similarly, in Canada, multiple levels of government are looking to new builds to help curb the rapid rise in housing prices, and at accelerating building as a way to provide more affordable housing. In today’s housing market, it’s more important than ever for governments to invest in technology that can support staff, and facilitate quicker turnaround times.

Ultimately, as Jeremy explained, a large part of being efficient comes down to data quality and availability, and the ability for departments to effectively allocate resources to current demands, and plan ahead for the future. With manual, siloed systems, information can sometimes be stored in multiple different places, in multiple different formats, slowing down workflows and making it difficult for stakeholders to access the information they need. Or it can be lost altogether. Alternatively, with Clariti, all information - including historical land and permit records - is stored in one system that’s easily accessible for all stakeholders. Using dynamic reporting capabilities and fully-configurable dashboards, departments using Clariti’s building permit software can see all department data in a digestible format, whether it’s new permit applications, permits in review, permits about to expire, or revenue by month. Skip to 23:26 in the on-demand webinar for a full walkthrough of Clariti’s reporting capabilities, along with other automation and functionality that can dramatically speed up the approvals process.

Clariti building permitting dashboardsBuilding Permit Dashboard

Trend 3: Rapid changes in building codes

With climate change comes more and more building code updates to protect public safety, emphasising the importance of having a flexible building permitting system in place to easily pivot to meet new requirements. Whether it’s retrofitting buildings to make them more energy efficient, or rebuilding homes post-disaster, it’s essential that building departments be able to adjust requirements easily when necessary without interruptions to service, and that they are able to access the data they need, when they need it.

With Clariti’s comprehensive reporting capabilities, it only takes a few clicks to pull reports to analyze data such as building code violations or upcoming inspections, so it’s easy to spot potential public safety hazards before they even happen. And if requirements change, even a non-technical user can make necessary updates that will be reflected in real-time across all system data. Skip to 37:34 to see how Clariti’s building permitting solution makes tracking adherence to new codes, and incorporating changes into the system easy for inspectors and code enforcement officials.

Clariti building permitting reporting capabilitiesDynamic Reports

Trend 4: Expanding technology use and knowledge into the building department

Is tele-everything the ‘new-normal’? Even in the public sector? If a recent survey of 915 government experts is any indicator, it absolutely is; and adoption of technology in government is only going to continue increasing at a rapid rate, even in building departments. That’s why ensuring staff - even those that are less tech-savvy - are empowered to easily manage daily maintenance of new technology. Typical on-premise and manual systems often require complicated updates and IT support to fix even the smallest issue, or make even the smallest update, making these systems unsustainable. But with Clariti’s government building permitting solution, updates don’t require code or support from IT - staff can make changes using a drag and drop tool that only requires clicks, not code.

As Jeremy said, by putting more technology in the hands of staff, and enabling more autonomy with day-to-day operations, Chief Building Officials can limit staff turnover and improve recruiting results. Promoting a technology-first work environment will better align operations to the expectations of the next wave of public sector employees.

See how empowering the solution is for staff, and how the drag and drop workflow tool works by skipping to 47:28 in the session recording.

Clariti building permit software workflow builderDrag and Drop Workflow-Builder

Trend 5: Finding solutions to stand the test of time

As shown in 2020 when many governments were forced to shift to remote operations within a matter of days, finding resilient, long-term solutions that are adaptable to sudden change is critical to success. Especially given building permitting's critical role in local economies, it’s essential that these services are able to continue in times of uncertainty. Processes and systems need to be scalable to ensure that as circumstances change and building permit demand grows, organizations are able to adapt quickly, and effortlessly meet service needs. Essentially, governments need future-proof solutions that can meet their service needs for decades to come. Something that on-premise solutions can’t offer.

With Clariti’s government building permitting solution, however, everything is in the cloud, making it infinitely scalable to meet future demands. And with 99.9+% system uptime, it’s completely reliable to ensure services can continue whenever they’re needed.

Watch On-Demand Webinar Now

About Clariti's newest solution

Purpose-built for small and medium-sized governments, Clariti’s Building Permitting Solution is mission control for efficient online permit management - from application to review to inspection to issuance. Offering unmatched ease-of-use and flexibility, even for non-technical users, the solution allows departments to issue permits faster than ever before - on average by at least 50%+ - and comes pre-configured and packed with features that make even the most unique and complex permitting processes easier and faster. Plus, unlike other building permit software on the market, the solution is quick-to-implement, so departments don’t need to slow down or worry about backlogs when making the switch. Interested to learn more? Reach out to the Clariti team, or visit our website for more information.

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