The ongoing novel coronavirus crisis has forced a shift away from traditional government service delivery. In Boulder County, the planning and permitting office is offering virtual building inspections for certain projects.
(TNS) — While Boulder County office buildings remain closed this month to reduce human contact and curb the spread of the new coronavirus, Boulder County Community Planning & Permitting is turning to technology in an effort to offer builders a new tool and expanded service.
Virtual building safety and inspection services were offered starting Tuesday to select projects in unincorporated Boulder County.
Richard Hackett , a spokesperson for Boulder County Community Planning & Permitting, said the department’s members, who have been working from home, heard some suggestions from contractors and builders for using online tools.
“Soon after the county closed buildings to the public (on March 16), we started to investigate ways to continue service and having virtual inspections as an option came up pretty early,” Hackett said. “We are trying to make it as easy as possible.”
The virtual service can be completed using a smartphone or tablet that is connected to wifi or a 4G wireless service. FaceTime or Microsoft Teams are required to host the call, according to a Boulder County news release on the service.
To request a virtual inspection, people are asked to send an email to email@example.com, the release said. The email should include: a permit number, type of inspection, phone number and email for the person who will be walking the inspection and the method of video call they intend to use.
Not all building projects are appropriate for virtual inspection. Hackett said the service is for customers and contractors who have first-hand knowledge of the work that has been done. Large, complex projects, such as a full inspection of a new house or a large remodeling project will not be eligible for the service, he said. A building inspector will determine the project’s eligibility, the release said.
Hackett emphasized the county is still actively issuing Easy Building Permits for projects like applying for a roof replacement or replacing a water heater.
For more information, people can visit the county’s safety and inspection website at boco.org/CPP-Building.
©2020 the Daily Times-Call (Longmont, Colo.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
Looking for the latest gov tech news as it happens? Subscribe to GT newsletters.